Fort Siloso was a coast artillery battery, one of twelve coast artillery batteries which made up ‘Fortress Singapore’ at the start of World War Two.
Fort Siloso Hot
S$5 / Child (3 - 12 years old)
Admission with Fort Siloso History Passport
S$14 / Adult
S$11 / Child (3 - 12 years old)
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User rating summary from: 9 user(s)
No doubt these big guns spell firepower and woe betide anyone who stands in their way, except there was no one at all. The British deployment of these coastal sea defence guns was a big mistake during World War II, a deep drain on precious resources, all to create guns that cannot even be turned inland due to one reason or another to root out the forces they were meant to destroy.
As a place of attraction, fort siloso is indeed spectacular. One of the sights I really enjoyed would be the sea view from some of the gun positions, where one literally seas miles upon miles of ocean. This is particularly beautiful in early morning and sunset, and makes for a beautiful photograph in capturing the moment as well. The guns themselves are indeed majestic and well preserved, they are heavy though, hence it is not advisable for children to monkey around or try it out. The platforms are usually well constructed and integrates flowlessly with the current landscaping.
Fast forward a certain number of decades, and today the guns retain significant historical and cultural value. It retains many lessons for us, in that all aspects of an enemy's approach should be considered and not just based on what the higher ups may think. As a tourist destination though, the tranquility and views are indeed worth it.
The unfired guns of Sentosa
I have visited Sentosa several times. I finally decided it was time to go and look at Fort Siloso. I wanted to pay my money and walk up but the staff insisted I wait for the bus. Why is it on Sentosa that you have to be driven everywhere? No one has ever died from a one hundred metre walk.
I enjoyed the place. It was far more comprehensive than I imagined it was having seen Labrador and the Battle Box. So this was Singapore's Maginot line? I imagined the soldiers peering out to see waiting for the Japanese invasion and there is a knock on the door. They turn to greet a Japanese soldier who has just ridden his bike down from Thailand! I kid you not! They rode bikes.
With its re creation of life under fire, it is a moving experience to move through the many buildings and tunnels, many of which have audio visual displays complete with the sounds of war and warnings. Both are necessary to those of us who have lived in peace.
The gardens are lovely. The snakes are plentiful. I saw two, anyway. And not pretty little green ones, but black ones. Hmmm. Watch where you step.
Perhaps it is not the top attraction on Sentosa, but one of the most moving.
A Peek Into Sentosa War Time History
Constructed during World War II, Fort Siloso in Sentosa was part of the British defense of 'Fortress Singapore' against the Japanese invasion. Today, Fort Siloso is the only remaining fortress in Sentosa from that era, and it has been restored as a military museum. 'Siloso' actually means 'Jealous Person' in Filipino.
A large part of the appeal of Fort Siloso is the vast display of coastal guns and other World War II artillery. Some, like the Gun Display (6-Inch Gun), have been re-created with models of British soldiers. Be sure to explore the restored bunkers and tunnels, like Tunnel B Complex POW Experience or Tunnel C Complex for an idea of how soldiers worked in them.
One of the star attractions at Fort Siloso is the Surrender Chambers, which maps out the story of the British surrender, the Japanese occupation, and finally the Japanese surrender at the end of the war, all complete with re-creations of the actual signing of the surrender documents. Fort Siloso also offers several interactive 'war' experiences, like Laser Clay or Tunnel Battle, which use laser tag technology.
Exploring Fort Siloso on foot is actually quite a good workout, as you'll have to climb both hills and stairs. The exhibits are quite widely spread, though rather linear in terms of layout. A tram service and guided tours are available as well. If you're planning a visit to Fort Siloso, do note that admission fees cost SGD $8 per person, and allocate between 1 to 2 hours for viewing. Also, food isn't sold here, and drinks are only available through vending machines
I recalled venturing into the Fort Siloso grounds for the first time ever when my birthday candles goes by the shape of a single digit number. I thought I was in a library. Some sort of an outdoor library. There was a bridge there and I remembered wailing when I was asked to waddle across it. The bridge looked worn off. The wooden panels looked like it was about to unhinge itself any moment just like the bridge that Shrek was crossing across! The view plunged beneath my feet. The bridge swayed treacherously. Such mortification.
