The Clarke Quay is a very popular place for long strolls and city recreation. Named after Singapore's second governor Andrew Clarke, who ruled here in the middle of the 19th century, it used to be a loud trading wharf, along which Chinese warehouses and docks were located. Hundreds of barges, loading and unloading various goods, were moored at Clarke Quay daily.
A century and a half later, the now-independent Singapore’s town planners decided to turn the former trading wharf Clarke Quay into a respectable city quarter. The former port's dock buildings were turned into fashionable boutiques and restaurants, while the ships and boats that were moored at the Clarke Quay coast were turned into floating cafes and bars, featuring live music. Since then, the quay has become a favorite promenade for the city’s locals and their numerous guests.
It is possible and desirable to take a turn here at any hour of the day or night. Most of the Clarke Quay’s territory is equipped with air-conditioners, meaning that the usual Singapore midday heat doesn’t prevent from guests from seeing the peculiar buildings that stand on both sides of the quay, or from visiting the countless handicraft and souvenir shops. However, most tourists come to Clarke Quay in the evening, when it sparkles in the light from the dozens of shops, bars and nightclubs, offering entertainments to fit any taste. Guests can rest and relax in any one of the many cafes or restaurants, enjoying dishes from Singapore's varied cuisine, or simply walk along the quay admiring the panoramas of a city decorated by its evening lights.
There is an observation area on the quay that has a capacity for 300 people, providing breathtaking views of the almost 9-meter-high statue of Singapore's symbol Merlion, as well as of the picturesque Marina Bay with the Fullerton Singapore Hotel and Esplanade Theatre’s buildings, which are located on its coast. One of Clarke Quay’s many attractions is the ride G-Max Reverse Bungy, which was created by extreme sports fanatics: special ropes, stretched between two giant towers, shoot a capsule with three passengers on board up to a height of 60 meters at a speed of 200 km\h.
However, strolls are not the only thing to do at the Clarke Quay. Several moorages are kitted out along the river, as the pleasure boats offering amusing water tours depart from them every half an hour. It is possible to start a mini-cruise from any spot along the quay. In addition to the fun and enjoyment, these ‘river trams’ are a convenient mode of public transportation.
On Sundays, a flea market operates from Clarke Quay.