I’ll never look like Rachel Chu, the fictional lead in the new movie Crazy Rich Asians, but I have walked in her footsteps.
Set mainly in Singapore, Kevin Kwan’s book turned into rom-com film takes you into the cutthroat world of the Asian rich and privileged. The book is not going to win any literary awards, but it is entertaining.
The story unfolds as Rachel travels to Singapore to meet her boyfriend’s family and discovered they are amongst the richest in Singapore. My favourite scene takes place on an island hen’s night, but you’ll have to read the book to find out more.
How many of these film locations can you tick off?
Seven super places where you can feel like a crazy rich Asian
Changi International Airport, Singapore
They say no layover will feel too long when you are spoilt for choice with incredible activities at Changi Airport, but I find that too hard believe. However, Changi is my one of my favourite airports for its butterfly and sunflower gardens, two movie theatres, a rooftop pool, video game consoles, sleep pods, free WiFi and more. It’s been ranked world’s best airport in 2018 World Airport Awards, taking this spot for the sixth consecutive year.
The street food: Singapore’s famous Hawker Centres
Straight off the plane, Nick and Rachel tuck into some of Singapore’s famous street food found at any of the city’s 100-plus hawker centres. The ‘richness’ of the city truly comes from its people, a harmonious melting pot of cultures that includes people of Chinese, Indian, Malay, Eurasian and Peranakan backgrounds. Do as the locals do and head to the longest queue to experience popular dishes such as satay, laksa, chilli crab and chicken rice.
You don’t have to break the bank to eat like a king in Singapore, with two hawker stalls, awarded Michelin stars– Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle and Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle, both selling traditional dishes starting from SGD$3 (roughly $3 Aus). This makes Singapore home to the cheapest Michelin-starred meal in the world!
Raffles Hotel: Rachel and Nick’s hotel choice
Currently undergoing a major revamp, the iconic Raffles Hotel is as famous as Singapore herself. Must tries include the famous Singapore Sling in the Long Bar. Who has stayed here? The list includes Charlie Chaplin, Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jackson and, more recently, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
CHIJMES: Araminta and Colin’s wedding chapel
The historic building complex in downtown Singapore, CHIJMES (pronounced “chimes”), was a former Catholic convent and girls school. The neoclassical building harks back to a more gracious bygone age, with green lawns, marble waterfalls and courtyards now surrounding buzzing restaurants and bars; acting as an inner-city oasis amongst the hustle and bustle of the city. It is here that Araminta Lee and Colin Khoo choose as the location of their wedding, fitted out with a garden-city theme.
Supertree Grove, Gardens by the Bay: wedding reception
What a wow place! Where else would they think of reclaiming land from the sea to build a 101-hectare green oasis right in the heart of the city? It includes two large, free-standing domes: the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest (the Cloud Forest is my favourite).
Outside the domes is Supertree Grove, home to 12 picturesque trees that range in height between 25 to 50 metres. The fantastical trees act as vertical gardens, providing shade during the day and come alive at night in an extraordinary explosion of sound and light, as part of the twice-nightly Garden Rhapsody Sound & Light Show (7.45pm and 8.45pm). It’s no surprise that Araminta and Colin choose it as their unique wedding reception location!
Cocktails in Chinatown
Rachel and Peik Lin made the most of the year-round tropical weather by enjoying a catch-up over alfresco cocktails at a bar on Bukit Pasoh Road in Chinatown. Singapore has quickly become the ‘cocktail capital of Asia’ with six of its bars featuring in the worlds50bestbars.com top fifty list. Within traditionally restored shophouses, behind hidden doors, or on hotel rooftops with panoramic skyline views – the bars are a great place to feel the city’s infectious energy and meet kindred spirits who call the city home. The 24/7 city doesn’t have lock-out laws so pace yourselves! Supertree Grove.
Marina Bay Sands: the ultimate engagement party setting!
The Marina Bay Sands building has become an iconic symbol of the city, soaring 57 levels above the heart of the Marina Bay area. The infinity pool that is available to all hotel guests is the world’s largest, stretching 150-metres long. Travellers can access the observation deck or have a cocktail at CÉ LA VI, the brag-worthy venue that elevated the party vibes for Nick and Rachel’s engagement party.
My tip is time your observation deck visit for the cooler hours of the day as there is little sun protection there, but the views are definitely worth it.
I love visiting Singapore as it is such an easy destination. One of my favourite places to stay is the Fullerton Hotel which used to be Singapore’s GPO.
Want to know more about Singapore? Here’s where to go – www.yoursingapore.com