Furthest South (in continental Asia...kind of)

Trip Start Aug 04, 2011
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Trip End Jan 04, 2012


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Flag of Singapore  ,
Saturday, October 8, 2011

Bad start to the day. Essentially we had intended doing a little cheap Culture and then heading onwards for our afternoon/evening programme to spend our budget. The problem occurs with us when we miss breakfast from getting up late and then head out on an empty stomach. We then found the culture is all located very nearby a street which we know is packed with restaurants and so we make a brief detour. A Steak and ale pie, some fish and chips, a pint of Strongbow (it was wonderful) and a beer for Kate and we were $60 SGD down.

It's a little like seeing a man dressed in black and white stripes, carrying a bag saying 'Swag' on it and you then go to him to ask him if he would like to borrow your car. You should realise you are gonna get robbed. The same could be said for eating along Boat Quay in Singapore. The signs are there. They all say, "$12 a pint during happy hour" (thats 6 pounds if you are not sure) yet hunger and thirst and stupidness take over and the next minute you are slurping a crisp Strongbow and eating a delicious Pie in the knowledge you then have no money for the rest of the day.

The plan for the afternoon was to return to a place which held some fond memories for us. Sentosa Island is a small spot of land to the south of Singapore joined to the 'mainland' by a roadbridge and a cable car.
3 years ago we spent a fun day on the island as part of a tour, visiting the Sentosa park including the cable car trip, a 4D cinema and a luge ride as well as an evening light show named 'Songs of the Seas'. We thought we'd give the place another go for the sake of memories and see if there was anything else we could enjoy.
The answer is yes - there is lots to enjoy.
Did we do any of it? No. 
Why? Answer - It is way to expensive for budget conscious travellers and especially those budget conscious travellers who choose to spend all of their budget in the most expensive place they can find before 1pm in the afternoon.
Did it spoil our day? Not a chance.

We took the tram to Harbour Place and walked across the newly installed Sentosa Boardwalk to the island. a pleasant walk across the bay taking about 15 minutes, saved either the $3 tram ride or the $30+ SGD cable car, and we didn't lose out in the process. A nice walk, plenty to see along the way.

On the island, much has changed since we were there last. There was building work going on at the time and we can now see why. The island has become a fully fledged theme island, and for the better. Universal Studios has got its foot in the door and given birth the 'Resort World Sentosa'. As part of the the deal it looks as if Universal has provided a lot of improvements to the road system and the monorail coming onto the island, as well as giving the place a proper 'pazazz'. When we were here, it was a little bit of a tacky resort with a few attractions and a nice couple of beaches - it is now a success.
We couldn't afford Universal, and it seems kinda pointless doing a copy of an original if you haven't even done the original (which I havent but Kate has). We gave it a miss but would like to give it a go at some point - it gets good reviews. We took the monorail (for free on the island) to the beach and watched a bird show. Nicely entertaining and free, we were happy with that.
We then went to the 'Southernest point on Continental Asia'. We strolled down to the beach and then walked across a rope bridge to a tiny island just south of Sentosa. The claim of the island is as stated above. The explanation of the claim is then given as "this parcel of land is joined to the Sentosa Island by a ropebridge which in turn is joined to Mainland Singapore by a further bridge making this the southermost point on continental Asia". What?!!?!?!
Singapore itself is an island. You can't keep adding new bits to the mainland by tacking on bridges. they are still islands! We stood and looked out over the sea from the southermost point. I looked to my left and right and saw small islands further south than this one. They will soon be the furthermost south points and this poor island will lose its purpose. What a sad story this island will soon tell. It's rise and fall of fame. Ah well. It was a crappy little island anyway. The view south of Sentosa is sadly a bit grim in terms of a channel full of oil tankers (these are not shown on any of the advertisements - no surprise really).

We bought some big slurpie drinks from a 7/11 and people watched on the beach. We watched some of the new attractions in the form of a wave simulator, a trapeze and bar after bar along the front. this place was amazing. People seemed to just gather and enjoy the place, not all enjoying the attractions -many just with families playing things like volleyball and dodgeball. We took much enjoyment watching a girl who had been paying for the Trapeze for about 40 mnutes and now saw herself as some kind of Beth Tweddle. The concentration was immense, as was the dissapointment when she failed miserably. Smirk. This feeling of enjoyment was enhanced when a 4 year old managed to pull off the move just minutes later.

A group of 'Youth's' were seen drinking in a cluster on the beach. Anywhere else in the world and you probably would not witness what we did. In true Singapore style, Kate spotted a plastic bag for their rubbish tied up to one side. They were consientiously recycling as they were going along.

We spent nearly nothing all day post lunch except for splashing out on some tickets to watch Songs of the Sea again. It was as cheesy and enjoyable as it was 3 years ago. I took as many photos as I did 3 years ago, and god knows why - I haven't even looked at the first set again since.
In the 3 years since we were last at Sentosa they have managed to keep all the fun, add on some class and make everything slick. It is a true resort island.

On the way back we were due to stop off and watch a much anticipated freebie in the form of something that just screamed out 'Martin'. It was a spectacular called 'Crane Dance'. Essentially Sentosa has decided that there are not enough animatronic cranes in the world and certainly not enough dancing to lazers and music. they have solved this problem with a show directed by an Oscar winning director. Another out of season dissapointment led to this show being in maintenance however and we missed out. The walk back along the boardwalk made up for the dissapointment as Kate found that when she stepped on the lights built into the floor, they changed colour. Easily pleased. Her smile was similar to that a child experiences when they recieve a box at Christmas - Endless fun.

All in all, this day consisted of lunch in a pub (with rugby in the background), a badly attended bird show, slurpie drinks from the equivalent of a Spar, an hour where we sat and watched oil tankers and another hour where we watched a show we had seen previously (and at the time thought it tacky and cheesy). Amazing how such piffle can form a good day sometimes.
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