With travel restrictions still in place, it’ll be awhile before we’ll be able to travel. The pandemic had a financial impact too, which forced some people to cut back on costs such as shopping, eating out, and even travelling. Fret not, though, as there are other ways for you to still go on a weekend getaway -- even while on a budget!
Exploring Singapore’s Southern Islands: St John’s Island, Kusu Island, and Sister’s Island.
Below is your budget-friendly getaway guide:
Things to bring to your weekend getaway
Before anything else, here’s a packing checklist you might want to consider:
- Extra clothes
- Picnic mats
- Mosquito repellant
- Toilet paper
It’s probably better to plan ahead as the islands do not have any shops or vending machines available. Most of these items are available at home anyway, so remember to pack them so you can focus on enjoying yourself!
How to go to St John’s Island, Kusu Island, and Sister’s Island
To travel to these Southern Islands, you can purchase your tickets from Marina South Pier. An adult ticket costs $15 each, while tickets for children and the elderly cost $12 each.
Alternatively, you can also go to the website and book your tickets in advance. Keep in mind that the ferry schedule from Marina South Pier runs from 9 AM - 5 PM daily, enabling you to hop on and off at a time that is convenient for you!
Now, let’s walk through a sample itinerary and the activities available in the islands. Feel free to follow these. Otherwise, you can also follow your own schedule, or be spontaneous with a free and easy trip!
From Marina South Pier to St John’s Island
St John’s Island is about 6.5 km away from Singapore, and is the largest Southern Island in Singapore. The island was formerly used as a quarantine facility in the 1900s and also a drug rehabilitation center in the 1950s!
Today, locals who seek to slow down and relax visit the island for a quiet getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life. Even cat lovers keep coming back to this place as it houses many adorable stray cats!
The island also has wide and open spaces for young children or for groups of friends who wish to play frisbee or volleyball in! For those who are into marine life, St John’s Island has a marine laboratory where it showcases marine life research and conservation -- for free! You can also go for a swim, a tan, or even cycle on the island.
PS: Accomodation facilities are also available on this island, giving you the option to spend the night!
From St John’s Island to Kusu Island
Your next stop is Kusu Island, an island known for its religious establishments. The tranquility and spirituality of the island gives you a quiet space to reflect and disconnect from your everyday worries.
This island is home to three Malay shrines and a Chinese temple here. It is believed that the shrines and temples are able to grant health, wealth, good marriage and even children -- and if any of these wishes are granted, one must go back to give thanks.
Interestingly, if St John’s houses cats, Kusu Island is home to tortoises! The island is actually a tortoise sanctuary. In fact, Kusu, in Chinese, means tortoise.
From Kusu Island to Sister’s Island
The last stop is Sister’s Island. Did you know that Sister’s Island is, in fact, made of two islands: Big Sister, and, you guessed it, Small Sister Island. However, Small Sister’s Island isn’t open to the public as it is being used as a research and conservation facility.
Big Sister’s, on the other hand, is great for those who seek to get away from the crowd as it receives lesser visitors than the two islands. This shouldn’t be the case, though, as there are enjoyable activities to do on this island, plus it’s also considered a marine park!
Besides swimming in their twin lagoons, the island houses fishes and corals, making it the perfect go-to spot for snorkelling! Barbecue pits are also available here, so feel free to bring meat to grill, or simply bring sandwiches and hotdogs!
It’s important to take note, however, that fishing is prohibited here due to conservation reasons.
Your New Getaway in the Changing Times
All the activities mentioned cost almost nothing but it still proves to be something enjoyable! After all, taking a break doesn’t have to be an expensive affair as long as you’re with people you treasure the most. This year, take the time to explore our little Southern islands, and bond with your loved ones like never before.
If you’re looking for a getaway from Singapore, then check out the ferry schedules from Marina South Pier. You can also visit our website to secure your inexpensive weekend getaway instantly!