Don’t you just love movies set in exotic locations? Not only does the story transport you emotionally, your horizons expand through the cinematic views of faraway lands. Whether you have had the good fortune to visit Asia or not, there are a handful of films that can take you there, at least as an armchair traveler. Their depictions of the history, culture, people and landscapes of the region might even inspire you to book a trip. Here are 12 scenic films set in Asia to fuel your wanderlust.
1. The Last Emperor, China
Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1987 epic film about the life of Pu Yi, China’s last Emperor, is a visual treat. It was the first time a Western production company was permitted to film inside Beijing’s Forbidden City. Through a series of flashbacks, you learn about Pu Yi’s privileged childhood, his hedonistic youth, his collaboration with the Imperial Japanese Army, his “re-education” by the Communist Party and his peasant life during Mao’s Cultural Revolution. More than just a 20th century Chinese history lesson, this film is an artistic masterpiece that captures the beauty, mystique and complexities of China. The drama won nine Oscars, including Best Picture.