Kusu Island is the former Pulau Tembakul Island, both of its names are used in Singapore. Kusu Island is especially famous for its legend, thanks to which the Chinese temple located there receives a yearly pilgrimage there, which is also called the Kusu Pilgrimage.
Kusu Island is very famous for its turtle legend, a Chinese legend according to which once Malay and Chinese sailors were saved by a turtle in such way that the turtle had become Kusu Island itself. “Kusu” means turtle in Malaysian. Another less attractive fact about the island is that it used to be the cemetery for those who passed away on the neighbouring St. John’s Island. Many say the shape of the island reminds of a tortoise. The island is situated about 6 km from Singapore being one of the most Southern located of its islands and thanks to its legend and its great sites it receives several visitors all year long. If you are Kusu Island you must climb to one of their wooden viewing towers from where its the best to make photos. When the weather is good you can have a wonderful view to Singapore’s main island where Singapore City is located. The Chinese Temple is the Kusu Islands most well known attraction. The Centre Pavilion of the temple Tua Pek Kong or Da Bo Gong named after the God of Wealth and prosperity in the Buddhism who also cures illnesses and diseases with the statues of god and deity and with its beautiful wishing well is the centre of the island. Drop a coin in the wishing well and wish something for yourself and you will this way have a better chance for it to become true. The Kusu Pilgrimage happens every year between October and November months.
Among the other attractions of the island, we can also mention its Tortoise Sanctuary and its Turtle Statues I and II. The Rock of Luck located in the hilltop of Kusu right next to the Tua Pek Kong Temple. The Rock of Luck is painted gold and accepts several locals daily who come here for their wishes to come true. Therefore, you will see many – many writings on the wall of the Rock of Luck. Not only is the island rich in these cultural and religious sites but it’s also a great island for hiking, making excursions, fishing and for diving. The sea life around Kusu Island is very rich; it is a really beautiful experience to go scuba diving here. The island is hilly and rich in woods where you can stroll around. The most important information regarding the beach is, that it’s directly ocean, which means it’s wilder than the normal sea. Because of this, it is not suggested to swim here, with the exception of surfers. There is a special area, which is kept for bathing.
You can get to Kusu Island quite easily by either boat or ferry starting from Singapore’s main port. The journey will not take more than about half an hour. Kusu Island is one island really worth visiting, if you are curious about the local legends and myths and if you would like to dive around a bit in the bay of the island.