Sensational Sentosa

Don’t have the money for Disneyland? Don’t worry, because the family fun is just as intense on Sentosa Island in Singapore - and it’s a lot lighter on the purse. Check out these adventures, all within a free bus ride of Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort.
With wave machines, downhill toboggans and Universal Studios, Sentosa Island seems a world removed from it’s former nickname, the ‘Island of the dead’. Families and honeymooners flock year round to Singapore’s playground, which never sees a winter thanks to it’s proximity to the equator.
Lying just half a kilometer off the mainland, Sentosa, which is almost completely covered by rainforest, is a contradiction to the city hustle and bustle that dwarfs it, just across the water. Getting there is best tackled by taxi from Changi Airport. It’s a 30 minute ride, including stoppages for tolls.
The 5km-squared island boasts 8 hotels and resorts, but there’s only one you won’t want to leave, the Shangri-la’s Rasa Sentosa, Singapore’s only beachside resort. Sentosa, means ‘peace and tranquility’ – and there’s plenty of it – but equally, if you want to show the kids a fun time then book no further.
Spin on a Segway
Move over “Mall Cop”, the Segways have arrived. There’s no better way to start your island holiday than on a guided Gogreen Segway Eco Adventure tour. Better still, the rule of thumb is if you can reach the handlebars, you can jump aboard – and at 15 dollars a pop, why wouldn’t you?
Twirl on a Trapeze
Scared of heights? No problems, there’s a giant net to catch you on the Flying Trapeze, situated right on the famous man-made Siloso Beach. Soar above the crowds, improve your strength and co-ordination and conquer your fears. Don’t let age hold you back.
Sprint down the Skyline Luge
Discover your inner “Mark Webber” on these part go-kart, part toboggans. With two jungle trails to choose from, powered by gravity alone, once is never enough down the 700 metre-long snaking race-tracks, complete with hairpin bends. A chairlift greets you at the checkered flag to take both you and your machine back to the top of the hill.
Whoop it up at Universal
From dueling roller coasters to miniature Ferris wheels, Universal Studios Singapore is the destination on Sentosa Island. Entry fees average 58 dollars for adults and 42 dollars for nippers, but the only expense after this is food. The giant fun factory features over 22 rides and attractions, but ring in advance to see if all are operating. Pedestrian traffic is lightest on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Shoot the Surf
If you’ve never seen a man-made wave, drop into Wave House just to experience the awesomeness. Using body boards and flow boards, thrill seekers choose either the flowrider or flowbarrel “waves” and it doesn’t take long to work out if you’re a slasher or a crasher. Kids are welcome, but must be taller than 107 centimetres.
Where To Stay
For a tailor-made family holiday, don’t look further than Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort. From it’s postcard-perfect pool deck, featuring kids water park, to double story indoor tree house and children’s smorgasbord (next to the internationally influenced adult spread), you’ll find it hard to leave the resort at all. The “Rasa” oozes luxury but the 5 star experience is surprisingly fair on the budget.
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