Singapore Chinatown District
The riverside dominates the landscape of Singapore and what was the once the heart of trading and mercantile activity is now a centre of recreation and rest; being home to a plethora of bars, restaurants and cafes. This was not always the case. Rapid urban development that began in the 1950s turned the river into a giant sewer, killing all plant and animal life in the waterway.
To rectify this, the government began a very successful cleanup and restoration project that brought the old wharf buildings at Boat Quay, Clarke Quay and Robertson Quay back to their former glory.
To get an insight into this part of Singapore’s history, it is advisable to visit the Asian Civilisations’ Museum, which has a section that relates the story of the river and its subsequent cleanup which has made it one of the most pleasant riverside settings in any city in the world today.