CLARKE QUAY, is a thriving entertainment area, bustling with eateries and nightspots. However, this was very different from what it was in the 1800s.
Bumboats (or lighters) used to be moored in Clarke Quay for disgorging of cargoes. Most of the buildings along the quay area are shophouses where cargoes was stored. These shophouses are about 2 to 3 storeys high with typically the ground floors reserved for the shops and trading offices, and the upper floors to serve as housing for working class families and coolies.
In the 1980s, conserving Clarke Quay was Singapore’s most ambitious conservation project, costing over S$180 million. It won the Best ASEAN Conservation Effort award at the 8th ASEAN Tourism Association Awards.
Currently known as the Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts (MICA), the Old Hill Street Police Station as it was formerly known was at the time of its completion considered a “skyscraper” and also the largest government building.
Besides serving as a police station and jail, it was also thought to have been used as a torture chambers by the japanese during the japanese occupation.
Today, the building has been renovated and gazetted as a national monument. Its main courtyard which was used as a parade ground for the police have been converted to an air conditioned atrium which regularly features performances and houses art galleries.
BOAT QUAY, lies just opposite the spot where Sir Stamford Raffles, founder of modern Singapore, first landed and has remained vital to Singapore’s economic growth throughout the republic’s history. This was where bumboats delivered their cargo, where enterprising traders and businessmen congregated, and where fortunes were made.
Traditionally, most of the businesses are confined to the south bank of the river, with the north bank reserved for government purposes. Today this area has also evolved to include popular spots for food, recreation and pubbing, especially for white collar professionals who work in the area.
The statue marks the site believed to be where Sir Stamford Raffles, founder of modern Singapore first set foot on the island back in 1819.
Sir Stamford Raffles, best known for his founding of Singapore had immediately realised the importance of Singapore’s strategic position along the major shipping routes quickly established it as a trading port.
This white statue is actually a copy of the original bronze statue which now stands in front of Victoria Memorial Hall at empress place.
Located at the historic Empress Place Building, the Asian Civilisation Museum (ACM) was opened on 1 March 2003. The museum boast a wide collection of artefacts spanning across the entire asian continent.
The ACM houses 4 different permanent galleries namely, China, Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and the Islamic world galleries. Special exhibitions are also being held regularly, in partnership with other museums world-wide, on the history, people’s and culture of major world civilisations.
Built in 1864-65 as a city courthouse, it was subsequently used as government offices until the late 1980s. The building itself is a National Monument and is conserved for its neo-classical Palladian architectural style used for civic and cultural buildings during Singapore’s Colonial Period.
Cavenagh Bridge, is the oldest suspension bridge in Singapore to have maintained it original form. Shipped in parts to Singapore and assembled by convict labour, this bridge was the main form for ox carts and rickshaws to cross the Singapore River back in the days.
Subsequently, when trade flourished and traffic increased the bridge had to be replaced as the government decided to build Anderson Bridge to cope with the increased load. Eventually, Cavenagh Bridge was spared from demolition, converted to a pedestrian bridge and even gazetted as a National Monument.
Prior to its conversion to a five star hotel, the Fullerton Hotel was best known as the Genaral Post Office Building. Its location near the mouth of the river made it a good location to collect and distribute mails to and from ships.
It had also served as an exclusive club known as the Singapore CLub for affluent members, a headquarters for the japanese military administration in Singapore during the japanese occupation and the headquarters for the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore in post war years.
Today, this magnificent building has been gazetted for conservation as a national monument.
MERLION PARK, is where the majestic Merlion statue stands tall overlooking the Marina Bay. The Merlion, a mythical creature with a lion head and fish body symbolises Singapore’s humble history as a fishing village and its lion head represents the original name “Singapura” meaning lion city.
Today tourists from all over come to the park to pose for a picture with the statue and view the city’s beautiful skyline.
MARINA BAY SANDS, was designed by renowned architect Moshe Safdie. At its completion, it was the most expensive building ever constructed, more expensive than even the 829m (2700-ft) Burj Khalifa. At the top of this structure is The SkyPark which boasts breath taking views of the city skyline.
Come down at night to witness the spectacular laser show.