Waking up in the morning, looking out of the hotel window for weather check, we made the decision to go to Sentosa, a popular island full of fun. A place you can’t go wrong as a first time visitor to Singapore. My boss and I decided to have breakfast just around the corner in one of that little “hole in the wall” Indian eateries and take a bus to Sentosa.
The bus ride was awesome, we sat on the upper floor of the double-decker bus and enjoyed for 2 Singapore dollar a great 30 minute ride through different cultures in Singapore. From our Chinatown we went to little India, some modern business-district, passing Marina Bay Sands (this time from the other side) and ended just one block short of the tower at “Harbour Front” Station where the cable-cars going over to Sentosa Island.
The line at the ticket booth wasn’t too long and after 10 minutes or so , we got our ticket for the cable car ride, entrance fee to Sentosa and 2 attractions.
The ticket was about 54$ per person, but there are other options (more and less expensive), depending what you want to do. One point you should be aware, you are on an “Entertainment Island” and nothing there is cheap, so be prepared to spend some money, unless all you want is the “Europe in 5 Days”- way,…. standing in front of some attraction, taking picture of yourself to proof that you have been there and go to the next spot to do the same, but actually never taking the time to enjoy something for real. or the local style … do the same each 5 steps and upload all lousy blurry cell pictures to facebook with instagram, to bore all your friends to death, as they are really pissed off by your retard duck face….
We took the elevator up to the 12th floor and were lucky to get one of the cable cars by ourselves…. romantic, isn’t it? Well almost, if not “Angry Birds” would be the theme-sponsor of the cable cars and on a flat-screen TV in the car ran Angry Birds cartoon with the typical game-background melody. Additional a huge Angry Birds stuff toy was “sitting” with us in the cable car.
However, the weather was great and I was able to ignore that noise from the speaker as we drove high above the to Sentosa. R got already excited about the huge Merlion monument she could spot from the car.
Sentosa Island is somehow much bigger than it appear on the cartoon like maps one gets everywhere for orientation. However, they have several bus lines brining you in all parts of the Island. First we wandered off to the Nature Walk, a path through a secondary rainforest, just to get 10 minutes later to a sign “Path CLOSED”, well, let’s turn around and 10 minutes back, I still enjoyed the walk, no problem. We jumped into one of the Sentosa Buses and headed to the next attraction.
Butterfly Park & Insect Kingdom on Sentosa
The entrance fee for the Butterfly Park & Insect Kingdom was not included into our Sentosa entrance ticket and another 16 Singapore Dollar per head changed the owner.
It is not that I haven’t seen anything like that before, however, it is just a nice place and a lot of interesting insects, birds, reptiles and butterflies there.
All together a bit expensive for what they have, but who knows when I ever come back, therefore, let’s not be greedy.
We actually spend longer as planned in there and already messed up our schedule.
As we enjoyed, we really couldn’t care less… after that we jumped on another Sentosa Bus to ride to the Underwater World.
When we got there we had a bite to eat at one of the fast food stands. Of course the burger and hot dog looked as lousy as on each fast-food booth all over the world… it was rather tasty, which could be caused by my low expectations after 10 years equaling a hot-dog with some sweet paper-box rolls with horrible red color.
Underwater World on Sentosa
The Underwater World of Sentosa is for me the highlight of the whole trip. It was included in our ticket and we saved the S$ 25.90 per person entrance fee. After entering the Underwater World, one has the opportunity to feed and pad some juvenile eagle rays and other creatures.
Many aquariums with ugly freshwater fish and colorful ocean creatures let the time pass by very fast.
It is my 3rd time here and I simply love it. Even as a Scuba Diver in one of the world’s most pristine areas, it simply is an awesome place, or maybe just because I am a scuba diver I appreciate the Underwater World a lot.
The highlight for most in there is certainly the 85 meter long “Tunnel under the Sea” and while it is really great, I prefer the monster-crabs, sea-dragons and specially the jellyfish-tank with the great illumination of those wonderful creatures.
