The top 11 things to do in Singapore that you’ve seen in the movie Crazy Rich Asians. Singapore looks amazing. And Singapore is amazing. So when you visit Singapore, check out these 11 locations to live the Crazy Rich Asian life.
Top 11 Movie Locations of Crazy Rich Asians
The first place you see in the movie is Changi Airport. This is where Rachel and Nick arrive. And Rachel is so impressed that she comments it looks like an upscale tropical resort. And man, it is impressive. Changi Airport in Singapore is one of my favorite airports in the world.
The airport features gardens of sunflowers, cacti, orchids, a movie theater, palm trees, amazing convenience stores that you can get all the drinks and snack foods under the sun. But if that’s not all, there’s an in airport Butterfly Garden, where when you’re waiting for your next flight, you can go in and admire butterflies. If butterflies aren’t your thing, well they’ve got a pond filled with huge koi fish, as well. And when you’re going through passport control, if your breath feels a little unfresh, you can pick up one of their complimentary Changi Airport breath mints.
Newton Food Centre
The first place that Nick and Rachel go after leaving the airport is the Newton Food Centre. Yes, no movie in Singapore would be complete without visiting a hawker center. Hawker centers in Singapore are these amazing collection of street vendors.
And what Nick says when they get here is that each of these hawker stalls sells just one dish and they’ve been perfecting it for generations. And Singapore is one of the only places in the world where street vendors win Michelin stars. Now most Singaporeans would tell you that Newton Food Centre is not the best hawker center in Singapore. In fact, it is one of the most touristy.
Lau Pa Sat
The book actually takes place in Lau Pa Sat, which is kind of in the center of the central business district, particularly known for their saute. So if you’re in Singapore, you don’t have to go to Newton Food Centre, but definitely visit one of the hawker centers. Some popular things to get at hawker centers in Singapore, are the carrot cake, which is actually a radish and carrot combination.
And chicken and pork saute, a very Malaysian type of food. Each one, six Singaporean dollars, or about four U.S. dollars. To wash it down, you can have some sugar cane juice, which they squeeze out of fresh sugar cane, or lime juice. That’s sure to make you pucker. One of the best parts about hawker centers are the open kitchens. If you don’t know what they’re serving just use your nose and your eyes. Does it look tasty? And does it smell good?
From wok fried noodles to chicken wings, you’ll find everything under the sun at these hawker centers. Actually the best time to go to the hawker center is at night because a thing about hawker centers is none of them are air conditioned, they’re all outdoor and open air.
Marina Bay Sands
Number three is the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. It’s got the three towers with the surfboard looking thing on top. It’s a luxury hotel, casino, shopping mall, and observation deck. It’s also home to Singapore’s highest swimming pool, an amazing infinity pool. But what you see in Crazy Rich Asians is the view from the roof top sky bar.
For some of the best views in Singapore, stop by the Marina Bay Sands sky park. It is this skateboard like thing atop of the three towers of this newest casino, and from here the views of Singapore are truly spectacular. If you’re hungry at the Marina Bay Sands, check out the Rasapiera Masters food court. It’s in the shopping mall on the lower level. It’s not the cheapest food court in Singapore, but it’s done very well, there’s a great selection, and I love the white chef’s hats. My favorite stall here, guess what? It’s the one that sells Singapore noodles.
And what did I get? I got the char kway teow. Char kway teow literally means stir fried rice cakes. Rice noodles, there’s a few egg noodles in there, probably a little bit of seafood, either some squid or some cockles. Pretty delicious.
Merlion (Fullerton + Marina Bay Sands)
In front of the Fullerton Hotel is the merlion. The half fish, half lion which is an icon of Singapore. The merlion is mostly shown in the movie just in passing shots or drive-bys as they pass through the central business district.
It does have a prominent scene in the Crazy Rich Asians trailer, at about eight seconds in, because pretty much the most iconic scene of Singapore is the merlion with the Marina Bay Sands in the background. The merlion is so iconic, wikipedia estimates that one million tourists a year visit the merlion.
Another popular Singapore attraction that you see in drive-bys of the central business district is the Singapore Flyer. It is Singapore’s largest Ferris wheel. In fact, it is the world’s second largest Ferris wheel only bested recently by the high roller Ferris wheel in Las Vegas. It has 28 air conditioned capsules. And from the Singapore Flyer you can get some pretty nifty views of Singapore.
The sixth major Singapore attraction seen in the movie is the Raffles Hotel. This is where Nick and Rachel stayed. This hotel is very historic to Singapore. It opened in 1887. It’s currently under renovation until 2019. But you can stay here too, in the suite if you have a cool $10,000 Singaporean dollars per night. If you can’t, well then stop by the bar and sip a Singapore Sling. It’s a gin based cocktail, popular to Singapore, and this is where it originated.
Oh and by the way, you can tell that Singapore is a foodie country because in the Raffles Hotel they have 1100 seats in their restaurant for just 115 hotel rooms. It has far more restaurant tables than beds.
The seventh major Singapore attraction featured in the movie is Chinatown. Well not just any part of Chinatown, but in particular Bukit Pasoh Road. This is home to a number of classic shop houses.
It’s a great place to get away from the high rises, the rest of Singapore. And the street is really great for anyone who is suffering a bit of shopping mall fatigue. Chinatown is also about the only place in Singapore you will find street vendors on the streets. So enjoy it while you’re here.
The epic wedding scene in the movie took place here in Chijmes, right across the street from the Raffles Hotel. Chijmes is actually an acronym that stands for the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus Middle Education School. It’s a restored 19th Century gothic chapel with stained glass windows. They do weddings there, but the complex also has cafes, restaurants, salons, entertainment, and a beautifully landscaped courtyard.
Number nine is Sentosa Island. It’s a small island just of the coast of Singapore, home to beaches, hotels, spas, amusement parks, a water park, an aquarium, a huge merlion that we saw before. In the movie, Sentosa Island is where Nick escapes to his friend Collin’s house when Rachel temporarily breaks up with him. And it’s also where Rachel’s friend Peik Lin invites her to enjoy a spa.
Sentosa Island is a pretty fun place for kids or adults that are kids at heart. If you’re interested in more about Sentosa Island, I’ve got a whole video just focused on Sentosa Island. And another one about riding the Sentosa Island cable car, a neat aerial cable car that will bring you into the island where you saw a lot of my overhead shots from.
Gardens by the Bay
The 10th and final attraction, this is where the wedding reception occurred, is the Gardens by the Bay. This is just behind the Marina Bay Sands and it is one of my favorite attractions in all of Singapore. Gardens by the Bay is open to the public. It’s free admission into the grounds. You do have to pay admission if you want to go into some of their domes. They’ve got this really cool cloud forest dome that’s like a rain forest inside with mist. You can also walk on this elevated skyway, an extra admission fee for that. But where you see the wedding reception it’s by these big things called the super trees.
These trees look like something either out of Dr. Seuss or from the movie Avatar. Come here in the evening around sunset and it won’t be quite as hot. So you’ll only have to wipe every three minutes instead of every minute and a half. Every night at and 8:45pm the super trees light up for an illuminated musical show. It’s really cool. It’s really worth seeing, especially because admission is free. That’s right, F-R-E-E free. You do not have to be a crazy rich Asian or be invited to any crazy rich wedding to see these. If your travels bring you to Singapore, I hope you visit the OCBC skyway at the Gardens by the Bay. I think it’s well worth the $8 for the 15 minute walk, especially because you get to enjoy the rest of the gardens for free.
How often do you get to stroll along the treetops of fake, light up super trees? I mean, there’s only one place you can do that, and that’s Singapore.