Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Day 7 - Sentosa Island

We decided to go to Sentosa Island today.  I must admit that I didn't expect it to be anything what is was - I thought it was just an island connected by a road to Singpore that had gardens and the Aquarium and Universal Studios on it.....BOY WAS I WRONG!!

I know I keep using the word AMAZING.....but Sentosa Island is another world - it is a city all on it's own!!  It has Theme Parks, Casino, Hotels, Resort Accommodation, Beaches, Restaurants, Shopping and so much more.

We went to Fort Silosa which is a restored artillery battery point.  Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia....


The word Siloso is derived from a Malayan word meaning rock ( Sanskrit root : Sila ). There was a huge rock at the mouth of Singapore's harbour which was very dangerous to shipping. With trade flourishing in Singapore due to the Suez Canal in 1869, it was necessary to protect Singapore's port. Based on the report by Major Edward Lake of the Madras Engineers, a fort was built at Blakang Mati (Sentosa) in 1874. As part of the fortification, Mount Siloso's top was blown off to flatten it for the installation of a gun platform. By the 1880s, gun batteries were located on Mount Siloso and Mount Serapong on Sentosa.


By the 1880s, Fort Siloso had 7-inch RML guns and two 64-pounders. In the 1890s, five 10-inch guns were installed. These guns were operated electrically from an underground power-house. In the 1930s, twin 6-pounder, quick-firing anti-torpedo boat guns; five searchlights; an Operational Tower; two machine-guns and two twin Lewis anti-aircraft machine guns were added due to reports of impending war. The Fort was manned by the British Royal Artillery and the Singapore Artillery Corps.

12 Pounder gun at Fort Siloso facing the oil refinery in Singapore harbour.

World War II

The forts were built to defend the land against sea invasion from the south. However, during World War II, the Fort's guns were turned 180 degrees inland to defend against land invasion by the Japanese Army in the west. The Fort's guns were fired at Japanese positions and troops who were advancing toward the city from Tengah Airfield.
British and local troops, were retreating from the overrun Pasir Laba Battery and heading back to British lines via the sea, when they were fired upon as they were mistaken for the enemy.

This building is now known as the Surrender Chambers and has a vivid portrayal of the scenes of British and Japanese surrender with actual footage of the war being played interactively. This is on the upper storey, the ground floor has been turned into a souvenir shop. During the Japanese Occupation, the Fort was used as a prisoner-of-war camp.

Post World War II

After the Japanese surrender, the Royal Navy occupied the Fort in 1946, its guns were manned by the 1st Malay Coast Battery and the Royal Artillery. Gurkha detachments took over manning the guns when the British gunners were withdrawn and the 1st Malay Coast Battery was disbanded. Fort Siloso was manned by the 10th Gurkha Rifles to prevent Indonesian saboteurs from landing on Sentosa and Keppel Harbour during the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation between 1963 and 1965, when Singapore was part of Malaysia.
Fort Siloso became a Catholic Retreat for British forces until Sentosa was handed over to the Singapore Government with the British withdrawal in 1967. Fort Siloso then came under the command of the Singapore Armed Forces.
Fort Siloso was converted into a military museum in 1974, displaying its history and guns. Other coastal guns from different parts of Singapore were brought here for display. It had previously held the display of the British Surrender.

Getting around Sentosa.....there is a free bus that drives around Sentosa taking you to various stops around the island - that is how big it is.  I would hate to guess just how much money was spent to build this place.....apparently it has only been open for about a year....I just googled it -S$970million to build it in its current form and a S$10 billion masterplan for future construction is in the pipeline.  The photos here just don't do this place have to be here to really appreciate it....

Lunch we stopped at at Coca Restaurant - an Asian Food Restaurant and decided on the Steamboat lunch.  It consisted of a soup stock mix to which was added various meats, fish and veges, boiled up and then mixed with a spicy condiment - it was delicious and another new venture to say we have done. 

Off to the aquarium.  The S.E.A. Aquarium was really the only attraction we were interested in visiting on Sentosa and we are so glad that we did.  It is more than just a few fish swimming around - they have some fantastic displays showcasing fish of all species and colours - we saw crabs the size we have never seen before and the dolphin display was interesting - did you know that generally dolphins swim upside down???  They only swim the right side up when they come to the surface to get air.  I thought there may have been something wrong with the one that I first saw but I was soon told otherwise.  They didn't have any pink dolphins there.....that was another attraction but we enjoyed it all the same. 
The main tank was enormous and you just felt like you were in another world - they had calming music playing in the room which made you feel like you were just floating - it was very serene.

Here are a few pics of the Aquarium:-

Did you know that dolphins naturally swim upside down in the water?  they only turn up the other way when they come to the surface for air.

This tank is huge!! Even though there were a lot of people in this area, the feeling as you were walking around was very serene...

Never seen so many beautifully coloured fish
This crab was about 60cm-80cm wide

Some great displays of maritime history in the region.....

Other parts of Sentosa.... over S$970million was spent to develop this island.  S$140 was spent on the monorail; S$70 was spent on the Boardwalk.  Another S$10 billion is to be spent on further development - UNBELIEVABLE!!


These photos don't do Sentosa justice....

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