Fort Siloso & Sky Walk (Singapore Sentosa)
Fort Siloso is definitely for War buffs and history enthusiasts. It’s also good for Singaporeans to learn more about the history of our land. Also a place for nature lovers and introverts to take a respite from the bustling Sentosa that’s filled with tourists (almost) everywhere. I was glad to have went to Fort Siloso and escape from the noisy and crowded parts of Sentosa.
“In the 19th century, Singapore was an important sea trading port for the British. To defend the island from sea invasion, Fort Siloso was one of three forts that were built on Sentosa Island (once known as Pulau Blakang Mati).
During World War II, the Japanese troops invaded Singapore from Malayasia and the guns in Fort Siloso were turned landwards to support the ground troops.
Today, being the only preserved coastal fort in Singapore, Fort Siloso is a historical attraction with a rich memorabilia of pre-WWII and WWII-era guns and remains of fortified military structures and tunnels.”
– Quoted www.sentosa.com.sg
Sky Walk to Fort Siloso
When we arrived at the bus stop for Fort Siloso, we followed the directional signs and saw a ticketing booth. With no entrance signs in view, we had to confirm with the ticketing lady that this was where we should start our Fort Siloso journey. Later we realised we missed the gigantic wordings at Fort Siloso entrance because it was quite camouflaged.
By the way, you can can choose to get tickets for guided tours and surrender chambers, otherwise admission is free. After we passed by the booth, we had no idea where to start. There’s no pathway to lead us in any particular way.
We saw people taking a lift up and so we joined them and headed straight to the top. Turned out, we were at the Sky Walk, a 11-storey (181 meters) elevated bridge leading us to Fort Siloso. If you are afraid of heights, you can choose to walk on the ground, up a steep forest trail, but the view will be less spectacular.
We walked round the lift tower to enjoy the view, and my legs literally turned jelly when I stepped on portion where the floor was just a piece of transparent glass! I have no qualms staring out of a window at 30-storey, but it’s different standing on the “air” at the 11th. Still it was a good view from up there.
As you take the scenic trek among the canopy treetops en route to Fort Siloso, watch out for wildlife. It takes about 8 to 10 minutes of leisure walk across Sky Walk to reach Fort Siloso. Here are some views:
Once we crossed the Sky Walk, we were once again lost. We couldn’t spot any signage to tell us if we have reached Fort Siloso or where we should start. We just stumbled into the historical place and explored the spots that have description boards planted. The place is quite huge and once can easily get lost. Then we found a gem, the map in Fort Siloso pamphlet!
Life of a soldier
Roam around and discover fortified structures and guns and wax figurines of soldiers mimicking the work and life of a soldier at Fort Siloso.
Be sure to explore preserved underground ammunition stores and WWII-era guns. It can be accessed through narrow steps by the side of some buildings. They are quite well hidden and there’s no signage, so keep a look out for them. If you see stairs leading underground, head down even though they seemed quite scary. I wouldn’t have dare to walk down alone, but it’s brightly lighted up inside.
Battery Command Post
There are two air-conditioned exhibitions you can enter for free. One of the exhibitions is in the background of the picture below. You get exhibits and commentaries about Singapore’s history and WW2.
The Surrender Chambers feature commentaries and waxworks which bring you through the history of Singapore to Independence. Highlight of the place was waxworks of the two significant surrender ceremonies in Singapore during WW2 (British and Japanese surrender).
You need to pay to enter. There’s a guided commentary available. However, the guided tours were not done professionally. The student interns (I think) were giving the tour instead of the staff. They weren’t sure about their stuff and hence not fluent when giving the tour. I would have rather read the commentaries on my own.
The names of the wax figures are listed in the board (picture above). Notice the Japanese guy seated with a walking stick. He fixated his strong and fierce stare at the man signing the surrender document. He was using his stare to force the British to sign and not back down. An establishment of authority. This was also seen in their uniforms. Compare the prim and proper uniform of the Japanese to the simplistic uniform of the British. The upper hand was obvious.
An exquisite replica of the real event. The people, documents and pens used were carefully replicated here. Now, the British uniform looked good. Different pens were used for each of the surrender document for the different countries in Southeast Asia.
It was a happy ending for Singapore, but nevertheless a heavy heart when we left the surrender chambers. The atrocities our forefathers went through.
Fun fact for Singaporeans old enough to know monorail: The surrender chambers used to be a monorail station.
Pricing and Hours
Pricing: Admission into Fort Siloso is FREE.
Hours: 10am – 6pm daily (last entry 5.30pm)
Fort Siloso Tour
For a more detailed historical account of Singapore and Fort Siloso, there’s a 90-minute walking tour around the fort’s preserved remains which ends with a visit to the Surrender Chambers. The tour guide will also provide you with ice cold water during the tour and cold ginger beer at the end of the tour. A refreshing drink after a long walk under the hot sweltering sun!
$14/Child (Age 7-12 years old)
|Local Resident Rates*|| $15/Adult
$10/Child (Age 7-12 years old)
Tour Timings: 11.30am to 1pm, 1.30pm to 3pm, 2pm to 3.30pm, 4pm to 5.30pm
Maximum group size of 20 guests for each tour.
$4.50 / Senior Citizen, Child
|Local Resident Rates*||$5 /Adult
$3.50 / Senior Citizen, Child
Senior Citizen aged 60 and above
Child aged 3 – 12 years old
*Singapore citizens, PR, holders of employment passes, work permits or dependent passes.
Sentosa Bus 1 and 2 and beach tram will reach the Fort Siloso ticketing office. From there, go on to the skywalk or forest trail to the Fort.