A stroll along Singapore River and one will be enchanted by the beauty and rich history of the river. This is another favourite place frequently visited by an artist to capture the bumboats cruising along the river and under the sunray filtered through the old trees along the bank of the river.
Since 1960 Singapore watercolour artist Loy Chye Chuan has been capturing the scenes at Singapore River and painting it passionately through the decades, he loves the allure of Singapore river and it remains one of his favourite scenes to paint.
Some of the historical buildings like Fullerton Hotel (previously the General Post Office Building) and National Gallery are located within a short walking distance from Singapore River.
Singapore River is the heart of the city.
Originally, the entrance to the river was once the Port of Singapore. Throughout the history of Singapore, the river is where all the hustle and bustle of the city revolves around. The port was the centre of the city’s main trade, commerce as well as finance, which resulted in growth around the port as well. Like the heart of the city, the river pumps and transports in trades and finance needed for the developing country to grow and flourish. In the past, the river was always chocked full of sampans, lighters, tongkangs as well as bumboats. Hawkers and vegetable sellers would squat by the river to carry out their daily barters. However, the river got polluted from the build-up of waste produced by these daily businesses. As a result, the government had to issue a massive clean-up of the river from 1977 to 1987. Presently, the river is a prominent landmark that helps with the sustainability of Singapore’s water supply while providing the citizens with a spot for sports leisure.
Singapore river bears the witness of how Singapore went under British colonial ruling as well as the Japanese occupation before gaining their rightful independence in 1965. It now narrates the great tale of Singapore’s history and development over the years, from a tiny fishing port to a prosperous bustling city.