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Vibrant Neighbourhoods

Quaint Encounters

Civic & Cultural District
The Quays
Chinatown
Business District

Explore all walks of life
around the river bend

Our Collection on The Quays can be found within the districts of
Boat Quay, Clarke Quay and Robertson Quay.

The Quays

 

Every bend of the river has something zestful to offer. Be amazed by the Quays’ changing landscapes. Here are some things you can do while you’re in the neighbourhood.

 

Boat Quay, which is located on the Southern bank of the Singapore River was part of the old port of Singapore. In its heydays of the 1860s, it served most of the island’s shipping businesses. Here’s an interesting nugget: Chinese traders described the south of the river as resembling the belly of a carp (Li Yu) and they regarded this to be an auspicious symbol.

Can you spot the belly of the carp?

Sand from the hill at Battery Road was used to fill the mangrove swamps, stabilising the river banks to increase business and trade at Boat Quay. The bulk of goods that shipped from plantations in Malaysia and Indonesia were stored in the godowns and warehouses located along its banks. Business grew so quickly that by 1852, three quarters of all shipping activities in Singapore were conducted at Boat Quay. 

Tongkangs and bumboats docked at the river banks

Clarke Quay was once a major trans-shipment zone and a conduit for trade. Coolies (labourers) manually unloaded cargo from the tongkangs or twakows (bum boats) to the godowns and warehouses for storage and distribution.

The shophouses in the area were originally 2 to 3 storeys high – coolies and working class families lived on the upper floors, and the ground floor units were used for shops and trading offices.

During its glorious past, Clarke Quay was also an important location for Chinese opera performances and street storytelling sessions. 

In current times, Clarke Quay’s colourful restored shophouses are best explored at night when the bars and restaurants along the stretch are lit up and vibrant with activity.

It really is Instagram-worthy

In the 19th century, as the population and business activity increased along Boat Quay and Clarke Quay, tidal swamps up-the-river were reclaimed to make way for Robertson Quay. The first entrepot trade buildings were located here.

Surrounding Robertson Quay is the district of River Valley. Its proximity to the city center and bustling Quays drew wealthy Europeans and Chinese merchants who wanted to build their homes in the “country” to escape the burgeoning crowd around the wharves and city center. Today, you will see luxury condominiums and lovingly-conserved shophouses along the River Valley artery.

While Robertson Quay is considered to be the quieter cousin of Boat Quay and Clarke Quay, we encourage you to visit this neighbourhood because it is a lovely place to take a stroll after you’ve had a nice meal at one of the many international restaurants along the Quay. Venture a little further out and you’ll find yourself at the wondrous Fort Canning Park, Singapore’s historic urban oasis on a hill.

Curious about these shophouses that are a link to Singapore’s past? Stay with Heritage Collection and experience what it’s like to live in a historic building outfitted with all the modern conveniences!

Discover all the exciting
happenings around the corner

Discover the unexpected just ‘round the corner

Explore different walks of life along the river bend

Locate all the enchanting gems in hidden spots

Seek all the greatest treasures of the old within the new

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To See

Did you know that there is a hidden #ootd spot here?

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To See

Tallest public residential building in Singapore!

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To See

Home of the city’s Arts scene and largest annual arts festival

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To See

It’s a small world of musical boxes

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To Do

Thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies – this is for you!

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To See

Rickshaws used to roam our streets

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To Do

Discover the origins of Singapore’s melting pot of culture

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To Do

Learn a little bit more about our Peranakan friends

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Business District

Seek the greatest treasures of the old within the new

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To Eat

Want a convenient access to a great rooftop bar? Look here!

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To Do

Be embraced by the familiar sweet, musky smell of books

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Chinatown

Locate all the enchanting gems in hidden spots

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To Eat

Cool off and get your dopamine fix

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To Do

The new tallest building in Singapore!

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Civic & Cultural District

Discover the unexpected just round the corner

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To Eat

Level up your food adventures at Holey Moley Golf Club!

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To Eat

Feast on hawker food like never before at Lau Pa Sat

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To See

What’s that gleaming in the distance? It’s Masjid Sultan!

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To See

Explore more about the Buddhist culture in this 5 Storey Temple

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To Eat

Venture into the fictional world and let yourself be lost

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To See

Be a “Crazy Rich Asian” for a day at CHIJMES

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To See

Pretty in pink, deep in history and rich in culture

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To Eat

Ignite your taste buds at Maxwell Food Centre

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To See

Catch the glamour of theatres past here at the Capitol Theatre

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To See

Step into Singapore’s oldest Hindu Temple!

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To Eat

Juicy Hainanese chicken rice? Sign me up!

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To Do

Calling all aspiring Van Goghs and book lovers

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To Eat

Somebody say pandan chiffon cake?

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To Do

Hop on and cruise down the Singapore river!

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To Do

Step inside Singapore’s largest street market

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To Eat

Get your quick fix at Tong Heng Egg Tarts

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To Do

Get to know more about the Peranakan Culture

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To Eat

Hipster hawker foods are real! Come to Amoy.

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To Eat

Round off Kampong Glam with Zam Zam!

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To Do

Yip Yew Chong’s Heritage Mural Trail

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To Eat

Get your hands on a range of fresh baked treats like no other

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To Do

Shop, drop and roll at Chinatown Street Market

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To See

Ever wondered what those colourful windows are?

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To Do

Complete your retail therapy at Chinatown Point

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