The last three days of our holiday have been jamb packed with fun on Sentosa Island in Singapore.
This place was pretty amazing and a perfect end to the trip. We stayed on the island previously with Ari in 2009 but it seemed to have so much more this time than it did 6 years ago. Universal Studios has opened on the island since and so perhaps other things followed.
Our hotel, the Mövenpick Heritage Resort, couldn’t have been in a better position, directly opposite the Merlion, the free monorail and the cable car, these were all in the view from our room, it was so easy to get around and the hotel itself was pretty special.
In the time we had here we managed to go to the top of the Merlion, ride the monorail and the beach tram, walk the Merlion Trail, catch the cable car to the top of the mountain, walk to the Henderson Waves (the highest pedestrian bridge in Singapore), see the laser, water and fire show known as Wings of Time, watch the automated Dancing Cranes and the Lake of Dreams show, race down the luge three times and ride the chairlift back up, watch the live animal demonstration which Ari participated in, walk part of the nature trail, go to the beach and cross the ropebridge to the southern most point in continental Asia, and yet there was so much more to do if we had more time.
It was quite hot in Singapore and we had many heavy rainstorms, but they didn’t slow us down at all, they only lasted up to half an hour, cooled things down and then the sky cleared again, they were quite a nice break from the heat, it was the same in Malaysia.
Here are some more details on the things we did, with lots of photos of our time here, they’ll be the last for this trip as we are home on Sunday 17th January.
The Merlion is a funny thing, Merlions do not feature in any local folklore or myths of Singapore, and it was only used in Singapore initially as the logo for the tourism board in 1966. The fish body represents Singapore’s origin as a fishing village when it was called Temasek, which means “sea town” in Javanese. The lion head represents Singapore’s original name—Singapura—meaning “lion city” or “kota singa”. The huge statue was right infront of our hotel window and we did a tour inside, there is a short video, you get a souvenir gold coin from a lion machine inside, there is bell in the mouth that you can ring for luck, and there are great views from the head and the mouth.
The Merlion Walk is a colourful mosaic fountain depicting a coral reef and marine life, stretching 120m from the Merlion towards the beach alongside the monorail.
The Skyline Luge was cool fun. It was different to ones we’d been on in Austria and Switzerland because the cars are not on tracks, they are separate carts on a wider road and you can race and overtake. The total track is about 1.4km and forks near the top into two routes of about 640m and 690m that merge back together near the bottom. It looks like bedlam but when you’re on the track it doesn’t feel too crowded and you can get up some speed. A chairlift takes you back up the hill with the carts attached to the back.
The cable cars were fun for the kids and give a great view over the island, harbour and city. You can also use them to get around to some extent but they are quite expensive and there is a free monorail and beach tram that cover the island as well.
About 500m walk from the highest station you can get to the Henderson Waves walkway.
There are lots of shows to see on the island, mostly at night and mostly for free. The only one we paid for was Wings of Time which is a live show with laser projections on water fountains, plus fire and fireworks. They are all difficult to photograph, but these pictures give some idea at least of what they were like.
Wings of Time:
Lake of Dreams:
Bird and Wildlife Show – Ari volunteered to have an eagle land on a helmet on his head
The beaches on Sentosa are quite nice despite hundreds of cargo ships just offshore, they are wide sand beaches with palm trees, calm water and really nice beachside restaurants. You can cross a rope bridge to the southern most point on the Asian continent, so for a brief moment out of the 4.4 billion people on the Asian Continent we were the closest to Australia. Note the change from clear sky to bucketing rain, all the photos were taken on the same walk.
I am sad that our five weeks of travelling has come to an end, makes me remember why we loved so much longer trips previously, the kids certainly got more settled into being constantly on the move towards the end and I think travelling gets easier the longer you are away, because travelling with kids has challenges most days. We really have seen and done so much that it is hard to believe it all happened in the same Christmas holiday and started with just a plan to spend Christmas with Santa at the North Pole. I hope the kids are old enough to remember it all when they are older, that is the main reason I keep this blog, I will have it printed into a book for each of them to look back on.
Looking forward to catching up with friends at home now and excited for Tess to be starting Prep, and Ari is looking forward to Year 2.