Until the early 19th century, Singapore was a scantly populated island, fringed by a few fishing villages with an interior of dense, impenetrable forest. Then Sir Stamford Raffles arrived and, realising its potential as an ideal hub for Asian trade and defense, set out to transform it.
In response to a number of suggestions, we’ve built a tour with a knowledgeable guide, which explores those earliest roots of colonisation that Raffles set in motion. It starts from the Fullerton Hotel Singapore which sits on the site of Fort Fullerton, one of the first fortifications built by the British around 1829 to guard the mouth of the Singapore River. From there, the walk meanders along a riverside route, taking in the series of iconic bridges and finally reaching the Downtown Core. Popularly known locally as the Central Business District, this is Singapore’s most historic area, with narrow streets and colonial-style architecture still very much in evidence. As well as numerous cafes, bars and shophouses, most of the major government offices are here, including the Supreme Court of Singapore and Parliament. The tour takes in some lesser known but equally fascinating attractions such as the Asian Civilizations Museum and the National Gallery Singapore, which its guests can visit with free admission.