Nestled just thirty minutes away from the Singapore mainland lies a chain of islands known as the Southern Islands. With the largest being a group of interconnected islands of Saint John and Lazarus, it is fast becoming a get away for Singaporeans.
With my twelve year old explorer cousin in tow, I packed on my fishing gear and took the ferry from Marina South pier to Saint John’s island. Tickets sold over the counter cost $15 for adults and $12 for kids. It is important to remember that besides showers and toilets, there is little in the way of conveniences on the islands. With that in mind, we had packed quite a spread of food and drinks to last us for the afternoon.
For those who want to experience St John but prefer a little more civilisation, Sentosa Corporation does offer bookings of their holiday bungalows and bunks. The bungalows can cost quite a bit during peak holiday season. Bookings can be made through their reception at Vivocity.
While Lazarus is still undergoing minor construction works, it is still quite safe to wander and explore most of the island. One still has to remember that islands are essentially still rather undeveloped so just keep an eye out for snakes.
Boasting fine soft sand imported from Indonesia and coconut trees, the lagoon at Lazarus is hands down the most beautiful beach anywhere in Singapore. Sheltered by sloped seawalls on both sides, the lagoon often fills up with yachts and boats, their occupants tanning on the decks. Like an excited puppy, my cousin jumps into the water chasing the little fish in the water.
Such out of the way places are difficult to get to and lack any modern conveniences but looking at the huge grin plastered on my cousin’s face, it’s just worth the effort.