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  • Writer's pictureDustin Chen

An Ultimate "Crazy Rich Asian" Travel Guide to Singapore

Updated: Aug 15, 2018

Based on the best-selling novel by Singaporean author Kevin Kwan, the story of Crazy Rich Asian follows Rachel Chu (Constance Wu), an American-born Chinese economics professor with modest upbringing, who travels to her boyfriend Nick's (Henry Golding) hometown of Singapore for his best friend's wedding. Before long, his secret is out: Nick is from a family that is impossibly wealthy, he's perhaps the most eligible bachelor in Asia. There she has to fend off his jealous ex-girlfriend, wannabe partners and hold her own against his domineering mother.

Such a storyline is no stranger to Chinese communities in Asia, some may even consider it a cliché. TVB, the most dominant broadcaster in Hong Kong has produced such drama for decades and received viewers in tens of millions in China mainland, Chinese communities in Southeast Asian Countries such as Malaysia and Singapore. However, the movie is the first studio film in Hollywood to feature such a large ensemble of actors/actress with Asian background. It's time for Asians to shine on the silver screen. Unlike other previous international successful films that depicted Asian casts telling tales from centuries past(Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Hero; Last Emperor etc.) or playing stereotypical roles(literally any Hollywood movies with Asian casts), Crazy Rich Asians is a modern-day story, laced with hilarious outrageousness created by extravagant lifestyles. With our mission as presenting new image of China and Asia through events and incentive travel, New Imagination DMC has the passion to same passion to tell stories of modern day(while not necessarily "crazy, rich and extravagant").

Crazy Rich Asians is nothing like this

Beyond the "crazy rich" story, the movie is a love letter to Singapore. The garden city with its unique blend of cultures, played a starring role in the book and is given the full Hollywood treatment in the adaptation. "We wanted to create a travelogue through environments, décor and food," says production designer Nelson Coates of the film, rich in visual treats. "The combination of modern, rich and glamorous lifestyles with street fare and all things quirky makes it a perfect backdrop," says actress Amy Cheng, who plays Jacqueline Ling in the film. Now , how about follow us, walking the same steps as the cast member did.

1. Singapore Airline

The airline to Singapore is called Pacific Asean Airline, which is fictitious. However, the flag carrier airline of Singapore, Singapore Airlines is to believe as its real-world equivalence. It is ranked as the world's best airline, since 2018, while winning the top spot in three other categories in the same year including "Best First Class", "Best First Class Airline Seat" and "Best Airline in Asia". Their first and business class cabins boast wide, lie-flat seats and unparalleled service. Perhaps most well-known of all, Singapore Airlines became the first and only commercial airline with a double bed in the sky with the launch of First Class Suite in 2008. They go beyond flatbeds by offering enclosed private cabins with sliding doors that cocoon you in your own little lap of luxury. The interior was designed by French luxury yacht designer Jean-Jacques Coste and comes along with a plush soft leather armchair hand-stitched by the Italian master craftsmen. The experience came with a hefty price tag. With round-trip tickets costing up to S$23,000 (or US$18,400) from Singapore to New York. While the price is not for everyone, flight in Singapore with the airlines and it's impeccable would be the first experience that you don't want to miss before meeting the people, the culture, and cuisine here.

Photo Courtesy of Singapore Airlines

2. Singapore Changi Airport

It made perfect sense that Rachel was amazed at her sight of the state-nation in the airport of Singapore. The hub has been named the best in the world for six years in a row by Styrax. If you touch down at Terminal 1 or 3, you will be greeted the world's first Butterfly Garden in an airport, the iconic Cactus Garden, Water Lily Garden and Instagram-worthy exhibits and sculptures such as the Wings of Mexico, and Birds in Flight, while terminal 2 will bring you through the beautiful Orchid Garden, Enchanted Garden, Sunflower Garden, and exciting entertainment and leisure facilities. The terminal is for culture and art lover with the unique Heritage Zone and Peranakan Gallery, beautiful Steel in Bloom Garden and a fascinating array of facilities and innovative art installments.

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. You will be in love with the city at your first sight.

Photo Courtesy of Changi Airport

3. Strolling Around Downtown

For all incentive groups, we greeted in Singapore, their exploration of the city starts from a walking tour, as there is no better way to get the first impression of this super clean, walking-easy and cultural vibrate country with walking. A Sample of our walking tour is as below:

For fans who want to pay tribute to the movie, we recommend a walk through Singapore's marina waterfront where you will see some of the most iconic urban landscapes of the city country, which includes.Esplanade Park, the lotus-shaped ArtScience Museum, the water-spitting Merlion statue (half lion, half fish), and one of the plot's key locations, Gardens by the Bay, where the wedding party of the year for characters Colin Khoo and Araminta Lee is held.

ArtScience Museum. Photo Courtesy of Visit Singapore

4. Raffles Singapore

This iconic hotel's Presidential Suite (of course) served as Nick and Rachel's home base in Singapore. The 130 years old luxury property is now going through extensive renovations and slated to re-open at the end of this year. Being origination home of world-famous cocktail Singapore Sling, the Long bar of the hotel is Macca center for the fans of the gin-based cocktail. The original Singapore Sling experience is now served at a pop-up Long Bar located at 3 Seah Street, next to the Raffles Gift Shop which remains open throughout our restoration.

