It’s almost the end of 2020 and international leisure travel is still not allowed for most countries. So we are all pretty much stuck in Singapore. With 5.6 million people crowded into an island city state of roughly 50 km wide by 30 km tall, there’s only so many places you can go to rediscover your local neighbourhoods. So how about going off the main island?
Most people think of Singapore as just one island, but actually there are 64 other islands that make up the territory of Singapore. The nearest and most accessible is Sentosa of course, where most tourists end up. The other off shore islands require you to take a boat, or they are are off limits to the general public due to security reasons. For this blog post, it’s all about several of the southern islands of St John’s, Lazarus and Kusu which are easily accessible by scheduled ferries.
The ferries now leave from Marina South Pier which is also easy to get to by taking the MRT to the station of the same name. Once out of the station, make your way to the counters which sell the ferry tickets. There are basically only 2 companies who operate the ferries, Marina South Ferries and Singapore Island Cruises. So just buy your tickets from either counters. Ticket prices are S$15 for an adult round trip ticket, and S$12 for children, but sometimes discounts are given. The ferry schedules are quite fixed for most of the year, except for a certain period where devotees make their way to Kusu Island and a special ferry service is set up just them.
So much for St John’s and Lazarus Islands. Now onward to Kusu Island. Some of the ferries make a stop at Kusu Island after stopping at St John’s Island before they return to Marina South Pier.
Legend has it that a magical tortoise turned itself into an island to save 2 shipwrecked sailors, one who was a Chinese and the other a Malay. Which is why you have the Malay shrines and a Chinese temple on the island.
The islands of St John’s, Lazarus and Kusu make for good day trip. The ferry schedule is such that you leave Marina South Pier at 10.00am and the last ferry from St John’s and Kusu leaves between 5.00-6.00pm. Do take note that there are no shops or restaurants of any kind on these islands. Even if you have lots of money, you won’t be able to buy anything. You will have to bring your own food and drinks along for the trip, and please throw all your trash in the proper trash bins on the islands.