The pleasures of island hopping amid Singapore’s southern islands are just the thing for travelers seeking beautiful sunsets, nature reserves, temples, bungalows and beaches. The following are a few of the finer points of call among the more than 50 islands that make up the country.
Actually two islands (Big Sisters’ and Little Sisters’) this dynamic duo is a popular destination for snorkelers, picnickers, and campers. Experienced scuba divers will also enjoy the clear blue waters here; but be aware, the currents in the area are notoriously strong and have been known to imperil the uninitiated.
St John’s Island
Though this island was once a quarantine station for immigrants and inmates suffering from leprosy, St. John’s (or Pulau Sakijang Bendera) is now a delightful idyll replete with picnic grounds, hiking trails, lagoons, beaches and recreational areas for sports enthusiasts.
Located less than 40 minutes by ferry from the Marina South Pier, Kusu is home to a Malay temple, a Chinese shrine and several excellent swimming and snorkeling spots. The island is known as Tortoise Island for its size and shape and turtle motifs abound. Legend has it that a giant tortoise turned itself into an island to save two stranded sailors whose ship sank in the area. True or not, Kusu is definitely a great place to visit.
Popular with trekkers and campers, the boomerang-shaped Ubin (also known as Granite Island) offers more than 2,500 acres of wilderness, abandoned granite quarries, rolling hills and some of Singapore’s last remaining traditional kampongs (or “villages”).