Formerly known by the rather unattractive name of Pulau Blakang Mati (“The Island After Death” in Malay) and the centerpiece of Britain’s spectacularly unsuccessful “Fortress Singapore” strategy in World War II, Sentosa has been rebranded and resculpted into one big tourist attraction, popular among Singaporeans as a quick island getaway.
The island offers a few star attractions (notably Underwater World) and Singapore’s best beaches, but many of the would-be-attractions are duds and the general trend of overpricing everything makes the island a tourist trap. However, the island is presently halfway through a multibillion construction program that will see Singapore’s second casino and a Universal Studios theme park open in 2010.
The small southern islets of Kusu Island, St. John’s Island, the Sisters Islands and Pulau Hantu are managed by sentosa. Various plans to develop them have not come to much and they remain off the beaten track, but by no means undiscovered. The first two can be reached by public ferry, for the rest you will have to charter a boat.
Basic admission to the island will set you back $3 per person. There is an ever-changing palette of combination tickets that may work out marginally cheaper if you plan to visit multiple attractions. The island is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, although many of the attractions are not.
Long a bit of a joke — Singaporean wags like to quip that “Sentosa” actually stands for “So Expensive and Nothing TO See Actually” — Sentosa’s attractions have received some much-needed upgrades in recent years, with the worst of the lot unceremoniously demolished. Today, Sentosa is Singapore’s premier island resort getaway with multi-faceted appeal, teeming with events all year round. Just 15 minutes from the city, it is a unique blend of leisure and recreational facilities including family attractions, sea sports, golf as well as hotel accommodation and retreats. A canopy of secondary rainforest covers 70 per cent of the 500-hectare island and is home to monitor lizards, monkeys, peacocks, parrots as well as other native fauna and flora.
Sentosa has a 3.2-kilometre stretch of white sand beach, and is the only location in Singapore to offer beachfront accommodation and over 670 hotel rooms with full facilities. Accessed by cable car, bus, taxi or car, the island is open for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Since the island’s inception in 1972, S$420 million in private investments and another $500 million from Government funding have gone into developing the island.
Sentosa’s Theme Attractions Include:
Butterfly Park & Insect Kingdom
Carlsberg Sky Tower
Images of Singapore
Sentosa 4D Magix
Sentosa Nature & Adventure:
Herb & Spice Garden
Enchanted Grove of Tembusu
Sentosa Sports & Recreation :
The Flying Trapeze
Beach, Palawan Beach
Beach, Siloso Beach
Beach, Tanjong Beach
Carlsberg Sky Tower, near Cable Car (blue/green bus), 9AM-9PM daily. Asia’s tallest observation tower. It takes you up to a height of 131 m above sealevel and offers a 360-degree view of Sentosa, Singapore and the Southern islands. On clear days the outlines of Malaysia and Indonesia can be seen. $10/7 adult/child.
Dolphin Lagoon, Tanjong Beach (yellow/red bus). Has cute pink dolphins doing all the usual tricks (jumping through hoops, balancing balls, etc). Shared ticket with Underwater World.
Fort Siloso, near Underwater World (all buses, then transfer to tram), 10AM-6PM. Formerly the largest British naval base in Fortress Singapore, its guns staring balefully out towards the sea in preparation for enemy attack. The Japanese rode bikes down the peninsula instead; after your visit here, be sure to visit the Battle Box at Fort Canning Hill to find out what happened next. Now turned into a museum, you can follow a tour through the area (complete with lots of wax figures) to find out what the life of a recruit was like. Nearly doubled in size in 2004. $8/5 adult/child.
Images of Singapore, near Cable Car Station (green, blue bus). 9AM-7PM. A sugar-coated, kid-friendly retelling of the official Singapore story, where people of many races have come together to live in harmony. Renovated in 2006 and now uses the latest technology, but there is not all that much substance under the glitz. $10/7 adult/child.
Sentosa Merlion, (Monorail Imbiah). 10AM-8PM. A stretched-out 37-metre version of the statue by the Singapore River, which is lit up at night and shoots lasers from its eyes. Admission enables you to take the elevator up into its mouth and gaze out over the nearby Port of Singapore, as well as experience some seriously cheesy exhibits downstairs. $8/5 adult/child.
Sentosa Luge, Beach Station. Up the hill in a ski lift and down again in a steerable bobsled. Kid safe. Good attraction for younger kids as the incline of the track hinders going very fast. Not very exciting for those over 15. If you are inclined to go, resist temptation to purchase multiple trips until trying it the first time. $9 single ride, plus $1 for child riding with adult.
