When I go to Singapore, it's usually for business. I've always branded Singapore as the most boring Asian city, so I didn't bother to do anything but to shop and eat when I'm there. I've been to Sentosa Island before, but I remember it being a typical theme park, except probably for the Sirens of the Sea lights show.
I headed to Sentosa because of Resorts World, particularly Universal Studios. But when I wasn't able to buy tickets to the park, I decided to rediscover the island again. I was in for a big surprise.
The last time I visited Sentosa was 2005. Again, I really wasn't compelled to go back. There was a lot of construction going on, so I thought I was just going to take a quick look around. There was still the mini merlion, but there were new things being put up. The new Merlion park will be open in the last quarter of 2010 as the signs say.
Images of Singapore, a museum on Singapore's history and culture was still open. I didn't bother going inside anymore. After taking some lunch in Subway, I went to a ride that gotten my interest - the Luge.
I got a one-way ticket down. I got a helmet, lined up and received instructions on how to operate the car. I eventually started my descent.
I tried to go down as fast as possible, to satisfy my need for speed. It was kind of difficult taking a picture. I arrived at the bottom of the hill after 3 minutes. I stepped out of the car, moved to the exit and witnessed a new Sentosa unfold before me.
We all know the beach in Sentosa was manicured, enhanced or put bluntly, fake. The last time I was in Siloso Beach, there were only a few establishments. I was really surprised to see how much it has changed.
I was excited to see what else was in Siloso, so I began walking to the end towards Shangrila. The feel of Siloso Beach was very modern. There were restaurants, bars and cafes along the beach road. The bars offered beach lounges.
There was even a Cafe del Mar playing some beach house music of course. Cafe del Mar had a foam pool that was obviously for its parties.
I moved further, and saw the imposing facade of the Wavehouse. I went inside and looked around the merchandise of Billabong. I left the store and saw a wave pool.
You could learn how to surf in the wave pool. There was some Australians trying the pool out. I wondered if we had one in the Philippines. It would be great to have one in Boracay.
Siloso Beach also had trapeze bars, a zip line and several water sport activities. At that time, there were a lot of Singaporeans playing beach volleyball. They occupied most of the beach. Some even played frisbee.
I went back to the station park to head on to the next beaches. I took the beach tram, since it was already hot. Palawan Beach was on the opposite of the monorail station and was quieter because it had less visitors.
Palawan Beach was bigger though and more beautiful. Palawan Beach was connected to a nearby island through a suspension bridge.
There was a tower on the other side, that provided a great view of Palawan Beach. On the other side, you could see dozens of ships parked. I took a while relishing the fresh sea breeze.
I left Sentosa refreshed and with a smile. I discovered a new place for me in boring Singapore. With Sentosa being only 30 minutes away from the city center (Orchard), Sentosa is truly a breath of fresh air in urban Singapore. I envy the Singaporeans who arrive in Vivo City in their board shorts and bathing suits.