Need a short break from city life? Go island hopping without leaving Singapore…
So you’re always thinking about your next vacay but can’t squeeze in a quick escape overseas? You can still play your cards right and make use of those upcoming long weekends; or opt for a cool staycay. But if you’re looking to literally get away from the crowds over the weekend, why not head to the pier (or go all out and hire a boat) and go on some island hopping? Yes, our own little island has its own, tinier islands. Mind blown? Here are a few mini islands around Singapore, known for their exotic flora and fauna, local heritage, and, of course, sandy beaches and unobstructed sea views.
Pulau Ubin is one of Singapore’s most iconic islands, home to Singapore’s last kampungs and the Chek Jawa Wetlands. It’s located off the north-eastern corner of Singapore, and easily accessible via a short 10-minute bumboat ride from Changi Point Ferry Terminal. Tickets are a steal at $3 per person, so bring the gang! Once you’ve landed, get ready to be swamped by a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna – there’s estimated to be more than 700 native plant species and 215 species of birds. Expect to meet monkeys too, of course. There’s also plenty of old-school heritage to explore, from rustic kampungs to traditional shops, making you feel like you’ve been transported back in time.
One of Singapore’s Southern islands, its name means “Tortoise Island” and stems from a legend of a giant tortoise that saved shipwrecked men by turning into an island. Nowadays, you can still see many tortoises at the tortoise sanctuary on the island, but other daytripping ideas spots include visits to the various historic shrines and temples, or grab a picnic mat and relax on the sand. There’s plenty of swimming lagoons and beaches to explore!
Colloquially known as ghost island in Malay, this untouched island is the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. Trail through the lush flora, relax at the sandy, white beaches or take a dip in the swimming lagoons. Home to rich coral reefs, Pulau Hantu is a hotspot for scuba divers and snorkellers. Expect to see clownfishes, angelfishes and if you’re lucky, even seahorses!
St. John’s Island
Fishing enthusiasts will love the clear waters here, but St. John’s Island is also known for its pristine beaches and swimming lagoons, trekking routes and an Island Trail that takes you on a tour of the rich biodiversity of the island. Want to stay overnight? Book a Holiday Bungalow that comes furnished with cooking facilities and can house up to a gang of 10.
Soak in the allure of the crystal clear waters, towering palm trees and the iconic white lighthouse aka Raffles Lighthouse. Yes, a fully functioning lighthouse –a perfect photo-op for the ‘gram if you ask us. Do take note that Pulau Satumu is open to the public only during special occasions such as Singapore Maritime Week.
Legend has it that these islands were formed from the strong bond of two sisters, and it’s a sad tale no less, but presently they’re a popular island-hopping destination, especially if you’re into picnics and snorkelling. The reefs here are teeming with marine life, and the clear waters make a good view if you wanna do some picnicking by the sea. You can also explore Singapore’s first Marine Park and participate in a dive trail, intertidal guided walks and more. Need any more reasons to visit Sisters’ Island? We’ve got a few…
If a clear, pristine stretch of beach is what you need, here’s where you can find it. It’s also less crowded, which means you get to laze here all you want and soak in all that glorious sun without having to jostle for space. There’s plenty of greenery too, so nature lovers will find it a great option for a quick respite from busy city life.
You don’t need a ferry to get here, just a bicycle and your trusty pair of feet will do as you set off from Punggol. And there’s a ton of stuff you can do, besides checking out beaches and nature trails. It’s home to plenty of wildlife, some of which are endangered species, and you can explore mangrove habitats and rich forestry along the boardwalk. Need more tips? Check out our guide to Coney Island Park.