A revered pilgrimage destination off the coast of Singapore, Kusu Island has garnered worldwide popularity for its magical tortoise mythology, pristine beaches and alluring lagoons. It’s also home to a tortoise sanctuary, a Chinese temple and reef snorkelling opportunities.
Things to do
A trip to Kusu Island typically means spending days lazing on soft sand nestled next to the azure waters, with the occasional turtle or tortoise spotted frolicking offshore. Most beaches feature picnic tables and barbecue facilities, while keen snorkelers will appreciate the colourful reefs and fascinating marine life accessible from the beach.
Interested in learning about the local culture? Head to one or more of the three Malay shrines, also called “keramuts”, which commemorate three Malay saints from the 19th century. You need to climb 152 steps to reach the shrines, but the walk is worth the effort for scenic views and immersive Malay religious culture.
Don’t forget to visit Da Bo Gong Temple, a revered Chinese temple built in 1923. It’s the site of numerous pilgrimages to the Chinese God of Prosperity and is often filled with worshippers and incense smoke. A short walk away is the Tortoise Sanctuary, which houses hundreds of protected tortoises and features informative displays on the animals.
While you’re on Kusu Island it’s only a short jump across to Lazarus and St John’s islands, which feature their own enticing beaches and historic monuments. Check out the Old Jetty on St John’s, before swimming at the crescent moon-shaped beach on Lazarus.
Kusu Island is reached via regular ferries from Marina South Pier, which also take you to St John Island. You can reach the ferry terminal using the MRT or public bus systems. The best way to get around Kusu Island is by walking.