Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Singapore River (Robertson Quay Edition)

Previously, I have written about the Singapore River, a historical canal that used to be a trading port and became a full tourist attraction after the River Clean Up which you can read more on right over here. Although I have already written about the Singapore River, you may be thinking, why would I write it again? That's because the previous article talked more about Boat Quay and Clarke Quay. Singapore River is divided into three sections which are Boat Quay, Clarke Quay and Robertson Quay. The only section missing from that previous article was Robertson Quay which I am going to talk about in this article. So sit tight, and scroll down to read more about my adventures along the Robertson Quay of the Singapore River.

The Boat Quay Area

Before I talk about Robertson Quay, I reached here by bus so I had to pass by the bridge that divided Boat Quay and Clarke Quay. I took the opportunity and snapped this great photo of the skyscrapers at the Central Business District and the shophouses that are located at the Boat Quay area of the Singapore River. You can check out more photos of the Boat Quay area by checking out the original Singapore River article I wrote last year.

Beautiful Christmas Decorations

After snapping the picture of the Boat Quay, I still have not reached Robertson Quay but Clarke Quay instead. When I was there, it was still the Christmas season so the Christmas decorations at Central Mall were still up. What I did was take a picture of it and here it is. You can see the beautiful figures standing and some other life sized Christmas ornaments on display.

Getting to Robertson Quay

After spending minutes walking from Central Mall, I have reached Robertson Quay, one of the sections of the Singapore River. I see that each Quay has its own unique character. Boat Quay is where you can find seafood restaurants and skyscrapers while Clarke Quay is where you will find the hottest nightclubs and bars. What about Robertson Quay? Let's find out. The picture above as you can see is Riverside Point, a shopping mall along the River. There are some restaurants on the outside and you can even head inside and see all the shops that are available at Riverside Point. If you're lucky, you may even find an ice cream stall near the Read Bridge where you can get delicious blocks of cooling ice cream to cool yourself off while enjoying the lovely view.

Going to Liang Court

Another shopping mall located near the Robertson Quay other than Riverside Point, is Liang Court. Liang Court is a shopping mall with a Japanese theme and has lots of Japanese related shops like Meidi-Ya supermarket and Books Kinokuniya bookstore. Other than those two, there is also a famed Singaporean electronics store, Audio House and other shops like Kopitiam and McDonald's. In order to get there, I used this temporarily-built bridge which was located after Riverside Point. This bridge was temporarily-built because of the realignment of the Singapore River due to construction of the upcoming Downtown MRT Line. People living in the Bukit Timah, Geylang Bahru and Kaki Bukit area can have easier access to Robertson Quay using the Downtown MRT Line which will open in the near future.

Back to the River

After checking out Liang Court, I went back to Robertson Quay of the Singapore River. Since they did a realignment of the River itself, I have decided to walk along a road called River Valley Road and continued after the bridge near the Liang Court. The picture above shows the view after reaching that bridge. It's beautiful isn't it? Instead of the usual shophouses, skyscrapers and tourist boats you see in Clarke Quay and Boat Quay, this part of the river has colourful hotels along with colourful HDB flats.

Shops along Robertson Quay

Of course, like other parts of Singapore River, there are shops like cafes, bars and restaurants here at Robertson Quay. When you walk along this pathway parallel to the River, you will find that it's quiet and peaceful. Plus, you can see all the happy people enjoying themselves at the shops. I also noticed that the buildings here look really unique and they don't look like a typical shophouse which you can find at the Boat Quay area. With the amount of trees available at this pathway, you may even mistake it for a public park.

Beautiful Sunset at Robertson Quay

When I walked a little bit further, I saw the sunset and the beautiful skies. It's a magnificent sight don't you think? Try to come to Robertson Quay around 6.30pm and you will be presented with this beautiful sight. Unless it's raining then you may not enjoy this view.

The Alkaff Bridge

Near the end of Robertson Quay, is a bridge that caught my attention. It's called the Alkaff Bridge and it's one of the bridges along the Singapore River. The Alkaff Bridge was built and it was made to look like a tongkang (a light boat). The Alkaff Bridge was first opened in 1999 and it was painted in the year 2004 by an artist called Pacita Abad. It is also known as Singapore's Bridge of Art. With the amount of colours, coloured circles and various patterns, it's no wonder that this bridge is one of the most beautiful and eye-catching bridges along the Singapore River. Plus, I even crossed this bridge to get to the other side of the river and it looks even more beautiful on the inside. Even the bridge's railings at the entrance were intricately painted.

Crossing the Alkaff Bridge

The Alkaff Bridge looks even better when I actually walked on it. You can see the beautiful shape of the bridge along with the vibrant colours and patterns all around the bridge itself. As I was walking along the bridge, I also came across this 'badge' on the floor of the bridge that shows an illustration of the Alkaff Bridge with the words 'Singapore River' and 'Alkaff Bridge' capitalised. I'm not entirely sure if all the bridges along the Singapore River has this 'badge' but I may want to check the next time I pass by the Singapore River's bridges.

One Last Look

It's too bad that the Alkaff Bridge is a short one so crossing from one side of the River to the other side didn't take long. Here is one final view of the Alkaff Bridge before I made my way to the other side. Even at the other end, the bridge still looked beautiful and the colourful buildings along with the clear blue skies in the background make it look picturesque. I certainly would like to come to Robertson Quay again just to see this bridge. There is also another bridge along Robertson Quay that I want to check out called Jiak Kim bridge which is further up from the Alkaff Bridge nearer to Great World City. After crossing this bridge, it was time to head to the nearest bus stop and take the bus home.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, my visit to Robertson Quay along the Singapore River was a great one. I checked out a Japanese-themed shopping mall called Liang Court, I passed by unique-looking shophouses and crossed a very colourful bridge called the Alkaff Bridge. If you want to visit the Singapore River, do give Robertson Quay a visit too. Robertson Quay is where you can find lots of hotels, HDB flats and condominiums as opposed to Clarke Quay's nightclubs and Boat Quay's shophouses. Each Quay along the River has its own unique character. You can visit the ones that interest you or you can visit all of them and enjoy the scenic views of the River. If you want to see the rest of the Singapore River including Boat Quay and Clarke Quay, do give my previous article about the Singapore River a visit right over here.

Getting Here

Bus services available: 32, 195 (Bus stop along North Boat Quay opp. High Street Centre)

Nearest MRT Station: NE5 Clarke Quay MRT Station (North East Line)


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