Bask in the blue lagoons, pristine beaches and tranquil settings of Kusu Island, located just 5.6km from Singapore.
From two tiny outcrops on a reef, the island has been enlarged and transformed into an 8.5-hectare holiday resort. Pay a visit to the wishing well and Tortoise Sanctuary, or make a pilgrimage to one of the island’s many revered spots.
Kusu Island means Tortoise Island in Chinese, so called because of a legend where a magical tortoise turned itself into the island to save two shipwrecked sailors. It is also known as Peak Island or Pulau Tembakul in Malay.
Each year during the ninth lunar month - sometime between September and November - thousands of devotees flock here for their annual Kusu Pilgrimage in the hope of good health, peace, happiness, good luck and prosperity. Popular Chinese temple, Da Bo Gong, was built by a wealthy businessman in 1923 and houses two main deities: Da Bo Gong and Guan Yin. The former is widely regarded as having the power to bestow prosperity, cure diseases, calm the sea and avert danger, while Guan Yin is known as the 'giver of sons'.
On top of a rugged hillock stand three holy shrines to Malay Saints, or Kramats, built to commemorate 19th century pious man, Syed Abdul Rahman, his mother Nenek Ghalib and sister Puteri Fatimah. Many devotees climb the 152 steps to pray for wealth, good marriage, good health and harmony. The shrines are also popular with childless couples because of their strong links to fertility.
Overnight stays are not permitted on Kusu Island.