When Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians hit bookshelves in 2013, it became an instant hit and international bestseller. A couple years later it was announced that the satirical novel charting the lives of incredibly wealthy Chinese families would be turned into a movie. While the deal itself was no oddity for Hollywood, the American- and British-Asian cast was set to change the game. The first studio film in 25 years to feature such an ensemble, Kwan chose Warner Bros. over a larger payout with Netflix to make a statement: It’s time for Asians to shine on the silver screen.
Unlike other previous award-winning films that depicted Asian casts telling tales from decades past or playing stereotypical roles, Crazy Rich Asians is a modern-day story, laced with hilarious outrageousness created by extravagant lifestyles. It follows Rachel Chu (Constance Wu), a woman of modest upbringing, and her relationship with Nick Young (Henry Goulding), a member of an affluent Singapore-based family that the unknowing heroine only discovers when the couple goes to the Southeast Asian country for a wedding. There, she has to face his jealous ex-girlfriend, wannabe partners, and an overbearing mother (Michelle Yeoh). Luckily, Nick’s sister, Astrid (Gemma Chan), is kind, and Rachel has the support of an uproarious friend—and the child of another moneyed household—Goh Peik Lin (Awkwafina) as she navigates unfamiliar territory and the drama that comes with it.
As the characters prepare for the grand nuptials, we catch a glimpse of the island nation. From its picturesque streets to lavish party locations, here, the Crazy Rich Asians guide to Singapore.
Pacific Asean Airlines
While Pacific Asean Airlines is fictitious, Singapore Airlines has an equally sumptuous product, and was recently named the world’s best. Their first and business class cabins boast wide, lie-flat seats and unparalleled service, but it’s their suites—furnished with beds—that are the most luxurious. In October, the carrier will launch the world’s longest commercial flight with non-stop service from Newark to Singapore, offering only business and premium economy seats so that you’re flying in comfort for the near-19 hours.
Singapore Changi Airport
Rachel has every right to gush about Singapore’s airport when she lands. The hub has been named the best in the world for six years in a row by Skytrax. Inside you’ll find lush vegetation, complimentary movie theatres, comfortable seating spaces with charging outlets, a mix of gourmet restaurants and Singaporean street food–inspired venues, art installations, numerous luxury stores, and even a butterfly garden. They’ll be upping the ante next year with the launch of Jewel, a development which will house a five-story garden and 131-foot waterfall in addition to other facilities.
Newton Food Centre
Hawker centers are an integral part of Singapore’s food scene, so it’s nice to see some of the characters dine on street food despite their deep pockets. Rachel, Nick, and his soon-to-be-married friends grab a table at Newton Food Centre for a bite when they arrive. Follow in their footsteps with classic dishes like hokkien mee (a mix of egg and rice noodles with egg, pork, and shrimp) and satay. Alternatively, if you want to check out the first two hawker stalls to ever receive a Michelin star, check out Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle at Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre and Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle on Crawford Lane.
Marina Bay Sands
Snapshots of Singapore’s most iconic landmarks are interspersed between many scenes. There’s the Merlion, the country’s official mascot; Singapore Flyer, the world’s second-tallest Ferris wheel; and Marina Bay Sands, an integrated resort with a tri-tower building that houses a luxury hotel and the world’s highest and largest infinity pool. (There are a lot of superlative-garnering places in Singapore.) At Marina Bay Sands you’ll also find a wealth of luxury shops fit for a crazy rich Asian, like Cartier, Piaget, Richard Mille, Henry Jacques, and even Louis Vuitton’s only “island store” with a maritime theme, as well as fine dining restaurants such as Chinoiserie, which serves modern Asian cuisine by chef Justin Quek, and Waku Ghin by Tetsuya Wakuda, where the country’s most lauded Japanese fare is dished out. There’s also the lotus-shaped ArtScience Museum for those seeking some culture; make sure to check out the exhibition by teamLab, a digital art collective that creates magical experiences that are often perfect for Instagram.
The Goh Mansion
Goh Peik Lin’s home actually does exist in Singapore—whereas Nick’s grandmother’s estate was shot in Malaysia—but it isn’t gilded IRL. Located on Cluny Park, the house is currently on the market and the gates are sometimes unlocked if you want to take a quick look.
This iconic hotel’s Presidential Suite (of course) served as Nick and Rachel’s home base in Singapore. The luxury property is currently in its final phase of restoration and will reopen next year with improved facilities, more modern accommodations, and exciting dining establishments. Until then, their pop-up Long Bar next to the gift shop is still shaking up Singapore Slings.
Bukit Pasoh Road
Remember the “bawk, bawk, bitch!” line from the trailer? Rachel and Goh Peik Lin are sitting on the patio of Humpback on Bukit Pasoh Road. It faces a line of buildings with pastel-hued shutters that are fun to look at while grabbing a drink and gossiping with a friend.
This heritage building was first constructed as a Catholic convent in 1852, but is now primarily a dining and shopping center. The Gothic-style chapel has been repurposed as a function hall, and is where Colin’s wedding is held.
Gardens by the Bay
Another main attraction for Singapore, this 250-acre futuristic park is home to towering, artificial supertrees and two domed conservatories: one that contains a tropical forest with an indoor waterfall and the other with an ever-changing mix of colorful flowers. The supertrees light up in the evening and make for a visually stunning backdrop—it’s no wonder this space was used for the wedding reception scene.
We won’t give away any spoilers, but there’s a moment here on the tiered riverfront steps.
Ann Siang Hill
This is that picturesque street Eleanor walks down, where colorful shophouses have been restored and turned into trendy restaurants and boutiques.
Marina Bay Sands Skypark
If you’re going to throw a surprise bash and bring in a troupe of synchronized swimmers, you’re obviously going to do it at the Marina Bay Sands infinity pool. You’ll have to be a guest of the hotel to take a dip; otherwise, catch a glimpse of it while dining at Spago or partying it up at Cé La Vie.
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