Tuesday, 7 September 2010

St John's Island - Pulau Sakijang Bendera

as I have mentioned in previous posts, we did a day trip over to the Southern Islands of Kusu and St Johns last Saturday.

It was a lovely day, no rain, very warm of course and unfortunately extremely hazy so taking photographs was not a priority!

This the blog post on the Singapore Straits and one on the Ferry Trip.

Our first stop was at St John's Island.
St John's is a former penal settlement, this large hilly island has been transformed into a tranquil getaway with swimming lagoons, beaches, picnic grounds, trekking routes and soccer fields. It is perfect for a weekend or a day visit. There are plenty of area's for having a picnic, lazing about or going for walks.
When we went over on Saturday there were very few people on the ferry, maybe 40 all up. So the island itseld was very quiet ..... though we did see people walking in the distance and a few fishermen on the jetty.

But overall we thought it would be worth coming back and spending a full day walking, reading, lazing and maybe a picnic. Though there are no stores on the island it is wise to take food, drinks, sunblock and camera with you.


Saint John's Island, previously known as Pulau Sakijang Bendera, is one of the Southern Islands in Singapore. It is located approximately 6.5 km to the south of the main island of Singapore, off the Straits of Singapore.

Saint John's Island formerly housed a quarantine station for cholera cases detected among immigrants in the late 1800s, and starting from 1901, victims of beri-beri were also brought to the island. By 1930, the island gained world recognition as a quarantine centre screening Asian immigrants and pilgrims returning from Mecca.

The quarantine station was eventually also used to house victims of other diseases, such as leprosy. When mass immigration was closed in mid 1900s, the island was used to house a penal settlement and a drug rehabilitation centre. The 40.5-hectare hilly island was transformed in 1975 into a tranquil getaway with swimming lagoons, beaches, picnic grounds, trekking routes and soccer fields. The island is also a haven for a host of flora and fauna, and is popular for weekend visits.
The island, reputedly haunted according to some local traditions, was the site of Sir Stamford Raffles's anchorage before meeting the Malay chief of Singapore in 1819.

Also located on the island is the Tropical Marine Science Institute, Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) of Singapore's Marine Aquaculture Centre.

A detention centre for illegal immigrants still remains.

we were surprised at how 'deserted' the beachs were ..... and this was mid day on a Saturday!

and it was soon time to re board the ferry to take us over to Kusu Island ..... another 15 minutes by ferry.......

In recent times, the western end of the island hosts a $30million (SGD) Marine Aquaculture Centre. This large hilly island also has swimming lagoons, beaches, picnic grounds, trekking routes and soccer fields.

St. John's natural shores is ringed by coral reefs with a variety of hard and soft corals. St. John's Island also has small patches of mangroves, which shelters a rare variety of mangrove tree. For some reason, dolphins seem regularly sighted at St. John's.

Certainly worth a trip there and so easy to get to ..... check my previous blog post on the Ferry Trip.

Stay tuned for the blog post on KUSU ISLAND!


m.abbas110 said...

is there any place where we can get water for drinking at St.John's Island?

Leone said...

there are no stores to purchase any .... and I can't remember if there were any taps to refill your bottle either.

But there are plenty of stores at the terminal to purchase water prior to going over... better to take your own I think.

Enjoy your day!

Chaithra and Naveen said...

we went there too


And there are no drinking water available but there are dorms which has a kitchen also so there are taps.

Chaithra and Naveen said...

We went there too

there are no drinking water available but there are dorms and kitchen areas which will have taps.But these dorms have to be prebooked I guess.