Filming In Thailand


From “Good Morning Vietnam” to “The Beach”, “The Deer Hunter”, and “Star Wars Episode III”, Thailand is no stranger to being the backdrop for several major Hollywood blockbusters.

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Filming in Thailand

This stunning country in Southeast Asia is home to some of the most beautiful (and famous) beaches in the world, but that’s not all that’s on offer – there’s also a vibrant nightlife, historic ruins and busy cosmopolitan cities.

The variety of landscapes here along with a culture that fuses modernity with the rich history of the region makes Thailand especially appealing to filmmakers. However, the Monsoon season (June to October) can potentially hold up shoots, and so many people opt to arrange filming in the dry season (November to February).

Thailand is generally welcoming to international film crews, and permits are usually easy to obtain, although it can be a slow process.

NEEDaFIXER THAILAND can help you work out which visas and permits you might need, and can chase the local governments to help you get permission. If you plan to film in more remote locations, then this can be tricky, but our experienced team is here to help.

There’s also the language barrier to contend with, which is why many people use our pre-production services when filming in Thailand. We can use our extensive contacts in the industry to get you the film crew you need in Thailand, whether it’s directors and producers, camera crew, runners, or technicians.

We can provide drones and pilots for dramatic aerial shots, and can even help with casting local talent for your production. Whether you want to film in the heart of Bangkok or on a remote island, we can take care of logistics such as transport and accommodation.

We can use our extensive contacts in the industry to get you the film crew you need in Thailand, whether it’s directors and producers, camera crew, runners, or technicians. We can provide drones and pilots for dramatic aerial shots, and can even help with casting local talent for your production. Whether you want to film in the heart of Bangkok or on a remote island, we can take care of logistics such as transport and accommodation.

Thailand has been used as a backdrop for major movie productions such as The Man With The Golden Gun, The Beach, Bangkok Dangerous, and The Hangover Part II, with many movies using both city and rural locations in their shoots.

In addition to movies that are set in Thailand, the country has also been used to represent Vietnam and Cambodia, as it has similar natural features. Lots of movies about the Vietnam War such as The Deer Hunter and Good Morning, Vietnam were actually filmed in locations in Thailand.

Directors, Local Coordinator & Fixers in Thailand

Action films, historical dramas, comedies, documentaries and films of numerous other genres have been shot in Thailand over the years.

As it is a popular filming location, we have film and TV fixers that can help you arrange your upcoming shoot, taking care of logistics and organisational tasks along with providing support when it comes to understanding legalities and permits for a number of requirements.

Costs and financing

Thailand’s rising popularity as a filming destination over the past twenty years now means it’s one of the more expensive locations in Southeast Asia. However, with the help of an experienced Thailand fixer, a production company can maximise the impact of the budget and enjoy a good return on investment.

Film permits

While it can be relatively straightforward to obtain filming permits for productions in Thailand, the film’s subject matter is taken into account when an application is being processed. For example, filmmakers may struggle to obtain permission to shoot content that pertains to religion or the monarchy. Similarly, requests for permission to film in Natural Parks are often heavily scrutinised to prevent any damage to the country’s natural beauty and resources. Otherwise, obtaining filming permits can take anywhere from three days to three weeks depending on the type of shoot. One of the best ways to give yourself the best chances of securing the necessary filming permits is to work alongside an experienced fixer who can provide support.

Crews and talent sourcing

There is a large population of English speaking and highly experienced actors, directors and crewmembers available in Thailand. In addition to native Thais and a number of Europeans/Americans travelling through the region, there’s also a large number of animal actors available.


While a large amount of English is spoken in Thailand, this tends to be around major urban areas and becomes less frequent the more remote the destination. Therefore if you want a film fixer to arrange a translator, we’d happily be able to organise this for you.


Again, in and around major cities like Bangkok, the roads and infrastructure are up to high standards. Venture out into more rural Thailand, and this is not always guaranteed. Thailand is well connected internationally, with a number of flights servicing the country daily, which can help if you are bringing together a large cast and crew.


There is a welcome range of accommodation here, from more modern and luxurious hotels to more traditional abodes and of course plenty of beachfront resorts. If you need help arranging accommodation for your cast and crew when filming in Thailand, we can help.

