on June 19, 2013
One of the major historical hot spots in Singapore is an area known as Boat Quay. It has become the place for visitors to go for a night out on the town, as it's literally brimming with bars, clubs and restaurants serving both local and International cuisines.Located right on the waterfront of the Singapore River, it's flanked by bars and clubs on one side, and floating restaurant boats on the other side. A canopy of umbrellas above the narrow lane through the quay provided shelter during the short bursts of rainfall which poured down while I ambled along. I was looking for an appealing bar to grab a cold beverage as I was feeling rather sticky. Singapore in the middle of the monsoon season was an interesting experience, with showers one minute, and an oppressive humid heat following immediately after.Along the Quay, there were countless restaurants both on the land side and on the many converted Tongkangs docked along the waterfront. A Tongkang is a small non-motorized cargo boat, similar to that of a Chinese Junk Ship. These ships had been remodeled to house various restaurants with a nautical atmosphere. Most of the floating restaurants were well decorated, clean and had strings of chinese laterns hanging from the ceilings. Waiters dressed in black slacks and white dress shirts stood at the entrance of each restaurant, gesturing for people passing by to step inside. Intrigued, I checked several of the menus which were displayed outside of each establishment. However, a quick inquiry as to the prices had me changing my mind. The costs were at least twice the price of similar dishes just around the corner in China Town!Continuing along, I passed many glass aquariums with live lobsters and other sea creatures, apparently awaiting their chance for a one way ticket to a steaming pot. Glancing about, I noticed that there were many bars around, most with bar stools or tiny tables and chairs set up outside on the wide sidewalk. Several were even on the cobbled lane on which I was walking. Some of the bars had live entertainers, whose voices blasted over sound systems, singing words I failed to understand due to the language barrier. Regardless of this, the voices were quite pleasant to my ears and the beats were quite catching.Finally I came upon a festive place called the BQ Bar, which had quite a number of patrons. The view of the river was also quite nice, so I grabbed a seat and ordered a Kiwi Martini for about $10 SGD. The drink was well made, cold and served its purpose of offering a temporary reprieve from the heat.Boat Quay is a great place to take a stroll and enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city, while being treated to lovely views of the Singapore River. My afternoon and evening were well spent, and I will return if my journeys ever lead me to the Lion City in the future.
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