Saint John’s Island, previously known as Pulau Sakijang Bendera, is one of the Southern Islands in Singapore.
It is located approximately 6.5 km to the south of the main island of Singapore, off the Straits of Singapore.It is the best place to conduct simple company retreat, team building activity, picnics, swimming, fishing and other water activities.
Saint John’s Island formerly housed a quarantine station for cholera cases detected among immigrants in the late 19th century, and starting from 1901, victims of beri-beri were also brought to the island. By 1930, the island gained world recognition as a quarantine centre screening Asian immigrants and pilgrims returning from Mecca. The quarantine station was eventually also used to house victims of other diseases, such as leprosy.
When mass immigration was closed in mid-20th century, the island was used to house a penal settlement and a drug rehabilitation centre. The 40.5-hectare hilly island was transformed in 1975 into a tranquil getaway with swimming lagoons, beaches, picnic grounds, trekking routes and soccer fields. The island is also a haven for a host of flora and fauna, and is popular for weekend visits.There is also a small jetty at the southern end of the island to transport visitors to and from the mainland.
Lazaru Island was previously known as Pulau Sakijang Pelepah. Literal translation: “sa” means one, “kijang” means barking deer, “pelapah” is a palm frond, so presumably “Island of One Barking Deer and Palms”. This island of One was the site fish survey conducted in 1994.
Lazarus Island is part of a group of 8 islets collectively known as Singapore’s Southern Islands which include Sentosa, St. John’s Island, Kusu Island, Pulau Seringat, Pulau Tekukor and the two Sister’s Islands.
To be able to get to Lazarus Island, book for a private yacht or a ferry. It is connected by a bridge to St. John’s Island and now both islands have sand-fly-free beautiful beaches.
Both islands have underwater corals and pink dolphins have been spotted in the waters around them regularly. They are also an ideal location for snorkeling in the swimming lagoons.
New marine park at Sisters’ Islands will allow visitors to get a look at the ecosystems, including shallow pools which corals, anemones and other marine life.Nparks will assess how many visitors the islands can safely accommodate. (Credit to The Straits Times news paper)
A long time ago, there lived a pair of sisters, Minah and Lina, who shared a bond so strong that nothing could separate them. But one day, the notorious chief of the Orang Laut met and fell in love with Lina. Despite the sisters’ pleas, the chief tried to take her away by forcing her into a boat. Just then, the sky turned dark and a storm broke out. As Minah made a final attempt to save her sister from leaving the jetty, a large wave engulfed her. On seeing this, Lina freed herself from her captors and jumped into the sea to join Minah.
The storm subsided but nowhere could the sisters be found. Instead, two islands emerged at the point where they had drowned. Originally named Subar Laut (3.9 hectares) & Subar Darat (1.7 hectares), these two tiny islands are now known as Sisters’ Islands. It is said that each year on the very day the islands were formed, there will always be storms and rain.
Kusu Island is one of the Southern Islands in Singapore, located about 5.6 kilometres to the south of the main island of Singapore, off the Straits of Singapore. The name means “Tortoise Island” or “Turtle Island” in Chinese; the island is also known as Peak Island or Pulau Tembakul in Malay. The word Kusu also means flatulence in Tamil, one of Singapore’s national languages-however, this is not related in any way to the name of the island, and is a misconception. From two tiny outcrops on a reef, the island was enlarged and transformed into an island holiday resort of 85,000 square metres.
Story passed down by both Malays and Chinese in Singapore says a magical tortoise turned itself into an island to save two shipwrecked sailors – a Malay and a Chinese.
At the top of the rugged hillock on Kusu Island stands three kramats (or holy shrines of Malay saints) to commemorate a pious man (Syed Abdul Rahman), his mother (Nenek
Ghalib) and sister (Puteri Fatimah) who lived in the 19th century. Many devotees will climb the 152 steps leading to the kramats to pray for wealth, good marriage, good health and harmony. The shrines are also popular with childless couples who would pray for children. Despite misconceptions, they do not pray to the kramats.