Asian Village: The Unsuccessful Theme Park In Sentosa You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

Asian Village – Theme park in Sentosa

Millennials and the earlier Gen Zs might have heard of Asian Village before. For those of you who have zero clue as to what that is, think of culture-centric hubs like Chinatown, Little India, and Geylang Serai. As suggested by its name, Asian Village was a dedicated space in Singapore that aimed to promote Asian culture as a whole rather than just 1 specific culture on its own. 

Built in 1992, the theme park closed down in 2006 when it could no longer sustain a steady footfall. Here’s a short trip down memory lane, or if your IC starts with a “T”, you’ll be in for a “I was today years old” history lesson.

Themed zones with distinct architecture styles & a kiddy ride area

Image credit: National Archives of Singapore

Asian Village was categorised into 3 different areas. The North Asian Village featured the distinct architecture styles of China, Korea, and Japan while the South Asian Village featured that of India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Finally, the Southeast Asian Village comprised all the ASEAN countries and Indochina.  

Apart from the architectural influences, there were also performances, crafts, and other features representative of the featured countries in their respective villages. There was also an overarching Adventure Asia zone that had themed kiddy rides. Some of them even had interesting locally-inspired names such as Sotong Balls and Sultan’s Carousel. 

Affordable admissions & quaint attractions

Image credit: National Archives of Singapore

Despite not having a Sentosa monorail station dedicated to it, Asian Village was a stone’s throw away from the Ferry Terminal so it was still pretty accessible. The entrance ticket was around $4/pax as well – which was much cheaper than the Tang Dynasty Village or the Singapore Zoo’s prices back in the day. 

Image credit: National Archives of Singapore

Given its convenient location and affordable admission, you would expect that Asian Village would be bustling with locals and tourists … Well, unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. It also happened to be located directly below the cable car service that runs from Mount Faber, so saying that it wasn’t a visible attraction would be quite a stretch as well.

However, despite efforts, Asian Village was unable to attract tourists and sustain even local visitorship in the long run, leading to its closure in 2006.

So long, Asian Village

What’s in place of Asian Village today is the Marine Life Park. For those who aren’t really familiar with the name, it’s actually a zone within Resorts World Sentosa where you can find S.E.A. Aquarium and Adventure Cove.

Although the quirky Asia-centric theme park is no longer around, at least we’re fortunate enough to have other opportunities – such as the Asian Civilisations Museum – to learn more about the other cultures in Asia. 

For more local historical reads:

Cover image adapted from: National Archives of Singapore

Gracelyn Lim

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