Your Guide to Fort Siloso
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A Blast from the Past: Your Guide to Fort Siloso

Sentosa is often seen as a resort island mainly because of Universal Studios and Resorts World Sentosa. Yet it also has lesser-known historical sites worth exploring such as Fort Siloso.

Fort Siloso was built in the late 19th century, and it served multiple purposes in the next decades—from being a fort that protected the port to a battleground during World War II. It’s now decommissioned, but it’s still open as a museum that people can visit. 

Learn more about this historical site below.

History of Fort Siloso

Late 19th Century

— From:

The Suez Canal was opened in 1869, which resulted in a trade boom all over the world. 

Trade in Singapore was also thriving because of its strategic location, connecting the eastern and western markets. Thus, it was important to protect the nation’s harbor.

The British Royal Engineers decided to build a fort on the western end of Pulau Blakang Mati (the previous name of Sentosa), so they flattened the top of Mount Siloso to install coastal artillery gun platforms. By 1878, the construction of the fort was completed.  

Aside from artillery, the fort had anti-aircraft emplacements, machine guns, searchlights, and command posts. It also had an extensive network of underground complexes and casements all over the area. 

Battle of Singapore

— From: applecore79

Fort Siloso became active during World War II, especially during the Battle of Singapore that occurred from February 8 to 15, 1942. In fact, it was one of the busiest batteries in Singapore at the time. 

Fort Siloso was designed to protect Singapore from sea invasions, but it was also used in land combat against the invading Japanese troops. Many of its guns had all-around or near all-around traverse, so they could be turned landward. 

That said, armor-piercing shells were the only ammunition available at the time, and these weren’t as effective against infantry targets as they were against warships. 

Unfortunately, despite the soldiers’ efforts, Singapore fell on February 14, 1942. The British deliberately destroyed the battery at Fort Siloso so that the Japanese wouldn’t be able to use it. 

Prisoners-of-War Camp

— From: denkumarhk

After the Battle of Singapore, the Japanese army used Fort Siloso and the rest of Pulau Blakang Mati as a prisoner-of-war camp for the Australians and the British. 

In 1945, the Allied Forces won the war, forcing the Japanese to surrender. The British came back to reclaim Fort Siloso, and they used it as a prisoners-of-war camp for the Japanese. 

Fort Siloso After the War to Now

(From: Roots Sg)

After the war, Fort Siloso was operated by the Royal Artillery and the 1st Malay Coast Battery. In 1957, the British government decided to phase out the coastal artillery defenses, so the weapons at Fort Siloso and other forts stopped being operational. 

The British forces eventually withdrew from Singapore in 1967, leaving the operations of Fort Siloso in the hands of the Singapore Armed Forces. 

In 1974, Fort Siloso was converted into a military museum, putting its naval guns, tunnels, and other artifacts on display for visitors. Additionally, because of its role during the war, the fort was gazetted as a national monument on February 15, 2022.

How to Get There

Address: Siloso Rd, Singapore 099981

Cable Car: If you’re coming from mainland Singapore, the best way to get to Fort Siloso is by riding the cable car. Board the cable car from Mount Faber or HarbourFront, alight at Sentosa Station, then ride the cable car from Imbiah Lookout to Siloso Point.

Sentosa Express: While you can’t ride the MRT to Fort Siloso, there is the Sentosa Express. When you ride this monorail, simply alight at Beach Station, then ride Sentosa Bus A, C, or Beach Shuttle. 

Bus: If your preferred mode of public transportation is riding the bus, you can ride bus 123, alight at Beach Station, then transfer to Sentosa Bus A, C, or Beach Shuttle. Alight at Siloso Point. 

Car: For people driving to Fort Siloso, the nearest car parks are located on Imbiah Walk (Nestopia Carpark) and Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa (101 Siloso Road). 

Best Time to Visit

— From: princessezyt

Fort Siloso is open from 10 am to 6 pm every day, and personally, I believe the best time to visit is either in the morning or late in the afternoon. 

In the morning, there isn’t a big crowd, so you can freely roam around without bumping into anyone. In the late afternoon, you won’t have to worry about the sun’s oppressive heat; additionally, you might be able to catch the sunset at this time.

What to Expect in Fort Siloso

A Treasure Trove of War Memorabilia

The first thing you can expect when visiting Fort Siloso is that it’s going to be filled with war artifacts such as coastal guns and artilleries and fortified military structures, including tunnels!

The fort is also adorned with various wax figures of British and Japanese soldiers. You can find them in most areas—the engine room, the battery command post, and more—reminders of those who manned this fort.

Along with the war artifacts and memorabilia, there are plaques explaining what the rooms are for and the events being depicted by wax figures. I recommend reading them to gain more insight about the fort’s history.

Immersive Exhibits

— From: tetsu.c33

Fort Siloso also has various immersive exhibits that make learning about history a lot more fun. 

Take the WWII Experience, which has a simple premise: to relive what happened to Singapore during the war. Here, you can find a miniature model of Fort Siloso and an information board about the history of Siloso and Sentosa. 

— From: fareasthospitality

Another exhibit is called The Life of a Soldier, which shows the life of British soldiers back in the day. My favorite part of this exhibit is that it features replicas of a soldier’s room, a laundry room, a cookhouse, and a tailor’s shop.  

The most popular exhibit has to be Surrender Chambers. This one features a reenactment of the British surrender to Japan in 1942 and the Japanese surrender in 1945.

It contains wax figures and an interactive video documentary. 

There are still other exhibits waiting for you in Fort Siloso. Be sure to check out all of them!

Fort Siloso Skywalk

— From: w1986k

Fort Siloso Skywalk is actually a new addition to the site, and it’s an interesting one because it’s like a combination of a bridge and an observation deck. 

The Skywalk stands 11 stories tall, so you can get stunning views of the forest around you. 

It’s also a great sunset viewing spot. I’ve seen the sunset here many times, and wow, the sight is glorious every time. 

Additionally, the Skywalk is about 181 meters long, making it a perfect addition to a hiking trail. In fact, many hikers do love coming here, and some of them use the Skywalk as a rest stop.

Fort Siloso Tour

— From: anncoyoca

You can tour Fort Siloso by yourself either spontaneously or using this brochure as your guide. But if you prefer having a more knowledgeable person guiding you, you might be interested in joining a guided tour. 

Fort Siloso hosts several free guided tours every month! Check out this page to know when these free tours are held and when registrations are open. 

Just keep in mind that slots for the free guided tours are limited, so be sure to book your spot as soon as possible.