Emerald Hill


A few weeks back, I was looking for a place to grab a beer with some friends visiting in Singapore. Someplace casual, easy to access, and not (too) expensive… so I scratched my head… and thought of Emerald Hill !!

I don’t know whether you are familiar with this area, but to me the first time I went there was really a good surprise and it has been one of my favourite spots in Singapore ever since.

Contrasted Singapore

Contrasts of Old & New Singapore

The first great thing about Emerald Hill is that it’s super conveniently located just off Orchard Road. It’s a few steps away from Somerset MRT and the mall 313@Somerset.

The second great thing is that as soon as you turn into this uphill street you forget that you’re on Orchard Road! The place is peaceful, green, quiet… and it’s only shophouses and traditional Chinese mansions. It’s truly amazing, in all honesty!!

Emerald Hill

Atmosphere on Emerald Hill

There are a few outlets here, mainly bars and restaurants. Their deco is also really nice. The one on the picture above is traditional Chinese with red lanterns lit, but there are also more Westernised places like Que Pasa, a Spanish tapas bar with a really wide selection of wines. I personnally like Que Pasa, with a quiet alfresco area, and a quaint deco inside, with wine bottles on the wall and authentic wooden tables…

Emerald Hill evening sky

Clear skies tonight

Overall, Emerald Hill is a good spot when you feel like trying something else for an evening out in Singapore. Clarke Quay and Club Street are great nightlife spots, but I feel after a while you sort of grow out of it…

I would strongly recommend Emerald Hill for a relaxing night out. However if you prefer sitting outside, it’s usually quite crowded so you should go there early!

Green Emerald HillGreen Singapore at night

Isn’t it nice to keep discovering hidden places… sometimes you think you’ve seen it all, and yet a new place is just round the corner! 🙂

Clarke Quay and it’s history


For those of us who are interested in bars, clubs and parties, Singapore has a lot to offer too.

Of course, the first place the young people will tell you is : Clarke Quay!! Located by the Singapore river, Clarke Quay is overcrowded on Saturday and Wednesday nights (known as “Ladies’ night”, as girls can enter for free before midnight in some places). You might want to check out :

Bars : Chupitos for shots, Cuba Libre for great latino live music, Highlander for live hits, 7inch if you’re into rock music and like playing pool, Mulligan’s Irish pub for a pint, Indochine for a fun decoration and loud music… you can even have a shot of vodka in an ice bar in The Forbidden City! Worth a visit. Don’t worry, they lend you a jacket.

Night clubs : Attica if you are in the expat mood, Pump Room for live music, Le Noir for the French, Zirca if you’re into electro music and enjoy a young local crowd…

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This is Clarke Quay as we know it today. However there is a whole other story behind the place. Did you know that Clarke Quay played a major role in Singapore’s history?

Clarke Quay is where Sir Raffles disembarked when he first reached Singapore… on Feb 6th 1819! At that time, warehouses were built by the riverside so that European and Chinese merchants could store their goods in a safe place, which was also very conveniently located when merchandise needed to be transported on bumboats. Just try and picture how busy the river was 200 years ago…

The riverside area was then named “Clarke Quay” after Sir Andrew Clarke, Singapore’s second Governor in the 1870s. Later on, Clarke Quay became “Clarke Quay Festival Village” and underwent works to become what we see of it now, colourful disney-like shophouses…

Personally, I don’t really think the “new” Clarke Quay is very charming. However, Singapore still made an effort to keep some trace of her past by keeping the warehouses instead of having them demolished. And I truly believe we should be grateful for that!!