Raffles' Landing Site, Singapore

Raffles' Landing Site, Singapore (must see)

The statue of Singapore's founder, Sir Stamford Raffles, reportedly marks the spot where he set foot on the island for the first time, on the northern bank of the Singapore River, which today serves as the Civic Precinct accommodating governmental buildings, a concert hall, galleries, and museums – in all, a very different experience from the Boat Quay on the opposite bank.

For someone who had spent a very limited time in Singapore, Raffles had an extraordinary influence on its development. His name appears everywhere in the city nowadays, but his impact extends way beyond the civic commemoration. The streets you walk in the city center still largely follow the original plans that he drew. The ethnic districts, still evident today, particularly in the case of Little India, were all demarcated by him as well. Even the classic shop-house design – built of brick, with a central courtyard for light, ventilation and water collection – has been attributed to Sir Raffles either. More importantly, Singapore’s very existence as one of the world’s great ports is a direct consequence of Raffles’s vision to set up a British trading post here, thus countering the Dutch power in the region.

Having stepped ashore on the northern bank of the Singapore River in 1819, when the place was just an unwelcoming swampland and a tiger-infested jungle, Raffles recognized the island’s potential and immediately struck a treaty with Abdul Rahman, chieftain of Singapore and subordinate of the Sultan of Johor, to establish a British trading station. The Dutch were furious at this British incursion into what they perceived their territory. Realizing that the sultan’s loyalties to the Dutch would make the final approval of his deal impossible, Raffles approached the sultan’s brother, Hussein, recognized him as His Highness the Sultan, and concluded a second treaty with both him and the chieftain. As a result, the Union Jack was raised and Singapore’s future as a trading post was thus set. With its duty-free stance and strategic position at the gateway to the South China Sea, Singapore experienced a meteoric expansion, as the Chinese, Indians and Europeans arrived in search of work and commercial opportunities. By 1860 the population of Singapore had reached 80,000, the most numerous of them being Southern Chinese immigrants. By the end of the century, the opening of the Suez Canal and the advent of the steamship had consolidated Singapore’s position as the hub of international trade in the region.

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Singapore, Singapore within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Raffles' Landing Site on Map

Sight Name: Raffles' Landing Site
Sight Location: Singapore, Singapore
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Singapore, Singapore

Create Your Own Walk in Singapore

Create Your Own Walk in Singapore

Creating your own self-guided walk in Singapore is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Souvenir Shopping

Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave Singapore without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Singapore, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.7 Km or 3.5 Miles
Shopping Areas Walking Tour of Singapore

Shopping Areas Walking Tour of Singapore

Singapore being a melting pot of Asian nations, you can pick up stuff from all across Asia here. This self-guided tour will take you through pedestrian shopping plazas, historical shop-houses in Chinatown and local ethnic markets. Enjoy!

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 Km or 2.7 Miles
Romantic Singapore Walking Tour

Romantic Singapore Walking Tour

Singapore is both romantic and exotic. With its multicultural population it offers great cuisine. Due to its location, its seascape and cityscape are unique and make Singapore an absolutely romantic place. Enjoy romantic and intimate moments by visiting the places mentioned in this self-guided tour:

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 Km or 2.2 Miles
Singapore: Chinatown Walking Tour

Singapore: Chinatown Walking Tour

The Chinese make up a majority of the population in Singapore. Chinatown is, therefore, a district full of valuable historical and architectural monuments. There are Chinese, Hindu and Moslem places of worship in this locality. There are also many wonderful shop-houses that sell exotic items to be found nowhere else. This self-guided tour will take you through the most popular places in...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 Km or 0.9 Miles
Singapore: Colonial District National Monuments Walking Tour

Singapore: Colonial District National Monuments Walking Tour

The Colonial District was founded by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles on the east bank of the Singapore River. There are monuments that are recognized all over the world as symbols of Singapore and they evoke the city-state's rich historical past. This self-guided tour will lead you to the most famous national monuments of the Colonial District:

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Singapore Introduction Walk

Singapore Introduction Walk

For centuries, the island city-state of Singapore has been a melting pot of Asian cultures: Chinese, Indian, Malay and Arab, prompting men and women from various parts of the continent to come and make it their home. Legacy of that fusion lives on today in the harmony of a multicultural society, making Singapore a one of a kind tourist destination which offers visitors a truly unforgettable...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 Km or 2.6 Miles

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