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St. John’s Island
St. John’s Island

St. John’s Island

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Singapore

The Basics

Many believe St. John’s Island is haunted by the souls of the many people who died of leprosy, beri-beri, and other diseases while in quarantine. In fact, locals sometimes visit on ghost tours. During the day, the island is a great choice for a quiet picnic or as a base for exploring the pretty beaches of neighboring Lazarus Island: A paved causeway connects the two. Most travelers visit on the ferry to hike the well-signposted trails or picnic on the beach, but you can also enjoy it on a harbor tour or sunset cruise.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • St. John’s Island is an off-the-path choice for families looking for a quiet getaway from Singapore.
  • There are no stores on the island, although there are bathrooms. Bring everything you need, particularly sunscreen, from the mainland.
  • The ferry that connects Singapore to St. John’s Island is not adapted for travelers who use wheelchairs, but the island itself has plenty of flat, paved paths.
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How to Get There

St. John’s Island sits west of Lazarus Island and Kusu Island in a trio of islands about 4 miles (6 kilometers) south of mainland Singapore. Regular ferries run to and from the Marina Bay Cruise Centre: Catch the MRT (subway) to Marina South Pier on the North South (red) line.

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When to Get There

In the ninth or tenth lunar month—generally between late September and early November—Kusu Island hosts a Chinese pilgrimage and ferries can be very crowded. At other times of year, there’s little pressure on the island.

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Wildcard

Exploring Singapore’s Southern Islands St. John’s Island, Lazarus Island, and Kusu Island offer interesting options for the adventurous traveler. Kusu Island, reached by the same ferry that stops at St. John’s Island, is home to a popular Chinese temple and a series of Malay shrines, as well as pristine beaches. Lazarus Island, formed by land reclamation, boasts a sweeping crescent bay. Don’t expect scenic fishing villages, however: The government moved the fishermen to mainland Singapore during the 1970s.

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