Xia's Journey

Lazarus Island – The Beach Paradise of Singapore

on May 14, 2014

When Darren suggested making a trip to Lazarus Island, I was like, “Huh… Where?” The name sounded so ‘exotic’ unlike any of the 63 islands that we have here in Singapore, which usually begins with Pulau (meaning island in Malay); Pulau Ubin, Pulau Tekong, Pulau Brani, Pulau Hantu amongst many others.

There was not much information nor pictures of the island on our best friend, Google. And all I knew was that we were going to a pristine beach ~ which we shall soon be finding it out for ourselves.

9 March 2014, Sunday
I met up Jeffrey (Darren’s friend who was visiting from Hawaii) at Marina Bay train station, at 8.20am. After a slew of messages, Darren would swing by the train station to pick us up and we’ll head to Marina South Pier for the 9am ferry.

As Murphy’s law would consume us, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”. After some circling in the cab, Darren finally found us along the road across the train station. It was by then 8.50am.

After we got into the cab and with a fourth time going around the Marina Bay belt, our trepidation was turned up another 5 notches! It was 9am. We were racing against time. When we eventually got to the Marina South Pier, we sprang off the cab and made a dash for the ferry counter. Unfortunately, we were 5 minutes too late, the ferry had left and it was going to be a 2 hours wait for the next ferry. Ohh well… 😦

We made the best use of our time having breakfast and the guys visiting the Maritime Gallery on second level. By 10.30am, crowds started streaming in to purchase the ferry tickets. I quickly proceeded to do so too.

Costing SG$18 for adults and SG$12 for children (from 1 to 12 years old), this is a round-trip ticket from Marina South Pier to St John’s Island to Kusu island. The journey from Marina South Pier to St John’s island is 30 minutes and 15 minutes from St John’s to Kusu island. Click on here for a detailed ferry schedule.
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Getting to St John’s / Lazarus Island.

St John’s Island
Upon arriving at St John’s island, we were delightfully greeted by a stretch of white sandy beach and clear green waters on our right. On our left, we saw the skyscape of Singapore!

We were a mere 30 minutes away from Singapore mainland. It was so near, but yet seemed so far with this phenomenal looking beach like what we witnessed when we visited Krabi two months back.

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Finally arrives St John’s Island.


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Singapore skyscape on the left and awesome beach on the right.

As we walked out of the pier, we came to an entrance. Wondering where it led to, we ventured in. We came to what looked like ‘prison-grounds’ with the high fences and barbed wires.

St John’s island had a long past…

It was once used as a quarantine station for cholera-stricken Chinese immigrants, a screening ground for Muslim pilgrims returning to Singapore, a holding place for detainees before deportation, and a rehabilitation centre for opium addicts.

Feeling amazed on our virgin “prison-grounds” experience, we went further in.

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So enthralled by the high fences and barbed wires.

Our ‘cam-whoring knob’ was turned on to level 9.9 out of 10. We were cam-whoring on almost anything and everything from the vast green field to a long row of toilet cubicles (or were they prison cells?!), rust stains and even urinals… Gosh… I have a feeling this is going to be a long, crazy day… Hahaa… 🙂

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Gone Bonkers


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Some loony lying on the ground…?!


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Cam-whoring at its ultimate!

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A must-have “We were here” pic. Hahaa… 🙂

The way to Lazarus island is to take a left turn after exiting the jetty. Walking along the concrete path, we came to these couple of boats parked on the shore. I turned back to look at Darren and he looked at me. At that instant, both our eyes lighted up! Niceeee… And before Jeffrey could get over the trauma of our cam-whoring at the prison grounds, we had jumped off the concrete path and headed onto the boat, kicking off our footwear.

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This rickety boat was not spared either.

After some 20 minutes of shooting, we were up and on our way – but not for long… We came across this red, fiery tractor. I let out a screech and hopped onto it.

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Ohh my ! A red, fiery tractor… How often does one sees a red, fiery tractor?!

Just across the red tractor, we saw a breakwater and wasted no time in getting onto it too.

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We could even see Singapore from the breakwater.

The pathway from the pier to Lazarus Island would most probably take anyone a maximum of 10 minutes. But as you could have guessed, at the rate we went, it took us almost 45 minutes before we ‘officially arrived’ at Lazarus island. Unbelievable right? Hahaa… 🙂


Lazarus Island
As we got onto Lazarus island, we saw a stretch of beach on our left and thought that, this was all Lazarus had to offer. Since it was scorching hot on the beach and we were totally famished, we decided to lay our butts beside a construction site for lunch. I had made some sandwiches, bought some apples, snacks and drinks etc for our little picnic.

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Had lunch beside a construction site – of all places !?

After muting our growling tummies, we were all ready to explore the island.

The drought that we had in the last 2 months was so evident when we passed by an entire field of dried shrubs and guessed what… Not only were they not spared from the beating sun, they were not spared from more ‘torture’!

