Live Like “Crazy Rich Asians” in Singapore at These 7 Real-Life Film Locations
This summer’s hottest movie release is one for the books: the first all-Asian film to come out of Hollywood in 25 years, Crazy Rich Asians (adapted from the best-selling novel of the same name) follows protagonist Rachel Chu as she becomes acquainted with the high-octane lifestyle of her Singaporean boyfriend’s wealthy family—and all the power, jealously, and drama that follows them. The biggest star of the show, however, might be Singapore itself. Here, seven spots where you can walk in the footsteps of the star-studded cast.
Statues of the mythical merlion—a fish with a lion’s head and the official symbol of Singapore—can be found throughout the city, but the best place to take it in is picturesque Merlion Park, which appears in the trailer and again in the movie. Head here for sweeping views of Marina Bay and the city’s most famous attractions (including the lotus-shaped ArtScience Museum, the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, and the Singapore Flyer).
Marina Bay Sands SkyPark
From the moment it opened in 2010, Marina Bay Sands became one of the world's most famous hotels. The star attraction: a surfboard-like rooftop infinity pool and "skypark" that tops out the futuristic 57-story hotel. As far as photo ops go, getting a snap by water's edge against the Singaporean skyline tops the list. During the movie, you’ll spot the famous pool during an aqua aerobics class, as well as the adjacent rooftop bar and restaurant when the couple meet. FYI: the pool is only open to hotel guests, so book yourself a night’s stay and time your swim for sunrise (or check-out), when visitors are at a minimum.
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Newton Food Centre
As soon as they're off the plane, the couple seek out Singapore's famous street food. (After a 20-plus-house flight, who could blame them?) Among the hundreds of hawker centers in Singapore, historic Lau Pa Sat (in the financial district) is one of the more beautiful places to sample the city's melting pot of flavors. However, the film opted to relocate the scene to the more famous (and frequented) Newton Food Centre., where you can taste everything from Chinese and Indian to Malay, Peranakan, and Eurasian specialties. Among the better meals to seek out are Alliance Seafood's chilli crab and the namesake dish at Hup Kee Fried Oyster Omelette.
Raffles Hotel Singapore
It doesn’t get much more luxurious than the Presidential Suite inside Raffles Singapore—an 1887 institution famous for its Long Bar and roster of past guests that include Charlie Chaplin and Elizabeth Taylor—which is, naturally, where Nick and Rachel check in after their arrival. Although the hotel is currently closed for renovations, you’re still welcome to stop in for a famous Singapore Sling (it was invented here, after all) or high tea in the lobby.
This 19th-century Gothic-style chapel (now an events space) stood in as the fictional First Methodist Church for the movie’s big wedding ceremony between characters Colin Khoo and Araminta Lee. You’ll recognize the chapel's stark-white archways and stained-glass windows between all the orchids and traveler’s palms (added for magical effect).
Gardens by the Bay
Following the ceremony, the big-ticket reception takes place at Gardens by the Bay—a carefully manicured 250-acre nature park and high-drama backdrop fit for such an over-the-top event. Walk in Chu's footsteps along the aerial walkway linking Supertree Grove, a tree-like vertical garden that's even more spectacular at night.
Bukit Pasoh Road
Peranakan-style heritage shophouses are one of the more unique and distinctive architectural styles found in Singapore. You’ll spot them lining Bukit Pasoh Road, an area famous for its boutique hotels, stellar restaurants, and sidewalk cafés—one of which (The Reading Room) hosted Rachel Chu and a friend, where they dish about the boyfriend’s family.
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