Thursday, 18 May 2017

The Singapore River Waterfront

While Clarke Quay and Boat Quay are firmly on the tourist map, we still had to go have a look for ourselves and we ended up there multiple times over the course of our stay in Singapore. 

One building that immediately catches your eye is the Old Hill Street Police Station, which today boasts art galleries along the bottom floor, and the Ministry of Communication and Information on higher levels. This was the site of Singapore's first jail, but after a fair amount of police force restructuring, several new police stations were built (including this Neo-Classical building in 1934). Whoever had the idea to paint the shutters in all the colours of the rainbow was a genius.

Right across the street is Clarke Quay, which continues the tradition of brightly coloured facades. These face the river, but there's also a large walkway behind them which forms something of a swanky food court and bar street.

Many little boats set off from here, providing river tours to those who wish to feel the wind through their hair. Sunset is an especially nice time to visit.

Taking a stroll down the river towards Marina Bay, you get a wonderful view of the river from Boat Quay. Though swarming with touters trying to get you to eat in their seafood restaurant, once you get past the line of bars and eateries it's a pleasant place to sit and look out. It's similarly pleasant once you've selected a place to have a drink or dinner and are no longer in the touters' direct line of fire.

We patronised three bars along the waterfront, and the one I care to tell you about is 1-Altitiude for the sheer wow factor. Just another rooftop bar it is not! Along with a few of Yannick's colleagues, we visited on a Wednesday, which is ladies' night. On such a night, ladies are allowed to enter for free, though gentlemen are still required to fork over the $35 cover charge (this includes entry and one sanctioned drink).

The view from the top was awe-inspiring had one of our more vertigo-prone friends hanging around the bar area, which was furthest from the edge.

Yannick used his one "free" drink to try a Singapore Sling (at my behest), which was fruity and tasty, though not markedly different from other cocktails. I felt like we had to give it a go, and I was glad we did!

Back on solid land, there are a few bridges connecting the two sides of the river, some of which are terribly old. I love how this one prohibits all cattle and horses.

Directly across from Boat Quay, I found a statue of Sir Stamford Raffles with boldly crossed arms. This was all thanks to Pokémon Go, which has on many occasions brought my attention to a landmark or piece of street art which I may never have discovered on my own. Whatever you say about Pokémon Go, Pokéstops aren't all bad.