Sentosa is a popular island resort in Singapore
, visited by some five million people a year. Attractions include a 2 km (1.2 mi) long sheltered beach, Fort Siloso
, two golf courses, two five-star hotels, and the Resorts World
Sentosa, featuring the theme park Universal Studios Singapore
. The name Sentosa translates as "peace and tranquility" in Malay (derived from Santosha in Sanskrit). Sentosa was once known as Pulau Belakang Mati, which in Malay means the "Island (pulau) of Death (mati) from Behind (belakang)".
The island was renamed "Sentosa" in 1972, which means peace and tranquillity in Malay (from Sanskrit, Santosha), from a suggestion by the public. The Sentosa Development Corporation was formed and incorporated on 1 September 1972 to oversee the development of the island. Since then, some S$420 million of private capital and another S$500 million of government funds have been invested to develop the island.
In 1974 the Singapore Cable Car
system was built, linking Sentosa to Mount Faber. A series of attractions were subsequently opened for visitors including Fort Siloso, Surrender Chamber wax museum, Musical Fountain, and the Underwater World
. The causeway bridge was opened in 1992 connecting Sentosa to the mainland.
The Sentosa Monorail system was opened in 1982 to transport visitors across seven stations located around the western side of the island. On 16 March 2005, the monorail service was discontinued to make way for the new Sentosa Express, which commenced operations on 15 January 2007. An environmental assessment conducted by the government of Singapore concluded that the construction of the resorts on Sentosa would to result in high likelihood of high scale biodiversity loss, habitat destruction, soil erosion and climate change, as well as several other destructive ecological impacts, therefore, in the area that was to be cleared for the construction of the resorts, over two hundred trees and plants were replanted elsewhere on the island to minimise negative environmental impact.
In 2009, construction of a new foot bridge began. The S$70 million Sentosa Boardwalk includes themed gardens, shops and eateries. There are covered walkways and travellators along the boardwalk for rainy days. The boardwalk, officially opened by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean on 29 January 2011, will provide visitors an alternative mode of travel to reach the island.
The island has an area of close to 5 km2 (1.9 sq mi). It lies just half a kilometre (a quarter of a mile) away from the southern coast of the main island of Singapore. It is Singapore's fourth largest island (excluding the main island). 70% of the island is covered by secondary rainforest, the habitat of monitor lizards, monkeys, peacocks, parrots as well as other native fauna and flora, also, when the construction of Resorts World Sentosa commenced, environmental impact was kept at a minimum when over two hundred trees in the designated area were replanted elsewhere on the island. The island also has 3.2 km (2.0 mi) stretch of white sand beach. Significantly large portions of land are currently being added to Sentosa due to land reclamation.
Tiger Sky Tower:
(previously known as the Carlsberg Sky Tower) is a free-standing observation tower. At a height of 110 m (360 ft) above ground and 131 m (430 ft) above sea level, it offers visitors a panoramic view of Sentosa, Singapore, and the Southern Islands.It has a lifting speed of 1.2 metres per second and weighs 200 metric tonnes.
Butterfly Park and Insect Kingdom: Is a landscape garden with over 15,000 live butterflies, representing more than fifty species. Housed in a cool outdoor conservatory, these butterflies range from the 25 millimetre (1 in) Eurema sari to the 150 mm (6 in) Papilio iswara. The Insect Kingdom houses some 3,000 species of rare insects from around the world, including a 160 mm Dynastes Hercules beetle.
Merlion Statue: A gigantic 37-metre tall replica of the Merlion which was completed in 1996, it houses two viewing galleries and a souvenir shop. The Merlion statue once played a part in the world-famous Magical Sentosa show, but it had to drop the part after the show was shut down in March 2007 to make way for the construction of Resorts World Sentosa.
Underwater World and Dolphin Lagoon: Underwater World is an oceanarium located on the western part of Sentosa. Opened in 1991, the living museum has more than 2,500 marine and fresh-water animals of 250 species from different regions of the world.
Songs of the Sea:
Designed by Yves Pepin, the Songs of the Sea show started on 26 March 2007, replacing the world-famous Magical Sentosa show at the 25-year old Sentosa Musical Fountain
. It features pyrotechnics displays, water jets, laser show and flame bursts, a live cast and an open-air viewing gallery which can comfortably accommodate 2,500 visitors. The show runs twice nightly every evening. Tickets are purchased at all Sentosa ticketing counters or online.
Sentosa 4D Magix:
Is Singapore's first and Southeast Asia
's original four-dimensional theatre. Opened in January 2006 at the cost of S$3.5 million, the theatre is equipped with digital projection and a DTS 6.1 sound system. Guests are seated on a motion based chair in a typical movie theatre watching a 4D show with visual effects popping out of the screen coupled with environmental effects providing a lifelike feel.
Sentosa CineBlast: Opened in June 2007, Cineblast, which replaced Cinemania, is Singapore's only cinema ride. It features high definition 3D wide-screen projection and a 6 axis motion system, takes visitors on an ultimate virtual 4D simulation extreme log ride.
Fort Siloso: Located in the west of the island, the guns of this preserved fort still stand. Fort Siloso was built by the British in 1880s to guard the narrow western entrance to Keppel Harbour. The ammunition bunkers, barracks, tunnels, and gun emplacements of the fort are now open to visitors, as a military-themed attraction.
MegaZip Adventure Park:
Located at the top of Mount Imbiah, MegaZip Adventure Park is Singapore's first adventure park with one of the longest and steepest zip wires in Asia, a 3 levels, 40 feet high ropes ultimate physical challenge course(Climb Max), a 50 foot drop free-fall (Para Jump) simulator, a challenging 16 metre high rock climbing wall(North Face) and Asia's most extreme zip line of 75 metre high, 450m long at heart pounding speeds of 50kmph from the jungle canopy of Imbiah Hill to the sands of Fox Finishing Point at Siloso Beach
Azzura Beach Club: Is a 2-level entertainment, dining and hydro sports facility.
Wave House Sentosa: Located at Siloso Beach, the 70,000-square-foot (6,500 m2) Wave House consists of the Double FlowRider and the 10-foot (3.0 m) FlowBarrel, Singapore's first artificial barreling wave.
Sentosa Luge & Skyride:
Features a self-steering, gravity-driven three-wheel cart. Originally from New Zealand
, the non-motorised cart allows rider to speed down a hill over a course of 650 m ending at the Siloso Beach.
iFly Singapore: Spanning 16.5 feet wide and 56.5 feet tall and the only wind tunnel with an 18 feet tall acrylic glass wall that makes visitors fly. Visitors will also receive professional training and guidance from certified instructors, complimentary skydiving gear rental and the actual skydive experience.
- Barclays Singapore Open
- Sentosa Balloon Hats Festival
- Beach parties
- Sentosa Flowers
- The SWATCH-FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour 2007
Plans by the government for Sentosa aims to establish it as one of the world's most luxurious holiday locations, with a SGD$10 billion masterplan for the future involving the construction of private housing at the Sentosa Cove
, the aforementioned partial redevelopment of Siloso Beach, and Asia's first tourism academy. These large scale island redevelopment projects are expected to complete in 2012.