The current global situation with Covid-19 might be making it hard to go on the holiday of your dreams right now, but on a positive note, the lockdown has given us plenty of time to plan out our next trips abroad. Stuck indoors and kept from doing the things we love our collective minds have had us dreaming of future holidays and adventures.
Enquiries about British Virgin Islands boat hire at borrowaboat.com have gone through the roof in recent months as people have scrambled for something to look forward to. If you’re one of the millions of people currently thinking about your next holiday, don’t make any decisions until you’ve read our ultimate guide to Singapore’s stunning southern islands.
Singapore’s Southern Islands: An Overview
Just south of Singapore you will find eight small islets: Kusu Island, St.John’s Island, Lazarus Island, Sentosa, Pulau Seringat, Pulau Tekukor and the two Sisters’ Island. Together these idyllic islands total just over 2 square miles, but they manage to pack an awful lot of beauty into such a small space.
Originally these islands were home to the sea-faring Malay population before Singapore developed into an urban centre of commerce and trade. Now they are one of the main jewels in Singapore’s tourism crown.
If you want to explore Singapore’s southern islands there are two ways to get there and make the most of your trip. The most popular way is to fly into Singapore Changi and then hop onto one of the daily ferries that visit the islands.
If you want to make the most of your time though and enjoy the islands with no time limits and no crowds in the evening, then you simply have to travel by boat or yacht. If you’ve never chartered a yacht before you could be forgiven for thinking that this form of transport is firmly out of your budget.
Fortunately, though, luxury yacht hire isn’t prohibitively expensive. Hiring a yacht for a week along with a fully qualified skipper is roughly around the same price as a weeklong stay in a four-star European hotel for a family of four.
Which is good because only three of Singapore’s southern islands (Sentosa, St. John’s and Kusu) are accessible by public ferry. Now, let’s take a look at what these smalls islands have to offer to intrepid travellers…
If you have ever meditated or being hypnotised, you will be familiar with being asked to imagine a pristine beach. One with dazzling white sand, clear blue waters and background of bountiful coconut trees.
Singapore’s southern islets could well be the inspiration for this collective idea of the perfect beach. Sentosa – the most popular of the islands – has some of the most beautiful beaches that you will find anywhere in the world.
In addition to its natural beauty, Sentosa also has all the trappings of a modern city, with impressively designed buildings located just a short stroll from the gentle, lapping waves of the ocean.
If you prefer your beaches as natural as possible without the glare of modern life, you’ll find everything you’ve ever wanted on the two Sister’s Islands.
Arriving by private yacht you will have near-exclusive access to the islands’ gorgeous beaches, but you’ll want to spend more time in the water than out of it. The two islands are home to more than 250 species of hard coral, 200 species of sponges and more than 100 species of dazzling reef fish.
Get the snorkel at the ready and make sure you’ve got plenty of sunscreen on hand for after when you sit back and relax on the scorching beach.
Kusu Island, which means Turtle Island, is shrouded in history and folklore. According to local mythology, two shipwrecked travellers, one Malay and the other Chinese were rescued at sea by a magical turtle who turned into an island and offered them shelter.
To offer their thanks to the turtle, the two rescued sailors set about building Chinese and Malay temples as well as shrines to the turtle that saved them. The spiritual importance of turtles on Kusu Island can still be seen today with the Chinese Taoist temple acting as a place of worship and a turtle sanctuary.
There are plenty of other interesting spiritual sites on the island, such as the Kusu Kramats, three holy shrines to the Malay Saints located a short 153 step climb up an inland hill. Here you can simply admire the architecture or join the locals in praying to the Kramats for blessings of wealth, marriage and fertility.
Have Fun Adventuring
When we think of near-deserted tropical islands our minds may drift off to images of Tarzan and Jane swinging through the canopies of towering trees. If you want to experience that buzz for yourself, you can do so safely at Sentosa Mega Adventure Park.
For $65 you can spend the day climbing treetops, soaring like an eagle down a 450-metre-long zip line, testing your balance on an obstacle course or braving a terrifying bungee jump. If that sound a little bit too exhilarating for you, there are plenty of laid-back adventuring options on Sentosa, including a stunning skyline view walk.