Before the government took up the task of cleaning and beautifying the commercial district around the Singapore River, the historic quay areas of the country were the nerve centres of Singapore's trade and commerce. The quays, which are now a major tourist attraction, were merely used for loading and unloading cargo from the shops. The three main quays of Singapore - Boat Quay, Clarke Quay and Robertson Quay - were encroached with traders and merchants from across the sea. They made Singapore the maritime success back in the days and they are still contributing to the economy like before, just in a different manner.
The warehouses and storage facilities of the quays had been replaced by commercial establishments when the refurbishing during the 1980s. Instead of big, dirty buildings full of crates, now there are bars, pubs, restaurants, hotels, shops lined up one after the other, catering to the leisure and nightlife of Singapore. Tourists and locals alike come here all the time to enjoy the beauty of the river scenery, the cool breeze and the endless options in entertainment and refreshments.