The island served as a British fortress during Singapore’s colonial years, and after World War II, was renamed Sentosa, meaning “tranquility” in Malay.

In the 1970s, Sentosa was developed as a holiday resort replete with the world’s first cable car network that spanned a harbour, linking Mount Faber on the mainland to the island.

Today, beautiful Sentosa is home to campsites, chalets and luxury hotels, offering visitors a base from which to explore its natural beauty, sandy shores and plethora of activities.

Hang out at a theme park

No trip to Sentosa is complete without checking out the rides at Universal Studios Singapore, the only Universal Studios theme park in Southeast Asia.

Visitors can expect to spend an entire day here exploring the park’s seven themed zones – from Ancient Egypt to New York City – and 24 rides like the hair-raising Battlestar Galactica: Human vs Cylon, the world’s tallest duelling roller coasters.

With fun rides for younger kids like Puss In Boots’ Giant Journey, an equally enthralling but more sedate roller coaster for juniors, and meet-and-greet sessions with beloved characters from animated movies like ShrekMadagascar and Minions, your little ones can enjoy the action too.

And when hunger pangs strike, you can refuel at the theme park’s many dining outlets, including Goldilocks, known for their addictive seven-spice fried chicken, and Fossil Fuels, which dishes up scrumptious Dino Egg rice balls.

Swim with the fishes

Imagine learning to dive in an aquarium teeming with thousands of fish. At SEA Aquarium, you can earn your PADI Open Water Diver certificate on-site and make your inaugural open ocean dive among leopard sharks and manta rays in its Open Ocean habitat.

At the Shark Seas habitat, licensed divers can experience diving with over 100 sharks from 12 different species, including the endangered scalloped hammerhead shark, silvertip shark and sandbar shark.

One of Asia’s largest aquariums, SEA Aquarium is home to more than 100,000 marine creatures from different habitats around the world like the Bay of Bengal and the Great Lakes of Africa.

Even if you’re not up for a dive, you can explore the deep blue via attractions such as the Coral Garden, a cylindrical artificial reef habitat for species like the Napoleon wrasse, and the Sea Jellies Gallery, a stunning illuminated display of jellyfish.

Catch a spectacular show

When it comes to entertainment on Sentosa, the prize goes to the island’s spectacular sound and light shows that combine storytelling and dreamy special effects.

Wings of Time is a mesmerising performance by the sea that weaves together water, laser and fire effects to tell a tale of friendship and courage set to majestic music amid breathtaking vistas.

Also noteworthy is Magical Shores at Siloso, a multi-sensory experience that transforms a 400-metre sandy stretch of beach into an illuminated wonderland with trippy digital projections.

Uncover military history

As Singapore grew in importance as a trading port in the late 19th century, strategic coastal fortifications were built to stave off attacks from the sea.

One of the nation’s best-preserved fortresses is Fort Siloso in Sentosa, which saw action during the Battle of Singapore and Konfrontasi, when the 10th Gurkha Rifles Unit were stationed there to prevent Indonesian saboteurs from landing on the island and Keppel Harbour.

Whether or not you’re a military buff, visitors will find a trip to the fort, which houses an impressive array of gun emplacements and tunnel complexes, enlightening and educational.

En route to the historical attraction is the Fort Siloso Skywalk, an 11-storey high, 181-metre long treetop trek with bird’s-eye views of the island.

Savour unique dining

Visitors to the island can dine on board a cable car, one of the most scenic modes of transportation into Sentosa island.

Whether you want to enjoy a Japanese-style bento box or a romantic dinner with a bottle of bubbly, the Cable Car Sky Dining experience has your meal in the clouds covered.

Also vying for top spot on the unique dining list is the Ocean Restaurant at SEA Aquarium, Southeast Asia’s first underwater restaurant.

Owing to the floor-to-ceiling glass panels of the aquarium, diners can tuck into their meals while schools of fish glide by. Big on sustainability, this mod-Asian eatery sources its produce from certified environmentally-responsible fisheries.

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