When we think of Sentosa, sunny island with beautiful beaches to frolic in the ocean, whizzing down in a luge, or spending the day at Universal Studios Singapore come to mind. With so many fun things to do, it’s a popular go-to for both tourists and locals alike.
Deep in the jungles of Sentosa, however, lies the hidden Fort Serapong that’s a far cry from what we’re used to seeing at the State of Fun. Unlike the famous Fort Siloso, Fort Serapong is a Lara Croft movie set in real life, with a whole network of underground tunnels, abandoned WWII structures, and secret bunkers.
If your adventurous souls are already brimming with excitement, here’s what you can expect on an expedition here.
Note: Fort Serapong is only accessible via guided tours, so be sure not to venture out on your own as it can be dangerous.
Also known as Mount Serapong, the fort was built between the 1870s and 1890s and has since become a conserved area due to its historical significance. It was built to keep pirates at bay, which was a common problem at the time.
During World War II, the fort was meant to deter enemies. But with the weapons pointing South towards the sea, they were ineffective against Japanese troops that came from the North instead.
Abandoned structures where naval guns once proudly stood.
Once there was no more use for the guns, they were destroyed by the British to prevent them from falling into enemy hands.
Fun fact: The fort was initially armed with 7-inch guns and 64-pounders before being upgraded with 10-inch guns that had better firepower and range.
The fort was further improved with additional observation posts and battery potting rooms in the 1930s, which is why you’ll see some buildings with plaques that read “1936”.
Image credit: @nrhtdytz via Instagram
As much as it’d be cool to be able to visit Fort Serapong anytime, the area is closed to public access. However, you can book a tour if you want to explore the area. While there are man-made trails and makeshift bridges, the paths aren’t paved and the fort is covered in debris. Be sure to wear a good pair of hiking shoes and bring lots of water and a snack for the hike.
The fort feels like a post-apocalyptic world, with its sprawling vines creeping along weathered walls and small plants growing between the cracks on the floor. You’ll find Mother Nature slowly laying claim to what was once hers.
Image credit: @nrhtdytz via Instagram
Inside some of these structures are caved-in roofs, graffiti, and remnants of rusted staircases. During our visit a few years ago prior to the implementation of tours, we even saw hidden ladders and bunkers here.
Delving further into Fort Serapong, you’ll arrive at Serapong Casemates, which refer to rooms in a fortress with openings to shoot through. While seemingly small, the casemates have an entire section built deep into the hill with bomb shelters and hidden rooms that few have ventured to.
Truly a relic from a bygone era, Fort Serapong is unlike any other. Abandoned and untouched for decades, visiting this conserved area can be extremely rewarding.
Book a tour to Fort Serapong.
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Originally published on 8th March 2021. Last updated by Raewyn Koh on 20th September 2023.
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