A cat lover's dream - Singapore's island-hopping adventures

Coney island might be the latest favourite outlying island, but the 'old-school' island hangout places are still worth a day trip. Especially.. how do you tell people you're Singaporean when you haven't been to these places?! (Just kidding. This is my first time in 23 years of my life too) St John's Island is a must-visit if you love cats because I've literally never seen that many cats within the same field of vision in my life until I was on St John's. For travellers who found themselves on this part of the world, you'll definitely be visiting a very different side of Singapore that many locals would not have been. In this island-hopping series, I cover the lowdown of how to go, what to bring, and what to look out for on these three islands - St John's, Lazarus, and Kusu.

What to bring/wear
1. This map - It will be useful because reception is really bad on some parts of the islands/ on the boat and you might want to know where you are relative to other islands. Makes for good trivia information for your fellow island-hoppers too!
2. Picnic food - You can say that food resources are absolutely scarce and non-existent on all three islands, and chances are you'll be spending at least half a day there so you should bring your own food to last for your time there.
3. Water - Similarly, water is scarce unless you consider setting up distillation plants on the islands. There are taps on Lazarus island but they are not safe for drinking.
4. Umbrellas, sunscreen, caps, sunglasses - Everything to defend yourself against the sun. These islands are generally undeveloped and you will be exposed to the elements.
5. Comfortable shoes - There is quite a distance to cover so don't sabotage yourself by wearing new shoes that might bite your heel and definitely no heels. Slippers are a good choice.
6. Beach stuff - The beach at Lazarus Island is worth chillin' at for a good one to two hours, so you can bring a book, a beach mat, bathing suit, and whatever your creativity brings you. A word of warning though, the toilets to change out of your bathing suit is quite a distance away so it's best to wear swimwear that can double up as casual wear.
7. Mosquito repellent - If you're game for exploration work on Kusu Island, the mosquitoes are intensely bloodthirsty so you definitely need to arm yourself with mosquito repellent.
8. Cat food - If you're thinking to feed the cats on St John's, you've got to prepare beforehand because there are no shops on this island. Nevertheless these cats will come up to you whether or not you have cat food.

How to plan your journey

You can't really plan your journey for now. Currently, the boat schedules are still very rigid, so your day has to follow these departure timings:

The first boat departs at 10am for Monday - Friday and at 9am for Sat, Sun and public holidays.
As a rule of thumb for most boat depatures, the boat docks half an hour before departure and boarding is allowed 15 minutes before departure. The boats leave on the dot and you don't want to be stranded on the islands so it's very important to be punctual.

The advice from the ticketing counter staff is that St John Island is linked to Lazarus Island and so you are more likely to spend more time here. Therefore, you should take the later boat from St John Island's - 2.45pm for Monday - Friday and 3.45pm for Sat, and 3.50pm for Sun and public holidays. It was indeed a good recommendation. There is nothing much on Kusu Island and you'll probably be done in 20 minutes.

Two-way tickets are priced at SGD18 for adults and SGD12 for children.
You can buy them at the orange counter here at Marina South Pier.
This counter is only a very short walk away from the MRT exit.
There is a mini-mart shop here at the pier, and if you don't have enough food or water,
it is highly advisable to top up your resources here!

Okay now that we have all the technical details out of the way, time to board the boat:

St John's Island is only a short 20 minutes ride away.
The ride was generally very smooth and windy, and it was very enjoyable!

We went past Marina Bay Sands and zoomed past the Singapore skyline and Sentosa cove!
We were blessed with amazing weather and blue skies that day.

Hello St John's Island!

Disembarking with our fellow boat riders at the pier of St John's Island.

There was this rickety jetty that looked fragile, but there were people attempting to take hipster shots with it. It does look pretty for photography opportunities.

But what instantly caught the attention of everyone was the stray and cute cats overrunning the entire island! There were so many of them, the inner cat lady in me just went crazy! Of course if you are scared of cats this will be quite terrorizing. Even though I love cats, I was a little intimidated by them.

I took way too many pictures of them so these are some of the best 😍

The abandoned electrical appliances give the island a desolated place - a really good location to film a post-dystopian movie. Maybe Rise of the Planet of the Cats?

How many cats you spot in this picture?
A lot of them line the pathway to this area that are not captured in this panorama though.
These cats are totally not afraid of human interaction and are super manja!!

Although it is tempting to play with them for an extended period of time, we got to continue our way to Lazarus Island.

There were also monkeys running everywhere.

To get over to the magical Lazarus Island where the best beach in Singapore is,
we crossed this bridge...

The view is breath-taking. Look how blue the sea is, it is unbelievable that Singapore has such beautiful sea views as well.

And here we are - Lazarus Island's only beach, the best beach in Singapore.
The turquoise, that azure blue, those white sands... am I dreaming?
Am I still in Singapore?
It can totally pass off as one of Thailand's best kohs.

Just soaking my feet in the water feels so good!

It's hard to hide our excitement at finding such a not-so-hidden gem in Singapore.
Well, Singapore, you constantly surprise me.

After a short picnic break, we continued exploring the rest of the island and reached the other end of Lazarus Island for another view of the Singapore skyline. Strangely it was quite hazy and the skyline was a little blur.

We then returned the way we came from and hopped onto the boat heading to Kusu Island!

Our first impression of Kusu Island... did they transport Chinese Garden to this place?
The architecture and colours of the famous temple, Tua Pek Kong, looked very similar to the little attraction on the west of Singapore indeed.

It was a quiet day for the temple without any activities.

Not these turtles.
The rest of the island feels very serene, with a sheltered area with a few turtles inside it.

We still had a bit of time to kill, so we decided to ascend the hill of 152 steps to visit the shrine of Datuk Kong. It was deserted and quiet, but apparently it's a good place for people to pray for 4D numbers. There were so many mosquitoes that were feasting on us so we quickly left the place!

And that marks the end of our island-hopping adventures!

Never miss a post again!

I share interesting episodes in life revolving around food, lifestyle, travel and inspirational ideas. If you would like to stay in touch, follow me on my Instagram on @amie.hu and Facebook page!


a travel and food blogger with a constant longing to be somewhere to makes her feel alive ☆ life's an adventure

1 comment:

  1. Cat needs much care and care starts from nutrition and good health. I have got known with many Cat care tips from purrfect cat food and it proved really useful.


Join the discussion...