My kids are very excited about the opening of Universal Studios on Sentosa very soon. Every time we go over to Sentosa (we went a couple of times over the holidays) we glimpsed the progress to the rides and attractions. The duelling rollercoaster look pretty scary to me, but there will be plenty of other exciting attractions to keep us amused.

Call me a party-pooper, but my instinct tells me to stay away from Sentosa until the traffic situation settles down and there are more shuttle buses on offer. The theme park is expected to attract 30,000 visitors each day, with visitors to Sentosa set to double in the coming year. That is a big headache when trying to get around the island. Already the bus queues can be monstrous, and the car parks full.

There are a number of ways to get to Sentosa, go here for details. My advice is to go via the Sentosa Express, a monorail that goes from Vivo City and will stop at the Resorts World before heading to Imbiah Lookout and Beach Station. This is the least stressful way to visit Sentosa, and you get a good view too (although you will have to stand).

I read today in Yahoo News that from January 18 private vehicles entering Sentosa will pay an increased tariff, depending on when they enter. At the moment it costs SG$2 per car to enter Sentosa, but from the 18th it will cost $6 between 7am and just before noon on weekdays, and $7 on weekends and public holidays between 7am and 7pm. Also, you will pay more per head if there are few people in the car.

This is a measure to encourage people to use public transport, and I hope it works. We recently started leasing a car and so visited Sentosa this way for the first time. We found the parking very difficult, with the parking lot at Imbiah Lookout "full" both times. The Beach carpark has a one off fee of $3. But by the time you pay the car's fee, each person's fee, parking fees and whatever else you do on Sentosa, it becomes an expensive day.

So I hope more shuttle buses are put added, and I think they should be free. We spend enough when we get to Sentosa so to be charged to get there should be subsidised by the businesses on the island. I would gladly leave my car at home if there were plenty of free shuttle buses available.


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