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5 Movies To Help You Plan For Your Southeast Asia Backpacking Trip

Written by: Frances Nito

Does being cooped up at home make you wonder when you’ll get to travel again? In light of the world’s current situation, traveling does seem like it will become a foreign concept for the time being. But it doesn’t mean you have to give up planning for your next trip! In this blog, we’ve compiled five movies that will not only entertain you, but also give you a serious case of wanderlust and help you plan for your next Southeast Asia backpacking trip!

5. Explore Cambodia with Lara Croft,

the Tomb Raider

Movie: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

Directed by: Simon West, Jan de Bont

Starring: Angelina Jolie, Daniel Craig, Iain Glen

Plot: Lara Croft, a treasure hunter, races against a secret society in search of an artefact that can control time and solve the mystery behind her father’s death.

Our Take: Though this movie is essentially an action movie rather than a travel movie, it gave an interesting glimpse into the mysterious ruins and ancient temples abundant in Cambodia. As evident from the movie, Cambodia is a land of mystery and history, the perfect country for history and archeology buffs and definitely not for the faint of heart and week in the knees!

Serious Case of Wanderlust: 3/5

Bayon Temple, Angkor Thom Angkor Archeological Park, Siem Reap Cambodia

More about the featured temple: The Bayon Temple complex, situated in the north of Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, was said to be once positioned at the very heart of the ancient city of Angkor Thom and is easily accessible from various directions by a hired tuk-tuk or bicycle on a tour which can also take you to the Angkor Wat and Ta Prohm. Be sure to pack comfortable clothes, walking shoes, and light bags for this trip!

Learn more about Cambodia here: https://www.tourismcambodia.com/

4. Time Flies By As If It Is Already Tomorrow

in Hong Kong

Movie: Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong

Directed by: Emily Ting

Starring: Jamie Chung, Bryan Greenberg

Plot: A budding romance develops between a first time visitor and an expat banker as they walk and talk in the bustling night streets of Hong Kong.

Our Take: Out of all the countries in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong falls into the category of one time, big time countries to visit. Nonetheless, making every trip count is what traveling is really all about and this movie offers the perfect reference for what to look forward to in Hong Kong: the bustling, teeming, colorful nightlife. This movie, featuring the budding romance between two strangers in a new city, definitely gave off the impression that Hong Kong never sleeps at night.

Serious Case of Wanderlust: 3.5/5

Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong

More about the nightlife in Hong Kong: One of the nightlife hot spots featured is Lan Kwai Fong, which is probably one of the most famous streets in Hong Kong, housing over 90 restaurants and bars. Another place to get a heavy dose of the Hong Kong nightlife is The Temple Street night market, a famous street bazaar is filled with trinkets, opera singers, fortune tellers, and of course, street food. Nightlife in Hong Kong definitely calls for hip and casual attire!

Learn more about Hong Kong here: http://www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/index.jsp

3. Travel to Indonesia to Eat Pray Love

Movie: Eat Pray Love

Directed by: Ryan Murphy

Starring: Julia Roberts, Javier Bardem, James Franco

Plot: In an attempt to rediscover herself after her failed marriage, Elizabeth Gilbert travelled around the world in search of food, faith, and new love.

Our Take: Though not solely focused on Southeast Asia alone, this movie had one of the best portrayals of solo traveling and one of the most beautiful features of Indonesia. After feeding herself in Rome and looking for faith in India, Liz travels to Indonesia to meditate, further seek understanding of her life and open herself up to love again. In this movie, Bali is featured as an enchanting laid back country travelers go to to seek healing and respite, be it physical, mental, or spiritual.

Serious Case of Wanderlust: 4/5

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

More about Ubud in Bali: The book and movie adaptation of Eat Pray Love made Ubud one of the most famous tourist attractions in Indonesia. The main highlight, the beautiful and untouched rice terraces, is only a short walking distance away from the main streets of the province and offers unlimited access to nature, serenity, and peace of mind.The main streets itself of Ubud also offers a variety of genuine Balinese activities to do. Coupled with a big straw hat, sunglasses, and a perfect novel, this healing trip in Bali will be definitely one for the books.

Learn more about Indonesia here: https://www.indonesia.travel/gb/en/home

2. Party in Singapore with the Crazy Rich Asians

Movie: Crazy Rich Asians

Starring: Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh

Plot: Rachel was only supposed to have a simple getting-to-know with Nick’s family when he invited her to his best friend’s wedding. However, things are not what she expected it to be when she found out that her boyfriend was the only son of one of the richest family in Singapore.

Our Take: Rich is a complete understatement of this movie. A complete fusion of Chinese culture, food, tradition, and filial piety, this movie handsomely featured the glorious lifestyle of the blue blood, old money, and elegantly rich families in the backdrop of modern Singapore. In addition to all that, it also showcased some of the most notable and beautiful places the most advanced country in Asia has to offer. A definite must for food, culture, and party lovers!

