Just south of Singapore are a number of small islands. They offer tranquil beaches, warm waters and villages that haven't changed over the past century. Great for a daytrip or even an overnight stay.
Take a Bumboat from Changi Pier out to Pulau Ubin for a daytime getaway from the city. Bicycles and blades for rent cheaply. Great place to exercise with no traffic. Ubin is one of the only places left to see a real kampong style of living. It is about 10 kilometres around the island with little quiet and private beaches. At the main pier there are a few restaurants that serve excellent and inexpensive fresh fish meals and wonderful spicy Mee Goreng.
Legend has it that a magical turtle turned itself into an island to save two shipwrecked sailors - one, a Malay and the other, a Chinese. Now a Malay shrine and a Chinese Temple stand as reminders of that day so long ago. Each year, in the ninth lunar month, thousands of devotees flock to Kusu island on their annual pilgrimage. They throw coins in the Wishing Well in the hope that their wishes will come true. Kusu Island's blue lagoons and pristine white beaches welcome picnickers and sun-seekers, a haven for those who love frolicking in the sun.
Sentosa is the largest and most famous of all the Southern Islands. This resort island overflows with sights. The Pioneers of Singapore and the Surrender Chamber take you back to Singapore's history. Ride the monorail, be a gunner at an old but restored British Fort, experience Volcanoland, and much more.
Pulau Sekang is a quaint village on stilts that time has forgotten. This is the Singapore that Raffles saw in 1819 - one traditional Malay fishing village. A handful of villagers lead simple lives in their wooden houses and sturdy boats. Shells and coral are available at bargain prices but there's no charge for the menagerie of birds, monkeys and goats.
"Hantu" is the Malay word for ghost and Pulau Hantu was aptly named. For it was here that ancient Malay warriors once dueled to the death. Despite the forbidden name, Pulau Hantu is a favourite with fishing and snorkeling enthusiasts because of its sheltered beaches and inviting waters
Lazarus island is yet another island with lush tropical vegetation, golden sands and aquamarine waters. For this reason, it is earmarked by the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board for development into an inviting tropical beach resort island.
Two tranquil islands, Subar Laut and Subar Darat, are known as Sisters Island. Separated only by narrow strip of sea, their beaches laze in the sun and warm blue waters make snorkeling a favourite pastime. Abundant shade, beach shelters and conveniences make these islands popular with picnickers.