Thirty years of rampant development have transformed Sentosa into the most developed of Singapore’s southern islands (with the possible exception of one or two that are home to petrochemical installations), so it’s ironic that its name means “tranquil” in Malay. Sentosa has come a long way since colonial times, when it had the charming name Pulau Blakang Mati, or the “Island of Death Behind”, and was home to a British military base. Contrived but enjoyable in parts, the Sentosa of today is promoted for its rides, passable beaches, hotels and massive new casino resort on the northern shore. Besides the mandatory casino and much-hyped Universal Studios theme park, Resorts World Sentosa has half a dozen hotels, a maritime museum and a Marine Life Park.

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