Serious Case of Wanderlust: 4/5

Marina Bay Sands, Bayfront Avenue, Singapore

More about Singapore: The first two places featured in the movie is the Singapore Changi Airport, the top international airport in the world and the hawker Newton Food Center which offers some of the best Asian food in town and where the world’s cheapest Michelin-star is served. The main highlight of the movie featured the two must-stop itinerary in Singapore such as the Gardens by the Bay and the famous Marina Bay Sands. Make sure to be prepared with a cocktail dress when you come to Singapore in case you might get invited to a party or to some fancy restaurant!

Learn more about Singapore here: https://www.visitsingapore.com/en/

1. Search for the perfect paradise, The Beach,

in Thailand

Movie: The Beach

Directed by: Danny Boyle

Starring: Leonardo DiCarpio, Tilda Swinton

Plot: In search of a perfect paradise, Richard travels to Thailand and sets out with newly acquainted friends only to find out that there is a heavy price to pay for what he is looking for.

Our Take: “In the perfect beach resort, nothing is allowed to interrupt the pursuit of pleasure.” Nothing screams forbidden paradise more than this movie. A perfect beach resort and a secret community nobody can join and nobody can leave sounds like the perfect recipe for a mind boggling travel film and this one did not disappoint. In a way, just like Richard, we are all lone travelers in search of our own little untainted perfect paradise. The question is, how much are we willing to pay to keep that paradise hidden? As depicted in this movie, the Southeast Asia region is rich with myths and legends as well as the home to some of the most pristine white sand beaches in the world, a definite must for your backpacking itinerary!

Serious Case of Wanderlust: 4/5

Hat Maya, Phi Phi Leh Island, Thailand

More about the island: The setting of this movie took place in Hat Maya or Maya Bay, the main tourist attraction of the Phi Phi Leh Island near Phuket, Thailand. It is approximately one and half an hour away from the Krabi and Phuket Pier and accessible by a daily ferry/speedboat. The best time to visit the Maya Bay is between November and April. Make sure to pack a lot of sunscreen for this trip, take nothing and leave nothing behind in the island!

Learn more about Thailand here: https://www.tourismthailand.org/

Nothing really compares to Southeast Asia when it comes to traveling. The ball game is completely different per country no matter how close it is to our home country, geographically and culturally speaking. All the same, that is the very essence of traveling! We hope these movies helped you visualize and plan that Southeast Asia backpacking dream trip, and together with Team Aisela let’s turn it into a reality someday!

On the other hand, If you’re looking for ideas for Europe, you might want to check out our previous blog:


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Aisela Travel’s First Pivot Business: TRAVEL VIDEOS MADE FOR YOU!

Written by: Marielle Barraza

How is Team Aisela and the whole travel industry doing amidst the COVID19 pandemic?

BACK STORY: Prior the announcement of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), Team Aisela has already decided to adapt the work from home arrangement in order ensure the safety of our employees without sacrificing our work as we do our tasks remotely. Our work from home set-up allows us to continue answering inquiries, retain our presence on social media, send out emails, and conduct online meetings and calls. We were able to adjust well to our “new normal” and was able to produce good output during the first month. However, just as we were preparing to get back on our feet again with our new campaigns and initiatives, we are faced with yet another challenge when the government issued an announcement that industries such as the travel industry cannot operate until end of August. Since we are in a situation no one wants to be in, we decided to roll with punches and started coming up with new ideas to pivot our business.

Throughout our brainstorming, we always kept in mind the very core of Aisela as a customer-oriented company with service as our passion. That’s when we realized that there are probably a lot of people who have compilations of forgotten old photos and videos that are left somewhere in their laptops or hard drive. Precious memories from birthdays, travels, wedding and other important life occasions stored away and forgotten. With the desire to restore and create something to remind people of their precious memories, our video editing services came about in partnership with our sister entertainment company, Manila Transfer Inc. We are currently serving and in partnership with vloggers, schools, restaurants, fitness studios, and other establishments that need help creating videos, whether for personal use or for company marketing.

If you are also in need of video editing services, feel free to message us! Let us help each other get through these trying times. Don’t miss out our introductory rates which are only valid until end of ECQ/GCQ. We look forward to hearing from you!

Contact us:

Look for Marielle or Myra.

0917-556-3613 | 3500-6554



Thank you and let’s #ExplorewithAisela through reliving these memories first!

Stay safe, stay home, travel tomorrow!

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Our Top 6 Feel Good, Must-Watch Travel List: Europe Category

Written by: Frances Nito

We believe that a cup of change in perspective, a dash of chance at great opportunities, and a sprinkle of new people to meet and discover along the way is the perfect recipe for a good travel movie. In this blog, we have compiled our top 6 must-watch travel list: Europe Category.

Is our list the same as yours?


Movie: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Directed by: Wes Anderson

Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, Saoirse Ronan

Plot: A writer revisits the once majestic Grand Budapest Hotel and discovers the real story behind the murder allegations about the previous owner. This dramedy (drama-comedy) tackles misfortune, nostalgia, loyalty and friendship rolled into one.

