Crazy Rich Asians: Where Was the Movie Filmed?

The 2018 romantic dramedy ‘Crazy Rich Asians,’ directed by John M. Chu and adapted from Kevin Kwan’s novel of the same name, is a film bespectacled by palatial villas and jaw-dropping locales. The story follows Rachel Chu (Constance Wu), an economics professor at New York University, whose boyfriend, the high-profile Nick Young (Henry Golding), son of a wealthy Singaporean real-estate empire, takes her on a trip across the world to meet his family back home in Asia. Nick’s mother, Eleanor Young (Michelle Yeoh), offers the main resistance when it comes to the young couple’s love story. Stoic and severe, she looks upon Rachel’s commoner status among the rich affluence of the Young family as a misnomer for her son’s romantic interest.

Wild, funny, and outrageous, the film serves as an entertaining ride through the mad politics of a rich family stuck in their ways of what’s acceptable and what’s not. While you’re not being directed by this central tension, the rest is spent chewing on the scenery within the film. From one extravagant location to another, ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ throws up exotic locales that both impress and mystify in equal measure.

Crazy Rich Asians Filming Locations

Adhering to the narrative arc of ‘Crazy Rich Asians,’ Singapore is one of the main shooting locations, which is also where Kevin Kwan’s novel is primarily set. The production team tried to pinpoint places within all of Southeast Asia and eventually narrowed their sights on various locales in and around the island country, alongside its bustling neighbor, Malaysia. Using Malaysia as a location was warranted because of its cultural similarities with Singapore and its cheap production costs from the point of view of the team. Principal photography took place between April 24, 2017 and June 24, 2017.


The city-state of Singapore offers the right deluge of towering skyscrapers, pristinely lit nightscapes, and a tropical oasis necessary for a film that dives into the posher circles of wealth inhabited by the movie’s characters. This is established time and again in the numerous flyover shots of the city, immersing the audience in a world of indiscreet opulence. Sentosa Islands, a resort off of the Southern part of Singapore was used for a number of these shots. Being a tourist hotspot for its beaches and lush forests, it’s easy to see why the filmmakers were intent on it. It’s also prominent within the novel.

When Nick and Rachel arrive in Singapore for the first time, the illustrious Changi airport welcomes them after a long flight from New York. The airport is a popular destination in and of itself, featuring marvelous attractions like a butterfly habitat that could keep you entertained while you wait for your next flight.

For the local food court where Nick and Rachel head out with their friends Colin and Ariminta, Newton Food Centre, a popular hawker court comprising of 83 food stalls was used. The hustle and bustle of Newton’s attractive seafood and other delicacies can be seen by the number of people flocking to its interiors. In the scene following, when Nick and Rachel wake up in a hotel, The Raffles Hotel on Beach Road is where they are staying. On careful inspection, a blurred-out Raffles insignia can be seen on the bedside table when Nick and Rachel wake up next to each other.

Halfway through the film when Rachel is downcast after an interaction with Eleanor, she meets with Peik Lin, who attempts to help Rachel regain her spirits. Their backdrop is Bukit Pasoh Road, which is a quieter part of Singapore’s Chinatown. While this scene may be important only because of the conversation between Rachel and her friend, it’s also one of the few times we see her out on her own in the daytime. There is another scene where we see Rachel having a conversation with Nick about their relationship in an outdoor location. The city’s landmark location of Merlion Park is where it was filmed, the place that symbolises Singapore’s original name: lion city in old Javanese.

For Colin and Ariminta’s wedding, the filmmakers had to pick eye-catching destinations that would impress even the staunchest of viewers. Their wedding ceremony is a long-lasting affair within the film and to kick it all off, the scenic paradise offered by the Gardens by the Bay on 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Central Singapore is where it begins. The hanging foliages of artificial tree structures that rise up to 160 feet make the Gardens by the Bay a unique experience on earth. It’s a wedding reception fit for princes and princesses, and Colin and Ariminta might just be that.

The Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus on Victoria Street is where Ariminta finally walks down the aisle to her betrothed Colin. There are 11 of these convent schools in Singapore, incidentally, and they have a long history attached to their establishment. In the penultimate scene of the film where Rachel has finally reconciled her differences with Eleanor and looks out at a party of enormous scale while next to Nick, the three 57-story hotel towers of Marina Bay Sands are used as a jaw-dropping backdrop. What catches the eye more than anything is the enormous infinity pool installation spanning across the three hotel towers. To call it impressive, would be an understatement.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The Young’s ancestral house, Tyersall Park, where our attention lies for most of the film was shot in the Carcosa Seri Negara, an old guest house that was once built as a residence for the British High Commissioner to Malaya in the 20th Century. It’s located within the Perdana Botanical Gardens and is now owned by the Government of Malaysia. For the film, two abandoned mansions that make up the Carcosa Seri Negara were used to stitch together the Young family’s home. Near the film’s opening, the tropical villa where Eleanor is holding her Bible study group is actually Belanda House. It is a picturesque modern abode built on a sloping hillside with lush tropical forests surrounding it.


Langkawi, Malaysia

Ariminta’s bachelorette party on Samsara Island is a fictional location. Its real scenic equivalent is Langkawi Island, a lush green paradise contained within a chain of islands shimmering in the blue waters of the Andaman. It’s also where the Four Seasons Langkawi resort can be found, the place where Amanda and Rachel’s resort scenes were filmed.

Penang, Malaysia

If we cast our mind to the scene near the end where Eleanor tracks down Rachel and has a heart-to-heart conversation with her over a game of mahjong, the production team shot it in the illustrious halls of Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, a heritage site located in Penang, Malaysia. It’s called the Blue Mansion among locals and once belonged to a Chinese merchant Cheong Fatt Tze who wanted to trade in culture and tradition through his love of architecture. The mansion is a museum and a boutique hotel located in Georgetown.


Read More: Crazy Rich Asians: Is the Movie Based on a True Story?