Singapore Diaries | Island Hopping

Singapore islands

Singapore islands

Singapore islands

Singapore islands

When planning our trip to Singapore (not something we did in a lot of detail as we only booked five weeks in advance), Alice and I were in agreement that we wanted to venture out the city and check out some of the islands dotted about. We ran out of time to do Pulau Ubin but we did tick off Sentosa, St John's, Lazarus and Kusu.

100% honesty: we didn’t really get Sentosa. On paper, it sounded amazing. A cable car ride over the water, 3 big beaches, the southernmost point of continental Asia; yes please, sign me up. But the reality was a bit… tacky?

I like the fact that I’ve been to the southernmost point of Asia – that’s pretty cool. But I’m not sure it was worth traipsing around Sentosa for. It’s all a bit theme park with too many tourists and views of endless cargo ships. Not exactly the picturesque remote island we’d been envisioning (we did eat two ice creams in the space of half an hour though so that’s something). Basically, if you have time to go visit some of the neighbouring islands in Singapore, I wouldn’t bother with Sentosa. Go island-hopping instead.

Singapore islands

Singapore islands

Singapore islands

Singapore islands

Singapore islandsOn our second to last day, we hopped on over to the harbour area, via the metro, and bought tickets for a little island-hopping boat trip. Apart from some minor sea sickness-related nausea, it was a truly swell day.

Our first stop was St John's island and we were relieved to get off the boat and immediately see those pristine white beaches we’d been imagining, without any tacky tourist crap. Hallelujah. It was tranquil with clear blue waters and lush vegetation.

St John’s is famous for once housing a quarantine centre for cholera cases detected amongst immigrants in the later 19th century – bit of history there for ya. You know what it’s also famous for? CATS. Yes, my friends, a cat island. I WAS SO HAPPY.

I mean sure, some of them were very mangy but I was still surrounded by purring felines so I wasn’t going to complain. The island is home to approximately 100 stray cats who laze and lounge around in the sun all day as though they own the place. And you know what? It seems they do. They are very used to human contact so we spent a good while sitting with them, stroking them, photographing them… I loved it.


Singapore islands

Singapore islands

Singapore islands

Singapore islands

 I will admit though, we did get a teensy bit distracted by the wild monkeys. The evening before, we’d walked the southern ridges and there were loads of signs explaining what to do should you encounter a wild monkey. Ngl, we were actually a little disappointed not to see any swinging about above our heads. But this was so much better. We got to watch a family of monkeys – including a baby – play in the trees and run around on the ground just a few feet from us. It felt quite special to see them up close in the wild, just going about their business. Particularly as the baby was so playful.

When we finally pulled our gaze away from them, we took a lazy walk across the connecting walkway to Lazarus island which is home to a gorgeous beach. Naturally, we had to kick off our shoes and get our feet in the water and I was a little annoyed I hadn’t brought my swimsuit because it looked so inviting. We moseyed around the beach, paddled and sat under the shade of the trees reading for a while before taking a gentle (the heat) walk back to St John’s and hopping on the boat to Kusu.

Singapore islands

Singapore islands

Singapore islands

Kusu was absolutely my favourite island of them all. As soon as we arrived, we were greeted by the sight of the stunning Chinese temple and we immediately went to have a look around. Inside was a big burst of colours and incense, full of little details and quirks.

Kusu means ‘Tortoise island’ and its name won’t let you down. There’s a tortoise shelter! We also encountered some enormous reptilian creatures that ran through the grass at impressive speeds but we never quite got to the bottom of what exactly they were. Took lots of photos naturally.

Kusu is tiny but also the most peaceful of the islands. The beach is full of pristine white sand, palm tress and perfectly blue water. I was quite happy to spend the rest of the afternoon sat on it with that Singapore skyline stretched out in front of us.

Singapore islands

Singapore islands

Singapore islands

Singapore islands

Singapore islands

Singapore islands

Singapore islands

Singapore islands

Singapore islands

Singapore islands

Singapore islands


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