Our Take: Just to set the expectations, the movie didn’t take place in Budapest as a lot of people had expected it to be, but in “Zubrowka” a fictional European country. Most of the main scenes in the movie were shot in different European cities in Germany and mainly featuring Gorlitz in Saxony, Germany. Interestingly enough, despite the lack of scenic views of the country, the movie still falls under our feel good, must-watch Europe list because of the perfect execution of its cinematography by Wes Anderson. The aesthetically pleasing color combinations of the whole movie and the slow paced setting results in a nostalgia for the hotel and by extension awakens a desire to travel and visit the alluringly beautiful city.

Sharing here a link that you can visit to get a glimpse of where the film was shot – https://www.searchlightpictures.com/thegrandbudapesthotel/

Serious Case of Wanderlust Rating: 3.5/5


Movie: Leap Year

Directed by: Anand Tucker

Starring: Amy Adams, Matthew Goode

Plot: Anna Brady decides to travel to Dublin, Ireland in an attempt to pull off a romantic proposal to her boyfriend on a leap day. However, she was not able to foresee the challenges she’ll have to face along the way.

Our Take: A classic love story between a strong-headed city girl travelling to a serene countryside meeting a handsome local guy never gets old thus making this rom-com travel movie a must for our category. This movie also hits the perfect spot as it was able to strike a balance between the love story of two people with two opposing personalities against the backdrop of the charms of Ireland. Who wouldn’t want to visit such a relaxed, quaint, peaceful country full of sublime views of nature?

Serious Case of Wanderlust Rating: 3.5/5


Movie: Under the Tuscan Sun

Directed by: Audrey Wells

Starring: Diane Lane, Sandra Oh, Lindsay Duncan, Raoul Bova

Plot: In order to move on with life after her divorce, Frances Mayes travels to Tuscany and buys an old and dilapidated villa which she decides to restore to its former glory.

Our Take: There always comes a time in our lives when life becomes too much to handle and taking a step back is the only way to cope and move on. Traveling is one of the ways to cope with reality as accurately portrayed in this movie and nothing feels more satisfying in travel movies than watching the main character have another glorious chance at life and yes, even love at the most unexpected moments.

Serious Case of Wanderlust Rating: 4/5


Movie: Letters to Juliet

Directed by: Gary Winick

Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Vanessa Redgrave, Christopher Egan

Plot: Aspiring writer Sophie travels to the city of love, Verona, with her fiance and comes across a group of ladies known as ‘secretaries of Juliet’ who answers love letters.

Our Take: This movie is our top 3 movie in our list based in Italy and we have no regrets because this movie well deserves the spot. Not only is the story about reuniting lovers after 50 years very endearing, the relationship between Sophie and Charlie is equally entertaining as well. What’s more, there’s a heavy dose of the stunning picturesque rolling hills of Verona in this movie and we just couldn’t get enough of it!

Serious Case of Wanderlust Rating: 4/5


Movie: Midnight in Paris

Directed by: Woody Allen

Starring: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Lea Seydoux

Plot: Gil always dreamt of living as a writer in the romantic and beautiful city of Paris. One night, he found himself whisked off back in time to meet some of the most famous and celebrated writers and painters who ever lived.

Our Take: If there is one word to describe this movie, it would be: nostalgic. This whole movie is seeping with a writer’s nostalgia for the past, a period he missed because he was born centuries too late. With all this mix of emotions, one couldn’t help but sympathize with Gil. Who wouldn’t want to travel to this perfect era? Woody Allen further deepens the yearning by inserting beautiful sceneries and still images of the romantic city of Paris. This film will surely not only awaken your desire to immediately pack up and go to Paris, it will also make you feel nostalgic of the city even before you get there.

Serious Case of Wanderlust Rating: 4/5


Movie: Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Directed by: Ben Stiller

Starring: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Jon Daly

Plot: In order to retain his job as a negative assets manager, Walter Mitty embarks on a long and unplanned journey which took him to Greenland, Iceland, and the Himalayas in search of an elusive photographer.

Our Take: This movie is probably one of the best movies to watch when you’re coming down with a serious case of wanderlust. The representation of Ben Stiller’s character in this movie is nothing short of an actual representation of an ordinary officer worker in need of a good break. What makes this movie the top must watch in our travel list, besides the endearing adventures of Walter Mitty, is the view of where his adventures took him: the scenic Iceland and majestic Himalayas. Quintessentially, this movie is about being able to take the leap and saying yes to life and adventure no matter where it takes us. As Life’s Magazine motto goes, “To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.”

Serious Case of Wanderlust Rating: 4.5/5

We felt a serious case of wanderlust for Europe after watching these movies. Have you felt it too? Here is how Team Aisela can help you feed that wanderlust of yours in the meantime.

Let us also know your feel good, must-watch movies set in Europe!! Perhaps we can set up a Netflix Watch Party together! 🙂 Stay home everyone!


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