  • Set construction and studio sourcing. There are no backlots currently in existence, although there are a number of studios, the largest of which being MoonStar. As the film industry in Thailand is already robust, there’s plenty of equipment available, while more can be brought in from nearby Hong Kong or Singapore if required.
  • Tax Incentives and credits. There are a few rebates available to filmmakers depending on the budget of the production. For any production company that spends a minimum of 50 million Thai Bhat (roughly $1.5 million USD), there is a cash rebate of 15 per cent issued. If the production is deemed to promote Thai tourism, a further 2 per cent is issued, while production companies will receive an extra 3 per cent if local Thai actors assume leadership roles.
  • Safety and travel advisories. As of October 2016, Thailand is undergoing an official year of mourning following the death of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. As such, there are travel advisories in place for all visitors to respect this custom and act accordingly during any visits in this time frame. Politically, Thailand is a country that has experienced unrest in recent years, with martial law being imposed in 2015. It’s therefore important that you work closely with local sources that can help keep you safe and avoid troublesome areas. The Thai government currently warns tourists to avoid the provinces of Narathiwat, Yala, Pattani and Songkhla.

Enquire now to find out how a film or TV fixer in Thailand can help with the organisation of your shoot.

Popular Thai Filming Locations

From idyllic white-sand beaches to magnificent traditional temples, mountainous jungles and busy cities, Thailand has a vast and varied landscape. Some of the most favoured spots for crews filming in Thailand include:


Bangkok International Airport acts as the main hub for visitors arriving from around the world, and this energetic capital city is a unique mix of old and new. Buddhist monks in traditional garb co-exist alongside backpackers from around the globe, and people can get around via land or water thanks to the expansive road system and canals of the Bangkok River.

Koh Phi Phi Leh

One of the most beautiful Thai islands, Kho Phi Phi Leh is already well known to filmmakers and fans alike as being home to Maya Bay, the filming location of the 1999 film “The Beach”. This popularity has invited a great deal of tourism ever since, however, there is still plenty of beauty to be found and enjoyed in this uninhabited ecological paradise.


Phuket Province is an island home to a number of Thailand’s most stunning beaches, while Bangla Road (Soi Bangla) in Patong is a hub of nightlife filled with bars, clubs and neon lights.

Koh Samui

A true beauty awaits any production company that heads to Ko Samui. The second-largest Thai island is filled with mountains of a forest, white sand beaches, and isolated coconut groves that are the stuff of cinematic dreams.

One of our local film fixers in Thailand is happy to help arrange the perfect filming location for your project.

Other sites of interest

Some key sites of interest that stand out amongst Thailand’s cities, resorts and islands offer filmmakers a range of spectacular sets:

  • Railay Beach
  • Similan Islands
  • The Grand Palace
  • Phang Nga Bay
  • Ao Nang
  • Chatuchak market
  • Erawan National Park
  • Khao Sok National Park
  • Damnoen Saduak Floating Markets

If you need the help of a location scout or indeed any other assistance with planning the finer details of your film shoot in Thailand, contact NEEDaFIXER to discover more about how we can be of help.

Frequently Asked Questions

How easy is it to get permits?

Super easy to obtain – it takes three weeks tops to access a permit depending on the production size. If you’re working on a commercial or documentary, visas take 3-5 days, television programmes take up to 10 days and films take up to three weeks.

For crews filming for a period of 15 days or less, work permits are not required, but permits must be obtained for any stay above that length of time. As this can be a more complicated process (especially if crew members are applying from different countries), we recommend entrusting a local fixer to help you liaise with the Thai embassy.

Bangkok is quite tricky to obtain a permit and you’ll need a different permit for each location. Chinatown is also a tricky area to film, as traffic can only be controlled in the evenings and at weekends.

Do I need a visa or work permit?

If you’re staying in Thailand longer than 15 days, you will be required to carry a work visa and it’s worth contacting your local embassy to find out the exact procedure. If filming takes less than 15 days, you can enter the country on a tourist visa and your film permit will allow you to work.

Can I hire equipment once there?

Arri is readily available with Panavision having to be imported from nearby Honk Kong, Singapore and as far as Australia. Please note there is a shortage of helicopters in Thailand if you require aerial shots.

What is the climate like?

Tropical. The weather is incredibly humid but slightly cooler towards the coast and in the mountains. FYI – the monsoon season runs from June to October, so avoid if you don’t want to get wet! The warm season commences between November – February and is usually the best time to film.


’You guys were amazing! You delivered perfectly at short notice in a foreign country, introduced us to lovely crew in both and really went the extra mile in making sure it was all taken care of and confirmed properly. I can’t thank you enough and look forward to working together again.’

Davo McConville

Free Lance Producer - Black Dog / RSA


’I have met NEEDaFIXER in Greece! It was LOVE from the first sight. Since then, I cannot imagine my production without them! They are like Family! Always helpful. Always happy. Always with loads of energy… & always with PASSION for what they do!’

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Producer / GPD

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