One of the finest beaches in Singapore is Palawan Beach on the western tip of Sentosa. The sand and sea here are glorious and provide a real tropical retreat!
Palawan Beach can be found on Sentosa Island, in the west of the country. It can be reached by the Singapore MRT to Harbourfront Station, and then by taking the free Sentosa Express monorail down to Beachfront Station. At this juncture, you can head east to Siloso Beach, or west to Palawan Beach. Both beaches have their good points and small weaknesses, but in this article I am going to focus on Palawan Beach. You can make your way along the beach without walking by hopping on the complimentary shuttle train.
Palawan Beach is the home of the best water park for kids in Singapore. Of course, it’s only small, but its prime location on the shoreline of Sentosa, and the fact that it’s only a few years old, means that it is always busy, as parents and families take their kids to check out the Port of Lost Wonder. As an adult, I cannot play on these playground areas even if I wanted to, but you cannot help past walk past/through the Port of Lost Wonder as you head further west along the beach. Everybody seemed to be having a good time – even the parents!
One of the main attractions along Palawan Beach is the Capella Hotel. Known as being one of the most expensive hotels in the whole of Singapore (at least £350 per night), it is way too expensive for most of us, and it is situated on a higher level than the actual sea level, so you cannot actually see into the resort from the beach. However, you could – as long as you are properly dressed – go for a drink at the Capella in Bob’s Bar, which serves up some amazing cocktails! As far as I know, the Capella is the only hotel situated on Palawan Beach.
The waters and flora around the Palawan Beach shorelines are amazing, and are much better than what you would see over at Siloso Beach. It seems much more tropical on Palawan. The trees and shrubbery look a much darker shade of green, whereas the waters seem slightly deeper and darker. A good thing also here is that the position of islands in front of the main beach also contains tropical palms that go some way to obscure the oil tankers that are moored in the distance. The sands at Palawan are incredibly soft, although you will surely get your feet burnt as you bare-footed on this sand! I always like to walk in my plimsolls or flip-flops until I get to the water’s edge, then I take my shoes off and dip my feet in. However, I cannot walk on the sand as it burns! I end up doing a little jiggle like I am walking on hot coals, which I imagine must make look a little silly!
For a true tourist attraction on Palawan Beach, look no further than the so-called “Southernmost Point of Continental Asia”, which markets itself as being the furthest you can get on foot in Asia. Singapore is an island, which has its own island (Sentosa), and Sentosa has a few little minor islands at its southern tip. I guess if all these are connected by bridges (and Malaysia to Singapore is connected by the Johor Causeway, of course), then you could conceivably drive from the north of Scotland, through the Channel Tunnel (on train), then drive through Europe, Russia, China, Vietnam, and down to Singapore from there. Then park up at Sentosa, and go on foot across the rope bridge to the literal southernmost point of the entire continent. And just think: no boats and planes were used! I don’t fancy ever trying this myself, but I guess it’s possible, and that’s the whole point of this “tourist attraction”. It provides a good photo opportunity.
Every time I have visited the Southernmost Point of Continental Asia, I have enjoyed myself, and it really is relaxing to walk up the 4 flights of stairs to the top of the wooden observation tower and just stare out at the waves of the Singapore Strait. The waves crash on the rocks beneath you, and it feels like one of those yoga soundtracks where you can just shut your eyes, enjoy the sea breeze, and forget about your troubles. It’s never busy here (I guess most people are too busy sunbathing), so you should always try and spend a good 20 minutes experiencing the area.
There certainly isn’t many cafés or bars on the Palawan Beach, as most of them are back at the Beachfront Station, where there is among other things a McDonald’s, a Toast Box, and a cool Bora Bora bar, which is themed to the eponymous Polynesian island. Also, further down Siloso Beach, there is a multitude of beach bars, whereas on Palawan Beach, apart from the Port of Lost Wonder complex, there is not much at all resembling a beach club.
It seems that many people choose to soak up the sun on Palawan, and leave most of the playtime for Siloso. Whatever floats your boat! I know I love both beaches, and as a pair, they are the finest beaches anywhere in Singapore!