Photo Courtesy of Raffles Singapore

5. Marina Bay Sands

While you wouldn't be able to nest at a suite of the historical site Raffles Singapore as the couple in the movie did, the modern wonder Marina Bay Sands can be your perfect base in Singapore. The integrated resort with a tri-tower is topped by a 340-meter-long (1,120 ft) SkyPark with a capacity of 3,900 people and a 150 m (490 ft) infinity swimming pool, set on top of the world's largest public cantilevered platform, which overhangs the north tower by 67 m (220 ft). Imagine yourself floating in the Marina Bay Sands rooftop infinity pool, gazing down on the glittering city skyline from 57 levels above. From swimming, stretching out to sunbathe on a luxurious poolside lounger, photo-taking, relaxing in the shade of a palm tree or sipping on champagne while experiencing the remarkable sunset amidst the clouds, you will not find a more spectacular view anywhere.

Marina Bay Sands. Photo Courtesy of Visit Singapore

Infinity Pool of Marina Bay Sands. Photo Courtesy of Marina Bay Sands

Staying in the Marina Bay Sands and enjoy the swimming pool will be considered as a "rich" experience, yet it is the rooftop bar and restaurant, Ce La Vi that will make your experience "crazy". This place is the also set for the couple's reconciliation in the movie. In 2016, the restaurant, teaming up with Russian diamond company World of Diamonds, offered the exclusive experience that will last an estimated eight hours and billed itself as the "world's most expensive dining experience.". The two-person package starts with a 45-minute helicopter ride over Singapore and includes some time in a luxury cruise and a chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce ride to Ce La Vi, where the diners will be presented with 10,000 roses and an 18-course meal and of course, a 2.08 carat blue diamond ring with a rose-gold plated platinum band presented by the World of Diamonds at the end of the meal . While the experience was only a commercial campaign to gain attention, the dining experience in the finest restaurant in South East Asia can be truly unforgettable. Perched on top of Marina Bay Sands on level 57, CÉ LA VI offers a breathtaking 360-degree panoramic views of the city skyline and Singapore Strait to enhance your dining experience. The gastronomic adventure takes guests on an indulgent journey around Asia and includes bar snacks, lunch, and dinner tasting menus from S$48 and full à la carte, complete with some of the finest Wagyu steaks in the entire region. The beef is so exclusive that Kusunoki Farm in the Kagoshima Prefecture in Japan only exports a maximum of four heads of cattle per month to Singapore. Executive Chef Frederic Faucheux has created and refined a menu as impressive as the view.

Ce La Vi Singapore. Photo Courtesy of First Stop Singapore

6. Garden by the Bay

A visit to Singapore is incomplete without visiting the Garden by the Bay, one of the plot's key locations in the movie, where the wedding party of the year for characters Colin Khoo and Araminta Lee is held. The nature park spanning 101 hectares (250 acres) of reclaimed land adjacent to the Marina Reservoir is home to three waterfront gardens: Bay South Garden (in Marina South, Bay East Garden (in Marina East) and Bay Central Garden (in Downtown Core and Kallang). The largest of the gardens is Bay South Garden at 54 hectares (130 acres).

Gardens by the Bay is part of a strategy by the Singapore government to transform Singapore from a "Garden City" to a "City in a Garden". The stated aim is to raise the quality of life by enhancing greenery and flora in the city.

Garden by the Bay. Photo Courtesy of Garden by the Bay

Supertree Grove, a tree-like vertical garden, with an aerial walkway called the OCBC Skyway is spectacular at night—there were several that Chu spent filming there with hundreds of extras. Every evening there's a light and music show for tourists. Production designers filled the beautifully restored early Gothic 19th-century CHIJMES Chapel (a former convent)—which already resembles a tiered fondant wedding cake inside—with drool-worthy plants and flowers for the big "I do."

SuperTree. Photo Courtesy of Garden by the Bay.

If you think taking a picture with these futuristic artificial trees is not enough, dining on the top of these installations could be another experience that wows your Instagram followers. Situated at the top of the iconic Supertree, Indochine serves a sumptuous blend of Indochinese and Western cuisines, complete with a wide selection of beverages, cocktails, beers, and wine. Whether it's chilling out at the alfresco rooftop bar or dining in the fully air-conditioned lounge, it's the perfect place to soak in stunning, unobstructed views of nature's best on one side and Singapore's iconic cityscape on the other.

SuperTree by IndoChine. Photo Courtesy of Garden by the Bay

7. Newton Food Centre

Hawker centers are an integral part of Singapore's food scene. In the movie, a scene shortly after Golding and Wu arrive in Singapore, and join their friends for a feast at the renowned Newton Hawker Centre on Clemenceau Avenue, with floor after floor of cheap, savory dishes representing the melting pot of Singapore's cultural influences from China, India and beyond. 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.

Food Hawker Center in Singapore. Photo Courtesy of Visit SIngapore

Even though Singapore is the perfect set for a “crazy rich Asian” story, these three words would not sum up Singapore. The city is evolving, reinventing, and reimagining itself, with people who are passionate about creating new possibilities (Passion Makes Possible, slogan of Singapore Tourism Bureau ). It’s where foodies, explorers, collectors, action seekers, culture shapers, and socialisers meet―and new experiences are created every day. Don't stop at finding out what you can do when you visit. And if you want to discover a modern and classy side of Asian countries, come and follow New Imagination DMC.

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