Friday, July 25, 2014

An enchanting cruise on the singapore river

 As told Matthews was at the lobby by 6 and so were we. Off we went to Clarke Quay(pronounced key) for the cruise on the Singapore river.
All along as Matthews pointed to the landmarks and  well-preserved buildings, I soaked in the sights of the marvelous city for like I said before It was love at first sight with this city for me.
We reached Clarke quay which was one of the jetties from where the boats take off for the cruise.We walked along the quay where it was buzzing with life and activity. It was a Friday evening and so there was the TGIF spirit. There are an ecletic mix of restaurants,pubs and clubs which are famous for al fresco dining. There are also entertainment spots, adventure sports and many retail shops. Yet again, Mathews seemed to be delighted to share singapore’s story. It was not his job to walk and guide us to the quay, but it must have interested him to share the story.
Some 100 years ago  this place served as a dock to unload cargoes. Due to the proximity to the mouth of the Singapore river, Clarke quay was the centre of commerce. When Raffles signed the agreement for the title of free port, the port had immigrants from neighbouring countries. Within a few months this quay became a hotspot for trading and that was the starting point of all that is Singapore today- affluent, hardworking and today almost matching the developed countries in economy. Later, under Lee kwan Yew, the trading was shifted outside the city and the dirty river was cleaned up to promote tourism. Today, this river tourism earns major tourist revenues for them. 
We reached the jetty and boarded the bum boats. It was a closed boat with an open deck. The seating arrangements were in the enclosure where a video with Singapore story was played. I for the first time was not interested in story or history. I headed to the open deck, did’nt mind the drizzle and wet seats. I sat down and looked around me. The boat sailed and there was a delightful mix of ancient and modern all around me. To my back were the waterfront godowns which bore witness to a time when it was a fishing city and in front of me was the contemporary architectural marvel called Marina Bay sands. To my sides, raffles landing, merlion  park, , various museums, and so many commercial and resort style hotel, water front living condominiums and buildings were vying for attention. What do I see and what do I leave?

 The sights this cruise threw in the twilight hour  is inexplicable. I will leave you with some photographs with which again we did not do justice as we were busy soaking the magical sights and experiencing the aura of this enchanting place. Still I will try to share the delightful mix of ultra modern and traditional architecture which reminds of its rich heritage and a vibrant future.

Now a long visual post alert!

Most of the pics are taken from a sailing boat and may lack focus. click on them to feel the place.
                                              This is where we began our journey Clarke quay

the old ware houses which are now mostly restaurants/hotels and you can experience waterfront living by staying in those houses.
Wow! i have never liked glass and chrome buildings but like they say when you are in love everything seems fair and nice.

The Fullerton hotel, reminded me of Faluknuma palace of hyderabad
The business district, marina bay financial center?
Their guardian of prosperity, The icon of singapore - Merlion ( mermaid base with a lion head) spouting water form merlion park

                                            I am not sure what this foreground building is
                       The singapore flyer and the marina bay sands resort and park . The latter is designed according to chinese vaastu, the hand shaped building is their art exhibit center.
Merlion has witnessed the city’s growth from a fishing and trading port to todays’s affluent city. The replicas and miniatures of this icon of singapore are sold as souveniors. I too bought one for myself and many for my folks. There are 5 merlions in the city.
Will save my experiences about this architectural wonder for another post. I generally hate modern buildings but there are some exceptions. This is one such:)

Esplanade theatres on the bay, shaped like the Durian fruit. It is the city's performing arts venue featuring   operas and concerts

Do you see The founder of Singapore? Sir stamford Raffles 

Some more water front living

One of the bridges you sail under

                        And yes, the banks of the river are famous for al fresco dining. One of the lighted areas front of  a restaurant. 


  1. Thanks for the nice info on Singapore and beautiful photos.

  2. Asha, thanks for sharing the beautiful photos. Nice post.

    1. pleasure to share is mine ma'am:)

  3. Nice photos. Yes, there is much to be charmed by on the river front.

    Did you taste the durian by any chance ?

    1. No, did'nt feel like tasting the Durian for that matter did'nt taste any of the rainforest fruits. They looked scary.

  4. I love the photos, cannot believe they were shot while sailing.

    1. Thank you chitra:) some of the photos are not within the frame due to the movement of the boat