[Sunday 14 March, 2010]-- Another small event happening this past weekend in our local neighborhood was a sand castle exhibit, at the Palawan Beach on Sentosa. Since the Resorts World Sentosa opened recently, going out to Sentosa has been less desirable, due to the large crowds. We intended to go out the previous weekend to watch a netball tournament (netball is some type of beach game, apparently similar to basketball (?) played in this region). However upon arriving at the monorail terminal that takes you to Sentosa, we discovered a huge queue of people waiting to go out on the train, and extremely packed trains returning, with bodies and faces jammed up against the glass. We aborted the journey, and went and had something to eat instead.
We decided to try again this past Sunday, a little later in the day, about sunset. This time we found no large queues, and a nearly empty monorail train ride out to the island. We made our way down to Palawan Beach, a short walk from the monorail station, where we found the sand castles. This was our first visit to this particular beach on Sentosa.
There were three sand carvings completed, and a fourth that had not yet been created, perhaps work for the following day. The sand castles were carved by Joo heng Tan (see Sandwerkz), who is a professional touring sand castle artist-- a unique profession I think, but he apparently is very good at it, having won several contests worldwide. (More enlightenment for me-- I didn't know you could make a living in this form of art).
Here are the castles:
A sand replica of Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria
The WaveHouse is a mechanical surf wave attraction at Sentosa, and apparently one of the sponsors of this sand castle exhibit.
Barney, on tour in Singapore?
After viewing the sandcastles we wander a bit further, finding a suspension bridge leading to the an outer breakwater island, that forms the swimming area of the beach. There is an observatory tower that provides some great views, particularly at sunset. Although the resort area is very prim and neat, and has a nice swimming area and beach which has its view blocked by the breakwater, just beyond the island are anchored many ships awaiting to unload or load cargo at Sinapore's busy port. Also off in the distance is the island of Pulau Bukom, where Singapore refines some 60% of the world's gasoline.
Elaine, making her way across the suspension bridge. The bridge crosses the small lagoon between Palawan Beach and the outer breakwater, forming a nice sheltered swimming area.
Sentosa, and in particular this point on the small breakwater island of Palanwan Beach, is considered the southern most tip of continental Asia, if you disregard that Sentosa and Singapore are disconnected from the penninsula by very narrow straights of water (each with bridges).
Left-- The suspension bridge across the lagoon at Pelanwan Beach
Right-- The view of the Sentosa Merlion and Tiger Tower on Mount Imantah; Pelanwan beach in the foreground.
It's fall in Singapore, with leaves on the trees turning color with the colder weather... Well, probably not. I don't know what type of tree this is, but it looked like it was about to shed leaves for fall. Perhaps the heat killed it.
Right-- cargo ships anchored off of Palanwan Beach (beyond the breakwater island). In the distance you can see burn-off flames of the refinery on Pelau Bukom Island. Despite the plethora of cargo ships and the refinery, they have done a good job of shielding the view of these scenes from the resorts and beaches of Sentosa, which is a popular resort destination for tourists of many nationalities in Southeast Asia.
Two smiling expats on a warm (!!!) tropical night at Palanwan Beach at sunset.