FOUR HOURS IN SIN­GA­PORE

Jeremy Tredin­nick criss­crosses the Sin­ga­pore River along Boat, Clarke and Robert­son Quays

Business Traveller (Asia-Pacific) - - CONTENTS -

Quay spots to visit on ei­ther side of the Sin­ga­pore River

1 ASIAN CIVIL­I­SA­TIONS MU­SEUM

Start on Boat Quay out­side the Fuller­ton Ho­tel, a grand colon­naded ed­i­fice near the mouth of the Sin­ga­pore River that was once the city-state’s Gen­eral Post Of­fice but is now an iconic luxury ho­tel. Cross the pedes­trian bridge to the left bank of the river and an­other huge Bri­tish colo­nial build­ing stands ahead of you, home to the Asian Civil­i­sa­tions Mu­seum. This 14,000 sqm repos­i­tory of his­tory fo­cuses on the many an­ces­tral cul­tures of Sin­ga­pore’s mul­ti­eth­nic pop­u­la­tion. More than 1,300 arte­facts are dis­played from all cor­ners of the con­ti­nent – it’s a fas­ci­nat­ing in­sight into Sin­ga­pore’s rich her­itage. Open daily 10am7pm; tel +65 6332 7798; acm.org.sg

2 ART-2 GALLERY AND FORT CAN­NING PARK

Follow the river­front prom­e­nade up­stream for five min­utes, un­der El­gin Bridge and onto Hill Street, where the old po­lice sta­tion has been turned into an arts and cul­ture cen­tre. Here you’ll find Art-2 Gallery, which spe­cialises in con­tem­po­rary sculpture, paint­ings and ce­ram­ics, with bold ex­hi­bi­tions from re­gional artists fea­tured reg­u­larly.

Right be­hind the build­ing Fort Can­ning Park spreads out over ris­ing ground. Stam­ford Raf­fles built his home atop the hill, which later be­came the Bri­tish Army’s Fort Can­ning bar­racks. Criss­crossed by walk­ing trails shaded by enor­mous old trees – from banyans to kapoks and ter­aps – the park is both nat­u­ral re­treat and his­tor­i­cal gold mine. There’s an old Chris­tian ceme­tery, the shrine of Sul­tan Iskan­dar Shah, and Fort Can­ning Arts Cen­tre is a venue for many out­door events, from bal­let to mu­sic fes­ti­vals.

Art-2 Gallery open Mon­daySatur­day 11am-7pm; 140 Hill Street; tel +65 6338 8713; art2.com.sg

3 CLARKE QUAY

Exit the park from one of its south­west gates and cross River Val­ley Road – you’ll find your­self in Clarke Quay’s main en­ter­tain­ment, din­ing and nightlife mall. The river­side area on both sides of the wa­ter was once a bustling com­mer­cial district with shop­houses and godowns (ware­houses for mer­chan­dise) lin­ing the wa­ter­front and al­ley­ways. These were re­de­vel­oped and spruced up, and now play host to a glit­ter­ing ar­ray (es­pe­cially at night) of restau­rants, bars, night­clubs and re­tail out­lets. You can cross the wa­ter via the pedes­tri­anised Read Bridge (Malacca Bridge) but the north side has more than enough op­tions to keep you busy. Most places open around noon, and keep go­ing un­til the early hours.

4 HONG SAN SEE TEM­PLE

Back on River Val­ley Road, turn left and catch a cab for the short ride north­west to the Hong San See Tem­ple in Mo­hamed Sul­tan Road. A tran­quil break from the mod­ern plea­sures of the quay dis­tricts, this un­pre­ten­tious Bud­dhist tem­ple is more than 100 years old, set on a small, feng

shui- friendly hill, and com­prises tra­di­tional build­ings set around court­yards with colour­ful stat­ues. Des­ig­nated a na­tional mon­u­ment in 1978, it is a model of good cul­tural con­ser­va­tion. Open daily 7am-6pm; 29 Mo­hamed Sul­tan Road.

5 THE WARE­HOUSE HO­TEL

It’s time to cap off your ex­plo­ration with a re­fresh­ing drink or de­li­cious meal. Head south down Mo­hamed Sul­tan Road and left onto Sai­boo Street, cross the bridge over Robert­son Quay and on the river­side to the right you’ll see an at­trac­tive white build­ing that blends Sin­ga­pore’s his­tory with mod­ern luxury hos­pi­tal­ity. The Ware­house Ho­tel, which opened in Jan­uary this year, is a con­verted 19th-cen­tury godown that clev­erly com­bines in­dus­trial and her­itage aes­thet­ics with hip, lux­u­ri­ous com­fort in its cav­ernous lobby bar and lounge and re­laxed restau­rant Po. De­pend­ing on the time of day and your ap­petite, ei­ther sip one of the ho­tel’s imag­i­na­tively cu­rated cock­tails, or sit down for a hearty meal of clas­sic Sin­ga­porean spe­cial­i­ties cooked with an eye on au­then­tic­ity – it’s old-style lo­cal com­fort food el­e­vated to fine­din­ing stan­dards. 320 Have­lock Road; tel +65 6828 0000; the­ware­house­ho­tel.com

72

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.