The Singapore River planning area is home to some of the most iconic cultural sites in the country, and there is a lot of heritage to be found here. It has this reputation both locally and internationally. The area is situated at the heart of Clarke Quay, which is a popular entertainment precinct that is located next to the river. The proposed development will be located on the fringe of the Central Business District. The River Valley Road will connect the development to the Central Expressway. It is also close to two MRT stations – Fort Canning on the Downtown Line and Clarke Quay on the North East Line. There is an overhead pedestrian bridge from the property that goes directly to Fort Canning Park, an historical landmark that is located on top of a hill.
The Singapore River runs all the way through the middle of the city of Singapore. There is a district around the waterway which is known for its bars and nightclubs. This area is also considered a tourist hotspot and most of the activity is centered around Clarke Quay, Robinson Quay and Boat Quay. These areas are in the south of the city, along with the Central Business District. In the north of the city you will find Old Singapore which has a variety of Victorian era buildings.
The Singapore River has always had an important role to play in the growth of the city. It has been an important trade route from the time that people began to settle in the area, and within the last few hundred years industry in the city has grown around the river. This means there are several landmarks that stand beside the river. You can see these by walking along the riverbank, or if you are feeling more adventurous then you can hire a speedboat.
Clarke Quay has also had a big role to play in commerce within Singapore. It is located further upstream than Boat Quay, which is considered to be a more historical area. Clarke Quay is named after the governor who ruled the British Straits Settlement. There were warehouse and cargo boats to be found in this area for more than one hundred and fifty years. There are not many reminders of the past still present in the area today, but it is still a center of commerce.
Hundreds of years ago the area was used by seamen and traders. Today you are more likely to find party goers that are enjoying the nightlife and tourists that have come for the shopping.
There are several department stores in the neighbourhood, but the biggest of these is the Central Shopping Mall. There are five storeys in the mall which are set over 19,000 square meters. It is located above the Clarke Quay MRT station which makes it very easy to travel to.
There are more than 150 retailers within this complex and you will find every kind of shop that you could want here. The design of the mall is Japanese themed and this makes it very distinctive. The Central Singapore River Market takes place every weekend and the promenade becomes full of arts and crafts stalls.
Clarke Quay proper is located on the other side of the riverbank. This is where you will find all the hot-spots for drinking, dining and clubbing. The area is fairly quiet during the day, but then really gets going at nighttime. The warehouses that remain here have all been transformed into bars, clubs and even ice-cream parlors.
If you are a fan of Asian cuisine, then you will be spoiled for choice as the restaurants here serve everything from Chinese and Japanese to Korean and Vietnamese. If this is not really your thing, then there are also steakhouse and BBQ joints you can try. Singapore Hooters is also located in Clarke Quay. People travelling from Germany are likely to find themselves feeling at home at the Paulener Beerhouse which is at the center of the Oktoberfest celebrations.
If you consider yourself to be something of a thrill seeker, then you will enjoy the reverse bungee thrill ride. This is the only ride of its kind in the city. It is probably not a good idea to do it after you have just eaten your dinner. If you want to enjoy a drink after you have finished your meal, then there are a good selection of themed bars to choose from – including Irish and Cuban.
If you are looking for somewhere to dance the night away, then all musical tastes are covered. The Arena is the best place for R&B and hip-hop, while the Shangai Dolly caters for mandopop. If blues, rock and folk is more your thing, then you should head to the Crazy Elephant. For great live acts you need to visit Grand Hollywood and the PlayHouse has a great caberet act, although this is somewhat risqué. If you want to party right through until the early hours then Attica and Attica Too are the places to be.
There are some people who find the fact that Clarke Quay is so busy a bit overwhelming. There are many hotels in the area and so the bars and restaurants can get quite full of tourists as well as local residents.
A good way to enjoy the atmosphere of Clarke Quay while still retaining a bit of distance is to take a river cruise that leaves from the quay. As you sail away in your boat you can still enjoy the way the lights from the bars and clubs illuminate the sky, but it will be a lot more peaceful.