Whenever we go to Singapore’s Boat Quay, we are always struck by the beauty of the place. Located on the southern bank of the upstream portion of the Singapore River, Boat Quay is a place of historical importance that dates back to the 1860s. Though Boat Quay no longer plays any role in the aquatic trade, the old structures have been preserved carefully. At present, this place offers plentiful of entertainment facilities and several restaurants and eateries.
What’s the History of Singapore’s Boat Quay?
Knowing the past of a place helps us to understand it better and how it has evolved to what it is today. Since 1819, the Singapore River was a busy place that remained abuzz with several economic and trading activities. The southern bank of this river where most of these activities happened was (and still is) called Boat Quay.
During the 1820s, the area of Boat Quay that was swampy in nature was rebuilt with the earth of a little hill, where the then Commercial Square was situated. The place in those days was occupied by traders from the neighbourhood. Today, this place is home to Raffles Place.
As designated by Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore, the construction of Singapore Boat Quay was finished in 1842. Mostly Chinese labourers and traders in large numbers made this place their home. Boat Quay flourished at a rapid pace. The volume of trade that occurred at the Boat Quay even exceeded that of the northern bank where the traders from Europe had their offices.
In those days, Boat Quay was the location where Singapore’s most important trading offices were situated. At the busiest hours, bumboats would struggle to get a space at Boat Quay. Coolies carried goods from the ships, while the traders were busy buying and selling varied items like tin, rubber, steel, coffee, rice and some other manufactured merchandise.
However, the fortune of Singapore Boat Quay took a plunge during the 1960s when the introduction of mechanisation and computerised systems took over its leading role in the aquatic trade. With the opening of technology driven Pasir Panjang in September 1983, the river trade at Boat Quay took a beating. From there, it was a journey downhill. However, the Urban Redevelopment Authority prepared a plan in 1986 to preserve Boat Quay.
On July 1989, the two and three-storey shop houses of Singapore Boat Quay were preserved, along with their upper floors that had a unique projection. These shop houses were converted into businesses based on certain new ideas. During the 1990s, the shop houses and go downs were restored. These are now locations of busy restaurants, shops and eateries– an indispensable part of the Singapore nightlife.
Boat Quay and its role in the Singapore Nightlife
Today, a lot of people love the restaurants, shops and eateries of Singapore Boat Quay, which offer abundant facilities of entertainment. People can easily escape from the mundane life once they stepped into the regions of Boat Quay. The natural splendour of this place which is surrounded by a large aquamarine area is truly amazing, to say the least. Boat Quay is the ideal stage to have an exciting yet hassle-free night out. It goes without saying that the Singapore nightlife has something or the other for all. You will literally be spoilt for choice while deciding what to do and where to go on your night out at this place.