Where Do They Live in Crazy Rich Asians? 7 Spectacular Real Places in Singapore You Need to See
The Crazy Rich Asians Guide to Singapore
The super-wealthy characters in Crazy Rich Asians — the best-selling book and brand new film, now in theaters — have no trouble finding ways to spend their not-so-hard-earned money, but you can have a great time in Singapore without parting with much of yours.
Many of the Southeast Asian island's top attractions are free or low cost, food is inexpensive, and just walking down the busy streets is an experience in itself.
Here are seven Singapore locales that appear in Crazy Rich Asians that you’ll want to include in your own travel itinerary. We’ll refer to the scenes in the story, but no spoiler alerts needed — just a reminder of what awaits visitors to Asia’s tropical Lion City, Singapore.
The movie's heroine, Rachel, may have been surprised when she and beau Nick were seated in the luxurious first class section for their flight to Singapore, but she was just as impressed when they landed at Changi Airport, commenting that it “looks like an upscale tropical resort.” The airport features gardens of sunflowers, cacti, and orchids, a movie theater, palm trees, high-end shops, restaurants, and art installations like a bronze kinetic rain sculpture.
Locals treat the airport as an entertainment venue or date night spot, made accessible to those not flying by the placement of all security checkpoints at the individual boarding gates.
Marina Bay Sands
This iconic Singapore silhouette, resembling a boat atop three buildings, is a luxury hotel, casino, museum, shopping mall, theater, and observation deck. It's home to restaurants, bars, and an immense rooftop infinity pool for hotel guests. A nightly light and laser show delights visitors who stroll the surrounding area to shop, dine, and admire the sunset over the bay. Nick and Rachel enjoyed a cocktail at the top, and you can do the same at Spago along with an appetizer, dinner, and spectacular city view.
Singapore Botanic Gardens
Both residents and visitors enjoy the Singapore Botanic Gardens for a jog or a stroll through flower-filled paths. The UNESCO World Heritage site includes historic buildings, a concert venue, and secret spots for romantic meetings along with thousands of colorful and unique orchids. Nick’s grandmother, Ah Ma, was known for her collection of hybrid orchids, and you can see thousands of the blooms in the Orchid Garden, including Singapore’s national flower, the Vanda Miss Joaquim orchid.
For a selection of local dishes at reasonable prices, Singaporeans head to hawker centers, open air food courts with an assortment of stalls, each with their own specialties. Favorites are Hainanese chicken rice, chili crab, satay, and laksa, but there are many other dishes served in the clean, organized centers, where you claim your spot by leaving a package of tissues on a table while you pick up your food.
One of the first places Nick and Rachel stop upon their arrival in Singapore is a hawker center — after their friends’ discussion about which is the best one — a favorite topic among locals.
The marriage celebration that rivaled Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal wedding began here in this restored 19th-century Gothic chapel with stained glass windows, high ceilings, and elaborate arches. The complex once housed a Catholic school for girls, and later an orphanage.
Today, the expansive property still retains its elegant style while featuring restaurants, cafes, salons, entertainment, and a beautifully landscaped courtyard, in addition to the event space.
Gardens by the Bay
This magnificent waterfront garden installation includes temperature-controlled domes containing thousands of species of plants and trees from around the world. A waterfall, elevated skyway path, lakes, restaurants, and event spaces make it a popular destination for locals and tourists. The “Supertrees,” man-made tree-shaped sculptures covered with plants, are arranged in three areas. Their light and sound shows attract nighttime visitors, and in the film, the characters entertain guests here at the “wedding celebration of the year.”
This small island is home to beaches, hotels, spas, amusement parks, a water park, aquarium, and the huge Merlion, Singapore’s national symbol, a mythical creature with a lion’s head and a fish’s body. Sentosa, a popular tourist destination and weekend getaway for locals, is accessible by road, cable car, and monorail.
In Crazy Rich Asians, Nick hid away at his friend Colin’s home on Sentosa, and Rachel’s friend Peik Lin invited her to a spa on the island.
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