What better way to explore a city than by water?
The history of a place always seems to come to the waterfront and Singapore is no exception. We have stopped over here for a couple of days on our way to New Zealand, making something of what would have been an enforced change of planes in any case.
Singapore's old centre of trade
We are staying in the very swish Fairmont Hotel with a view over the iconic Raffles Hotel, where we sampled a very acceptable (any expensive) Gin Sling in the Long Bar. Well, you have to don't you?
Life is better by water.....
We always seem to gravitate towards a boat trip when we reach a new city. It is a very natural way to get a feel for the lie of the land and often a good way to get a grasp of the historical overview. Our first attempt at picking up a local Bum Boat was not a success, but when we made it to Marina Bay we found that a handful of river trip boats were running so we took the 40 minute tour.
And even better with beer....
The colonial roots of Singapore show through in spite of its uber contemporary modern face. The relics of the old trading wharfs stand in stark contrast to the modern high rise financial district, but of course they are all just a part of a continuum of trade which runs from the days it was an outpost of the East India Trading Co through to its status of a regional financial centre today. Nice to see HSBC very present on the waterfront, even if the tower block isn't the highest.
Kind of mini Manhattan
Anyway, here are a few views from the water - and not a narrowboat in sight.