We headed to venue where theres these sculptures stationed there. Apparently, they're reenacting the scene during the chaotic battle. Unfortunately, waxing figures were foreign objects to me. I gaped at the sculptures thinking that they were real human beings.
"Why were they so stoney? How freaky!" I displayed an impressive outburst of waterworks once again.The water collected via my waterworks display may very well be sufficient to fill up the entire reservoir capacity. Fort Siloso is definitely no location for the young. It didn't spark any form of interest on Singapore's history within me. Rather, the opposite occurred. Weaned interest. Maybe wary.
Kick in the rear
I like Fort Siloso. While it's right smack in the middle of a tourist trap, it has strong significance for Singaporeans. When I'm there, I like to think of the redundancy of this fort. We all know that the British expected the invaders to come from the coast, hence, the existence of this fort. But what happened in actuality, was that the Japanese bested the british by coming in from the north… With inferior arms… On bicycles... Well done Brits…
Ironically, the island where Fort Siloso stands, is now a place for tourists (quite a number are Japanese and Brits) to kick back and relax, occasionally renting a bicycle to sightsee the island. Of course, I suppose the older Japanese men would reminiscence the good old days when they rode around on bikes in Singapore. None the less, Fort Siloso stands as a constant reminder, that while we prepare to defend our front, be mindful of that kick in the rear that's a-coming.
With all the new developments happening in Sentosa like RWS, I wonder if anyone still remember Fort Siloso. It seems sadly ironic that Fort Siloso is once again unable to live up to its expectation. Only this time, its not the guns which is focused the wrong way, but Sentosa Management who have decided to focus elsewhere on the island. Of course, it makes total economic sense to target rich businessmen with casinos rather than history aficionados with old cannons.
When I was a kid, the underground bunkers were a place for me to challenge myself. The maze of huge, deserted chambers promises to trap a little kid in there forever. Every footfall echoes down the corridors and sent a fresh shiver up my spine. I don't even have to hear the ghost stories to be frightened then. However, when I finally ran out of the tunnel, more by terrified luck than clear-headed navigation, I felt like a champion.
Well, all that is in the past now. I rarely even visit Sentosa anymore, seeing the tourist trap it has become over the years.
History and Irony
Fort Siloso was my favorite place to visit on Sentosa in my younger days. I was fascinated by World War II and the Japanese Occupation. The place had a sad feel of irony to it. All those guns and cannons pointing out to sea to ward off invaders and the Japanese came in from the back with bicycles. Walking around the place, you can almost feel the frustrations of the British soldiers at being so wrongly prepared.
Still, the place is well preserved and is a part of a large photo collection of mine. My dad had bought me some rolls of film and I would use them all taking pictures of the forts and artillery guns.
Definitely a recommendation to for tourist and even locals to appreciate Singapore's history
I came here because of a history project on this location. Located at a corner of Sentosa Island, Fort Siloso showcases the remains of a coastal artillery battery left behind by the British after their evacuation of Singapore during World War II.
The artillery cannons left behind have aged with time, but it is quite fascinating to see the size of them. We were also allowed to explore virtually everywhere, and managed to go inside several tunnels beneath the surface that were used for transport.
However, the place is quite hard to get to, and it isn't very big. I would recommend this place only for tourists or for Singapore history afficionados.
You have to pay to get in now?
When I was younger I loved going to Fort Siloso, everytime I visited Sentosa. I was fascinated with WW2 history and the collection of guns and remnants of the fort were something I looked forward to.
I used to have a large collection of photos of Fort Siloso. Some of the photos were taken in off-limit areas. I would climb down ladders just to get down to observation decks, enter little cells and generally every nook and cranny.
Nowadays, I have not been to Sentosa in recent memory. The last time I was there was in 2009 with my wife and kids. I just cannot believe how commercialised Sentosa is, and now it is a tourist trap.