5 islands of Singapore to visit besides Sentosa

Let’s face it: the past two years have made us feel a tad claustrophobic with indefinite closures of international borders. Beautiful as our city is, it came as no surprise that when borders were reopened, the ICA was suddenly flooded with applications to renew our passports as we swarmed to take a breather outside this concrete jungle.

Having been left idle for years, it’s no wonder that most of our passports have expired. But as the ICA rush to keep up with this unprecedented surge, many of us are now more impatient than ever to quench that pent-up wanderlust.

If you’re like us and can’t wait to escape on a little trip of your own, we present these 5 places that you can plan a trip or two to before your passports are done, if only to alleviate that urge to travel for a little while more.


Kusu Island


, 5 islands of Singapore to visit besides Sentosa


One of Singapore’s cultural icons, Kusu Island is steeped in local mythology and folklore, vividly brought to life by the many vestiges of our heritage left on the island. Kusu Island houses a Taoist temple dedicated to Da Bo Gong and Guan Yin, and used to also boast three Muslim keramats at the top of the hill – unfortunately destroyed just two months ago – attracting many tourists and devotees alike every year. Now a popular resort destination, head over for a day of outdoor fun discovering the many sights that fill the island, visiting the Tortoise Sanctuary, swimming in its pretty lagoons, hanging out along the beach, or even snorkelling – where you may actually get to encounter sea turtles!


Lazarus island


, 5 islands of Singapore to visit besides Sentosa


Left untouched since the 1900s , Lazarus Island is often touted as one of Singapore’s best kept secrets. As one of our “forgotten” islands, Lazarus offers visitors clean, white, sandy beaches for a quiet escape with family and fellow beach-loving friends. Head over to this humble island for an experience with its thriving marine life, complete with beautiful coral reefs, against a background of lofty hills.


Pulau Ubin


, 5 islands of Singapore to visit besides Sentosa


Probably the second most famous island of Singapore, head over to Pulau Ubin for a taste of kampong life at our last-remaining kampong. Immerse in the rich cultural history that the island provides alongside flourishing natural fauna. With clear bike trails of varying difficulties and demarcated pavillions, the island is perfect for a day of outdoor activities from hiking to camping. Bicycles can easily be rented upon arrival at the jetty. Drop by the Ubin Fruit Orchard and Pekan Quarry to marvel at their beauty and capture those insta-worthy shots.

While at Pulau Ubin, don’t forget to also check out the Chek Jawa Wetlands east of the island, where six distinct habitats meet to present a unique ecosystem of vibrant creatures.


Sisters’ Islands


, 5 islands of Singapore to visit besides Sentosa


A lesser-known destination off Singapore’s southern coast, these twin islands comprise the Big Sister’s Island and Little Sister’s Island. A designated Marine Park, the tranquil destination is rich in our native marine biodiversity and is a treasure trove for outreach and educational programmes, as well as conservation and research activities. Filled with coral reefs, sandy shores, and seagrass-abundant waters, the site is a great place to embark on an experiential journey, to find out more about Singapore’s marine ecosystem and the rare and endangered species that inhabit the area.


St. John’s Island


, 5 islands of Singapore to visit besides Sentosa


Historically used as a medical quarantine station, St. John’s Island is connected to Lazarus Island via a short causeway. The island is a popular spot for a quick getaway from our bustling cityscape, offering rustic and non-commercialised environments. Drop by for a picnic amongst lush greenery, a swim along its clean beaches, or even for a short stay on the island’s holiday bungalows and chalets – they even have a holiday camp that can accommodate up to 60 people for organised group trips!

The island also offers a curated St. John’s Island Trail for nature-lovers to hike through and the Sisters’ Islands Marine Park public gallery for an educational retreat.