5 Scenic Singapore Island Trails
By Alexius Chua
August 24, 2015
No budget for a European adventure holiday? Explore your own backyard!
Want an exquisite outdoor adventure on a budget? Check out these 5 scenic islands trails around Singapore, no passport required. Onwards, adventure!
View of Sisters’ Island from the ferry
Image sourced from singapat.blogspot.sg
Famed for its marine life biodiversity, Sisters’ Island is a good hiking ground where you will learn interesting legends of pirates while strolling through the sandy coast. Nature explorers will enjoy the serenity and wonder of Mother Nature. Watch as the forest wildlife roam relatively undisturbed. You can even snorkel!
Interesting fact: Myth has it that two sisters, who were about to be forced into marriage by pirates, swam away in an attempt to escape but drowned unfortunately and two islands emerged from the spots where they were last seen. Hence the name, Sisters’ Island.
Getting there: Charter a round-trip ferry ride from Marina South Pier.
Lush greenery on Lazarus Island
Lazarus Island is home to Singapore’s best-kept secret – a beach paradise that can rival the best beaches in Asia. An island tucked between St. John’s and Kusu islands, the quiet pathway of the island’s nature park adds a stoic charm against the backdrop of tranquil blue sea and stunning pristine coastline. This laid-back island is about the size of 70 football fields and is a perfect getaway for hikers who want to escape from the maddening city crowds.
Interesting fact: Lazarus Island was once a prisoner island housing several inmate confinement sheds in the late 19th century.
Getting there: Take a public ferry ride from Marina South Pier. Drop off at St John’s Island and take a 20-min walk across the walkway linking the two islands.
Pretty sea view in Kusu
A nature haven of rich heritage, Kusu Island is popular for its beautiful, calm and peaceful beach. This 8.5ha island features a tortoise sanctuary, which houses hundreds of tortoises, three Malay shrines and a Chinese temple. Don’t forget to snap a selfie with a great view of Singapore in the background!
Interesting fact: ‘Kusu’ means tortoise in Hokkien, in reference to the island’s unique turtle-shaped shape before land reclamation. Legend has it that a giant tortoise saved two shipwrecked sailors - a Malay and Chinese man. In gratitude, they built a temple and a shrine respectively and it became a sanctuary for Muslim and Taoist worshippers since then.
Getting there: Take a public ferry ride from Sentosa Terminal or Marina South Pier.
Green pocket at Coney Island
Image sourced from ura.gov.sg
If you’re a frequent runner along Punggol Promenade Nature Walk you might have seen this densely forested island. Formerly known as Pulau Serangoon, Coney Island is a 45ha island located off the north-eastern coast of Singapore. Popular for camping and water sports, this green pocket now features an aviary watching station, solar street lights and walkways for leisure runners. For more adventurous hikers, the journey into the tropics begins from the West Dam at Punggol Promenade, cutting through the rustic path of Coney Island and ends at the East Dam near Lorong Halus Wetland.
Interesting fact: The Island was previously owned by the Aw brothers of Haw Par Villa. They built a mansion there, which now stands abandoned.
Getting there: Accessible by foot via link bridges from either Punggol or Pasir Ris Coast Industrial Park.
The 600-metre long Coastal Boardwalk is perfect for a leisurely stroll
The second most popular offshore island in Singapore after Sentosa, Pulau Ubin is an ideal hiking hotspot with a number of forest trails. A destination for seasoned cyclists, avid bird-watchers and rock climbers, Pulau Ubin is also home to Singapore’s last Kampong. If you need a respite from the heat after your hike, there’s Ubin Town, a quaint little village with provision shops and humble restaurants, reminding you of the bygone days of rustic Singapore.
Interesting fact: ‘Pulau Ubin’ means Granite Island in Malay, a reference to its historic past as the granite mining site until the 1960s. Check out the lake there, rumoured to be a mining site!
Getting there: Take a public ferry ride from Changi Point Ferry Terminal.
Check out blogger Darren Ng’s one-day adventure to Lazarus Island!
Reunite with your NS platoon mates and jio them for a shootout at Gundown Paintball Challenge!