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Southern Islands (Singapore)

The Southern Islands are an urban planning area in the Central Region of Singapore, and it consists of several islands such as Sentosa Island, Kusu Island, Lazarus Island, Saint John’s Island, and Sisters’ Islands. 

These Islands encompass a total land area of about 5.58 square kilometres (2.15 sq mi). The Sentosa Development Corporation oversees the development and maintenance of these offshore islands south of Singapore.

Backgrounds of the following famous islands are provided for your better understanding:
  • Kusu Island
  • Sisters’ Island
  • Saint John’s Island & Lazarus Island

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Kusu Island

  • Also known as Peak Island or “Tortoise Island” in Chinese.
  • Home to a number of important holy sites and is the place of annual Kusu Pilgimage.
  • The famous Chinese temple  “Da Bo Gong” which was built in 1923 is located here. On its hill top also stand three shrines to Malay site, where people climb 152 steps just to pray.
  • Thousands of people visit the island to pay homage for peace, good luck, health, happiness and prosperity every year.

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Sisters’ Island

  • Legend tells of a poor widow who had two pretty daughters, Minah and Linah, who were very close to each other. After their mother died, the sisters left the village to live with a distant uncle.
  • One unfortunate day, Linah met a group of pirates while she was fetching water from a well near the sea. Frightened, she ran home while the pirate chief gave chase. At the uncle's home, the pirate brandished a dagger and made known his wish to marry Linah. That night, the two sisters wept bitterly in each other's arms. When dawn broke, the pirate chief and 16 of his men came to take Linah away. Clinging to each other, they were torn apart by the pirates and Linah was forced to leave with the pirates. Just then, the sky turned dark and a storm broke out. Desperate, Minah swam after the boat but drowned. On seeing this, Linah freed herself from her captors and jumped into the sea to join Minah.
  • The storm subsided but nowhere can the sisters be found. The next day, the villagers were shocked to see two islands at the spot where the two sisters had drowned.
  • The two tranquil islands, called Pulau Subar Laut and Pulau Subar Darat, was henceforth known as the Sisters' Islands. It was said that every year on that very day when the sisters turned into islands, there will always be storm and rain.
  • Another version of the legend stated that the sisters were being blown away by the storm and each landed on one of the island, and hence the name Sisters' Islands.
  • A third version of the legend said that there were two sisters who drowned at sea. The elder sister tried to save the younger sister but both drowned. The gods were touched by their love for one another and transformed both into two little islands so they can be together forever

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Saint John’s Island & Lazarus Island

  • Saint John's Island formerly housed a quarantine station for cholera cases detected among immigrants in the late 19th century, and starting from 1901, victims of beri-beri were also brought to the island. By 1930, the island gained world recognition as a quarantine centre screening Asian immigrants and pilgrims returning from Mecca. The quarantine station was eventually also used to house victims of other diseases, such as leprosy. When mass immigration was closed in mid-20th century, the island was used to house a penal settlement and a drug rehabilitation centre. 
  • This 40.5 hectare hilly island was transformed in 1975 into a tranquil getaway with swimming lagoons, beaches, picnic grounds, trekking routes and soccer fields. It is also a haven for a host of flora and fauna, and is popular for weekend visits. There are several bungalow chalets and also bunks that can accommodate up to 60 people. Be it a family outing or a camping trip, you are bound to have a comfortable place to stay
  • The 39-hectare island is also a haven for a host of flora and fauna, as well as the Tropical Marine Science Institute and Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore's Marine Aquaculture Centre

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Sibu Island (Malaysia)

Sibu Island, also known as Pulau Sibu, is a small island off Malaysia’s eastern coast, facing the South China Sea . It is actually made up of several islands

There are a number of small resorts on the island, typically used as a weekend or short vacation destination from Singapore, since the closest mainland jetty Tanjong Leman is only a roughly 3 hour drive from Singapore via Johor Bahru. The main leisure activities on the island are watersports such as snorkeling and diving - not surprising since the area was designated a Marine Park in 1993 and numerous coral reefs are close to hand
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Tioman Island (Malaysia)

Tioman Island, also know as Pulau Tioman, is a small island located 32 km off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia in the state of Pahang, and is some 39 km long and 12 km wide. The densely forested island is sparsely inhabited, and is surrounded by numerous coral reefs, making it a popular scuba diving spot. There are also a lot of resorts and chalets around the island which has duty free status.
Its beaches were depicted in the 1958 movie, South Pacific as Bali Hai. In the 1970s, TIME Magazine selected Tioman as one of the world's most beautiful islands.

Apart from its diverse marine life, the inland rainforest area, encompassing approximately 8,296 hectares, in Tioman is a strictly enforced nature reserve. There are several protected species of mammals on the island. Moreover, Tioman has species that are endemic to its shores. The soft-shelled turtle and the Tioman walking catfish are both unique and can be seen on rainforest walks.

