Singapore is the mighty global financial center of Asia.
When locals need a quick escape from its urban jungle, it's an easy jaunt south across the causeway to the small island of Sentosa. The resort island was developed in the 1970s and feels like a mini, tropical Las Vegas with an abundance of mega hotels, a giant casino, theme parks, restaurants, and shopping.
Sun worshippers have a choice of three man-made beaches on Sentosa's southwestern coast: Siloso, Palawan, and Tanjong. All of them have protected lagoons with gentle waters, yet each caters to a slightly different crowd. With views of harbor cargo ships and refineries floating in the distance, they are no substitute for the serene paradises of Indonesia or Thailand, but it is worth an excursion to make the best of Singapore's heat.
An Overview of the Three Beaches of Sentosa Island
Siloso: Activities and Excitement
Siloso is a busy beach for play. The majority of coastal restaurants and attractions are located here. Thrill-seekers can try aerial stunts on a flying trapeze or fly a 450-meter zip line from atop Imbiah Hill to the white sands of Fox Finish Point. Those who prefer to stay grounded can rent a lounge chair and parasol from a beach club like Coastes. And when night falls, partyers can revel at one of Siloso's many social hot spots like Mambo Beach Club and Bikini Bar.
In the area:
restaurants, bars, beach clubs, Cable Car Sky Network, Flying Trapeze, Mega Adventure Park, Wave House, Sea Breeze Water Sports, public restrooms and showers
Palawan: Relaxing and Family-Friendly
When the action of Siloso becomes too much, it's easy to hop on the tram a few blocks over to quieter Palawan. The northern side of this scenic beach is equipped with playgrounds and parks for little ones plus a handful of restaurants, beach clubs, and convenience stores. The calm, turquoise lagoons are ideal for swimming and water sports. For a fun adventure, cross the rope bridge to the islet overlook that claims to be the "Southernmost Point of Continental Asia."
In the area:
playgrounds, gardens, cafés, beach clubs, thatched shelters, palm trees, Southernmost Point of Continental Asia, Animal and Bird Encounters, public restrooms and showers.
Tanjong: Chill Adult Getaway
Tanjong is the last and most remote spot down Sentosa's seashore. This golden, crescent beach has less views of the cargo boats than the others. While there are shady palm trees, thatched shelters, and public restrooms here, the only source of food and beverage is available from the sleek and stylish Tanjong Beach Club (TBC). The club has a casual bar with beach-side seating and a restaurant with gourmet offerings. It also rents lounge chairs and day beds around its seaside infinite pool. After dark, TBC becomes happening nightlife venue for popular DJ dance parties and special events.
In the area:
thatched shelters, palm trees, volleyball nets, Tanjong Beach Club, public restrooms and showers.
From Singapore: take the Sentosa Monorail from VivoCity to Beach Station for $4.00. The ride takes between 5-15 minutes.
Around Sentosa: At Beach Station, find the waiting areas for the free trams that drive along the coast through all three beaches. Since Beach Station is located in the middle, there will be one stop heading in the direction of Siloso Point and another in the direction of Tanjong Beach. Allow 25-35 minutes for complete tram ride from Siloso to Tanjong.
The northern side Palawan Beach is walking distance from Beach Station. From the station, cross the street and walk through the carpark lot to the shore.
Shuttle Bus: There are free shuttle bus lines that all stop at Beach Station and circuit around the island with stops at Siloso and Palawan beaches, Resort World attractions, and area hotels.
Walk: It is possible explore the beaches by foot via the Beach Walk roads that line the coast, allow 1-2 hours.
Bike: There are bicycles for rent through GoGreen near Beach Station.
Beware-the beaches are not connected. Some of the tourist maps are drawn misleadingly, the beaches do not run continuously into each and are separated by a block or two of hotels and other obstructions. They can all be accessed however from the Beach Walk roads.
Which Sentosa beach sounds up your alley? Leave your questions and comments below.