In former days the area was perceived as a valley with Fort Canning Hill to the north and Pearls Hills to the south side of the river. It was also a popular countryside home for wealthy European and Chinese families during the 19th century as the lower part of the Singapore River became increasingly packed with the growing trade. Beautiful nutmeg plantations surrounded grand mansions of then famous residents such as surgeon Dr. Thomas Oxley or Chinese merchant Tan Kim Seng. To this day, both have streets named after them while most of the once remarkable villas have been demolished and replaced by hotels, shopping malls and condominiums.
These days, the area is mainly occupied by chic hotels and serviced appartments such as the Furama RiverFront and Fraser Suites. Apart from the condos and hotels, the only tourist attraction in this area is Fort Canning Park, location of superb events such as open-air movie and theatre nights. Locals and residents like the area for the quiet river charm with shophouses and many affordable yet chic boutique eateries along the river and around Mohamed Sultan Road.
The adjacent Robertson Walk, part of the Singapore River area, is the entry point into Singapore’s nightlife scene and leading directly towards famous Clark Quay with upbeat bars and restaurants. Both areas are well worth a visit during the evening hours when the nearby business crowds go for after office drinks and dinner.