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Discover the Hidden Beauty of Kusu Island with Captain Sindo

18 Nov 2020 - Posted By Sindo Ferry

Explore the Kusu Island 


When talking about places of interest in Singapore, it should come off as no surprise that most would think about state-of-the-art casinos, shopping malls and a metropolitan city. But there are many small islands in Singapore that could be your next vacation spot! One of them is Kusu island, which lies around 5.6 kilometres south of the main island.

Are you ready to rediscover Singapore and explore this exotic country beyond its iconic skyscrapers and city lights? If so, we will reveal some interesting information about the island before you come to visit. You might also notice that the best way to get there is by taking the ferry to Kusu Island.


Tracing the history of Kusu Island

Kusu Island is also known as Peak Island or Pulau Tembakul in Malay. Meanwhile, the name “Kusu” translates to “tortoise” or “turtle in Hokkien Chinese. Some may call it Turtle Island too.  While it also means flatulence in Tamil, one of Singapore's many official languages, it has no relation to that. In fact, legend has it that a magical tortoise once turned itself into an island in order to save two shipwrecked sailors near Singapore waters: a Malay and a Chinese.

As a show of thanks for saving their lives, the sailors returned to the island. Many Malay and Chinese today believe that a Muslim kramat and a Taoist Shrine had been built on Kusu Island, which is why some of the continue to give thanks and prayers every ninth month of the lunar calendar (Pilgrimage Season). This is known widely as the “Kusu” season. Thousands of people would travel over to pay their respects to various deities and kramats.

Now Located on Kusu island is the popular Chinese temple - Da Bo Gong 大伯公 or Tua Pek Kong (Grand Uncle). Built in 1923 by a wealthy businessman, the temple houses two main deities - the Da Bo Gong and Guan Yin 观音 (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'. At the top of the rugged hillock on Kusu Island stands three kramats (or holy shrines of Malay saints) to commemorate a pious man (Syed Abdul Rahman), his mother (Nenek Ghalib) and sister (Puteri Fatimah) who lived in the 19th century. Many devotees will climb the 152 steps leading to the kramats to pray for wealth, good marriage, good health and harmony. The shrines are also popular with childless couples who would pray for children.


What to do on Kusu Island

Now you know how Kusu Island is steeped in localy mythology and folklore that is deeply rooted in the local traditions and beliefs. But what can you really do upon your visit here? Well, the most popular thing to do is visit the numerous temples. There are three kramats, or Malay shrines, and a Chinese temple. This could be especially fascinating for those with a deeper interest in culture, history and traditional heritage.

If you are more of a nature person and want to make the most of the tranquil ambience and bounteous ocean views, not to worry! Kusu Island is famous for its scintillating lagoons, beautiful beaches and serene atmosphere. It is truly a perfect setting to just jump into the water, swim around and savour in the incredible panorama.

After an engaging day of fun activities and temple visits, we recommend enjoying a picnic with loved ones. There are several popular spots across the island where groups can gather to enjoy a nice picnic meal while taking in the sun’s warmth and sea views.

Another popular destination on Kusu Island is the Tortoise Sanctuary, which is known to house hundreds of tortoises. You can bring your kids or little cousins to witness first-hand how these creatures live and look!

Getting to Kusu Island

Now lies the most important question: how does one get from Singapore’s main island to the sanctum of Kusu Island? Thankfully, it is relatively easy and the many ferry services between these two spots make it easy for you to get to the smaller island. One of the best and most reliable ferry operators out there is Sindo Ferry.

It is perhaps the largest ferry operator too, and prides itself in its luxurious and world-class service despite a relatively affordable price tag. Sindo Ferry can take you to explore Kusu from Harbourfront Centre.

Although the comfortable ride takes less than an hour, it will feel like you have been transported to a hidden paradise where the sun’s radiant glow dances exuberantly on the glinting waves. You can leave in the morning for a day trip and return to the main Singapore island early enough to enjoy a nice dinner at Harbourfront Centre or Vivocity, as well as other nearby shopping malls.

Moreover, you would be delighted to know that Kusu Island is not the only beach destination or island getaway in Singapore. Only twenty minutes away is the venerated St John's Island, which is connected to the majestic Lazarus Island by a crossable bridge. Sindo Ferry also serves the route of ferry to St John's Island. And that’s right! A single trip to Kusu Island means you can stop by these other destinations too and enjoy a complete tropical escapade.

You can read more about St John's Island and Lazarus Island here

The sacred temples, tortoise sanctuary and incredible beaches should be enough to captivate even the most finicky of travellers. But we are sure that the majority of you can find an unforgettable and magical experience in this small, yet affluent, island destination. Well, let’s hop on the next ferry to Kusu Island and cast away all your worries.

Book your ferry tickets now from Sindo Ferry and enjoy the vacation of your dreams. Happy travelling!


Sindo Ferry is the FIRST and the ONLY ferry operator that goes to the Southern Islands (St John's Island, Lazarus Island, Kusu Island) from Harbourfront Centre.

If you would like to have a mini getaway with your family and friends, we will highly recommend you to try Singapore Discovery Journey and Singapore Sunset Voyage.

Singapore Discovery Journey departs from Harbourfront Centre everyday at 0900hrs whereas the Singapore Sunset Voyage is only available on the weekend and departs at 12:30hrs.

If you wish to book, please get it from our partner, Flamingo Travel Services.  You  have 3 options to choose from:

  1. Buy direct from Flamingo website.  Choose the travel day and you will see the price after discount.  PayNow and credit cards are accepted.

  2. Buy from Flamingo store on Shopee - Singapore Discovery Journey and Singapore Sunset Voyage.  Remember to apply Shopee voucher and earn coins.

  3. Buy from Flamingo store on Lazada - Singapore Discovery Journey and Singapore Sunset Voyage.