Songs of the Sea, (Beach Station). Daily at 7:40PM and 8:40PM. Multimedia extravaganza with live cast, pyrotechnics, water jets and lasers. Very popular, so book ahead, esp. on weekends. $6.
Underwater World, near Siloso Beach (all buses), . Claims to be Asia’s largest tropical oceanarium, it features a walk-through aquarium with lots of sharks and fishes and many smaller tanks. $19.50/12.50 adult/child, includes admission to Dolphin Lagoon
SINGAPORE – ADVENTURES LEASURE
Your Fun. Your Way! Take your pick and embark on your unique Sentosa tour with the Sentosa Choice Package at an irresistible price!
S$33.90 / Adult (U.P. S$52)
S$21.90 / Child (U.P. S$34.50)
More than 30% discount
Experience: Choose any 3 attractions
Butterfly Park & Insect Kingdom
Images of Singapore
Tiger Sky Tower
Adventure: Choose any 1 attraction
Sentosa 4D Magix
Sentosa Luge & Skyride
Purchase your package at Sentosa Station (VivoCity, Level 3)
Package includes island admission by Sentosa bus or Sentosa Express
Valid till 31 Mar 2009
Terms & Conditions apply
if you want a your own activities try this:
*full day suggested itineraries:
Begin your Sentosa experience bright and early at Imbiah Lookout, Singapore’s biggest cluster of 8 new and exciting attractions. Arrive in style as you glide in some 90 metres above the water and tropical rainforest on the Cable Car, and enjoy magnificent aerial views of Sentosa and Singapore.
At the Butterfly Park and Insect Kingdom, watch as over 1,500 live butterflies (over 50 species) and up to 3,000 species of the world’s most beautiful and rarest insects thrive around you.
Then jump right into Sentosa 4D Magix, where state-of-the-art movie magic offers you a full spectrum of visual effects, surround sound, individually-controlled motion seats and special “live” environmental effects such as water spray.
Catch breathtaking views at Tiger Sky Tower, Singapore’s tallest observatory tower.
For lunch, pop by Tastes of Singapore and savour local cuisine such as Nonya Lobster Laksa, Jumbo Satay and so much more! Or pop into Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf or Subway Restaurant to satisfy those hunger pangs.
Take a trip to the very soul of Singapore at Images of Singapore – a place where cultural diversity, unity of values, adventure, perseverance and honor converge like nowhere else in Singapore.
Race downhill in Southeast Asia’s first ever luge ride, the Sentosa Luge and Skyride, part go-cart, part-toboggan ride with a unique steering and braking system that’s suitable for all ages.
Prepare for the ride of your life on Sentosa CineBlast! Feel the exhilaration of flying to the top of the highest mountain or the stomach-churning thrill of rushing into the deepest valleys.
Relive the origins of The Merlion in an enchanting animation feature and discover what fortune lies in store for you at the mouth of the Mercubs.
Tired out from all that activity? Why not spend the rest of the afternoon chilling by the beach! If you have kids, bring them to Palawan Beach, Singapore’s happiest family beach, with family-friendly amenities, restaurants and entertainment such as the Animal & Bird Encounters at Palawan Amphitheatre.
Siloso Beach is the place to be if you’re into outdoor activities such as canoeing, beach volleyball, or rollerblading. Or sip a cool cocktail at any one of our many beach bars.
For a different kind of relaxation, visit Spa Botanica, Singapore’s first tropical garden spa with state-of-the-art facilities, mud pools, float pools and Galaxy steam baths. There is also the Health Club and Spa at Rasa Sentosa Resort, which has a private whirlpool and steam facility, seven single treatment rooms with attached showers and a Thai Pavilion.
For something different try a foot massage at Fish Reflexology, Underwater World. These adorable little fish consume only the dead skin areas, revealing your smoother and healthier skin.
There are several dining options around Sentosa offering different experiences. For dining by the beach, you could try Barnacles Restaurant & Bar and enjoy their “Strolling Band” performance, or Samundar – Indian Fusion Cuisine and Bar.For dinner with a view, there’s il Lido Italian Restaurant or The Cliff, that serves up seafood grilled to perfection, along with a fabulous view of the South China Sea.
Before you end your day at Sentosa, don’t forget to catch the 8.40pm show, Songs of the Sea – Sentosa’s latest extravaganza! A mesmerizing multi-million dollar water show set in the sea with a live cast, dramatic pyrotechnics, water jets, brilliant lasers, special computer imaging, captivating music and stunning flame bursts.
how to get into sentosa island?
