View of theme park and resort buildings on Sentosa Island

Sentosa Island

Gaudy, artificial, and just a little bit insane, Sentosa Island is Las Vegas meets Disneyland meets sprawling beach resort — Singapore-style.

The Sentosa experience starts as soon as you leave the mainland, whether that’s by monorail, on foot, or by cable car from the top of Mount Faber. If you do drift in by cable car, you’ll get a fantastic view over the whole island, with its hulking, many-windowed resort buildings surrounded by a fringe of lush jungle and sandy beach.

On the ground, Sentosa couldn’t be easier to navigate. On every corner there are direction signs pointing the way to water parks, butterfly parks, golf courses, casinos and shopping malls galore. There’s Universal Studios and Madame Tussauds; there’s the Marine Life Park and the 4D theatre; there’s an inflatable water park and one of the longest and steepest zipwires in Asia. Vertical wind simulators, climbing walls, wave machines, luges, elevated nature walks, bungee jumps, light shows and beaches… you get the idea. If you’re after sheer, adrenaline-fuelled fun, Sentosa has it all (and more). It even has something for the history buffs: it was originally a British military base, and you can still see coastal guns, military buildings and creepy waxworks of British and Japanese soldiers at the Port Siloso Museum today.

Sentosa may be just a stone’s throw from the mainland, but this resort island is a different world — one that’s unabashedly commercial and (if you’re into it) gloriously fun.