Built in the 1930s, Clifford Pier was a landing point for immigrants into Singapore. Red lamps were used as a guide to vessels, and the pier was also known as Red Lamp Pier. In mandarin, the phrase “red lamp” is translated into “red light”, and so I always thought this was a scandalously sexy kind of pier which wasn’t afraid to trumpet it. I was significantly older (more recent than I care to admit) when I realized the only sexy thing about the pier is its roof structure.
The pier has since ceased operations and has been earmarked for conservation, together with the nearby Customs House. Today, it houses a restaurant (the somewhat derivative One on the Bund) and greets visitors into the Fullerton Bay Hotel. Looking at the luxurious chandelier, plush carpet and warm lighting, it is hard to imagine this as a functioning pier not too long ago, but the gorgeous roof still silently attests to its heritage.
Click here to see how it used to look!