Learning about heritage is way better than beer. The Original Singapore Walks has a new tour. The new tour, The Tipple Exchange, takes one to a walk about some of the pubs along Boat Quay, and as part of the tour, one gets to drink three specialty drinks.
Even though I don't fancy alcoholic drink, the heritage part of it is attractive enough to get me to go for The Tipple Exchange. Emily was my company for the tour. We reached the meeting place, outside Exit B of Raffles Place MRT Station, before 6 p.m. I looked around for the guide and spotted a lady holding on to a brochure of The Original Singapore Walks. It turned out that she was the guide for the day indeed. I could sense a smile on my face for having spotted the guide: that meant the tour would be on! Of course, it would be.
We have a nice tour group consisting of the guide, two participants from Singapore (i.e. Emily and myself) and two other partipants from Germany. The tour began with the guide sharing about the rich history behind the Raffles Place. I felt delighted and enriched to be able to know more about my own country. I recommend that other folks born in Singapore could check out at least one of The Original Singapore Walks.
As I hear about how Raffles Place and the Singapore River had been in the past, it was a fascinating experience for myself to realise how Singapore has changed and progressed with time. Folks, it is fun to tour Singapore like a tourist from time to time.
In addition to all the interesting anecdotes and the enriching yet entertaining information about Singapore's past, I also enjoyed the sights that I had seen along the way. 7 Aug 2007 was NUS Flag Day, and we could see many young people wearing pink T-shirts selling flags. Actually these people in pink aren't as attractive as the beautiful sceneries of the Singapore River and the many artistic sculptures that I had came across while I was on the walk.
I shall not reveal the details of the interesting anecdotes that had been shared during the tour. For one main reason, these are information that the organiser has derived through painstakingly research, we should respect it. Furthermore, I believe that I should leave my reader who are interested to join the tour to find things out for yourself.
In case you cannot wait to see the beer, here is a photo of my first drink for the evening on the tour. Emily told me that this ale is pretty good one. I beg your pardon, but I cannot tell. I did not even finish half of it.
The beer drinking endeavour was made complete with each of the participants sharing a little bit about ourselves, and the guide telling us some interesting anecdotes. I refrained myself from asking the question: "What makes some people like beer?" I suppose it is due to personal preference and choice.
We had some interesting drinks to drink at the second pub, Archipelago, that we visited. Trader's Brown Ale from Archipelago was made using Gula Melaka and ginger. My hold of liquor is weak, I barely drank a third of it. I also had a chance to sample Saison Sayang. I understand that Coriander, Star Anise and some other spices were used to create this brew. These beer are quite interesting and worth sampling.
By chance, we happen to see a temporary sculpture next to the statue of Sir Stamford Raffles located just beside Asian Civilisation Musueum and facing Boat Quay.
Do read the plaque of the above sculpture and compare it with the nearby statue of Sir Stamford Raffles. I have found the words on the plaque to be insightful and humourous.
By the end of the tour, the night skies were getting dark and that contrasted against the colourful lightings of the buildings along the river. The photo below was taken from Elgin Bridge. If I had heard correctly, Emily said that after the tour, she finds herself liking Elgin Bridge.
The guide probably realised that I did not like to drink. In the end, she kindly asked that the last drink for the evening, i.e. Tiger Beer, be replaced with a fruit juice of my choice. Emily did not fancy the beer either and she asked for fruit juice to replace the beer. I like the music and singing at the last pub that we had stopped by. However, I did not like the volume of the sound from the amplifiers. I was very close to putting on ear-filters at the last pub.
I can proudly say that I had managed to finish the entire glass of apple juice that was meant to replace the Tiger Beer. I don't think I can finish half a glass of beer however.
Summarising, I have enjoyed myself throughout the tour. It was an informative, enriching and educational tour. Furthermore, I have had great company for the evening. Of course, the tour is way better than the beers since I hardly drink. If you like beer, I am sure that you will find yourself having the best of both worlds if you were to go on the tour: food for the mind, drinks to unwind.
The Tipple Exchange™ is available on Tuesdays 6.00 - 8.30 p.m. (except public holidays). According to the published online information:
Meet at Raffles Place MRT Outside Exit B
Price: Usual rates: S$55/Adult
Promotional rates S$45/Adult (valid till 31st of December '07)
For more information, please visit: http://www.singaporewalks.com.
For more photos, click here.
Updates on 29 Dec 2007: Note: According to information from The Original Singapore Walks's website, there appear to be some slight changes in the tour programme and itinerary starting from 5 Jan 2008. To experience the change, you may wish to attend this tour.
For more information about The Tipple Exchange™ , please visit: http://www.singaporewalks.com.