Marina South Ferries: St. John’s Island to Kusu Island by Harbour Launch

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Following my extremely short visit to St. John’s Island, I headed back to the jetty to catch the 2pm Marina South Ferries inter-island shuttle over to Kusu Island, wondering what kind of boat it would be for this short hop.

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I joined the queue of people, but luckily, a Singapore Island Cruise staff was ensuring that those in the queue were only holding Singapore Island Cruise orange tickets, and white ticket Marina South Ferries people should not be queuing there.

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At 2pm, with no boat in sight, I approached the Marina South Ferries staff who then consolidated people who were heading to Kusu Island and called for a harbour launch, and said the launch would be coming for 1 trip to Kusu Island with 9 passengers at 2.40pm.

Hmm, so it’s technically not following the published schedule of one dedicated inter-island shuttle boat running throughout the day, but by an on-call service? I’m confused.

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As I came back to the jetty slightly before 2.40pm, the harbour launch was ready to go, and I was promptly yelled at by the captain for being “late”. Oops.

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Slipping off from St. John’s Island.

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Oh I love this already. I would take this harbour launch over a ferry any time.

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As seats were all full, I stood at the open deck throughout the ride, which wasn’t a problem at all – I love it.

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The interior of the Marina South Ferries harbour launch. The layout is similar to the Pulau Ubin Bumboat, but of course more modern.

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Skirting around the Kias Beacon.

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Heading on to Kusu Island around Pulau Seringat and Lazarus Island.

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The Marina South Ferries harbour launch was surprisingly faster than the Singapore Island Cruise ferry plying on the same route, overtaking it along the way.

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The Singapore skyline as seen en route to Kusu Island.

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Private yatchs berthed around Lazarus Island Beach, which was formerly a strait between Lazarus Island and Pulau Seringat.

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Yeah, no money for this yet, just a Marina South Ferries ticket will do for now.

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Skirting around Kusu Island.

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Passing by the Kusu Beacon.

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There seems to be two jetties for this small island, but only the bigger one is in use. Maybe it’s to standby for the surge of pilgrims during the Kusu Pilgrimage period.

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Approaching the Kusu Island jetty.

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Overtaking yet another Singapore Island Cruise ferry at Kusu Island, but over here, there are two berths, so there’s no traffic jam unlike back at St. John’s Island.

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Disembarking from the Marina South Ferries harbour launch.

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Heading up the Kusu Island jetty.

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The information board of Kusu Island.

Da Bogong Temple (大伯公宫)

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The main highlight for most visitors would be the Da Bogong Temple or Tua Pek Kong Temple during the pilgrimage season.

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The Chinese pavilion in the middle of the lake.

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The marble slab under the pavilion on the lake bears the classic Sentosa logo.

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The pavilion is seated on a walkway across the lake to Da Bogong Temple.

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The overview of Da Bogong Temple.

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The information board of Da Bogong Temple.

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The entrance to Da Bogong Temple.

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On the inside, the Da Bogong Temple is actually quite small. I wonder how it fills up during the pilgrimage season.

Kusu Island Food Centre

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There is also a hawker centre on Kusu Island, however, it only operates during the pilgrimage season, and remains empty throughout other periods of the year.

The colours and design reminds me of the hawker centre at Sentosa beside the ferry terminal.

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The empty food stalls waiting for the Kusu pilgrimage season to see some activity.

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I haven’t seen this green wooden sign in a long time. Notice the SLA logo has been pasted on the former location of the orange Sentosa logo. Perhaps it could have even been the same one as the Sentosa hawker centre?

Datok Kong (Keramat Kusu)

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Another highlight of Kusu Island is the 152 step climb up to Datok Kong or Keramat Kusu shrine.

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A bit of a unique crossover, everything looks like a kampung Chinese temple until you read the wordings.

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This shrine houses 3 Malay saints, namely, Syed Abdul Rahman, his mother Nenek Ghalib and his sister Puteri Fatimah.

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This shrine even has a furnace for burning offerings.

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There is a wall where you can write your wishes.

Tortoise Sanctuary

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There is also a tortoise sanctuary between the two temples/shrines, true to the Kusu Island namesake.

Kusu Island Beach

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Aside from the main religious or animal attractions, the beaches at Kusu Island also offer a respite from city life.

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The northern beach also has a nice view of the Singapore skyline.

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