Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Singapore River

[Sunday April 11--] The Singapore River runs through the central downtown area of Singapore.  It is a very short stretch of water, and in previous times was a central center of commerce, mostly conducted on small river boats.  Ferrys oared from the stern by boatsmen conducted passengers from the south side of the river to the north side, where most of the banks and other commerce buildings were located, by design.  A pedestrian bridge was built in the late 1800's.
With the influx of migrants into Singapore and its commercial growth, the river suffered greatly, and by the mid 1900s had become a polluted water with an intolerable stench.  The Singapore government recognized the need to clean up the river, and established a 10 year effort in 1982 to achieve this goal.  The reform required closing the river to the boats and ferrys, which has of course lost its old world charm and character.  A subsequent project to close off the river to create a cachement for fresh water, a precious resource for Singapore, will complete in 2012.
The river now has a trendy walkway along the river, with popular attractions and buildings along Boat Quay, Robertson's Quay, and Clarke's Quay.  There are bronzes along the walkway, and the Asian Civilisations Museum looks out  across the river, as well as the Fulton Hotel (previously the post office).

Robertson Bridge, Singapore River.  The Esplanade (performing arts theatre is in the background).  Although I haven't seen the water clear, the river is a particularly brownish color on this day I think because of rain storms that have brought down murky water.

The Asian Civilisations Museum (behind the trees)

A bronze artwork-- "Chinese Merchants"

Bronze artwork

Bronze artwork-- skinny dipping on the river

The Fulton Hotel.  This building was previously the Singapore post office

Our carriage await us... (somebody's, anyway--  Rolls Royce)

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