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Published August 19th 2016
Then Treat Yourself to Afternoon Tea at The Fullerton Hotel
I love the eclectic mix of architecture in the city of Singapore; towering skyscrapers, gravity defying building designs, a boat atop three towers, man-made trees that simulate photosynthesis and classic British Colonial buildings. The skyline is a visual feast.
Here's a lovely, self-guided walk you can do, along the Singapore River, to take in some of Singapore's most famous colonial buildings.
The weather is most likely to be steamy, so wear a hat and take a bottle of water to drink along the way. Allow at least an hour, then time for afternoon tea.
Head towards the river and down the steps where you should turn right. One of the first things you are likely to see is a collection of bronze figures known as 'The River Merchants'. It's a sculpture by Singaporean artist, Aw Tee Hong, and depicts the scene of a prominent merchant negotiating with a Chinese trader and a Malay chief, while Indian and Chinese coolies load goods onto a bullock cart.
I've been told of a requirement whereby each new building in Singapore City must incorporate artwork into its design. I'm not sure if this is fact but the claim is certainly supported by a plethora of visual treats all around the city. You'll see lots more as you walk along the river.
Close by is The Fullerton Hotel, built in 1928 and used to house the General Post Office, Inland Revenue Authority, and other government offices. It opened as a hotel in 2001 and it offers a sumptuous buffet each evening as well as delightful afternoon tea each day.
Just across the Cavanagh Bridge is The Asian Civilizations Museum. Designed in the 1860s as government offices, it was renamed in the early 20th century in honour of Queen Victoria. It houses over 13,000 artefacts, and explores the history of the Singapore's various original cultures.
The Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall was originally built as the Town Hall in 1862, and is now home to the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.
Just outside the main door stands what is arguably the most famous sculpture in Singapore. It's another version of Sir Stamford Raffles and it was originally located just across the road in the middle of Padang. Apparently, it cost $20,446.10, an astronomical price in 1887 when it was first unveiled. It was moved here in 1919 during the 100th-year celebration of Modern Singapore.
The Padang is home to the Singapore Cricket Club and was, in fact, set out in Raffles' Town Plan of 1822 as a recreation area. The Padang's most important feature, however, is City Hall, where first Prime Minister of independent Singapore, Mr Lee Kuan Yew was sworn into office. Now the National Art Gallery in 2015.
There's a fantastic restaurant on the fifth floor called Aura. Definitely worth a visit if you have an evening free. Oh, and make sure you book a table at the Skylounge for an after dinner drink. The view of the city lights is magical.
Along the road from The National Gallery, opposite The Padang, is Saint Andrew's Cathedral, the country's largest.