The recent Covid-19 outbreak may have put a dent in your travel plans, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the upcoming March holidays! If flying overseas is a concern, why not try exploring some of Singapore’s offshore islands? They’re cheap, convenient and most importantly, virus-free (for now). So, here’s 6 travel destinations that aren’t too far from home.

1. Coney Island

Not quite the equivalent of New York City’s Coney Island, Singapore’s alternative is a much more serene affair. With lush scenery and a tranquil environment, Coney Island is a great option to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Furthermore, it’s the most convenient island to visit on this list given you don’t even have to take a ferry there! If you want a quick getaway, Coney Island is definitely a place you should be looking at.

Image Credit: Jnzl’s Photos on Flickr

Things to do:

  • Take a mandatory photo at Coney Island Gate
  • Bird watching
  • Follow the trail
  • Beach activities and cycle

How to get there: Take bus 84 from Punggol Interchange to Punggol Road End.


2. St John’s Island

Image Credit: juanny on Instagram

Looking for a quiet staycation outside of Singapore? St.John’s Island might be your answer! Equipped with an air-conditioned bungalow and other overnight accommodation facilities, St.John’s Island is the perfect getaway for larger groups of people (limit for bungalow is 10pax). More importantly, the island is Singapore’s answer to Japan’s Island of Cats; Okishima. Previously home to at least 100 cats, St.John’s Island is now the proud owner of 16 cats. Just remember not to bring them home!

St. John’s Island
Image Credit: mandalfe on Instagram

Things to do:

  • Book the bungalow for a staycation with friends/family
  • Beach activities
  • Play with cats

How to get there: Take a ferry from Marina South Pier.


3. Kusu Island

Image Credit: Mark爱生活 on Flickr

Kusu (Hokkien for turtle) Island is supposedly a turtle which transformed into an island to save some fishermen from drowning. While the history of the Island might be just a wee bit sketchy, the place is still definitely worth a visit. Do check out the shrines as the trees near them are said to grant wishes by tying a yellow cloth around the branches. Be sure to untie it and give thanks should your wish come true! If you want to double your chances of getting your wish granted, you can also visit the wishing well at the temple where you can flip coins to hit the bell in the centre. And be nice to the odd turtle roaming about, you never know when it could be Singapore’s 64th island.

Things to do:

  • Make a wish
  • Beach activities, Play with turtles,

How to get there: Take a ferry from Marina South Pier.


4. Lazarus Island

Image Credit: davejunia on Flickr

Unable to head down to the Maldives? We’ve got you covered. Lazarus Island is home to quite possibly the best beach in Singapore. With breath-taking scenery and clean sand, Lazarus Island is the ideal location for a picnic or romantic getaway with a loved one. Simply lying on the beach with a book and a drink is a great way to destress from the pressurising environment in Singapore. Furthermore it’s a mere 15 minute walk from St.John’s Island, making it a very convenient travel destination to plan for (and the cats).

Things to do:

  • Beach activities
  • Swimming

How to get there: Take a ferry from Marina South Pier to St. John’s Island and walk across the link bridge from St. John’s Jetty.

Image Credit: David Lee on Flickr
Get your Round Trip Ferry Ticket to St John's Island and Kusu Island here!

5. Sister’s Islands

Image Credit: Ria Tan on Flickr

Pulau Subar Laut and Pulau Subar Darat, or more commonly known collectively as the Sisters’ Islands, where two Malay girls were said to have drowned after being breaking free from their captor: transforming into the two islands seen today. The Sisters’ Islands are commonly known for their Marine Park which is currently open to the public. Rich with a vast variety of marine life, free guided tours are available on the island during periods of low tide. Furthermore, 2 dive trails are also open to the public for more adventurous visitors who want to get up close and personal with the marine life on Sisters’ Islands.

Things to do:

  • Free guided tour
  • Diving Trails
  • Sightseeing 

How to get there: Charter your own boat from West Coast Pier or Marina South Pier.


6. Pulau Hantu

Image Credit: Ria Tan on Flickr

Named after the ghosts of Malay warriors of legend, Pulau Hantu (literally translates to ghost in Malay) is an iconic diving and snorkelling location. While it is almost synonymous with horror stories; given its name, Pulau Hantu is in fact one of the few natural diving and snorkelling spots rich with marine life. Albeit less known as compared to Sisters’ Islands Marine Life Park, Pulau Hantu still remains a premier destination for people interested in marine life or just want to have a good time by the beach.

Pulau Hantu
Image Credit: Pei Yan on Flickr

Things to do:

  • Diving
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Beach activities
  • Ghost hunting

How to get there: Either join weekend dive trips organized by the Hantu Bloggers or charter a private vessel from the West Coast Pier or Marina South Pier.

That wraps up the list for 6 offshore alternatives to overseas travel. The virus may be a hindrance, but it shouldn’t stop us from enjoying our holidays safely.

Piqued your interest? Here are some relevant tips to help you in planning your holiday:

Already booked your travel plans but want to cancel? No worries here’s what you need to know:

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