16 THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT SENTOSA
Historically known as Pulau Blakang Mati, accounts vary as to the origins of the name. Some sources say the island was known as Pulau Panjang, and Blakang Mati referred only to a hill named by Malay villagers.
One account says the name is a reference to early piracy and bloodshed; another speaks of the island being the “paradise” of “warrior spirits” whose bodies were entombed in the adjacent Pulau Brani.
Today, Sentosa translates to “peace and tranquility.”
We’ve Come A Long Way
Before the Sentosa Gateway’s official opening on 15 December 1992, Sentosa could only be accessed by ferry and cable car.
Today, there are many ways to enter the island: Sentosa Express trains; SBS Transit’s Bus 123; strolling from VivoCity; cycling; driving; and cable cars.
Resorts World Sentosa is home to one of the world’s biggest oceanariums, the S.E.A. Aquarium. Its 45 million litres of water houses more than 100,000 sea creatures, with over 800 different species living together. The attraction even has the world's largest viewing panel, which stands at 36m wide and 8.3m high.
Walk on the Wild Side
70% of Sentosa is covered by secondary rainforest, and is home to animals such as monitor lizards, peacocks, birds, and monkeys.
Proud as a Peacock
Sentosa has a population of more than 60 peafowls, or more popularly known as peacocks. The first pair of peafowls were introduced in 1980, and today Sentosa is believed to have the largest number of peafowls in a single location in Singapore. The peafowls on Sentosa comprise a mixture of Indian blue peafowls and Javan green peafowls.
Other resident birds on Sentosa include the Great Billed Heron, Grey Heron, Collared Kingfisher, Pink-necked Green Pigeon, Brahminy Kite, and White-bellied Sea Eagle. A healthy population of swiftlets are also a common sight on the island.
Sentosa’s Hidden Gem
Tanjong Rimau – located at the far end of Siloso Beach, next to Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resorts and Spa – is home to many marine creatures, a sign of the island’s rich biodiversity.
At low tide, sea creatures such as red egg crabs, hairy crabs, sand dollars, sea snails, octopuses, nudibranchs and many others can be seen. Long tail macaques are also occasionally sighted in this area.
Monorail No More
The old Sentosa Monorail was launched on 23 February 1982. Due to developments on the island and capacity requirements, it ceased operations on 16 March 2005 to make way for the more efficient Sentosa Express.
Fast & Colourful
The Sentosa Express began operations on 15 January 2007, and serves four stops – three on Sentosa Island (Beach, Imbiah and Resorts World station), and one at Vivocity (Sentosa station). Currently, seven trains are in operation – green, orange, blue, purple, pink, red and yellow.
Free For All
You can have fun in Sentosa for free!
1. No island admission fees are charged if you stroll in via the Sentosa Boardwalk.
2. Once on the island, hop onto free rides on the Sentosa Express trains, Sentosa Buses, and Beach Shuttles.
3. Enjoy scenic sights from the 11-storey tall Fort Siloso Skywalk, movies by the beach at Palawan Green, or play sports at three golden sandy beaches (Siloso, Palawan and Tanjong).
A Whole Lot of People
Sentosa offers a combination of unique leisure and dining experiences that cannot be easily found in Singapore or even in the region, attracting some 19 million visitors annually. The island is also home to more than 6,000 residents.
Singapore has two cable car lines and they are found in Sentosa: The Mount Faber–Sentosa line, and the on-island Merlion–Siloso Point line.
Ferry’s Early Days
The first Sentosa Ferry Terminal opened in 1973. In 1988, a new Ferry Terminal was officially opened on a different site, while the old one was renovated and became a place for restaurants. Located close to the Ferry Terminal, the Musical Fountain was a water feature and entertainment venue that opened on 1 June 1982. The area has since been redeveloped to become the popular Resorts World Sentosa.
A Piece of History
Fort Siloso is Singapore’s only preserved coastal fort with an extensive collection of World War II memorabilia. The Fort Siloso Skywalk, opened in 14 July 2015, provides guests with a 360 degree view of the western end of Sentosa, and a 180-metre aerial walk gives visitors an introduction to the history of the area.
As part of Sentosa's 40th-anniversary celebrations in 2012, kids were sliding down Asia's first-ever ice slides by the beach. Measuring 5m and 8m long, the cool slide (pun intended) was a refreshing respite from the sunny weather.
Big Fun in a Small Country
Universal Studios Singapore is spread on 24 hectares of land and features a total of 24 rides and attractions. Prime among these are the Battlestar Galactica Ride which is a multi-track coaster, and a replica of the famous Revenge of the Mummy Attraction. The park is divided into total seven sectors which include Sci-Fi City, New York City, Egypt, The Lost World and The Hollywood.