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Batam Island (Indonesia)

Batam Island is no secret that nearby Singapore is the role model, and the goal is eventually to become one of the biggest ports of Southeast Asia and a major center of international trade, industry and commerce. The strategic location close to the Malacca Strait and Singapore will certainly help reaching this goal, but like the rest of Indonesia the economy and development here was dealt a major blow during and after the Asia economic crisis in the late 1990's. Batam is actually one of fastest growing tourist destinations in Indonesia in terms of visitor arrivals. There are several tourist resorts here with luxurious hotels and golf courses. Many visitors however choose to use Batam only as an entry point, it is only 40 minutes from Singapore with boat, and then leave with the first available transport to other destinations in Indonesia.


Nagoya Hill The history of Batam is tightly interwoven with nearby Bintan island and the rest of the Riau archipelago. According to Chinese chronicles Batam was already inhabited as early as 231 A.D. when Singapore island was still called Pulau Ujung (Ujung Island). It came under control of the Malacca kingdom from the 13th century, and later taken over by the Sultan of Johor who ruled until the 18th century. The coastal villages that face Singapore is said to have been a hideout for pirates who hijacked ships in the strait.

In 1824 the name of the island again appear in the Treaty of London which led to the division of the region between the Dutch and the British. Batam and the surrounding islands later became part of the Riau Lingga Kingdom, a situation that lasted until 1911, when the Dutch East Indies colonial administration took over.

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Bintan Island (Indonesia)

Bintan Island or Negeri Segantang Lada is an island in the Riau archipelago of Indonesia. It is part of the Riau Islands province, the capital of which, Tanjung Pinang, lies in the island's south and is the island's main community.

Bintan's land area is 2,402.28 square kilometres (927.53 sq mi) (total area is 60,057 square kilometres (23,188 sq mi) including 96% sea area). Its administrative region is designated the Bintan Island Regency, one of the six administrative regions of the Riau Islands province. The city of  Tanjung Pinang is an autonomous area within the Bintan Island.

Bintan's history is traced to the early 3rd century. The island flourished as a trading post on the route between China and India, and over the centuries it came under the control of the Chinese, the Bristish, and then the Dutch when it was declared part of the Dutch Easts Indies through the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824. In the 12th century, the Bintan island in the Strait Malacca was known as the "Pirate Island" since the Malay pirates used to loot trading ships sailing in these waters.

Singapore, the closest major city, is a 45-50 minute trip by motorised  yacht across the  Singapore Strait from Bintan Resort area in the northwest of the island. The island has beaches with beach-front International hotels and resorts. The archipelago of the Riau Islands is right opposite to this resort across the South China Sea. Indonesia is promoting Bintan as the next best tourist destination after 

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Nikoi Island (Indonesia)

Nikoi Island is a 16.9-hectare (42-acre) resort island located 8 kilometres (5 mi) off the east coast of Bintan, Indonesia, approximately 85 kilometres (53 mi) southeast of Singapore. The island was purchased by Andrew and Julia Dixon, an Australian couple visiting Bintan, in 2005 and developed, with the aid of a group of financiers, into a boutique resort named Nikoi Island. The resort opened in 2007, and as of 2010 consists of fifteen beach houses.

The island has a maximum height of thirty metres, and consists of white sand beaches studded with white granite boulders, with coral reef off-shore. Two thirds of the island is Banyan forest, home to various bird species, while turtles are said to nest on the island's beaches.
The resort is marketed as an eco-resort, with the use of driftwood as a construction material and alang alang roofing, a double-layered roof design so that rooms do not require air conditioning, and solar panels for heating water. Diesel generators are required for water pumping and refrigeration. As part of the operators' commitment to sustainable tourism, a non-governmental organization (NGO) supporting the community was established in 2009

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Phi Phi Islands (Thailand)

The Phi Phi Islands are located in Thailand, between the large island of Phuket and the western Strait of Malacca coast of the mainland.  Add crystal-clear water, a refreshing lack of roads, plus a laid-back lifestyle, and it's easy to see why Phi Phi is one of southern Thailand's most popular destinations.

Surrounded with crystal clear water, Phi Phi Island is also one of the recommended diving or snorkeling spots for sea-lovers.

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Marina Bay Area (Singapore)

Marina Bay Area is a bay near Central Area in the southern part of Singapore, and lies to the east of the Downtown Core. Marina Bay is set to be a 24/7 destination with endless opportunities for people to “explore new living and lifestyle options, exchange new ideas and information for business, and be entertained by rich leisure and cultural experiences”.  It is here where the most innovative facilities and infrastructure such as the underground “Common Services Tunnel” are built and where mega activities take place.

Landmarks found: 
  • High Rise Buildings of Central Business District (CBD)
  • Marina Bay Sands
  • Singapore Flyers
  • Marina Barrage

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ONE 15o Marina Club (Singapore)

Nestled within the exclusive Sentosa Cove enclave, ONE°15 Marina Club is part of the emerging hip, upscale luxury neighbourhood that is positioned to become one of the world’s most well-integrated waterfront lifestyle communities ever since 2005. 

Evoking the glamour and elegance of Monte Carlo, ONE°15 offers world-class marina facilities and is replete with a comprehensive range of luxurious private club amenities catering to both boaters and non-boaters alike.

More than just a club, it is an unprecedented lifestyle destination
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