Kusu Island, one of the southern islands of Singapore is located about 6 kilometres to the south of Singapore. The name means Tortoise Island or Turtle Island. From two tiny outcrops on a reef, the island was enlarged and transformed into an island holiday resort of about 85,000 square metres.
Story has it that a magical tortoise turned itself into an island to save two shipwrecked sailors – a Malay and a Chinese. On top of the hill on Kusu Island stands three karat (or holy shrines of Malay saints) to commemorate a pious man (Syed Abdul Rahman), his mother (Nenek Ghalib) and sister (Puteri Fatimah) who lived in the 19th century. Devotees will have to climb 152 steps to reach the top of the rugged hillock if they wish to offer prayer to the shrines.
There is also a popular Chinese temple on the island – Da Bo Gong 大伯公 or Tua Pek Kong (Grand Uncle) and Na Tuk Kong (Dato Keramat). Built in 1923 by a wealthy businessman, the temple houses two main deities – the Da Bo Gong and Guan Yin 观音 (Goddess of Mercy). The former is highly regarded as having the power to confer prosperity, cure diseases, calm the sea and avert danger, while Guan Yin is known as the ‘giver of sons’.
Kusu Island is popular with visitors who come here for its lagoon, pristine beaches and tranquil settings but overnight stay is not permitted on the island. However, most ferries to Kusu Island will make a stop at Saint John’s Island, which does have overnight lodging. Access to Kusu Island is by ferry from Marina South Pier.
All photos shot with the Nikon D810 and Nikkor 24-120mm f4g lens