We spend over 2 hours in the Underwater World on Sentosa and time was flying.
We had also a voucher for a 10 minute foot-spa, where some fish nibble away all your dead skin. We decided to go for the basin with the bigger fish. It was an interesting experience. After getting used to it it actually felt good. One disadvantage was they got so much old skin of my sole, that later the day my feet with the newer soft skin started to ache when walking around. The atmosphere in the foot-spa was actually very relaxing with some good smelling candles and mellow meditation music.
That changed immediately when Rechel’s big toe entered the water. The first fishy started to nibble on her toe and she started to scream and laugh in one go. In the room next to us a paying customer almost felt into the basin of the smaller fish and there was NO single eyeball, no matter if customer, spa-lady, employee or nibble-fish, which was not staring at us …
And guess what, the screaming and laughing did not stop… and I was waiting for that big hole in the ground which would swallow me to rescue me to be connected to that screaming lady. Well, it did not happen and I blushed through the last few foot-spa minutes.
When we were about to leave, heaven opened its gates and it was pouring down for almost half an hour. Well, we just went back into the Underwater world until it almost stopped raining before we went just next door to the Dolphin Lagoon.
The Pink Dolphins on Sentosa
When I was in Singapore a few years back, the Dolphin Lagoon was a kind of “open water” lagoon. Now they build a small arena with better seating and a roof. Suddenly there was an announcement that the show might be cancelled because of the rain.
Now wait a moment…. We talk about Dolphins and Fur Seals, I doubt they are scared to get wet. I guess the animal trainer had a bigger issue with the weather than the dolphins would ever have.
Finally the show started with 20 minutes delay and it also appeared to be a little bit “compressed”. Well, I saw many Dolphin Shows before and would say this one is average at best. However, the Pink Dolphins were something special and Seals are always cute anyway. That paired with the excitement of the audience and the happy cheering of Rechel made me just so happy, that I could have stood there much longer.
When we left the Dolphin Lagoon, it was raining again and we were thinking what to do next. Rechel asked one of the guards if we could walk to the big statue of the Merlion and of course he pointed us the direction. We ended up at the Sentosa Siloso Beach front at the probably farthest spot in relation to the Merlion on the whole Island.
The rain got stronger again and we took shelter on a bus stop at the beach road. After we finally got a bus to the Imbiah Lookout, we went “per pedes” to the escalators down to the basement of the Merlion. As closer we went, as more the Boss got excited, and my feet started to hurt more. Sadly the Merlion was closed due to the weather and we could not go up into the head of it. I did not mind that much, as I don’t want climb hundreds of steps anyway. The Boss was exited anyway, so all was perfect….
As the sun (behind rainclouds) was about to set for the day, we decided to head back to the cable cars to ride back to Singapore’s Harbour Front. Just as we entered our (again private for us only) cable car, Rechel saw a great announcement on a signboard:
I am sure there is a reason for making rules like that, and honestly, I can understand that some people would love to throw some of them out. I caught myself more than once in my favourite restaurant with the thought to throw those rats over the boulevard wall at the seafront in Dumaguete. I sometimes wonder how people educated their kids… well, a ya-ya and TV does most likely that job in the Philippines.
Back to our Sentosa day-trip …
Our ride back to the Harbour Front was great as the sun was down and Singapore at night has an impressive skyline. I could not make any pictures as the windows of our cable car were full of raindrops and my few tries turned out blurry. So we just enjoyed the ride.
Back on the mainland it was time to get some dinner. We went into a mall restaurant and ordered a kind of Singaporean set-menu. I have no idea what we ate, but it was really good and great value for the money.
However, after a long day, we were both tired and decided to get a taxi back to the Hotel. R went again into the shop next door and got some night-snacks, while I was already under the shower to refresh. That was our first of two full days in Singapore and it was a great one.