Hi guys! This is Yunti, I haven’t been actively writing since my Taiwan trip early last year. Sarah and I recently came back from Singapore and Hong Kong with our parents, and we will be sharing posts about this trip! Hope everyone will look forward to the upcoming posts. This was my first time in Singapore and boy was I in for an adventure!
After getting settled in at our studio apartment and filling our stomachs, we made our way outside to explore the Clarke Quay area and jumped on a river cruise. We stopped by the first 7/11 we saw and bought out ez link cards (isn’t the card so cute?), then continued to explore Clarke Quay and walk along the Singapore river.
After some extensive research on where we should stay while in Singapore, we decided on staying in the Clarke Quay area. Our studio apartment was conveniently connected to the Clarke Quay Central Mall and steps away from the river front. This was the perfect place for us to do our initial exploring. While strolling around in the late afternoon we noticed that the surroundings were quite quiet, but later realized that this area becomes much more lively during the evening.
Besides being greeted by the awful weather outside, we saw some really cute and colorful buildings, most or all of which were restaurants and bars. There was a wide selection of restaurants here, but they all seemed to be more westernized. We ended up not being attracted to any of these options as we had our eyes set on the more “authentic” Singapore/Southeast Asian foods.
We continued into a covered area, and in here we found a little relief from the SUPER hot weather. As you see from the picture above there were these air vent things that were shooting out cool air. From this I quickly learned that there is relief to the heat, but we just had to know how to find it.
After walking through the slightly cooler area we arrived at the jetty (or dock) where the River Cruise was boarding. After a long day of traveling, we decided that the River Cruise would be a nice relaxing way to get introduced to Singapore. The cruise was roughly 40 minutes long and took us from Clarke Quay to Marina Bay and back. We purchased tickets for SG$25 (which is about US$19),and had to waited about 5-10 minutes before the we boarded the boat.
We initially seated ourselves inside the boat and was greeted by an informative video. Throughout our ride, the video introduced us to the various landmarks that we were seeing.
Although it was more comfortable (weather-wise) to sit inside, Sarah found that the view was much better outside, because there was nothing obstructing our view. I tried to stay outside, but found that it was too hot and couldn’t stay out there for longer than 3 minutes…just look at us melting in the sun! I was content with a slightly obstructed view inside.
There was a wide variety of old and new architecture along the Singapore river. Starting from the Clarke Quay area, we started to saw a number of older looking buildings. One that really caught our attention was the Old Hill Street Police Station. This building is lined with a number of rainbow colored windows/shutters, making it stand out from all of the other buildings. This building is no longer a police station, instead it is the home to the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts (MICA). And as we approached the next jetty, Boat Quay, we saw more colonial-like buildings such as the Asians Civilizations Museum, and the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall.
Things on the other side of the river at Boat Quay were a little more eye catching. There was a line of really cute older looking buildings and then there were the modern high rises towering right behind them . Much like Clarke Quay , this is lively place for night owls to hang out during the evenings. The lower buildings lined up along the river houses a number of restaurants and bars while the high rises in the background give a sneak peak of the skyscrapers in the downtown area of Singapore.
The next area the cruise approached was the Marina Bay, and this was where everyone went camera happy. In this area we got our first glimpse of some of the most iconic landmarks of Singapore, including the Merlion, the durian shaped Esplanade, the Marina Bay Sands and the countless skyscrapers.
Marina Bay was where the boats circled around to return to Clarke Quay, and because of this I felt that we had a little more time snap our pictures, or just enjoy the views. Despite having to retrace our steps things were not repetitive. The informative video being played continued to point out landmarks that we missed on our way to Marina Bay.
Throughout the cruise we were met with the various old and new building, but another eye-catching factor along the river are the various bridges and bronze statues. Most of the bridges were named after important figures of Singapore history and each had a significant story attached.
And one last memorable sight I saw on the river cruise were the various bronze statues along the river. The particular bronze sculpture picture above shows little (naked) boys jumping into the river. We were informed by the handy video that this was an exact replication of what actually occurred in the past. The river used to be a place for kids (or people in general) to play and swim.
The Singapore River Cruise was definitely a great start for us to get to know this city and familiarize ourselves with this terrible weather. If you can’t tell by now I was not a big fan of the heat.