Sentosa Island (Singapore Part 3 of 3)


Sentosa is a resort island south of the cruise ship harbor connected by bridge and (when it’s not being repaired – doh!) a cable car. The MRT comes right to the Harbor Front and you can either take a dedicated bus or monorail train over to the island for S$2 r/t. On the island are a few beaches, some preserved green space, and a whole lot of places to spend money ranging from resorts and restaurants to amusement rides and gift shops. Sentosa is a somewhat creepy island. All the employees stand and wave when you pass. ‘Be friendly’ might be good advice for your staff but the wave and frozen smile whether you feel it or not is sort of spooky. The place already has a lot of piped in voices that border on a dystopian sci-fi movie. (Soylent Green is PEOPLE!)

One place where the piped in voices were definitely spooky but in an interesting way was probably one of the island’s “boring” sites: Fort Siloso. Recordings of re-enactments and sounds of war emanate in most of the museum rooms and in parts of the jungle. Most of the big guns from the days of British rule, when this was one of several forts guarding the harbor, are still scattered about the west end of the island. The museum has a number of rooms with good information about the history of the fort especially during World War II when the Brits were sent packing in short order when the Japanese came not by sea but down the Malay Peninsula.

One room is a re-creation of the unconditional surrender complete with wax models of the historical characters. The next room is the Japanese surrender 3 years later. Hard to believe that a bunch of grown men in a room with brass all over their clothes sit around and sign papers relating to the whole scale bombing and bloodletting that is war as if they were selling a condo. Sign here. And here. And again here. Once more here. Congratulations, General Percival, you have just officially exacted vengeance on the Empire of Japan.

Along the top of the hill near a big gun post I read a sign along the perimeter. Stay out of the jungle as there are tree snakes. Only mildly poisonous – what a relief – but if one bites you please notify staff immediately. An incredibly well timed rustle in the brush right in front of me actually elicited something along the lines of a quick yelp and short hop from me. I checked to see that no one saw me and continued on giving the trees a wider berth.

Would I go back to Sentosa? I doubt it. Amusement parks aren’t really my thing and this one didn’t seem all that spectacular in that respect. One exception was the luge. And I say that with a long uuuuuuu sound much to the irritation of Ms. Peung.

A sky ride (read ski lift up a snowless hill) takes visitors to the top of the short hill right above the canopy of the trees. From the top you can either go back down on the sky ride or don a helmet and ride a user friendly version of a luge on its serpentine course to the bottom of the hill.

Ms. Peung who abhors heights was willing to dig her nails into my arm on the sky ride twice – that’s how fun the luge is.

Coming next, a Singapore Photo Gallery… then back to Bangkok

Other Singapore blogs:
What to do in Singapore? Eat, Papa, Eat!

The Land of Don’t: Singapore Part 2 of 3

Visit my website The Mad Traveler for other travel articles, books and links!

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