Boat quay is a historical quay in singapore which is situated upstream from the mouth of the Singapore River on its southern bank. Since the founding of modern Singapore in 1819, the Singapore River was the artery for much of the island’s trade and economic activities. The south bank of the river, where most of the commerce took place, is known as Boat Quay. As early as 1822, Sir Stamford Raffles had already designated the area south of the river.
To be developed as a chinese settlement. boat quay was completed in 1842 and the chinese, mostly traders and labourers, settled there in large numbers. Conditions were squalid but Boat Quay flourished, rapidly exceeding in volume the trade on the north bank where the Europeans had their offices, houses and government buildings It was the busiest part of the old Port of Singapore, handling three quarters of all shipping business during the 1860s. Because the south of the river here resembles the.
Belly of a carp, which according to chinese belief is where wealth and prosperity lay, many shophouses were built, crowded into the area. Though serving aquatic trade is no longer Boat Quay’s primary role, the shophouses on it have been carefully conserved and now house various bars, pubs and restaurants. Therefore Boat Quay’s socialeconomic role in the city has shifted away from that of trade and maritime commerce, and now leans towards more of a role accommodated for tourism and aesthetics.