One of the perils of writing a guide book of activities is the unpredictable nature of certain attractions' operations. Some may close shop barely a month after the book has hit the bookstores (which sucks really), but a far happier outcome is when an attraction decides to waive entrance fees and offer FREE entry on a permanent basis.
Case in point - Fort Siloso. At the time of writing my book, 'Got Kids, Go Where?', Fort Siloso was still a ticketed attraction with fees for adults starting from $10 and kids at $7. But since 15 July 2015, it has become a FREE attraction for all - though the Surrender Chambers is still chargeable.
More importantly, it is now easier to make one's way to Fort Siloso... coupled with enjoying an extremely scenic view along the way too!
Launched as the same time as the new Sentosa Line - an extension of the existing Mount Faber cable car line - the Fort Siloso Skywalk is an 11-storey elevated bridge which leads visitors on a trail above the canopy treetops en route to Fort Siloso.
Entrance to the Skywalk is a short walking distance away from the new Siloso Point Cable Car station and beside Shangri-La's Rasa Sentosa Resort's entrance. Take the lift (or the stairs if you are feeling extremely fit) and enjoy the view as you ascend.
181 metres later, we were greeted with this panoramic view:
Apart from the aerial views of the western part of Sentosa, the scenic trek among the treetops may just offer eagle-eyed visitors to chance upon some wildlife, such as squirrels and pigeons!
For the record, we did not spot any wildlife... simply because the monkies themselves were too busy peering through the glass-bottomed floors and faking their fear of heights.
But it sure looked pretty darn high if you ask me.
Along the trek, panels which offer information on the fort’s history and the surrounding area dot the Skywalk.
Frankly, this must be the shortest and easiest skywalk trek that the monkies have ever attempted. The route is straight-forward, takes less than 10 minutes from end to end and best of all, the views are astounding.
It is even stroller-friendly, and safe enough for young kids to shuffle along. And at the end of it all, enjoy Fort Siloso, which has also opened its grounds for all to explore without charge.
In the 19th Century, Fort Siloso was one of three forts that were built on Sentosa Island (once known as Pulau Blakang Mati) in order to defend Singapore from sea invasion. During World War II, the Japanese troops invaded Singapore from the north through peninsula Malaya and the guns in Fort Siloso were turned landwards to support the ground troops.
Today, Fort Siloso is Singapore’s only preserved coastal fort and is home to the nation’s largest collection of World War II memorabilia. Featuring both indoor and outdoor exhibitions, families will be able to catch glimpses of Singapore’s colonial past, discover original guns, cannons, film clips and old photographs in-depth, and learn about the life led by the soldiers then.
But the highlight for the boys had got to be exploring the original tunnels!
Ale, on the other hand, was a little apprehensive entering the tunnels so she remained outside with the wifey as the rest of us wandered through the tunnels, which came with informative panels and uniformed mannequins illustrating military life during the war years.
The Surrender Chambers, which features the British and Japanese surrender waxworks marking two significant surrender ceremonies in Singapore during WW2, is a ticketed attraction. Locals pay $5/Adult and $3.50/Child (3-12) while standard tickets are priced at $6/Adult and $4.50/Child (3-12). If you prefer to have a more in-depth understanding of Fort Siloso, go on the 90-minute walking Guided Tour ($15 and up).
Or you could just hang out at Siloso Beach after that, with a picnic!
Even if the kids are not history buffs, they will still get a thrill being way above ground at the Fort Siloso Skywalk - and even better when the thrills come free!
Fort Siloso Skywalk
33 Allanbrooke Road, Sentosa, Singapore 099981
Lift operation hours: 9am - 7pm (Guests can still access the Sky Walk via stairs near the lift lobby)
Nearest Carpark: Underwater World Carpark
Opening Hours: 10am - 6pm daily (last entry 5.30pm)
FREE Admission (except for Surrender Chambers)