Tittle-Tattle, February 2018
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Welcome to the "As Seen On Screen" Edition of Tittle-Tattle in which we bring you the locations where your favourite cinema and television moments were filmed. And stay tuned for a competition and some exclusive special offers (for Tittle-Tattle readers' eyes only). And.... ACTION!

Set in Sri Lanka

Sigiriya by Gail Kirkham
Polonnaruwa by BMR & MAM
Unsurprisingly, for an island known as the "Jewel of the Indian Ocean" Sri Lanka has hosted many film crews over the years. No doubt you've seen Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom (1984) which was filmed at the famous botanical gardens in Peradeniya. We love the fruit bats that hang out in the trees here – much cuter and larger than our UK bats. The gardens are close to the city of Kandy, home to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth, and Sri Lanka’s holiest spot.

The centre of this luscious island has also proved popular with location scouts. Disney's 2015 nature documentary, Monkey Kingdom, told the story of a family of toque macaques living in the ancient ruins of Polonnaruwa. You'll meet the many resident monkeys if you visit this amazing UNESCO World Heritage Site (highly recommended). 80s pop fans will of course already know that it was also the setting for Duran Duran's 1982 Save a Prayer video, along with Sigiriya or Lion Rock, which Sri Lankans call the "eighth wonder of the world" (and it is spectacular).

Tell Tale Tip: Visit Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya on our family adventure holiday, Forts & Monkeys or Kandy and Sigiriya on Serendipity & Tea, a classic journey around the island. 

Photo credits: Sigiriya (left) by Gail Kirkham; Polonnaruwa (right) by BRM & MAM.

Taken on Location in Thailand

Andaman Island
Ko Khao Phing Kan by Diego Delso

When you see the stunning coastlines and limestone karst scenery of the Andaman Sea for yourself, it's easy to understand why directors would be keen to film here. The mysterious jungle-vine-covered limestone rocks line the roads as soon as you leave the small airport of Krabi.

And it's these very rocks that you'll recognise in many of your favourite films – both on land and in the ocean. James Bond escaped from Scaramanga's hideout on Ko Khao Phing Kan in The Man With The Golden Gun (1974). The Beach (2000) was filmed on the shore of Ko Phi Phi Le, while the famous waterfall scene was shot in Khao Yai National Park in central Thailand. Star Wars fans will recognise the place too – Krabi doubles as Chewbacca's home planet of Kashyyyk in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005).

Many of the islands around Krabi are simply beautiful, with sandy beaches and lush tropical jungle. We recommend eschewing the film locations (which can get crowded) and instead, taking a private longtail boat trip out to the quieter Hong Islands where you can snorkel in the crystal clear water and paddle through the mangroves.

Tell Tale Tip: Explore the limestone karsts of the Andaman Sea on Action on Shore (plenty of off-shore action too), our family adventure holiday. Or explore and learn to cook on our Sizzling Fruity tour – a fantastic 10-day getaway, with sun, sea, snorkelling, and a couple of cooking lessons for good measure. 

Photo credits: Andaman Island (left) by Tell Tale Travel staff; Ko Khao Phing Kan (right) by Diego Delso.

Cambodia on Camera

Angkor Wat by Gary Baxter
Beng Mealea by Staffan Scherz
If you don't fancy following in the footsteps of Indiana Jones, perhaps Lara Croft is more your style? Then come to Cambodia to explore the magnificent remains of the Khmer Empire, which date back to the 9th century. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) was filmed on location at the Ta Prohm (sprawling and partly covered with big fig trees) and Angkor Wat (very impressive) temples in Siem Reap. While you're there, go and see Beng Mealea, where you will feel like a true explorer – it's still jungle-clad and is perhaps how Angkor Wat and Tha Phrom were like when they were first discovered.

Fun fact: Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) was also filmed at Angkor Wat, but only for one day, so it's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it location in the final film.

Tell Tale Tip: become an explorer on our Jungles & Sunsets trip, which takes in Siem Reap, artistic Battambang, Phnom Penh, and the seaside village of Kep.

Photo credits: Angkor Wat (left) by Gary Baxter; Beng Mealea (right) by Staffan Scherz.

Bond in Brazil

Iguaçu Falls by Hannah Wilson
Sugar Loaf Mountain, Rio, Brazil by John Tomsett
Jaguar by John Tomsett
Giant anteater by Fred Barrington
We're in Brazil and Bond is back. This time our favourite agent is in Rio for Moonraker (1979) for a hair-raising cable car sequence up Sugar Loaf Mountain, deep in the lush Amazonian rainforest, and at the breathtaking Iguaçu Falls where Bond landed his paraglider (as you do). The falls also featured prominently in The Mission (1986), a film about 18th century Jesuit missionaries (with a fantastic Ennio Morricone soundtrack).

