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Sentosa Underwater World, Singapore

Overnight, we flew from Dulles International Airport, just outside Washington, DC, to London. We stayed over at this delightful English manor, Victoria House for a little rest and a spot of tea.

Then we boarded a flight for Singapore. We arrived 13 hours later to see this fantastic skyline- a far cry from just a day earlier!

No less fantastic was the Raffles Hotel , rated one of the best in the world, where the doorman personally escorted us into the hotel and oversaw the delivery of all we had brought with us for the trip.

Having heard that Singapore is a shoppers’ paradise, Nancy could hardly wait to “hit the streets” and go shopping along Orchard Road. Overall, it is positively dazzling, and it would be hard to find a more satisfying "Shoppers Paradise". But there is an unexpected quality to it: All along the road are high rise office buildings, the first few floors of which are shops. You can do the few shops on the ground floor, but to continue, you must take an elevator to the higher floors. Because each building has so many shops- and there is no way to know what is in each, the shopping experience can be somewhat detached. It is not at all like browsing along Las Ramblas in Barcelona, or along the Champs Elysees in Paris if for no other reason than that those areas somehow convey a "coziness", while we found Orchard Road mostly overwhelming. Have no fear, however- whatever it is you want- you can find it there.

Strolling with the statues on Orchard Road in Singapore

What proved to be the most enjoyable experience was an afternoon spent at Sentosa Island , a lovely resort/park area crammed full of ‘do-able’ activities. There are several ways to get to this place: for the physically challenged, especially those in wheelchairs, they recommend taking the ferry, but the most scenic and spectacular way is to take the cable car across the harbor.

This provides outstanding views of the city below you, and is a most pleasant interlude in itself.

Unfortunately, there are a number of stairs at the end of the ride, and it was necessary for me to go hunting a few lads who could carry Nan up the stairs in her wheelchair. But we did it, and none of the fellows who helped us, both on arrival and on departure, would take any money. If anything, two of the young men thanked us for letting them help!

Entrance to Sentosa Island Singapore

When you get to the end of the cable, you step off and onto this modern resort island just south of the city proper. There white sandy beaches, and lush tropical fauna. You can adventure parks and stunning landscaped gardens. Of course, there are pubs, restaurants, spas, and a variety of museums. Also, there is a tower with elevators fast enough to take your breath away.

At the top you will be rewarded with fabulous views of the city and harbor below.

Great as all this is (and it truly is), it is the Underwater World , Asia's largest tropical fish oceanarium, that provided us the most memorable experience.

Sentosa is a wonderful place to spend an entire day- more if you have children with you. It is not a cheap, however- indeed, quite expensive. We took a taxi to the cable car entrance, then paid for the cable car ride. There is an entrance fee to get into Sentosa, and a separate fee for many of the attractions. When I found out it would cost a substantial additional sum to get into the Underwater World, I was more than a little ‘ticked off’. Afterward, however, I would gladly have agreed to pay even more than we did, as it was well worth the fees.

As you can see, we got some exceptional photos of the underwater environment they have created. Since there is little chance we will go scuba diving, the pictures made up a unique photo album with shots unlike any others we’ve taken.

If you are traveling with small children, you should not miss Sentosa Place or Underwater World if at all possible. The kids we saw there had rapt expressions on their faces the entire time- and nothing is more pleasurable for a parent than that.

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Have you checked the most important parts of our website? We urge you to go to the Chapter on Essential Plans. Then, whether they apply to you or not, read the Chapters Airlines, Cruises, Hotels, Taxis, Tours. Finally, be sure you read the Chapter Items to Take. The information in these chapters will make all the difference in the success of your trip.