TIME to unleash your Crazy Rich Asians movie fantasies by following my tailor-made location tour inspired by the film!
Most of these spots are accessible and cheap. You don’t have to be crazy, rich or Asian to live the high life. You just need to charter a ride to take you to all these places.
Changi International Airport
Named best airport in the worId for six consecutive years, this hub isn’t only limited to shop and dine experiences, but has attractions like an interactive Butterfly Garden (mentioned in the movie) Cactus Garden, Sunflower Garden, four-storey slide, rooftop pool, tons of entertainment facilities and movie theaters to kill time. In fact, some locals just go there to hang out or do some duty free shopping without having to fly anywhere.
If you want to explore the other terminals, a complimentary Skytrain makes it easy for you to zip through, trains run every few minutes. In addition, I am very excited for the reveal of the Jewel at Changi, a multi-use structure that will connect all three terminals set to open in the second quarter of 2019. Attractions include a Rain Vortex, the largest indoor waterfall; a Forest Valley park and more gardens. I guess now I can say that Singapore is crazy rich in nature.
Newton Hawker Center
Any film set in Singapore must feature these famed Hawker centers. In the blockbuster movie, as soon as the lead characters arrive, they head straight to Newton Food Center, where a dizzying array of food awaits.
Hawker centers are open-air food courts with bustling stalls offering a medley of Asian street cuisine that the city is famous for.
This is the place to eat if you want crazy rich food on a budget. Here, you can feast on Michelin-star dishes at crazy cheap prices. Forget fancy restaurants, humble hawker food reigns supreme when it comes to gastronomic indulgence in Singapore.
Bukit Pasoh, Ann Siang Hill Chinatown
“Bok Bok B,” this memorable dialogue was filmed outside Humpback, a seafood restaurant that serves superb tapas and cocktails in the Tanjong Pagar area where quaint and colorful shophouses line the streets. Right across the restaurant, also seen in the movie is The Reading Room, a café by day and bar by night.
Another significant film location was Ann Siang Hill. This beautiful street was made famous by Eleanor, the crazy rich Asian mother, as she made it her runway on the way to meet Rachel at the mahjong parlor. The place is also a popular nightlife destination where heritage shophouses have become home to dozens of bars and restaurants. As a visitor, I’m sure you will love its scenic streets, I have no doubt that you will want to stay longer.
Convent of the Holy Infant Child Jesus Middle Education School (CHIJMES) is a colonial era compound that houses a myriad of bars and restaurants. At the heart is a 19th century gothic chapel now transformed into a function space, the venue used for the glamorous wedding of the Khoos. Today, it still remains to be a popular backdrop for wedding photo shoots and celebrations for its aesthetic architecture.
Marina Bay Sands Resort and Casino
The Marina Bay Sands is the most popular architectural icon of Singapore. The luxurious haven personifies glamor and style. This first-class complex consists of a hotel, casino, museum, convention center, top-notch fine-dining restaurants, hundreds of international luxury stores, among others. Of course the infinity pool is the crown jewel as it has been awarded a Guinness record. On the 57th floor is the Sands Skypark, the largest observation deck in the world! It provides legendary unobstructed views of the city. Here you can also find excellent rooftop bars and restaurants.
There are several world-class restaurants with their own distinctive design and taste, but I personally prefer Spago. This Michelin-star restaurant offers cuisine with global accents, luxurious ambiance and fantastic service.
Joo Chiat Road
Singapore has crazy rich lineage. I saw a mixture of Indian, Malay and Indonesian races. On the eastern side you will find Joo Chiat, home of the Peranakans. The Peranakans are descendants of the ethnic Chinese (Hokkiens) who migrated to Singapore centuries ago and intermarried with the locals. Princess Intan, the influential Chinese-Malay descendant played by Kris Aquino in the movie, is an example.
Along the road you will find colorful, ornate shop houses, each boasting of floral motifs and pastel exteriors. I heard these affluent people display their power and wealth through the decorative architecture of their homes.
If none of these work for you, then get lost. And I mean that literally – Singapore is so safe, feel free to wander or plan a solo trip, you might discover new locations which could be in the next Crazy Rich Asians movie.