Tanjong Beach, Sentosa Island, Singapore. Photo by BouncedPhoton.
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Sentosa Island (sentosa is Malay for peace and tranquility) began its development as a holiday destination in the 1970s. It was a military strong point from the 1880s until it was promoted to 'Fortress Singapore' status during the Pacific War. Sadly all their guns were pointing out to sea when the Japanese arrived overland by bicycle so the island was erased from military memory as an embarrassment. Tourists can, however, still invade Fort Siloso, a restored coastal battery, compound and tunnels.
More popular Sentosa things to do are the distinctly fishy nearby Underwater World Singapore, the Butterfly Park & Insect Kingdom near Imbiah Lookout, Dolphin Lagoon, a luge and skyride and a multimedia spectacular called Songs of the Sea, involving lasers, fireworks and amped-up music and more.
Tanjong Beach, Sentosa
Sentosa Beaches: On the south coast are three enticing white sand beaches, Siloso, Palawan and Tanjung, which host occasional beach parties against the backdrop of a cargo ship armada waiting to unload at the container port. Avoid at weekends if possible.
Siloso Beach Resort
Palawan Beach along with psychedelic concrete blockhouse.
The free Sentosa Beach Bus at Beach Station. The light rail, 4 station Sentosa Express, is also free and efficient. Photo by T. Ong.
Marina Bay Sands Hotel. The world's most astonishing swimming pool, even if it is raining, who needs the beach?
Universal Studios Theme Park, part of the huge Resorts World complex on Sentosa Island. Photo by Daniel Nash II.
The opening of Resorts World Sentosa brought Universal Studios Singapore, Voyage de la Vie (circus/theatre) 5-star hotels, up market shopping and fine dining to Sentosa.
One downside for visitors to this island is access – it can be reached by cable car, monorail and on foot but most of its five million visitors and all of its residents (Sentosa is the only place in Singapore where foreigners can buy stand-alone property) come and go by road but there is only one causeway. So there can be queues getting on and off the island, though hardly comparable with most urban jams.
That's the end of these Singapore Photos. Next, Malaysia Beaches
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Text by Daniel Nash II