This is Singapore’s most iconic and largest river. In the past, it was Singapore’s first trading port, the business, commercial and financial hub. Today, the Singapore River is part of the Marina reservoir after the Marina barrage dam was erected at its mouth. This effectively prevents the docking of ocean-going ships. The importance of the river has thus shifted towards tourism and the arts within the commercial and civic district it now encloses.
Popular night-life precincts such as Clarke Quay and Boat Quay line the banks of the Singapore River. Clubs, restaurants and sports bars populate the banks of the river, where visitors can catch a river cruise aboard bumboats. Several river cruise tour agencies operate along the banks of the river, with bumboat rides being a great way to learn some history about Singapore and soak in the atmosphere, especially during dusk.
These places are also popular haunts for expatriates looking for a relaxing night out. You’ll most often find Clarke Quay populated with foreigners and locals on Friday and Saturday nights due to the cool ambience and live music emanating from bars. The Singapore River might not boast pristine and clear waters, but it possesses an old charm worth admiring as you stroll along the banks. Along the way, do look out for prominent landmarks such as the Sir Stamford Raffles statue, believed to be erected on the very place Singapore’s founder landed back in the 19th century.