Sunday, 8 February 2015

Free Things to Do At Sentosa: Palawan Beach and Island

The Heavy Toll of Gambling. The Suspended Mystery of Palawan Island. Going to the Extreme.

After lunch at the Malaysian Food Street, we took Ada's dad and Andy to the Casino in RWS (the other casino in Singapore is in Marina Bay Sands). For foreigners who want to go into casino for gambling or sightseeing like our visitors, you'd better remember to bring your passport. Because locals need to pay $100 "admission fee" to enter the casino (as a disincentive for local gamblers. Like a very heavy levy on cigarettes and alcohol, this is very heavy toll to enter the casino).

Speaking of free things. If you're local gambler, you've already lost $100 before you place your 1st bet. On the other hand, if you're there to people watch (albeit it's sad people), you could help yourself with free drinks like coffees, soft drinks or water while watching. So if you're tired after walking in a hot sunny day, drop into the casino for some pretty cool and posh environment, and free drinks for a recharge before continue your punishing holiday.

Palawan Beach, Sentosa, Singapore
This is the traffic island where Sentosa Bus 3 dropped us off. See the turtle sculpture among the shrub?
(click to enlarge)

After the grand tour of the casino, we headed for Palawan Island. The reason for going there was somewhat spur of the moment and quite lame. It's because Palawan Island's one claim to fame of being the Southernmost Point of Continental Asia. As I mentioned before that while Sentosa is known as the State of Fun, it's fun for the young and family, not retiree. Apart from Merlion Plaza and Merlion Walk, and the casino, where else could I take him? Sentosa is no place for retiree. Did I mention that?

sign of Palawan Island as the Southernmost Point of Continental Asia, Sentosa, Singapore
Just as the sign says, this Palawan Island is the southernmost
point of Continental Asia. Believe it or not!

When I heard that geographical description, several question marks floated above my head (at least 3 the last time I counted in the mirror).

Does this mean any land south of this - such as Palau Batam - isn't part of Asia? The answer is clearly no. Bali, which is thousands of kilometres further south than Palawan Island, is part of Asia.

Does this mean that this is the southernmost point of Asian Continent, but not counting island? But this is clearly an island (it's called Palawan Island).

If an island like Palawan Island could be considered as part of Asian Continent, then so should the thousands of island south of Palawan Island.

Wouldn't it make more sense if a point on the Sentosa Island is considered the southernmost point of Continental Asia? No, it wouldn't. Sentosa, like Palawan Island is an island. In fact, even the Singapore's "mainland" is an island.

Palawan Island is therefore an island of an island of an island.

So I don't understand at all how the description of "the southernmost point of Continental Asia" comes from. Maybe I'm missing something here. Would love it if somebody explain the mystery of the Palawan Island to this dumb blogger. I'm waiting for that light-bulb to obliterate the question marks.

To get there, you take Sentosa Bus 3 from the Beach Station.

Palawan Beach, Sentosa, Singapore
As you walk towards the beach after alighting from Sentosa Bus 3, you'll be greeted by Captain Long John Silver
Arrrr matey! Welcome to the Palawan Beach!
You can get my parrot at the souvenir shop...arrr

"Welcome to Singapore ! Captain Barbossa."
A scene from Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.
At least at the end of Continental Asia.

Palawan Beach Rescue, Sentosa, Singapore
Beach patrol 1:  Have you seen my sunglasses ?
Beach patrol 2:  It's on your face.
Beach patrol 1:  Cool.
Beach patrol 2:  No, isn't not! It's damn hot!

Palawan Beach is a reasonable quiet beach compare to its larger, busier Siloso Beach. To get to Palawan Island from the beach, you need to cross a suspension bridge.

So, what is the rewards for crossing the bridge? The crossing itself. You'll rub shoulders - frequently - with other tourists, or meet cheerful people coming toward you.

Palawan Island Suspension bridge, Sentosa, Singapore
Suspension bridge over Palawan Beach. If you suffer from seasickness, you'd better swim across it.
As the water is so shallow, you can walk across it.

Palawan Island Suspension bridge, Sentosa, Singapore
Heavy traffic on the bridge

Palawan Island Suspension bridge, Sentosa, Singapore
Happy bridge commuters

What's waiting for us on the island? There's a 3-storey or tiered wooden tower in traditional Malay architectural style where you can get an aerial view of the beach, and sit on man-made grass.

Palawan Island wooden towers, Sentosa, Singapore

Palawan Island Suspension bridge, Sentosa, Singapore
From atop the wooden tower, you can see multicoloured ants walking across the bridge
and swimming in the beach

Palawan Island's beach, Sentosa, Singapore
You can also picnic on man-made grass on the island's beach, easy to clean
and cheaper than sands imported from Australia.
You can just sit and watch people swim, or watch people who watch other people swim,
or watch photographers who shoot people who watch other people swim,
or simply look into your lover's eyes and see only stye.

Palawan Beach is a place that's quite family-friendly and those who want spend some quiet lazy afternoon sitting on your butt on the Arse End of Continental Asia  (as former Prime Minister of Australia Paul Keating so elegantly called Australia as the Arse End of the World). I don't want to be rude, he started it.

From the Arse End of Continental Aisa, this is Francis Q reporting.

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