Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fort Siloso

Located at the western tip of the Sentosa Island and walking distance from the Underwater World (by Red & Blue line buses) is Fort Siloso, Singapore's only preserved coastal fort.

I am always a fan for war history and fortress design. Hence, this fort is a must visit place for me personally.

Entrance fee is SGD 8.

One will be supplied with this map after purchasing the ticket. I suggest one study it and plan their journey. I was recommended to walk, instead of taking the tram. Best route to take is to first walk to the Guard Room, then walk up the hill to A Soldier's Life and so on, in a clockwise direction and end the visit at the Surrender Chamber. With that, one will able to visit all the exhibits in a systematic manner.

A tram takes visitors from the foot of the hill to the Surrender Chamber and Fort Siloso Square, as shown in the map layout. I will suggest to take the tram only when one finish the tour around the fort at the Surrender Chamber, provided one follow my walking direction earlier.

Before arriving the Guard Room, one will notice this 7" Bottle Gun

The first exhibit I came across is the Guard Room. Here, one will get a few of how life at guard room was back then and hear the protocol of the British Army in the pre war era.

After the Guard Room, climb the stairs uphill and should come across these 140mm Coastal Defence Guns

Somewhere on the hill, one will see this structures and figures. This is what they call parbuckling, a method by which heavy loads were moved to their emplacements. The tripod, which used as a gyn also can be spotted here.

I also spotted a120mm dual purpose gun which I played around with.

Next exhibit is what they call "A Soldier's Life". The complex consists of Troop Ship, Barrack Room, Cook House, Laundry Room and Tailor's Shop

At the Troop Ship, one will have a better understanding of the soldier's hardship as they were shipped to Singapore.

The Barrack Room will give a clearer picture of the soldier's "bunk" space

The laundry is where the soldier's get their clothes cleaned by dhobi

The Cookhouse depict the food preparation for the soldiers by the locals

The soldier's uniforms were mended at the Tailor's Shop

Move further up the hill and there is a playground. Again, we spotted a peacock at the playground

Nearby the playground is a 7" gun

The Tunnel C Complex is just at the vicinity of the playground. Tunnel C Complex is the most elaborate display of how ammunition for Fort Siloso's big guns was stored and moved.

Outside the Tunnel C complex is a 6" gun barrel positioned by a tripod we saw earlier

Adjoining the Tunnel C Complex is the Battery Command Post. The Battery Command Post formed part of a fortress system which directed coastal defense guns of increased range and accuracy. Battery Command Posts were sited to cover all of the fields of fire within range of the guns. This post had a clear view of the horizon (including the oil installation of Pulau Bukom) and the western sea lanes into Singapore harbour

After venturing the Battery Command Post, walk up the stairs and one will arrive at Fort Siloso Square. There are 3 pieces of BL Guns at the square. The tram also stop here, at the Fort siloso Square.

There are a lot of exhibits at the Fort Siloso Square. There is a complex which house Fort Siloso Overview, Keeping Singapore Strong, Fall of Singapore and Voices of Singapore. In this complex, visitor can have better overview of the layout of the fort, how Siloso gots its name and the history behind the fall of Singapore to the Japanese.

There is a gun shelter and gun dispay nearby this complex. Here, one can see a life size gun crew in action and listen for the boom of the 6" big gun. One can also explore the underground ammunition tunnels to find out how the guns were fed.

Moving to the Western tip of the island, one will passed through exhibit called Force 136 (tribute to the brave resistance fighters who continued to fight on after the British surrender), The Occupation Years (Singaporean communities relate their wartime experiences during the occupation years) and Tunnel A Complex.

I feel like I had achieved something by reaching the Western tip of the island. I am exhauseted after the long walk but the trip was worth it. The Fire Direction Tower and gun placement is situated here.

With that, the last exhibit to visit is the Surrender Chamber. The display at the Surrender Chamber takes you through the years of World War II with photographs, films, wartime mementoes and fax figures depicting surrender by the British in 1942, and then by the Japanese in 1945.

The surrender of the British Army in 1942

Japanese surrender to the Allies in 1945.

The Surrender Chamber and The QuarterMaster Store are the last item to visit here. The souvenir shop is also located here. The fort tram also stops here and one can take the tram down the hill to the entrance point.

I particularly enjoy Fort Siloso the most while in Sentosa Island. I could had easily spent 3 hours exploring the fort and its exhibits.


confessions of a medical student said...

Gee... i didn't know they had this place in Spore... quite cool leh...

i remember my last trip to spore, i liked the night safari best!!
too bad, i lost my memory cards, and all my pictures..... *cry* :(
you should visit the night safari if you haven't..

tutubi said...

You love historical sites, do you? Should you ever visit my country, try to visit Corregidor. Our own island fortress. Note that Gen. Yamashita was the brains behind the fall of singapore. later during the war, he came to the Philippines

eunice said...

That's an interesting history lesson! Actually I also couldn't recall if I ever been to Fort Siloso before, cos I remember I only went visit some of the paid attractions when I was a child. I quite like Night Safari, did you go?

Borneo Falcon said...

Did not went to the Night Safari. There is just not enough time to visit other attractions. In fact there are a few more places I would like to go but did not make it in my last trip

TNH said...

this place look great..and the wax model look real in the first few picture..

the donG said...

this place is historical! we also have a similar place here in the philippines that's close to that. it's corregidor. it's an island where the americans and filipinos used to counter attack the japanese regime.

any plans of visiting the philippines?

Borneo Falcon said...

After reading some of the blogs from the Philippines, I have some plan to go there now. Will source a travel book soon

PUSANG-gala said...

I completely missed this.....waaah. I wanna cry. I also love historic places like these. Very similar to Corrigedor Island in the Philippines.

This one looks very well maintained....

Asian Traveler said...

I wasn't able to check out this place. Good thing you had the time.
I agree with tutubi and the dong, Corregidor is a must place to visit especially you're a history enthusiast.

Johnny Ong said...

been to this place a number of yrs back. noticed the cook is a chinese ...... must be good food to retain him as a cook

Anonymous said...

Yes, this one of the best place in Sentosa. In fact, Sentosa was a fort in ww2 and thus, they are able to re-invent the 'situation' using real stuffs. It's like you're back to Japanese occupation when you are there. Anyway, it's open until 6.30pm only, as what I know...there must be a reason.....!!!

Ailecgee said...

I enjoyed viewing this historical site. Why is Fort Siloso isn't as popular as the other tourist spot of Spore? Can you tell?

But it's interesting, huh?!

Borneo Falcon said...

I guess there is not much hype about Fort Siloso and its history, causing lack of interest by the visitor. I find the Fort both educational and fun.

Hope I manage to create some awareness here

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