Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Part #1: Intro to Singapore River

The Singapore River was the lifeline of Singapore where our first immigrants eked out a meagre living and saw Singapore transform from an obscure little fishing village to a great seaport.

The history of the Singapore River can be divided into three distinct periods: pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial. Colourful tales permeate the pre-colonial history of Singapore River. The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) undertook the planning of the Singapore River. New developments have become a palimpsest over old histories. When Singapore was founded by Sir Stamford Raffles, the river was home to the many merchants, businessmen and coolies, who were the forefathers of Singapore.

This is the very origin of Singapore's prosperity, with the Merlion (the city's tourism icon) steadfastly standing guard at the mouth of the river. Quaint bridges span the river, ranging from the elegant Anderson Bridge to the simple Ord Bridge. Heading upriver, you will see the historic Anderson and Cavenagh Bridges. Cavenagh Bridge, built in 1869 and now for pedestrians only, leads to Empress Place, which was named in honour of Queen Victoria. At Empress Place, you will find the elegant Victoria Concert Hall, where classical concerts by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra are held regularly.

Highlights on the banks of the Singapore River include Boat Quay, Clarke Quay and Robertson Quay, landmarks and memorials such as Merlion Park and Parliament House, museums such as the Asian Civilisations Museum as well as temples and mosques such as the Tan Si Chong Su Temple and Omar Kampong Melaka Mosque.
Marvel at these sights as you stroll along the banks of the river. Alternatively, hop onto a glass-top boat or bumboat and enjoy a leisure cruise on the river. Choose from a range of riverboat services available - loop hop-on and hop-off, river express, river taxi and leisure sightseeing tours. You can get on the boats at Clifford Pier, Raffles Place, Raffles’ Landing Site, Boat Quay and Clarke Quay.

Dinning or an evening cocktail on Boat Quay is astounding and most likely the most photographed scene in Singapore. Or enjoy a sumptuous meal at the tranquil atmosphere of Robertson Quay which is located a little further down.

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