I love walking. I think it’s the only form of physical exercise that I do these days. I loved walking in the streets of Hong Kong. And I definitely enjoyed walking around Singapore, especially in the river area. There were just so many places to visit and so much to see. The only problem I had was that I didn’t know how my mom would take this walking tour.
Note that we did not hire a travel agency for this walking tour. We just did it on our own and now I’m sharing how we did it — Do-It-Yourself style!
Honestly, this wasn’t my first time to do this walking-slash-sightseeing tour. I did it two years ago after dinner at Makansutra Gluttons’ Bay. After dinner I just noticed how pretty the entire place was and started walking aimlessly. I just followed the signs.
This time, I wanted to start the walk at Raffles Place because I never had a chance to visit this place the first time I was in Singapore. So here you go.
How to Get to Raffles Place
- Take the train heading to Harbourfront.
- Alight at Dhoby Ghaut Interchange.
- Transfer to the North South (NS) Line and take the train going to Marina Bay.
- Alight at Raffles Place Station.
- Take Exit A or Exit B.
Raffles Place, Fullerton Hotel and One Fullerton
Said to be the city-state’s central financial district, many key buildings in Singapore are in Raffles Place. The moment you come out of the train station, you’ll be welcomed by this futuristic sight although the exterior of the MRT Station adds a back-to-the-past twist.
- Find the Chevron House. You shouldn’t miss this building because there’s a big, blue signage in front of it.
- Enter the building through Change Alley.
- Walk through the alley and check out their shops and cafes. There are also several money changers here. (They have good rates, better than the one at the airport. Hehe.)
- At the end of Change Alley is Collyer Quay, adjacent Raffles Place. Follow the traffic and you’ll see the beautiful and topnotch Fullerton Hotel.
- Cross the street towards Fullerton Hotel. My mom and I just couldn’t help but take photos of the Fullerton Hotel from all angles almost endlessly. It’s just so magnificent.
- Enter the atrium of the Fullerton Hotel, to the basement and take the underpass. At first, I was afraid to enter, intimidated by the majestic design of the hotel. Apparently, people really enter the atrium to get to the other side of the street — One Fullerton.
- Enjoy the view at One Fullerton, a stretch of waterfront restaurants and cafe. You know you’re at the right place when you see the imposing and spectacular Marina Bay Sands.
- To your left, the Merlion Park! Enjoy!
Merlion Park, Esplanade and Makansutra Gluttons Bay
The Merlion Park and Esplanade are two of the most easily recognizable landmarks in Singapore. They also stand across each other, on the opposite sides of the rivers. As some of my friends say: You have not been to Singapore unless you have a pic of you at the Merlion Park. And it seems true because of the volume of people at the site. There are just so many tourists doing what most tourists do — take photos.
From the Merlion Park, our next stop was the Esplanade, the Durian-shaped buildings across the river. Here’s how to get there.
- From the Merlion Park, walk under the Esplanade Bridge (the flowery one) and go on until you see another bridge, the Anderson Bridge.
- Cross the Anderson Bridge and walk to the Esplanade Park. It’s that pocket of greens in the area. Walk across it and you’ll see this majestic building across the street — Supreme Court of Singapore.
- Walk back to the river, and then along it towards that durian-looking architectural beauty, the Esplanade.
- Once again, you’ll find yourself walking under the Esplanade Bridge where we saw several skater boys.
- Continue walking and you’ll see an outdoor theater to your right. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see a performance for free. First time I was here, there was a shadow dance. This time, there was a band preparing for a show. Enjoy.
- Walk farther and you’ll reach Makansutra Gluttons’ Bay, where you’ll see several food stalls offering Indian, Chinese, Southeast Asian (yes, there’s even one Pinoy stall here called “Mang Kiko’s Lechon”).
My mom and I had dinner at Makansutra. It was our first time to try Indian food. I liked it but my mom’s tastebuds took longer to adjust. After dinner, we saw an ice cream vendor and bought some. I remembered the Amazing Race featuring eating ice-cream Singapore-style in one of their episodes a few seasons ago. It was big and very tasty. S$1 each.
Asian Civilisations Museum, Raffles Landing Site, Boat Quay, Clark Quay
The Asian Civilisations Museum is one of the national museums of Singapore and it aims to promote the cultures and history of the many civilisations in Asia that compose Singapore’s multi-ethnic society. Well, that’s what their website said. Unfortunately for me, my mom didn’t like to enter coz she wasn’t really into history. Oh well, maybe next time. However, allow me to still share how to get there from Makansutra Gluttons’ Bay.
- Trace your steps back to the end of Anderson Bridge, right after Esplanade Park. From here you’ll see the Asian Civilisations Museum. Since it’s a museum, it might take some of your time. Allow an hour or two.
- Walk towards the river and you’ll find Stamford Raffles’ Statue. From here, walk your way to the Parliament House, Victoria Theater and Victoria Concert Hall. Be blown away by the architecture of these buildings.
- Walk back to the direction of the river again and cross the Cavenagh Bridge.
- Walk along the river until you reach Boat Quay. Here, you’ll find some sculptures by Fernando Botero, which will surely catch your attention. There are also a number of bars and restaurants here. (Booze!!!)
- Walk along the river until you see Elgin Bridge. Cross it.
- On the other side of the bridge, cross the South Bridge Road and once again walk along the river until you reach Clark Quay, which is also popular for numerous restaurants and the G Max Reverse Bungee.
We were supposed to go to Marina Bay Sands later that evening but my mom said she was too exhausted to go anywhere else. We just went back to our hotel and called it a night.