August 24, 2014

Singapore River - Esplanade to Queenstown

Anderson Bridge in front of Fullerton Hotel
The Singapore River is steeped in history. We have walked this route a number of times in both directions from the mouth of the river to Queenstown where the source of the river is a covered monsoon drain. On one occasion I dropped my bus pass here at the beginning of the walk. By the time I reached Marina Bay, I got a call that my bus pass was found (I did not even know I dropped it) and to contact the finder. Thank you Mr. Oon.

Starting from the mouth of the river one could see the Civic District on the right and the financial district on the left bank. Some of these are the old and new Parliament House, Supreme Court, City Hall and the newly renovated Victoria Theatre.

Asian Civilisations Museum
Headquarters of local and foreign banks paint the sky with their logos and they get free publicity during National Day and Formula One Races as these are televised on such occasions.

Empress Place
In front of the Fullerton Hotel (formerly the General Post Office) is the Cavenagh Bridge. What is interesting about this pedestrian bridge is a sign forbidding crossing by cattle and horses - a hint of the past mode of transportation.

The first building we passed was the Asian Civilisations Museum ACM (free entry for locals). It used to house the Immigration Department in the '70s. The statue of Sir Stamford Raffles used to be between here and the Victoria Theatre. On this walk we noted the statue was at a different location near the former Parliament House with his back to the river. It was supposed to mark the location where Raffles landed in 1819.

Cavenagh Bridge
There used to be a hawker centre in front of the ACM (formerly called Empress Place Building) where office workers would have their breakfast and lunch. I used to stop by here for my beef noodles before going to work.

On the left bank (relative to our walking direction) are the eateries of Boat Quay. Soon we passed the new Parliament House and then through the underpasses below North Bridge Road and Eu Tong Sen Street.

Site of first landing of Sir Stamford Raffles
Clark Quay
We soon arrived at Clarke Quay. It was relatively quiet at this time and would come to life late in the  afternoon and evening. There were a sprinkling of tourists wandering around who dare to brave the hot and humid atmosphere. Lots of F&B outlets here such as Brewerkz, Jumbo, Ba Ba Blacksheep, Zouk, etc.

Alexandra Canal
We followed the river upstream until the Zion Riverside Food Centre where we stopped for lunch. After that, our walk was more or less in a westerly direction along the river past Valley Point, Tanglin View and Tanglin Regency. At the Tanglin Regency the river was covered over with landscaped gardens. After crossing Tanglin Road, the canal is covered over the rest of the way.

Clark Quay
The canal is exposed just before Commonwealth Ave and here we turned right toward Margaret Drive. We walked along it past the Queenstown Public Library. We turned right at a road opposite Queensway Secondary School toward a footpath that led us to Ridout Road. Here we turned left and walked past a house with a guard post. We surmised that a VIP lived here. This road is lined with big bungalows sitting on huge ground. Ridout Road led us to Peirce Road and to Holland Road. Here we walked along Tyersall Road to Botanic Gardens and our final destination at the NUSSU Clubhouse.