Sentosa is Singapore’s very own island resort, and has gone through several changes over the past few decades. It was originally known as Pulau Belakang Mati, with the rather foreboding meaning ‘Island of Death from Behind.’ The word ‘Sentosa’ on the other hand is derived from a Sanskrit word for contentment, and seems to reflect the feel of the island more accurately. Whether you’re looking for history, fine dining, adventure, or a white-sand beach, Sentosa is an ideal getaway.
South East Asia Aquarium
To get a glimpse of what life looks like underwater, head to the South East Asia Aquarium, one of the world’s largest aquariums, housing over 100,000 marine animals. This is the only place in the world you’ll see the giant oceanic manta ray in captivity, in addition to exploring ten oceanic zones which show you how animals live in various marine ecosystems in the world’s oceans. The architecture of the aquarium is designed to make you feel like you’re standing on the ocean floor, with life teeming all around you. Aside from being a wondrous experience, it’s a great way for the whole family to understand the importance of our oceans and why we need to protect them.
If you’re looking for a little more adrenaline than watching sharks swim close to you, head to iFly, where you’ll get all the excitement of a real skydiving experience. The wind tunnel in iFly creates free-fall conditions, making you feel like you’re really leaping off a plane. The stunning views of the South China Sea from the 18-foot glass wall make the experience even more exciting. And because of the controlled environment and trained instructors, you can look forward to a safe skydiving environment.
History at Fort Siloso
Sentosa isn’t just about excitement, though. It’s also a fantastic place to stroll around and soak up some history. Head to Fort Siloso, which was built in 1874 as a way of protecting the thriving port of Singapore as it became an important trading post in the British empire. The history of the fort includes the Fall of Singapore, the Japanese in World War II, beyond. Military history buffs will love spending time over the gun batteries around the fort, and slipping into the underground bunkers where just a little imagination will bring you back through time.
Chilling at Quayside Isle
If you’re tired of walking and want to chill out, or if you’re simply looking for a unique spot to dine, head to Quayside Isle. Located in Sentosa Cove, a largely residential area at the eastern end of Sentosa Island, Quayside Isle is a waterfront dining and retail destination where you can sip wine, gaze at the yachts in the marina, and stroll along the boardwalk under the stars. With a laid-back yet exclusive feel, it's a great place to hang out, whether it’s weekday cocktails, Sunday brunches, or a romantic dinner.
Finally, what’s an island without a beach? Sentosa is home to three beautiful stretches of beach where there's something for everyone. Palawan Beach is perfect for family fun, with a long, wide stretch of sand for castle-building, a suspension bridge leading to the southernmost point of continental Asia, and lots of shops and restaurants. For something more active, head to Siloso Beach, where you can spend the day at the wave pool, or go kayaking, cycling, or sunbathing. At night, Siloso Beach is home to some of Sentosa’s most lively bars right by the water. The quietest beach in Sentosa is Tanjong Beach, with little to distract you from the peaceful view, white sand, and warm water, making it the perfect place for a romantic evening stroll.