SNORKEL in pristine seas, fish a bountiful catch, watch turtles in their natural habitat or have a cosy picnic at the beautiful and green Southern Islands off the shores of Singapore’s coast with Four Seasons Hotel Singapore.
A privately chartered vessel ferries guests to and from the islands, which are just 30 minutes off Singapore’s coast. The three Southern Islands of Singapore each have their own unique experiences to offer.
Born from the legend of a giant tortoise that turned itself into an island to save two shipwrecked sailors, Kusu (‘tortoise’ in Malay) Island is a sacred place of worship to 90,000 devotees who visit the island during the 11th month of the lunar calendar. The island boasts gorgeous lagoons, pristine beaches for afternoon picnics, and three Malay shrines (keramats) and a Chinese temple for spiritual solace. Unique to the island – and an experience in itself – is the Tortoise Sanctuary that houses hundreds of tortoises.
ST. JOHN ISLAND
With its history as a medical centre housing cholera and beri-beri patients, St. John Island now provides a different form of healing with its tranquil getaways of fishing spots, trekking routes, soccer fields and picnic grounds. A popular location for fishing enthusiasts, settle comfortably along sandy beaches with tackle and bait, while trekking enthusiasts can take the scenic walking path to Lazarus Island – with a spot of luck, guests could glimpse dolphins along the way.
Different legends abound on the story of two sisters, one of whom was forced to marry a pirate king. Caught in a huge storm as the young captive bride was shipped away by the pirates, the elder sister leapt into the sea to save her sister, but both vanished. They were transformed into two little islands, as their sisterly devotion had touched the gods. The islands have gorgeous reefs in the waters around the island, great for snorkelers and swimmers. This island is home to some of Singapore’s richest reefs, many varieties of corals and rich marine life abound, including the long-tailed macaque, octopus and seahorse. A narrow channel separates both islands, and is a popular spot for picnics under the swaying palm trees.
Four Seasons Hotel Singapore offers customisable Castaway Picnic packages to guests; picnic menus are available from S$40 ($32). Island Getaway kits will also be provided as part of the Singapore Island Cruise packages, including towels, sunblock and mosquito repellent.
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