Dear Wes Anderson,
Greetings from the tropical land of Malaysia! The Zafigo team are known to binge-watch your films, especially during lockdown. In a time of uncertainty, your movies brought the perfect balance. But of late, we’ve been getting our fix from the countless Wes Anderson-themed Reels on Instagram.
There’s no denying that the visual delight you’ve conjured up in your storytelling makes you The Wizard of Whimsy! So a trend in homage to your filmography is no surprise. Visions of dreamlike candy lands with soft filters, meticulously balanced architecture, and whimsical set designs come to mind when we think of your movies. Cue in the score of, “Go Wes, life is peaceful there.”
We are not cinephiles, but it doesn’t take a movie buff to instantly recognise a scene from your iconic award-winning movies like The Darjeeling Limited and The Grand Budapest Hotel. You had us craving Mendl’s Courtesan au Chocolat. And while the chances of us, this tiny Southeast Asian nation, appearing in one of your movies is close to zero, we’ve been scouting some beautiful Wes Anderson-y landmarks across Malaysia that you might want to consider for your next film. And we found 18 of them.
If you do decide to make Malaysia your next movie destination, you know where to find us! In the meantime, we’ll probably use these locations to hop on the Wes Anderson Instagram Reels trend ourselves.
Your Malaysian fangirls,
#1 Hanakoya Flower Cafe, Penang
George Town is where you’ll find architecture that’s the perfect mix of colonial vibes and oriental accents. There is also plenty of street food to delight in while you’re there. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of quaint streets to walk around after a food binge!
#2 The Swimming Club, The KL Journal Hotel
Perhaps a follow up sequel of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou? It’ll be a splash! The Swimming Club’s pretty pinks sure sets the tone.
#3 Lebuh Pantai Fire & Rescue Station, Penang
Talk about symmetry! Checkout those tall window arches and vintage fonts. Wouldn’t you say this fire station in George Town is a kick ash spot for your next movie?
#4 Kek Lok Si Temple, Penang
We believe this ticks all the checkbox for your #PastelAesthetic. It might look simple from the inside, but its exterior will surely whet your appetite for symmetry. We’ve really considered this list for you. We don’t play, we slay!
#5 Vintage 1988 Lifestyle Cafe, Kuala Lumpur
#6 Masbro Village, Melaka
#7 Central Market, Kuala Lumpur
That hue of blue made us think of you, and we thought you might be rather fond of that font. #seewhatwedidthere #yeswerhymetoo
#8 Boon Wah, Penang
Imagine this shophouse in a dreamy slow motion scene. It would put the “Wah” in Boon Wah.
#9 Flats, Kuala Lumpur
Word of the day: Pastel
#10 Putra Mosque, Putrajaya
Arguably the prettiest mosque in Malaysia, and it sits in the heart of Putrajaya! Here’s an exterior shot. Next is an equally impressive interior shot.
Talk about looking through rose-tinted granite glasses!
#11 Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, Penang
You’ve probably seen this in the Crazy Rich Asians rom-com, but this could very well be another rendition of The Darjeeling Mansion. #justsaying
#12 Clock Tower at Alor Setar, Kedah
It’s high time Malaysia is featured in one of your gorgeous movies! #prettyplease
#13 The Hall Coffee, Kepong
Clean lines and typography = Wes Anderson meets Muji.
#14 Timothy High Street, Kuala Lumpur
More colonial charms and Darjeeling vibes for your storyboard.
#15 Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, Johor
Will the minimalist shutters of this window win your heart? We hope so!
#16 Masjid Sri Sendayan, Negeri Sembilan
All this perfect symmetry and harmony is giving us peace that surpasses all understanding.
#17 Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur
Exposed brick, winding staircases, and heritage architecture — perfect for those still shots with a pedestrian walking past.
#17 Sungai Rengit, Johor
This ‘secret’ location is the not-so-secret ingredient to making a great Reel!
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on 22 September 2021 and has since been updated to include more locations.