Sentosa is an island in Singapore, just off the main island. Previously known as Pulau Blakang Mati, it has a total area of 1.82 square miles or 4.71 square kilometers. But packed in this small land are many of the top tourist attractions in Singapore – Universal Studios, Resorts World, Butterfly & Insect Kingdom, SEA Aquarium, Adventure Cove Waterpark, Tiger Sky Tower, and even 3 beaches. Sentosa Island is often called ‘Asia’s favorite playground’. It receives tourists from around the world. In 2016/17, 19.3 million tourists visited Sentosa.
The island resort is connected to Singapore by cable car, road, monorail, and a pedestrian boardwalk. Take the cable car to get panoramic city views. It will take only 12 minutes from Vivo City. The 3 beaches, Siloso, Palawan, and Tanjong, all artificial, have soft sandy beaches. There are many bars and food stalls on Palawan, and a small bridge to an offshore island. Tanjong Beach is tranquil with fewer tourists.
Sentosa was once a British military base and a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp. Many Chinese were found killed on its beach during the Japanese occupation. The island was renamed Sentosa and turned into a tourist destination in 1972. There are 2 golf courses, a lake, a World War II museum, and many high-end hotels as well.
Sentosa Island – Quick Facts
|Sentosa||Island resort just off the main island of Singapore on the southern coast.|
|How to Reach||It is connected with the city by road, cable car, boardwalk, and monorail. 12 minutes by cable car.|
|Attractions||Universal Studios, Resorts World, Butterfly & Insect Kingdom, SEA Aquarium, Adventure Cove Waterpark, Tiger Sky Tower, Madame Tussauds, Kidzania, Trick Eye Museum.|
|Beaches||Siloso, Palawan, and Tanjong. Siloso is the northernmost beach, while Tanjong near the golf course in the south is serene.|
|In The Past||Pulau Blakang Mati. A former British military base and a Japanese war camp.|
|Layout||Central – Most tourist attractions here. West – Fort Siloso World War II Museum, East – Marina, golf courses, high-end living.|
Palawan Island just off the beach has the ‘southernmost point of continental Asia’.
- 70% of Sentosa is covered by rainforest. It is a natural habitat for monitor lizards, peacocks, and monkeys. The Butterfly Park and the Insect Kingdom have more than 15,000 live butterflies and 3,000 species of insects.
- It houses the world’s largest oceanarium – everything from hammerhead sharks to pufferfishes.
- Pulau Blakang Mati, the old name means – The Island after Death.
Top 7 Attractions at Sentosa Island Singapore
1. Universal Studios – TV and movie-themed amusement park, a hot favorite in Singapore. It opened in 2010 and proved a major hit instantly. There are 18 top attractions in 20 hectares including New York, Revenge of the Mummy, Ancient Egypt, Sci-Fi City, The Lost World, and Madagascar. There is Hollywood Boulevard too and many shops and food options. Plenty of rides and shows everywhere in the 7 themed sections.
2. Adventure Cove Waterpark – The place for thrilling rides, slides, and other water activities. You will plenty of marine life too. There are high-speed water slides, lazy river rides, snorkeling in the colorful reefs. You can also enjoy a swim with sharks.
3. SEA Aquarium – The world’s biggest oceanarium. It has more than 100,000 aquatic mammals from 50 different habitats. There are 200 plus shark species, including endangered types like the scalloped hammerhead. See jellyfish, manta rays, coral garden, and more. Give it at least 3 hours. Fish tanks have interactive displays.
4. Resort World Sentosa Casino – First of its kind in Singapore. Luxurious gaming arena, ensemble games, electronic games, and slots machines in an area of 15,000 sq. m. International Game Technology. More than 500 gaming tables. Restaurants. Open 24 hours.
5. Wings of Time – Wings of Time is a spectacular light show that tells the story of courage, friendship, and magic. This award-winning show brings together laser, water effects, and fire with an attractive soundtrack. The end result is something that everyone loves. You can see this show in the evening at Siloso Beach.
6. Madame Tussauds – Close to the Sentosa Merlion, this famous wax museum has models of top celebrities – Madonna, Beyoncé, Johnny Depp, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, President Obama, and more.
7. Fort Siloso – Built in the 19th century, this is a historical site, the only coastal fort in Singapore. There are various trails to explore – the Fort Siloso Skywalk, Heritage Trail, and Gun Trail. There is also an 11-storied treetop trail for a closer look at the canopy.
Free Attractions at Sentosa
- Fort Siloso
- Sentosa Crane Dance
- Lake of Dreams
- Imbiah Lookout
- The 3 beaches – Palawan, Siloso, and Tanjong
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How to Reach Sentosa
- It is connected to Singapore by Road. You can drive to Sentosa.
- Boardwalk from Vivo City Mall. Cheapest and easiest.
- MRT. Take the North-East Purple line or Circle (Yellow Line) to Harbor Front. Then take level 3 and board the Monorail.
- SMRT Bus service – RWS 8 from Vivo City for $2.
- Shuttle bus services from hotels in Orchard Road and Marina Bay.
- Cable car, the most expensive option.