Romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians marks the first Hollywood movie in 25 years to feature Asian Americans in the lead roles. Constance Wu (Fresh Off the Boat), Awkwafina (Ocean’s 8) and Ken Jeong (the Hangovertrilogy) are some of the big names among the cast.

But there’s another star — Singapore. Set to debut August 15, the film was shot entirely on location in the Southeast Asian country and Malaysia. But Singapore isn’t a mere backdrop; its landscape, food and diverse Chinese-, Malay- and Indian-influenced culture shape the story about the lives of the uber-wealthy.

“I truly think that Singapore is a perfect melting pot of Asian cultures, and what makes this city unique is its exciting and eclectic blend of tradition and modernity, and of East and West,” says Janice Koh, who plays stubborn Felicity Young in CRA.

“I love that I can hear a myriad of accents walking down any road in Singapore; that we have access to hot street food drawn from so many cultures at an affordable price; and we have Chinese temples sitting alongside Indian temples, and that devotees sometimes pray at both!” says Koh, a former Nominated Member of Parliament. “For those who have never been to Asia, it is the perfect introduction to this part of the world.”

We talked to some of the Singapore-based cast members to get their local perspective (click here for their food recommendations). Koh, Pierre Png (Michael Teo), Fiona Xie (Kitty Pong) and Tan Kheng Hua (Kerry Chu) tipped us off on where to shop, where to stay and the one attraction you can’t miss in the Lion City.

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