Monday, 14 October 2013

Singapore: Kusu Island

"Na, do you want to go to Kusu Island this week?"
"Why not make it tomorrow?" *I love holidays*

It's time for the annual pilgrimage at Kusu Island! I go there with my mum and aunt every year but we always had to leave in a hurry and didn't get to explore other parts of the island. This time, I took my camera and told them I want to spend more time on the island.

The 11th month of the lunar calendar is the peak season where thousands of pilgrims would travel to Kusu Island for prayer. During the off peak season, the island would be empty. I remember during one of the yacht trips with my family, we visited this island and there was not a single soul except us. It was quite eerie.

We used to take the ferry from Clifford Pier but it is has now ceased operations and it is replaced by the new waterfront gateway, Marina South Pier.

My aunt told me they increase the ticket fare every year :O

Outfit Of The Day/OOTD ★
Sleeveless top
Black short
Yellow crocs clog

What's in my bag
Victoria's Secret Umbrella
Sunblock Lotion
Mobile Phone
Water Bottle
Notebook and Pen
Hand Sanitizer (Dettol)

I wanted to wear sports shoes so I could run around, exploring different parts of the island and taking pictures but I decided to wear my crocs clog so that I could walk on the beach and get rid of the sands in my footwear easily :)

It was a 30 minute ferry ride from Marina South Pier.

You don't really need the map because it's a small island and it is easy to navigate around. 
A brief introduction about the history of Kusu Island: Legend has it that a giant tortoise turned itself into an island in order to save two shipwrecked sailors.

Kusu Island was originally 1.2 hectares and after the land reclamation, it transformed into a 8.5 hectares island.

Thousands travel to the island every year to give thanks and offer prayers on the 11th month (lunar calendar) at the Taoist Shrine and Muslim Kramat.

I'm always so happy when I'm at Kusu Island because it's beautiful and tranquil :)
It is also a great opportunity to get away from the bustling city.

When you walk out of the main jetty, there is a path on the right which leads to the Turtle Lagoon, Wishing Well and Chinese temple. I believe many would take this path first before exploring other parts of the island.

Turtle Lagoon

Wishing Well
Here we are at the Wishing Well, throwing coins and hoping it would hit one of the 3 bells in the lotus.

Not sure why the lotus changes its position every year; it shifted to the right.

Brought joss paper and joss sticks from home or we would have to buy a set at $2.

Chinese Temple
Upon reaching the temple, we were greeted by some turtles confined in a small space.

The Chinese temple was built by a wealthy businessman in the early 1920s. In the temple, we the pilgrims pray to Tua Pek Kong 大伯公 (Grand Uncle) for prosperity, fortune and good health. We also pray to 观音 (Goddess of Mercy), also known as the 'giver of sons'.

I didn't take pictures of the deity statues because I find that it's disrespectful.

I heard they used to bury immigrants who had died on St John's Island and Lazarus Island here :O

I saw some pictures hung up on the wall in the temple and it shows how crowded Kusu Island used to be in the 80s and 90s. Things have changed and most of the people in this generation don't believe in such rituals anymore. This explains the drop in number of visitors :(

In Kusu Island, there are shelters everywhere. There are also benches for us to rest, especially when most of the visitors are elderly :)

Child-bearing tree; definitely not suitable for me yet :x

Mum gave me some coins for donations! 

Some souvenir stalls are set up during the peak season. Sigh...... in the past, there were more stalls and it was always overcrowded. This time, less than 8 stalls were opened and most of the visitors just walked past them.

The awesome stuff we played in the 90s!

The food centre has also quietened down and there were only about 5 stalls surviving :(
During the off peak season, it is strongly advised to bring your own drinks and snacks because no stalls would be opened.

The exit of the Food Centre marks the entrance to Datok Kong.

Datok Kong
At the hilltop stands the holy shrines of three Malay Saints (Kramats). Devotees would climb 152 steps to the top to pray for good health, marriage, fortune, etc. 

The steps are not steep so it is rather easy for us to walk. For elderly, they would require more time and energy to climb up the steps.

There are shelters and benches for us to rest along the way.

At the hilltop, you can see that there are many numbers on the rocks written by obsessive 4D buyers. 

There are also wishes such as "I hope I can pass my exams" obviously written by students and many more.

I didn't take any pictures in the shrine because it would be disrespectful to do so.

You will also see some benches when you're on your way down.

After the gruelling (not for me) 152 steps up the hill, we were rewarded with a magnificent view of a beautiful lagoon and pristine beach! ♥.♥

The sun was glaring but it was all worth it!!!!!!!!!

Kusu Island is also popular for her lagoons and this is one of the lagoons!

Food Centre
We took a rest and had our lunch at the Food Centre there before exploring the other side of the island :)

We were craving for Char Kway Teow!!!!!

Felt that it's overpriced but we wanted to satisfy our craving and we only visit the island once a year so we didn't mind :)

Hand sanitizer is always a life saviour when you are out for an "adventure"!

Plate of goodness but at the same time, sinful. I've been craving for it since a year ago but I didn't dare to eat as I was on a (failed) diet.

I heard from my aunt that the stall owners receive $50 from the person who "owns" the food centre, probably Sentosa Development Corporation? 

Tortise Sanctuary
After lunch, we walked to the Tortise Sanctuary.

Interestingly, the tortoise shelters allow the tortoises to escape when there are intruders. If there's really an intruder, would the tortoises escape in time? 

We can still see the skyline of Singapore from the beach!

Swimming is allowed and there are outdoor shower facilities! Unfortunately, camping overnight on this beautiful island is not allowed :(

The island is so clean and green! I would love to camp overnight if it's allowed :( We spent approximately 3 hours there and I was feeling reluctant to leave...

On the way back to mainland Singapore.......

And we are back :(

See you again next year Kusu Island! ♥

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