An island off the coast Singapore laden with mysterious tales of a forgotten past welcomes visitors for a delightful retreat. Kusu Island means “Tortoise Island” in Chinese, and the name was given after a local legend which, to this date, proclaims that a giant tortoise transformed into an island to save two men from a dreadful fate of drowning. Since then, the island has lived on in local Singaporean folklore as an touched paradise standing so close to a bustling modern metropolis like Singapore.
Route: Singapore Island Cruise offers multiple ferry rides that start from mainland Singapore, head out to St. John’s Island and then turn around to visit Kusu Island at last.
Price (two-way ticket):INR 1300 (for adults); INR 860 (for children)
It is important for travelers to book the ferry tickets in advance as overnight stays are not allowed on the island.
Timings: Monday to Friday (10am and 2pm)
Saturday (9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm)
Sunday & Public holidays (9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm)
Duration: 30 mins from South Marina Pier to St John’s Island and 15 minutes from there to Kusu Island
While there are many things to do on the island, the Kusu Island temple and the Kusu Island tortoise sanctuary are considered to be the main attractions here.
1. Visit the Kusu Island Chinese Temple
Apart from the fact that Kusu Island temple has been very beautifully constructed, it is an important pilgrimage site for the local Chinese people that have been residing in Singapore for centuries. The temple is a spiritual home for Taoist, Buddhist, and Confucian devotees who come and visit this place during the ninth lunar month every year.
2. Watch Tortoises in their natural habitat
As the island’s name literally translates into Tortoise Island, there is bound to be ample opportunities for visitors to gaze and marvel at the incredible tortoise population at Kusu Island. The government of Singapore has invested its resources and time into preserving the tortoise population that live fairly close to urban environment of Singapore at the Kusu Island Tortoise Sanctuary. With the help of environmental experts and nature conservatives, this place is one of the lesser known ecotourism destinations in the Singapore strait islands.
3. A picnic with your loved ones at Kusu Island
A prefered picnic destination for locals, the Kusu Island beach is also now getting attention from travelers who occasionally want a break from the fast-paced life in a metropolis like Singapore. Travelers yearning for a calm, peaceful, and unfiltered environment would love to visit this small beach for an afternoon lunch with their loved ones which can help them zone out momentarily from the urban jungle chaos.
4. Swim in the lagoons of Kusu Island
As Kusu Island has not yet beared the burden of commercialization and tourism, its surrounding waters, lagoons, and beaches remain in near pristine condition. The marine life around its coastal waters is lively and unperturbed by the side-effects of human exploitation. A lot of locals fancy the opportunity of going out for a swim into the lagoons of Kusu Island on a hot and humid summer day.
5. Hop over to St John’s Island
Few islands in the world would have a drastic change of narrative over time than as for St John’s Island. A small speck of land south of Singapore that was used as a quarantine zone for incurable diseases no less than 100 years ago, has now become into a quiet haven for nature lovers and travel enthusiasts .Almost a stone’s throw away from Kusu Island, St John’s is a tranquil and serene place for people to go on a day-trip. The island is mostly visiting by local fishing enthusiasts, and people who love a day away from the noise and dense urban population. The island can be reached by the same ferry that gets travelers to Kusu Island.
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