Visit one of our country’s most beautiful offshore islands with your friends or family. There’s lots to do! By Muneerah Bee
Photo: Jordan Tan/123rf.com
St John’s Island was once a quarantine centre for immigrants coming into Singapore who had cholera, beri-beri and leprosy. It was later used to house political prisoners and drug rehabilitators.
Today, it is known as a place for the public to visit for a day trip away from the city. It’s easy to get there: Just go to Marina South Pier and buy your ferry tickets from Singapore Island Cruise around the main entrance of the pier. Check out the daily ferry schedule and ticket prices here.
Here’s a glimpse of what you can do on the island.
1. Get to know some cats
There is a large stray cat population on St John’s Island and they are used to and quite friendly to humans. It’s almost like being in an outdoor cat café of sorts. Get to know the cats here and find out how you can support and feed them.
2. Join a guided nature walk
St John’s Island is home to mangroves, coastal plants and coral reefs. Find out how you can book a guided Intertidal Walk around the island here.
The Tropical Marine Science Institute, a local marine research facility on the island, also organises visits to the institute as part of its public education programme to create awareness in the marine sciences. Get in touch with them here.
3. Hit the beach
St John’s Island’s best-kept secret is actually another island of its own. Laidback Lazarus Island is linked to St John’s by a little paved bridge for an easy walk and it is home to tranquil beaches and lagoons.
If you are planning a picnic by the beach, you’ll need to bring everything you need as food and drinks are not sold on both islands.
4. Explore further
From Lazarus Island, you can walk to yet another island, Pulau Seringat, to explore nature there. The place is relatively undeveloped but we hear it won’t stay that way for long so pop over and venture if you have the time.
5. Book an island stay
A holiday bungalow, furnished with cooking facilities, is available on the island and it can hold up to 10 people. For larger groups up to 60 people, the dormitory-style holiday camps are your best choice.
Do note you can only stay overnight on St John’s Island if you book the accommodation as camping is not allowed. Find out more here.
6. Book a private yacht
You can even charter a private luxury yacht that’ll take you on a cruise around the beautiful Singapore waters before taking you to St John’s Island to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
A version of this story first appeared in The Finder.