A living museum of sorts, Boat Quay is situated at the start of the Singapore River. The area used to be filled with swamps and houses on rafts and sticks where locals would live, work, and trade. The founder of Singapore, Sir Stamford Raffles, in his grand vision for the city, developed the area by 1842 to become a settlement for Chinese labourers and merchants.
Some of Singapore’s most famous merchants and philanthropists came to work in Boat Quay, which became a bustling commercial hub. The shophouses and godowns which house restaurants and bars today used to hold grains, spices, coffee, rubber, and many other goods from all over the world. Turn your eyes skyward to see today’s economic activity in this city state: the sleek skyscrapers that provide a contrasting backdrop to the colourful shophouses along the river.
The river itself is an attraction not to be missed. Take a leisurely bumboat cruise up and down the river, or turn the experience into something more special with Float @ The Bay, a dinner and drinks cruise along the Singapore River and Marina Bay. If dinner on land is your preference, check out the many live seafood restaurants along the quay.
Beer lovers will appreciate Red Dot Brewery, one of the best-known names in Singapore’s microbrewery scene, with a drinks list that includes Monster Green Lager Beer, a crisp beverage that’s perfect for a balmy tropical evening – with the added Instagram-worthiness of being coloured bright green! If you’d like to keep the party going, head on to Canvas, an underground club and creative space where you’ll hear international and resident DJs spinning, and even catch some stand up comedy.