Kusu Island

  • Located off the south-eastern tip of Singapore and famous for its turtle sanctuary and temples.
  • The warm waters of the beaches and lagoon are good for swimming and picnics.
  • Pack food because there are no restaurants on the island.
  • Daily ferries from the Marina South Pier.
  • The name means Turtle Island in Mandarin.
  • According to legend, two shipwrecked sailors (a Malay and a Chinese) were saved from drowning by a giant turtle. In gratitude, they built a Malay shrine, a Chinese temple and a sculpture of a giant turtle on the island. Taoists and Muslims come here to pray for health, wealth and prosperity. In the ninth lunar month, devotees make annual pilgrimages to the Tua Pekong Temple and visit the shrine called Kramat Kusu.
  • Changing rooms and toilets available.
  • Visitors are not permitted to stay overnight.

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Pulau Ubin

  • Pulau Ubin is Singapore’s second largest off-shore island, just over 1,000 hectares off its north-eastern coast. Chek Jawa, a teeming haven for marine life is located at the eastern tip of the island.
  • This is a rugged, rustic island escape of granite outcrop (with a number of granite quarries that are no longer in use), mangrove swamps, mudflats and beds of seagrass.
  • Great for fishing, hiking, cycling, photography and heritage experiences.
  • Granite was quarried on the island until the 1970’s and Ubin is Javanese meaning square stone.
  • There are also rubber plantations, traditional fishing huts called kelongs and fish, duck and prawn farms.
  • It is a natural haven of flora and fauna in its mangrove and forest areas … look out for the seashore nutmeg trees, colourful sea sponges at low tide, flying foxes, stick insects, jungle fowl, dog-toothed cat snakes, wild pigs, otters, sea anemones, seed cucumbers, cow fishes, octopuses, starfish, horseshoe crabs, sea urchins and sea grasses.
  • There are magnificent Ma Chor temples by the seashore and disused limestone quarries.
  • Tanjong Chek Jawa, a unique coastal haven on the eastern tip, offers a diversity of marine flora and fauna in six major habitats.
  • Bookings have to be made in advance, and the trip includes a free 45 minute guided tour of marine creatures at the mudflats.

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Pulau Hantu

  • Meaning Ghost Island in Malay, Pulau Hantu is an hour’s charter from the mainland, and home to lagoons, sandy shores and sheltered beaches, mangroves, coral reefs and seagrasses.
  • Pulau Hantu is actually made up of two islets: Hantu Besar (Big Ghost) and Hantu Kecil (Little Ghost).
  • The beautiful waters are good for fishing, swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving and camping is a great experience here.
  • One legend has ancient Malay warriors dueling to death here, while another tells of pirates who hid their loot on the island and set up flickering lights to scare off visitors.
  • A large mangrove swamp shaded with coconut trees attracts visitors who explore the swamp and discover hermit crabs, mudskippers and starfishes.
  • Migratory birds like cranes, herons and magpies can be observed in season.
  • Deserted and tranquil, not crowded.
  • Amateur divers receive their Open Water training here.

The Singapore Land Authority has taken over the management of Pulau Hantu, among other islands. Check for updates before planning your travel.

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Pictures from the Singapore Island Cruise, NParks and Wild Singapore websites.