The mention of Sentosa calls to mind the idea of leisure and relaxation under the sun, exciting theme park rides, rustic colonial charms, and lush flora and fauna.
Be it birthday celebrations, a weekend getaway or a romantic wedding venue, this island just off the Southern coast of Singapore brims with activities for those who thirst for experiences out of the ordinary.
Locally known as *Pulau Belakang Mati* and *Pulau Panjang* (the long island) amongst other names, stories of the island in the 19th century were spun from tales of pirates, foreign settlers and other maritime adventures.
During the British occupation, it was also a military fortress and housing facility for the Royal artillery. But its redevelopment in 1972 saw the blueprint of a leisure destination for locals and tourists take shape.
Renamed ‘Sentosa’, meaning tranquillity in Malay, the island underwent a transformation and is now home to an exciting array of themed attractions, award-winning spa retreats and resort accommodation nestled amidst lush rainforests and sandy beaches.
The idyllic ambience is made more so with the presence of world-renowned championship golf courses and even a deep-water yachting marina and luxury residences. Making Sentosa its home, too, is Singapore’s first integrated resort, Resorts World Sentosa, which operates South East Asia’s first Universal Studios theme park.
Sentosa Transport & Infrastructure
Enhancements to the transportation and infrastructure to and from the island resort have increased its accessibility and popularity. The Sentosa Monorail has since been replaced with the Sentosa Express, and one can now experience Faber Peak Singapore and Sentosa on the new Singapore Cable Car Sky Network. The opening of the new intra-island Sentosa line – which is an extension of the existing Mount Faber line, takes one to dozens of attractions on Sentosa, also known as ‘The State of Fun’.
The Sentosa Causeway, opened in 1982, has also been improved and supplemented by a parallel Sentosa Boardwalk for pedestrians to enjoy a scenic walk or jog as an alternative to vehicular transportation.
Amidst the tourist infrastructure and luxury residences on the island, it may be easy to forget Sentosa’s other group of inhabitants who have co-existed peacefully, and thrived abundantly on the island.
Sentosa’s 45 hectares of natural coastal and secondary forests are also home to a host of feathered and furry creatures – the long-tailed macaque, white-bellied sea eagle, various species of sunbirds and kingfishers, and peacocks which strut freely around the island, offering nature lovers a chance at wildlife spotting.
This focus on retaining the island’s idyllic and verdant charms as part of Sentosa’s Sustainability Plan, will see the restoration of primary forests, green transportation and infrastructures, renewable energy, and eco-tourism.
A partnership with the Nanyang Technological University will test-bed Singapore’s first low-flow tidal turbine at the Sentosa Boardwalk, and transform the mixed-usage of attractions on the island.
An estimated 20 million locals and tourists visit Sentosa yearly, making it one of the leading leisure destinations in Singapore.
With the planned enhancements, this southern jewel looks set to shine even more as a compelling leisure and business destination for millions of visitors from all around the world.
WHAT IS SG HEART MAP ABOUT?
SG Heart Map is an SG50 Programme. It celebrates the places in Singapore that define home for us. Singaporeans will be involved in mapping 50 places in Singapore where our endearing and special moments have taken place.
This project provides opportunities for Singaporeans to reflect and connect based on the special moments and shared memories of these places which define Singapore as home as well as articulate our dreams/aspirations for the future of our home.
Heartmap will crowd-source for contributions on these endearing places and engage the community to co-create the content in the form of sketches, poetry, photographs and short films, etc.
There will be celebrations and showcasing of the stories of these 50 endearing places and the aspirations for the future.
The engagement efforts will kick-start from Q4 2014 via a launch event and a series of activities conducted/held from Q4 2014 to Q1 2015. This will be followed by a suite of celebrations from Q2 2015 to Q4 2015, leading up to the grand finale.
WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF SG HEART MAP AS AN SG50 NATIONAL (SIGNATURE) PROGRAMME TO SINGAPORE AND SINGAPOREANS?
The SG Heart Map presents an opportunity for Singaporeans to reflect, share and celebrate the places and moments that make Singapore our home, as Singapore celebrate 50 years of nationhood. It also encourages Singaporeans to articulate their dreams and aspirations for the future.
WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CONTRIBUTE TO SG HEART MAP? HOW DOES THE PARTICIPATION CONTRIBUTE TO SG50 OR SINGAPORE?
It is the first-ever crowd-sourced map of the nation’s heart and memories that marks our 50 years together as one. It seeks to bring Singaporeans from all walks of life together through re-telling these shared moments, thereby connecting our hearts to this place we call home, and inspiring our aspirations for Singapore’s future.
WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT SG HEART MAP FROM OTHER SG50 PROGRAMMES?
As a ground-up and organic initiative, SG Heart Map is the first-ever crowd-sourced map of the nation’s heart and memories. SG Heart Map will only be possible with the participation and co-creation by Singaporeans.
HOW DOES SG HEART MAP ACTIVELY ENGAGE AND INVOLVE THE PEOPLE?
There is a series of outreach programmes and events to engage and involve the people including roving vans around Singapore, contribution booths at community nodes and celebration events. Moreover, we are sure that the many public contributions and stories will inspire many others to participate in this initiative.
HOW DOES ONE PARTICIPATE IN SG HEART MAP?
The most direct way to participate in SG Heart Map is to share one’s personal stories of places in Singapore that have left an imprint in his or her life. The public can also join in the SG Heart Map activities and events happening throughout the year.
WHY DO YOU THINK IT’S IMPORTANT AT THIS STAGE OF SINGAPORE’S HISTORY?
Singaporeans have gone through thick and thin as a nation, and these shared experiences are unique to us as one people. 50 years of nation building is an important milestone. This initiative will provide a platform for Singaporeans to celebrate what we hold dear in the living environment.