Tell Tale Tip: Iguaçu Falls are a must-see, and we can take you to explore both the Brazilian and Argentinian sides of this 2.7km stretch of 275 waterfalls. At almost twice the width of Zimbabwe's Victoria Falls and half the height again of Niagra, Iguaçu is a true world wonder. 

But let's not forget the stars of the small screen – David Attenborough's Planet Earth II (2016) featured several Brazilian animal residents. David (or rather, his camera operatives) came face-to-face with the most elusive big cat in the world, the jaguar, and the fearsome caiman. Out in the grasslands, he met another of our favourites, the giant anteater, which was using its powerful claws ("longer than a velociraptor's" says David – a helpful analogy to all the cavemen out there*) to tear open a termite mound.

Tell Tale Tip: Take our Jaguars & Waterfalls wildlife holiday and you'll head out with the BBC wildlife crew's favourite trackers to see jaguars (100% success rate in the last three years), caiman, anteaters, capybara, giant river otters (as big as a man!) and visit Rio and  Iguaçu Falls (both sides).

*Before you write in, we know cavemen and velociraptors didn't co-exist. They probably didn't watch Planet Earth II either, but... artistic licence ;)

Photo credits: Iguaçu Falls (top left) by Hannah Wilson; Sugar Loaf Mountain (top right) by John Tomsett; Jaguar (bottom left) by John Tomsett; Giant anteater (bottom right) by Fred Barrington.

Japan is Camera-Ready

Kinkaku-ji temple by hans-johnson
Samurai swords by Akban Martial Arts Academy
James Bond gets about, doesn't he? He's been to Japan on at least two occasions, firstly in You Only Live Twice (1967) and then again more recently in Skyfall (2012). The former was one of the first international films to use Tokyo as a location. 

Tokyo also featured heavily in Lost in Translation (2003), along with Kyoto, famed for its pretty streets and old-world charm. In the film, Charlotte visited several shrines and temples. We love the serene Ryōan-ji temple and the stunning golden pavilion, collectively known as the Kinkaku-ji temple. We're also keen on the breathtaking views from the top of the 13-metre high Kiyomizu-dera temple.

Most of the film Kill Bill (2003) was not actually shot on location in Japan, but you can re-enact some of the scenes yourself by taking a samurai sword lesson with some of Japan's famous sword choreographers (we can arrange this for you) or trying some karaoke in one of the many Tokyo bars.

Tell Tale Tip: scout potential film locations for your home movies on our Family Adventure in Japan. You'll visit Tokyo, pretty Kanazawa, humbling Hiroshima, and traditional Kyoto and enjoy hands-on experiences, like making bento boxes, swinging Samurai swords (optional) and drawing manga.

Photo credits: Kinkaku-ji temple (left) by hans-johnson; Samurai sword fight (right) by Akban Martial Arts Academy.

Exclusive Offers & Late Availability

These offers are only available to Tittle-Tattle readers. Save £100 per person on our Jungles & Sunsets Cambodia tour or on Sizzingly Fruity in Thailand. Tours must be taken May to October. Quote "Tittle-Tattle" to get your discount. Also, pay only 10% deposit on all tours booked for 2019 (locked in at 2017/18 prices).

Last minute availability: we have one room remaining on our Sri Lanka small group adventure, departing March 3rd, 2018. The room can be for a solo traveller or two sharing. Call today to book.


Still reading? You're probably one of those people that stays until the credits have rolled at the cinema, aren't you? Good – because now you can enter our cinematic competition and win some fantastic prizes (see below). Just email in the answer to the following question (preferably the correct one) and we'll put you into the hat (not literally). 

Which of the following temples in Siem Reap, Cambodia was not used as a location in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider?

a) Angkor Wat
b) Ta Prohm
c) Beng Mealea

Please email us by midnight March 1st, 2018 to be entered into the draw to win a lovely hardback book about Cambodia (Cambodia: A Journey Through the Land of the Khmer by Tom Vater) and a special collectors' edition DVD of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Only one entry per person, please.
That's all for this edition of Tittle-Tattle! If you'd like to chat about or book a Tell Tale trip, just email or phone us on one of the numbers below!
Holiday bookings line open 9am to 9pm, 7 days a week

UK freephone 0800 011 2571 
UK landline/regular rate 
020 7060 4571

USA toll free 1 866 211 5972 
International +44 207 060 4571

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