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A visit to the Boat Quay – Singapore River’s South Bank
Quay’s brief history
During the 1860s, Boat Quay was termed to the centre of trade activities and stretches to Cavenagh Bridge from Elgin Bridge. It just occupies a very small section on Singapore River’s southern bank and a main trade center.
Previously there were present here row of shophouses, occupied by wholesalers as godowns and offices. Cargo was transported from the ship to the quay by lighters or bumboats. From the bumboat, the coolies carried the cargo materials to the shophouses.
However, now, the activities of the bumboats are limited to ferrying passengers for the purpose of sightseeing. The shophouses on the other hand has been changed to restaurants and pubs to cater to the demands of the tourists, who visit the place from all parts of the globe. Nightlife in Singapore is very active and the restaurants and pubs are completely packed.
Touring the southern bank of the Singapore river
Tourists can have a glimpse of the past and present by touring along the southern bank of the Singapore River. The route is full of interesting places to be seen, including sculptures from the past. The tour begins from Coleman Bridge and completes at the Cavenagh Bridge.
During this historic tour, you are likely to enjoy every moment of it and also come to know the rich history of Singapore. There are several information boards by the riverside that can provide you with the necessary information about the place. There are also several fabulous spots, where you can have a photo session with your family and partner and can share with it others.
How reach Boat Quay from Clarke Quay
The Singapore Street Map is a wonderful source for you to reach any part of the city. Reaching the Boat Quay is no tough task with the Singapore street map. You need to reach Clarke Quay MRT and for this, you can avail MRT and public buses. Once you get out of the station, look for Exit E. You need to take 2nd escalator, then turn leftwards to go straight till the sculptures are reached.
At the Clarke Quay, you can come across nine humanely figures that represents family of merchants. Michele Righetti is credited with its sculpting. Previously, most family boasted of about a dozen of members, whereas the present smarter generation has restricted the family to just two.
The Coleman Bridge
You can view this bride after going through an underground. This bridge has been designed by George Drumgold Coleman, of Irish origin. Construction of the bridge was completed in 1840. However, it was replaced several times and the existing was rebuilt in 1986.
The Elgin Bridge
On moving ahead, you would come across another bridge, called the Elgin Bridge. It has derived its name from the then Indian Governor General, Lord Elgin. At this spot, you can take breath taking snapshots of Singapore skyline.
The shophouses present along the Boat Quay
There are several shophouses present along the Singapore River bank, which you can visit, crossing the bridge. This is where Boat Quay begins and boasts of having several pubs, bars and restaurants. You can select a restaurant that fits your moods, tastes and preferences.
River Cruise ticket kiosk
On reaching shop no. 60 at the Boat Quay, you can see the ticket kiosk, from where the River cruise tickets can be availed.
Ideal spots to take photos
You can come across two ideal spots to have the entire view of Singapore River, with one being near Cavenagh Bridge and the other front of UOB Plaza.
If you are art lover, then this is simply the place to be. On approaching UOB Plaza, you can view bird sculptures. The bird, which symbolizes ‘joy of living’, is the art work of Fernando Botero, a South American Sculpture.
‘The River Merchants’ is another sculpture that does deserve special mention is present near Cavenagh Bridge. The sculpture depicts a scene where coolies can be seen loading materials onto the bullock cart. ‘The First Generation’ is considered to be the last of the sculptures present here that depicts a common scene taken from the olden days of 5 boys to be jumping happily in the river.
The Cavenagh Bridge
The bridge derived its name from Mj. Gnl William Orfeur Cavenagh, who was Singapore’s last Governor General. This bridge was completed in 1869 and is regarded to be one of the very oldest bridges present. But traffic on the bridge is restricted only to the pedestrians.
The Fullerton Hotel
This building was inaugurated in 1928 and was then Singapore’s largest building. Previously, it hosted the General Post Office and then was changed into luxury hotel.