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Parched grass after a 2-months drought. Poor grass… 😦

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One of my favorite pics – feels so ‘Vogue”… Hahaa… 🙂


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The sash feels so ‘salah’ (wrong in Malay), but nevermind… Life is about having fun and more fun…

As we went around a corner, we heard some laughter and sounds and followed them. We went nearer. Our jaws dropped to the ground from what laid before our eyes.

We had gotten to this magical beach that we had read on-line!

It was indeed a pure, white sandy beach, unspoilt, with clear green waters that we could even see our feet. It may not be the most gorgeous beach that I have been to, but it certainly is the best that I have seen in Singapore.

Most of us had flown miles getting to Krabi, Boracay or Maldives when we already had such an awesome beach right here in our own backyard! And the biggest irony was that most of the visitors on the beach were tourists. There were no other locals in sight. When I posted a picture of the beach on my Facebook, most of my friends were equally astonished that we had such an amazing beach.

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Ohh Goshh… Look at the gorgeous beach and the clear waters beneath our feet.

We went frolicking in the cool green waters. We were in paradise. We would have soaked-in the entire day if we had not planned to go on to Kusu Island.

Kusu Island

We boarded the 3.50pm ferry to Kusu Island and arrived the island at about 4.15pm.

Also known as “Tortoise Island”, tortoise figurines are the landmarks of this island. Legend has that a Chinese and a Malay fisherman wrecked their boat while plying the waters near Kusu. Upon seeing their plight, a giant tortoise transformed itself into an island to provide sanctuary for them to land on. Since then, the island has been named as “Tortoise Island” in commemoration of this selfless tortoise.

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Tortoise figurines are a landmark on Kusu / Tortoise Island.

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The island houses a Chinese temple and three Malay keramats (shrines). Whilst climbing up the 152 steps, we saw yellow rocks with ‘graffiti’ lining the path. At the peak, we came across this Catholic brolly sheltering a Taoist alter. This was a true blue example of our multi-cultural society…

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Catholic brolly, Taoist alter, Muslim shrine = Our multi-cultural society

The sun was setting but our spirits were not. We seized the opportunity to create more crazy moments and some wacky silhouettes before we call it a day.

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Sun is setting, but our spirits were not.

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More crazy fun before wrapping up the day.


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Its almost time to call it a day… Really couldn’t bear to say goodbye to our fun-filled cam-whoring day… 😦

We got back to Marina South Pier just in time to catch the glorious sun making his way home. As the sun went down, the giraffes started sticking their necks out.

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Giraffes sticking their necks out.

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Encasing the sun and not letting it go home.

We ended the day with a sumptuous dinner at Kah Soh (Swee Kee Fish Head Noodle House) at Amoy Street, before walking Jeffrey back to his hotel in Chinatown. It has been one crazy day of fun, joy and laughter that will bring back tons of wondrous memories for a long time to come…

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Sumptuous dinner at Ka Soh to fill our growling tummies.



6 responses to “Lazarus Island – The Beach Paradise of Singapore

  1. Hi
    I just checked and read with pleasure your blog.
    Congratulations for it. I will follow your recomendations to visit the islands during my next stay in Singapore
    I hope Darren is recovering and getting well soon
    Greetings from France
    Kind regards

    • xia says:

      Hi Christian;
      Thank you for popping by and hope you have enjoyed the post.
      Yes, Darren is recovering well and would be back to work soon. Thank you very much for the love and concern. Greatly appreciated.
      Wishing you well always.

  2. Huda says:

    I’m glad that I found this blog post regarding the Lazarus Island.
    I’ve been thinking of going to Lazarus Island to celebrate my best friend’s birthday as she’s kind of a beach person. We are allowed to soak in the beach, right? Is there any nearby toilet that we can shower and dress up after soaking in as I saw some post saying that there isn’t.
    Hope you can help me out with this and give me a few recommendations of things I can do there. Thanks!
    Cheers for the great blog too!

    • xia says:

      Hi Huda ;

      Thanks for popping by. I’m sure your fren would be thrilled to be able to celeb her bday at the beach. Certainly, you’re allowed to soak in the beach and if you’re lucky, you may even have the whole beach to yourselves.

      Technically, there are no shower facilities on Lazarus island itself. But Lazarus island and St John’s island is only separated by a short concrete path of less than 10 minutes. After you are done soaking in the sun, you can walk back to St John’s island for a shower before catching the next ferry. Do check out the ferry timings as well as the toilet facilities whilst walking over to Lazarus island.

      Do also note that there are no stalls or shops on Lazarus island. You would have to self-equip with your picnic items, celeb items etc. Basically, Lazarus island is a small remote island, which you can trek around the island in 15 minutes or soak in the waters the entire day.

      Hope that helps. Hope you guyz have fun and do convey my bday wishes to your fren… 🙂

  3. Brittaney says:

    Hello! Did you have to go through baggage checks before you board the ferry? Thanks in advance!

    • xia says:

      Hi Brittaney ;

      I don’t remember we had to go through a baggage check back then. Not sure about now though… Sorry that I can’t be of much help.Hope you have a great time there… 🙂

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