Trip to Kusu Island, Singapore

Recently, as part of our team outing, we have been to Kusu Island, one of the small islands surrounding Singapore, which is an island itself!

‘Visiting an island’ relates to a sense of fascination and excitement – especially if you grew up in a land-locked place and without access to islands – but before we let our imaginations run wild, it’s got to be stopped because this is not really a ‘big’ island but it’s more like a well-manicured garden surrounded by the sea. It does contain a chinese temple and a malay shrine (keramat, which most from the subcontient know as dargah) but is empty for most of the year.

This is one of those short get-aways that is less than an hour’s ride by ferry and one can’t help but notice the sense of tranquility that the island offers even while the Singapore skyline is quite visible (unless the rain plays spoil sport)

Kusu means Tortoise or Turtle in Chinese and that’s what it is named after. Several legends are told about its origin but the most-often accepted version is that a huge tortoise turned itself into an island to save two sailors from a shipwreck. These sailors happened to be a Malay and a Chinese. To show their gratitude, they built a Chinese temple & a Malay shrine. Since then, the worship at these places has been taking place.

The island also contains a tortoise sanctuary where you can find several tortoises and turtles, few stone statues of tortoises. It’s well-maintained and several shelters are available – no advanced booking necessary. It’s usually not crowded unless it’s the Chinese worship season, when it’s supposed to be visited by nearly 90 thousand people. There are no BBQ pits but we can carry the portable pit. No overnight stay is allowed. Lagoons have been arranged to have a swim. It’s a good short trip that may not keep us engaged for more than half-a-day but if we are in a mood for a mini-recharing of selves, it’d be a good trip.