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How to Tour Singapore Like a Crazy Rich Asian

The Kevin Kwan-approved guide to The Island.
How to Tour Singapore Like a Crazy Rich Asian The Kevin Kwan-approved guide to The Island.

Believe it or not, fashion girls enjoy reading things other than magazines too. Back in the early 2000s, fashionistas couldn’t be seen without a copy of Gossip Girl in their hands. It wasn’t just a novel, it was a phenomenon. It was a peak into the lives of Manhattan’s elite and explored the parties, the fashion, and the scandals of the children of the city’s most affluent families. 

Fast forward a few years, and a new cult-favorite made its way to the hearts of fashion girls all around the globe—Crazy Rich Asians. When it was first released, there was an influx of Instagram posts from industry influencers posting photos of them with a copy of the novel by their side. If you thought Gossip Girl was the real deal, then wait until you flip through the pages of this Asian sensation. The wealth, the couture, and the politics in Kevin Kwan’s critically acclaimed novel blows Serena Van Der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf out of the water. 

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Even with its sequel, we constantly find ourselves rereading its pages. Oftentimes it’s for the malevolent and catty ways of the old money Singapore, the unexpected love stories, and the vivid description of Asian high-fashion as detailed in every outfit of Astrid Leong (our fave character, BTW!). But this time, we look to the novel for cues on vacay ideas for our future visit to the infamous island. We may not be part of Singapore high society, but at least the book has given us an itinerary to feel like such. 

Lau Pa Sat

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(@theshai)

This isn’t exactly a spoiler, but the lead character’s trip to Singapore begins and concludes with a debate on where to find the best satay in the country. It may still be up for discussion, but one of the places visited was Lau Pa Sat. It is dubbed as the grand dame of markets and home to every Singaporean dish imaginable. Not only is it a hub for local food, but is also an architectural marvel.

Newton Food Centre

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(@olivansy)

Don’t be too surprised that this is another food entry. After all, that’s what Asian culture is known for. This district is known for its wide array of fresh and well-seasoned seafood dishes. This place will give your Instagram a heavy supply of travel photos. It doesn’t just make a case for #foodstagram, but will also make your feed bloom with the 50 species of flowers in the area.

Churchill Room Restaurant

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(@jazchee)

Once you’ve gotten your street food fix, you can then elevate your itinerary with a visit to the restaurant of Singapore’s oldest and most prominent social club, The Tanglin Club. It is globally-renowned for its high standards of exquisite international cuisine. The interiors speak of old opulence with the antique wood finish and incandescent lighting. And of course, luxury begets luxury. Only guests who dress formally are allowed to enter.

Paragon Shopping Centre

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(@jasmine_rasita)

The Paragon is located at Orchard Road, a 2.2 kilometer boulevard lined up with shopping plazas, upmarket restaurants, nightclubs, and hotels. Think of it as the Fifth Avenue or Rodeo Drive of Asia. Similar to the Churchill Room, this mall carries only high-end luxury brands and has a reputation for being a sophisticated complex. As if the shops aren’t enough to make you gawk in awe, the architecture is also a feast for the eyes. The building boasts of a contemporary aesthetic with geometric lines and minimalist cues. 

Lucky Plaza

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(@dvrystr)

What fashion girl doesn’t enjoy a sale? Luckily, in this mall (so appropriately named), every day is sale day. Also located on Orchard road, this plaza sells off-season items from several brands at lower prices. If you’re looking to complete your newly bought OOTD with a fresh ‘do, then you don’t have to look any further. The area is also popular for its strip of reputable beauty salons. 

Fort Canning Park

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(@chuajyang)

This is the perfect venue for your day to night activities. In the morning, you can frolic around the spice garden and Sally Port, a small hidden door that leads to a garden paradise. The park is known for its lush greenery and landscape architecture. When the sun goes down, you can enjoy a film in its starlight cinema or watch one of the concerts and shows in its extensive line-up. 

Holland Village

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(@sunislandscom)

If the Philippines has Cubao Expo, then Singapore has the Holland Village. This quaint neighborhood is a popular hub for expatriates and tourists alike because of its hipster feel. It has a row of specialty hobby shops with obscure finds, several hole-in-the-wall restaurants, and cool bars for a chill night out. 

Old Airport Road

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(@eatdreamlove)

And five entries later, we find ourselves discussing food again. This district has a roster of several inexpensive food stalls that serve local favorites. For a fully immersive culinary experience, schedule one of your meals in this venue and order one (or all) of its specialties—prawn noodles, kway chap, and soy beancurd.  

Sentosa Island

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(@you_arim)

Marina Bay Sands is as crowded as it is overrated. Sentosa is a seaside enclave and a water baby’s paradise. Not only can you bask in the view of an endless line of palm trees and the glistening sea, but also enjoy recreational activities such as jet skiing, playing golf, and riding a cable car.

Smith Street

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(@chinatownsingapore)

This small street running through the heart of Chinatown is a go-to food market. Its design gives off a vintage ambiance that takes you centuries back. The al fresco dining area also gives a bountiful selection of Asian fusion dishes that will leave you wanting to postpone your return flight. 

Main photo from @_yafiqyusman_ on Instagram

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