Take the North-East Line and alight at the HarbourFront MRT Station. From there, you may either go to the 3rd level of VivoCity shopping mall, transfer onto our Sentosa Express or you may follow the signs to the HarbourFront Bus interchange. Hop onto the orange Sentosa bus and you’ll be on your way to Sentosa. Train fares vary. The cheapest way is in to take the North-East MRT to HarbourFront and then find your way to Level 3 of Vivocity, where you’ll find the Sentosa Express monorail to the island. The train operates every 5-8 minutes from 7AM to 11:45PM daily, and an all-day ticket costs $3 (island admission included).
By Sentosa Express:
The Sentosa Express links HarbourFront, VivoCity and St. James Powerhouse to Sentosa in less than four minutes.
First train – 7am
Last train – 12mn
By Sentosa Bus:
Pick up point at HarbourFront Bus interchange, this orange Sentosa bus plies to and from Sentosa and the interchange frequently.
7am – 12am (Sun – Thu & Public Holidays)
7am – 12.30am (Fri, Sat and Eves of Public Holidays)
Last bus leaving Sentosa:
12am (Sun – Thu & Public Holidays)
12.30am (Fri, Sat and Eves of Public Holidays)
S$3 per person (Adult and Child aged 3 and above). Payment is made at HarbourFront Interchange Ticketing Counter.
Car owners will be required to purchase the S$2 per car per entry charge; and island admission applies for all passengers onboard at S$2 per person. Various parking lots can be found at designated carparks on the island. parking is free in the island except at he beach carpark.
Drive From Changi Airport-
Head towards the East Coast Parkway (ECP) towards the City. When you exit at Keppel Road, you’ll find yourself traveling on Telok Blangah Road. From here, just keep a look out for signs pointing the way to Sentosa.
Drive From Woodlands Causeway Checkpoint-
If you’re arriving into Singapore from Johor Bahru via the Woodlands Causeway Checkpoint, look for the BKE sign once you’ve cleared customs and immigration. Take the expressway and turn off at PIE (towards Jurong). Take the next exit – Clementi Road Exit – and travel along Clementi Road. Once past the National University of Singapore campus, turn off onto West Coast Road and head towards the city. From here on, just look out for signs that point he way to Sentosa.
Drive From Tuas Checkpoint-
As you exit from Tuas Checkpoint, also known as the 2nd Link, look for the AYE sign once you’ve cleared customs & immigration. Once on the AYE (or Ayer Rajah Expressway), it’ll be a good 15-20 minutes before you see the exit for Telok Blangah. As you travel along Telok Blangah Road, there will be signs pointing the way to Sentosa.
On top of the taxi fare reflected on the meter, all passenger(s) in taxi will need to pay Island admission at S$2 per person. Sentosa is just 15 minutes away from the city center by taxi
By Cable Car:
One-way: S$13.90 / Adult; S$8.50 / Child (3-12 years old)
Two-way: S$14.90 / Adult; S$9.50 / Child (3-12 years old)
Two-way: S$20.00 / Adult; S$13.00 / Child (3-12 years old)
(Prices include island admission)
8.30am – 11pm daily
Log on to www.mountfaber.com.sg for more details.
By SIA Hop-on Sentosa Shuttle:
Arrive on Sentosa in style! Board the convenient air-conditioned SIA Hop-on Sentosa Shuttle from Clarke Quay. This hourly bus service will run from Clarke Quay to the island resort from 10am to 6pm daily, last departure from Sentosa Island Resort to Clarke Quay at 9.45pm.
Please be informed that this section of the pathway has been closed for development works till further notice. We apologies for the Inconvenience caused.
To get to Sentosa, hop on the Sentosa Express located at VivoCity, Level 3.
For further assistance, please call 1800-SENTOSA (736-8672).
The Sentosa Pass is available at S$3 a person (Adult and Child aged 3 and above) per day from the following locations:
All Sentosa Express stations
Cable Car Ticketing counters at Mt Faber and HarbourFront Tower II
Ticket vending machines at all Sentosa Express stations
Payment can be made by cash, NETS and major credit cards (VISA, MasterCard, AMEX and JCB).
Entry Points are located at:
Sentosa Station (VivoCity, level 3)
Visitor Arrival Centre
All transportation around Sentosa (except taxis) is free:
Three colored shuttle bus services — Yellow Line, Red Line and Blue Line — connect Imbiah Station to various points on the island. Buses run from 7AM-11PM on weekdays and until 12:30 AM on Fri/Sat.
Beach trams supplemented by minivans shuttle people along the beaches every 15-20 minutes. One service connects Beach Station to Siloso Beach, another connects Beach Station to Palawan and Tanjong Beaches.
The old round-the-island Sentosa Monorail was decommissioned in March 2005 to make way for the new Sentosa Express, which can also be used to shuttle between the beaches and Imbiah Station (near the Merlion).