Not many people are aware of the tiny red dot on the map, below Malaysia, called Singapore. What is more unknown is that Singapore has it’s own islands!
Looking for a break from the faced-paced city? Easy! You won’t even need to use your passport or board a plane! There are ferries which leave from Marina South Pier Ferry Terminal at various times weekly, as well as on weekends and public holidays.
Experience the relief of watching the Singapore city skyline fade further away onto the horizon as you sail toward the peaceful islands…
Internet bookings are available. We booked our tickets online at Marina South Ferries for $15 per person. Make sure you check the ferry schedule according to the day you wish to visit the islands. We boarded the ferry at 03:00 pm on a weekend, comfortably giving us around 2 hours on the beautiful Lazarus island before having to board the last ferry back to Singapore at 6:00 pm.
We felt this was not even close to enough time to explore the island – also linked to St. Johns island, which has a lot to see! So do make sure you set out earlier. I’d say it would very easily be possible to explore all the islands (Sisters Islands, Kusu, St John and Lazarus) if you set out at 9:00 am. It is unfortunate that the last ride is not made to be after sunset as it would have been ideal to watch the sunset from the island.
Note that a large part of the inter-island shuttle service is run by Marina South Ferrie’s launch boats instead of the ferry. During the week, the earliest the ferry leaves from Singapore is 10:00 am and the last ferry back to Singapore is at 5:00 pm. On weekends and public holidays, the ferry leaves Singapore earlier, at 9:00 am, with the return ferry sheduled at 6:00 pm.
Typically of Singaporian service, the ferry is ON TIME, so make sure that you structure you leisure and activities on the islands to give yourself enough time to head over to board the ferry. Singaporeans generally arrive early for everything so I suggest you do the same.
We asked what would happen if we missed the last ferry back and were told that we could then call the number (+65) 9012 8000 and they would arrange a ride for us for $90! Alternatively, we could sleep on the beach haha. Not sure if they guy was just saying this to scare us, though I wouldn’t mind a snooze on the island. Surprisingly, there is no accomodation on the islands. So, if this were to happen, you’d have to be prepared haha.
Even in paradise, trouble can follow – so be prepared 🙂
Generally, make sure you pack yourself the essentials you would for a day out in nature:
(bear in mind that there aren’t any shops on the island – though you can find shops at the Marina pier)
- mosquito repellant
- picnic blanket
- a change of clothes
- snacks and lots of water
- Motion-sickness medication (if you suffer from sea sickness – the boat can get nauseating as it is slow and rocks side to side a lot!)
Feel free to bring umbrellas/ tents/ whatever items you wish you use as shade. However, we did not feel this was necessary, as the island is home to vast vegetation. We stayed on the sea sand and soaked up the sun, but if we were at any point wanting some shade, there were many trees and lots of grassy landscaped land for us to move to.
The Lazaus beach is absolutely wonderful! It’s only a hop away from the busy city of Singapore, and it’s pretty deserted so you’ll feel as if you have the whole beach to yourself – pretty great for some perspective when the bustle has you feeling a little scattered! A couple hours spent swimming and laying in the sunshine had us feeling as if we went away for the weekend.
We were dissapointed to find plastic bottles and other litter left around 😦 Please play your part in maintaining the beauty and sanctity of the natural environment by keeping a bag for your personal litter, and taking care to pick up litter you see laying around. Don’t forget that we share this incredible planet with other creatures, and they too deserve to enjoy it.
Seeing that the ferry left too early for us to enjoy the sunset from the island, we found ourselves a spot along the path leading out from the Marina South Pier MRT station.A lot of work has gone into maintaing this area – boasting some very beautiful garden landscapes. We simply lay our picnic blanket on the grass and enjoyed a few more hours in nature, before returning to the hustle and bustle. Great way to end a great day 🙂