Enjoy a picnic on St. John’s Island or make a day of it at Pulau Ubin

As non-essential travel continues to be discouraged, it'll be best to stay safe in Singapore and make do with the many activities, staycations and Singapoliday ideas going around. And if you still wish to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, then take ferries or charter a boat ride out to some of Singapore’s offshore islands. Here are seven locales to check out; just remember to make the necessary booking arrangements and pack sufficient food and beverages to take along.

Chek Jawa

Credit: Visit Singapore

Located at the eastern end of Pulau Ubin, approximately 3km away from the public jetty at Pulau Ubin, you must hire a van, rent a bike or take a 40min walk to Chek Jawa from the jetty.

The whole journey is a worthwhile one though, as you’ll end up witnessing the unique natural area where six major ecosystems meet—that’s the sandy beach, rocky beach, seagrass lagoon, coral rubble, mangroves and coastal forest. And now that visitor facilities are in place, locals can check out a 1km boardwalk, 21m viewing tower and even find a self-guided tour daily from 9am-5pm.

Coney Island

Credit: NParks

Previously only accessible by boat, Coney Island now boasts two bridges which connect the 133-hectare island to Singapore’s mainland, making the park a popular destination for local cyclists and trekkers. So snap pictures at the iconic Coney Island park gates before heading in to navigate your way to the sandy beaches. Once you’re done resting by the shores, go ahead and stroll along the designated trails to appreciate and spot some wildlife from afar. 

Kusu Island

Credit: Visit Singapore

One of the Southern Islands in Singapore, Kusu Island actually translates to “Tortoise Island" or "Turtle Island". Legend has it that a giant tortoise morphed itself into an island in order to save two shipwrecked sailors. The quaint locale does indeed see these creatures over at the Tortoise Sanctuary, which houses hundreds of tortoises, although it remains closed for now. Don’t be disappointed though; you’ll still be able to take a swim or tan on the sandy beaches and perhaps spot a turtle in the wild. To get to Kusu Island, head over to the Marina South Pier and hop on a ferry operated by the Singapore Island Cruise or Marina South Ferries. Be sure to grab your tickets in advance to be guaranteed a seat.

Lazarus Island

Credit: Singapore Island Cruise

If kite flying at the Marina Barrage seems too basic for you, tether your kites proudly in the wind at the incredibly breezy Lazarus Island instead. At this uninhabited island, find adorable felines wandering around, sandy shores as well as clean lagoons perfect for a dip or swim. Since there isn’t a direct ferry from Singapore’s mainland, you’ll have to travel to St. John’s Island first before taking a short 15min walk via a causeway to reach the tranquil spot.

Pulau Ubin

Credit: NParks

Probably the most visited island among locals, Pulau Ubin boasts cycling trails, footpaths, mangroves, traditional kampongs and more. But apart from picnicking around the various campsites, you may wish to explore the restored houses and Chek Jawa wetlands, as a walk down the boardwalk will introduce you to crabs, critters and even wildlife. Simply check out Pulau Ubin by taking a $2 bumboat ride from the Changi Point jetty.

Sisters’ Islands

Credit: NParks

More than just an offshore island, Sisters’ Island is actually Singapore’s first marine park and is currently managed by NParks. Spanning 40 hectares of land, the location comprises the Big Sisters’ Island as well as the Small Sisters’ Island, although the latter is reserved strictly for research purposes and is not open to the public. Prior to your day trip here, it’ll be wise to pack your own lunch and do your own research in order to learn how to spot corals, reefs, fish and seagrass species residing in the area. Also remember to charter your own boat from West Coast Pier or Marina South Pier to be dropped off at the Big Sisters’ Island jetty.

St. John's Island

Credit: Singapore Island Cruise

A popular local getaway spot that’s easily accessible, St. John’s Island is a short ferry ride away, especially thanks to Singapore Island Cruise. When you’ve reached the largest Southern Island in Singapore, go on a self-guided trail, fish leisurely or even set up your own picnic with your loved ones. The Sisters’ Islands Marine Park Public Gallery may be reopening in due time, so you may learn about the marine life in the area.