Thursday, 9 September 2010

Have you been to Kusu Island?

Kusu Island is one of the Southern Islands in Singapore, located about 5.6 kilometres to the south of the main island of Singapore, off the Straits of Singapore

The name means "Tortoise Island" or "TurtleChinese; the island is also known as Peak Island or Pulau Tembakul in Malay. From two tiny outcrops on a reef, the island was enlarged and transformed into an island holiday resort of 85,000 square metres.

[ this aerial image is a google image of Kusu Island ]

Many legends surround the island, most referring to a magical giant turtle turning itself into an island to save two shipwrecked sailors - a Malay and a Chinese. It is said the grateful sailors returned to the island to give thanks and others continued the tradition. 

 coming into dock at Kusu Island

Before Kusu was reclaimed, some people say it looked like a turtle. Made up of two ridges on a reef, one ridge the head, and the other (where the hilltop is now) the back of the turtle.

Kusu, however, has since been reclaimed into an 8.5ha holiday resort. There are now three Malay shrines or "keramats" and a Chinese temple on Kusu Island. Nearby, the Tortoise Sanctuary houses hundreds of tortoises.

Kusu Island was called Pulau Tembakul in the past. It used to be a burial site of immigrants who died in quarantine on St. John's and Lazarus Islands. 

If you have not visited Kusu Island, do so ..... it truly is an enjoyable experience.
To reach Kusu you do need to go by ferry, so do read this blog posting on the ferry trip. We traveled over there last Saturday (September 4)  and it was a wonderful day's outing. Hardly anyone there which is a plus.

There are a lot of picnic area's on Kusu Island, but you need to take everything with you. There are no food stores or cafe's. We did see people take over picnic sets and baskets.


 particularly like this area as you can sit here, have a picnic and watch all the ships go by!!


Located on Kusu island is the popular Chinese temple - Da Bo Gong or Tua Pek Kong (The Merchant God or God of Prosperity). Built in 1923 by a wealthy businessman, the temple houses two main deities - the Da Bo Gong and Guan Yin (Goddess of Mercy). The former is highly regarded as having the power to confer prosperity, cure diseases, calm the sea and avert danger, while Guan Yin is known as the 'giver of sons'.


The Tortoise Sanctuary houses hundreds of tortoises.
 after a few hours wandering around the island, 
it was time to head back to the jetty and wait for the ferry.

  and while we waited for the ferry this little boy was playing 
hide and seek between the barriers as he watched me ..... so cute!!
but he kept pointing to the ferry and saying 'boat', 
his dad said all he wanted to do all week was go on the 'boat'!

a trip to Kusu Island is worth going at anytime of the year..... though do note when the Kusu Pilgrimage Season is on ... in 2010 it is during October.

Kusu Pilgrimage season is held during the ninth month of the Chinese lunar calendar. (in 2010 is is OCTOBER) During this time, about 100,000 pilgrims make the trip to the island. Ferry services, road access to Marina South Pier and other regular services may be suspended and changed. Check the Sentosa website and Maritime Port Authority website for the latest updates nearer the event.


BeLLy Blog's said...

Great Blog..!!!! Keep Blogging.... :)

still make great post..

jack said...

I like the sea turtle Because There are in a large marine variety of turtle.There are only seven species of sea turtles in the world,but all of them have flattened shells and paddles rather than webbed feet or claws.

Meaghan said...

Loving your blog! I'm coming to Singapore for my easter vacation and you have given a lot of "off the beaten path" ideas for my trip! I'm just sad you left because I would have loved to have had a guide!

Leone Fabre said...

Meaghan, would loved to have been your 'guide' ..... I love Singapore and to be able to share it with others is always a treat.

If you link thru to "Life in Singapore" on Facebook, there are other ideas there too on what to do etc while in Singapore. You could even ask if there is anyone that may have a 'free day' and could show you some places too .... especially Little India, Arab Street, Pulau Ubin etc ... ask anyway if people could suggest places for you to visit.

Have a great trip!!