Raffles Place in Singapore

Singapore Attractions

raffles-place-1000Raffles Place and its environs, situated right outside the entrance of Raffles Place MRT, are now occupied by skyscrapers such as the UOB Plaza and OUB Building. It is Singapore’s business and financial centre, and is often known as the Central Business District. From the viewing room on the 28th floor of UOB Plaza One, which is open to the public, you can get a spectacular view of Singapore River, the civic district and its colonial structures and Boat Quay. Still there are some reminders left from when Singapore was a bustling colonial outpost.

Change Alley was the street where Indian money changers ran their businesses; today the Alley is tucked inside OUB Building but you can still change your foreign currencies and travellers cheques here. Further south along the waterfront is Lau Pa Sat, a Victorian-styled cast-iron structure that used to house a wet market. Now, it’s a lively hawker centre with stalls that sell arts and crafts and show cultural performances.

Raffles Hotel and Museum

raffles05Raffles Hotel, a legendary property, consisted of only a few bungalows when it first opened in 1887. Nowadays it offers 103 suites with 65 boutiques and stores, as well as food and beverage outlets in the hotel’s arcades. The Raffles Museum is probably the highlight for none-hotel guests. It is a must for history buffs as the museum exhibits many period items from 1880 to 1939 including silver, china, letters and postcards plus many 19th century photographs of Singapore and Southeast Asia. The fabulous colonial-style hotel was built by four Armenian brothers (Martin, Tigran, Aviet, and Arshak Sarkies) and since its inception has weathered some difficult times including the Great Depression and WWII. Its biggest restoration was undertaken around 1989 and when it reopened in 1991 the hotel looked as elegant as it was in its early days.

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