Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Boat Quay

After some 15 minutes walk from Chinatown via New Bridge Road, one will reached Coleman Bridge which cross over the Singapore River. Do not cross over the bridge. Take the right turn and the journey to Boat Quay begins. For those who are lazy to walk, the nearest MRT station is Clarke Quay or Raffles Place. Just head North when exiting the station and one will reach Boat Quay

For a century until the late 1960s, Boat Quay reverberated to the clamour of coolies loading and loading sacks of rice, coal and other cargo between lighter boats huddled at the bottom of the steps and shop houses connected precariously by narrow gangplanks. When the fervour of urban renewal gripped Singapore in the 1970s, this crammed south side of the river was deemed unsightly

The lighter boats were banned from the river, floatsam and jetsam resulting from the loading activities were cleared from the waters and the shop houses of Boat Quay were refurbished and converted to a Latin Quarters of sorts with bars and restaurants. Today, Boat Quay eschoes to the the clink of wine glasses at dusk when executives descend from surrounding office towers to unwind at drinking holes. (The white bridge on the far right is Coleman Bridge)

At night the restaurants around here selling fresh seafood and the famous dish will be the chilli crab. The crabs here are really huge! The photo here do not justify that. One must see with their own eyes. Most of the crabs here are imported from Sri Lanka

There were 2 bridges been built side by side connecting the south and the north river. This is the Cavenagh Bridge. It was constructed in Scotland and assembled in Singapore by Indian convict labour in 1868. I overheard a tourist said this is the first bridge built in Singapore.

The Anderson Bridge was built in 1910 when the Cavenagh Bridge could not cope with the increasing traffic at the time

Across the river is the neo classical Empress Place Building, this is one of the oldest structures in Singapore. Built by Indian convicts between 1864-67 and designed by J.F.A McNair, it was first unveiled as a courthouse for the colonial government and later housed Singapore's legislative assembly. By the early 1980s, the building had seen better days, and there was talk of demolition. Fortunately, the Singapore Tourism Board came to the rescue and spent millions renovating it by engaging the services of a French Gothic and neo classical conservationist, Didier Repellin, who helped restore the building to its original splendor. In 1989, it is re-opened as a museum showcasing Chinese artifacts but it closed after some years.

More restoration work followed and in Mach 2003, it became home to the Asian Civilizations Museum, this outstanding museum provides generous space to display its sizeable collections on the civilizations of East, Southeast, South and West Asia.

There are a number of interesting bronze statues along Boat Quay. This is the sculpture show Scotsman, Alexander Laurie Johnston (which I was shaking hand with) a prominent merchant back then mediating between a Chinese Trader and a Malay Chief.

I took this photo at night and the image is not as clear as expected. This lovably fat Bird outside UOB Plaza is the work of Colombian sculptor, Fernando Botero

The UOB Plaza is also worth visit with its beautiful garden and bronze statue. This statue is the work of Salvator Dali as homage to Sir Issac Newton

This grand Palladian style building is Singapore's former General Post Office, restored to its current reincarnation as the five star hotel, The Fullerton Singapore. Originally built in 1928 and named after Sir Robert Fullerton, the first governor of the Straits Settlements, the building is a wonderful example of the neo classical style that once dominated the district.

The upcoming Singapore F1 Grand Prix will pass through here. I been looking at the circuit layout and I suspect it will also pass through Anderson Bridge then towards Empress Place Building on the other side of the river

Outside the Fullerton, the scene of the five playful, naked boys, called "The First Generation" leaping into the river is the work of Chong Fah Cheong

Singapore River Cruise tickets can also be purchased here and one can board the boat from here for the relaxing cruise along the river and enjoying the scenery

Also can be seen here across the waters of Marina Bay is the prickly hedgehog like outline of Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay.


Johnny Ong said...

i really like the sculpture where the kids were jumping into the sea.

Geek @ Kedai.TV said...

used to be a great open air makan place there just beside the old parliament where you took the pic of the bullock cart where we Judicatory Dept chaps hang out after a long day (or in between long cases)

Still,the chili crabs there are a fiery lot, flown from SRI LANKA. Cheap too!@

Azrin @

Kikey Loo said...

nice place, thanks for sharing

eunice said...

I have just gone through a history lesson of Singapore here! =D

Boat Quay, Clarke Quay, Empress Place are photogenic! Yeah, I love Sri Lanka crabs! But quite expensive to eat there right?

I also like the sculptures of the kampong children jumping into the Singapore river, depicting a common fun activity that happened during our parents' generation.

And that big fat bird, I heard it is some fengshui bird for a commercial building! =D Not only that bird, but there are many sculptures there for fengshui purposes cos that area is a business district. =D

Nice post!

I AM A BLOGGER said...

Another wonderful post on traveling. Next time, I shud hv a visit to Singapore. (^^)

Borneo Falcon said...

The crab is indeed expensive. I think one of those crab will easily cost more than SGD30. Too bad didn't have the chance to taste the famous chili crab.

pusangkalye said...

I think some of the government buildings in Singapore are somewhat similar to that of old Manila. Nice pics. Looks like you are really enjoying yourself there. Nice.....

keeyit said...

A good place to relax also..

Unknown said...

wow!those pics are very interesting.I didn't get a chance to snap those beatiful pics when i was there 10 years ago.

Lifecruiser said...

Oh, really great post. I so enjoyed to walk there with you. There is a lot to see obviously. The sculptures are fabulous