Movie Quest! Every year we pick the year's most travel-inspiring movies--and what a year it was! 'Flightplan,' 'Babel,' 'Poseidon,' 'Snakes on a Plane'....Oops, wrong list. Budget Travel Tuesday, Nov 21, 2006, 12:00 AM Outstanding in its field: The Painted Veil (Glen Wilson/Warner Independent Pictures) Budget Travel LLC, 2016


Movie Quest!

Every year we pick the year's most travel-inspiring movies--and what a year it was! 'Flightplan,' 'Babel,' 'Poseidon,' 'Snakes on a Plane'....Oops, wrong list.

The American Home Amanda is said to live in Brentwood, in west L.A., but the house is in San Marino. Iris dines well in California, at Chaya Venice (110 Navy St., Venice, 310/396-1179) and The Grill on the Alley (9560 Dayton Way, Beverly Hills, 310/276-0615).


Based on the 1925 novel by W. Somerset Maugham, The Painted Veil follows an unhappy English couple, Walter (Edward Norton) and Kitty Fane (Naomi Watts), as they navigate life in cholera-ridden China. (To be released December 15.)

A Beautiful Beginning The craggy mountains in the opening scenes are unique to the northeastern quarter of Guangxi, a region in southern China. Location scout Aaron Shershow says that the best way to explore the area is with a guide and a car from the city of Guilin, which starts at $80 per day.

The Village Huangyao, also in Guangxi, is "the best-preserved town I've seen in China," says Shershow. The Fanes travel there by sedan chair, but these days you'd hire a car and driver/guide out of Yangshuo (four hours, $240 round trip), or Guilin (six hours, $320).

Local Lodging Hotels in Huangyao are extremely basic and cost $10 per night. Before the crew arrived, an Australian decorator fixed up rooms in Jiajia Hotel (011-86/774-6722-833) and Jialong Hotel (011-86/774-6722-816). Shershow also recommends one called Guo Mansion (011-86/774-6722-041). None have English-speaking staff.


Known for Peter Rabbit and other characters, British author Beatrix Potter (Renée Zellweger) had a life far more complex than her books let on. (Limited release December 29.)

Lake District Much of Miss Potter was shot in the Lake District, in northwest England, where Potter lived as an adult; she bequeathed more than 4,000 acres to the National Trust. The stars stayed at Holbeck Ghyll hotel in Windermere (011-44/15394-32375,, from $353). Other hotels used by the crew include Ambleside Lodge (011-44/15394-31681,, from $130) and The Langdale Estate (011-44/15394-37302,, from $167).

Beatrix Potter's Farms Potter's primary residence, Hill Top Farm, is part of the National Trust (011-44/15394-36269,, $9.50). But executive producer Nigel Wooll says that another of her properties, Yew Tree Farm, made for a better location. It's a sheep and cattle farm, as well as a B&B (011-44/15394-41433,, from $97).

More Potter Spots For a rundown of other Potter-related attractions in the Lake District, check out the guide put together by VisitBritain (


When he inherits his uncle's Provençal vineyard, financier Max Skinner (Russell Crowe) goes to visit. Like many Brits who head south in the movies, he learns to re-prioritize.

The Vineyard The film was shot primarily at Château La Canorgue, a vineyard in Bonnieux (011-33/4-90-75-81-01, open for tastings year-round). Location supervisor Marco Giacalone says it has "the best rosé in France."

A Long Drive Skinner gets lost while driving a Smart car (see The Da Vinci Code, above, for rental info in Paris; the cars are available from Europcar at Marseille's airport, seven days $650). In reality, the roads are well marked, and the drive to Bonnieux from Marseille's airport shouldn't take longer than an hour.

First Kiss Skinner and Fanny Chenal (Marion Cotillard) share their first kiss in Cucuron, a medieval village located at the foot of the Grand Luberon Massif. Cucuron is 20 minutes southeast of Bonnieux.


The sequel to L'Auberge Espagnole, a 2002 movie about young expats in Barcelona, takes place in Paris, London, and St. Petersburg; it offers a more realistic, everyday Europe than we usually see in films.

The Perfect Street In St. Petersburg, Xavier (Romain Duris) muses about perfection on "the street of ideal proportions:" Rossi Street, 220 meters long and 22 meters wide, and lined by buildings 22 meters high. It's directly behind the Alexandrinsky Theater; the nearest metro station is Nevsky Prospekt/Gostiny Dvor.

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