Kusu Island is one of the Southern Islands in Singapore, located about 5.6 kilometres to the south of the main island of Singapore. The name Kusu means "Tortoise" or "Turtle" in Chinese; the island is also known as Peak Island or Pulau Tembakul in Malay. From two tiny outcrops on a reef, this island was enlarged and transformed into an island holiday resort of 85,000 square metres today
The island got it's name when stories passed by the Malays and Chinese in Singapore, citing that a giant tortoise turned itself into an island in order to save two shipwrecked sailors, a Malay and a Chinese near the Singapore waters. The sailors were so grateful to the tortoise that they returned to the island to give thanks. According to their belief, a Muslim kramat and a Taoist Shrine were built on the island. Since then, many other people have continued this tradition of giving thanks and prayers on the eleventh month of the lunar calendar which is also known as the "Kusu" season.
Now Located on Kusu island is the popular Chinese temple - Da Bo Gong 大伯公 or Tua Pek Kong (Grand Uncle). Built in 1923 by a wealthy businessman, the temple houses two main deities - the Da Bo Gong and Guan Yin 观音 (Goddess of Mercy). The former is highly regarded as having the power to confer prosperity, cure diseases, calm the sea and avert danger, while Guan Yin is known as the 'giver of sons'. At the top of the rugged hillock on Kusu Island stands three kramats (or holy shrines of Malay saints) to commemorate a pious man (Syed Abdul Rahman), his mother (Nenek Ghalib) and sister (Puteri Fatimah) who lived in the 19th century. Many devotees will climb the 152 steps leading to the kramats to pray for wealth, good marriage, good health and harmony. The shrines are also popular with childless couples who would pray for children.
Did you know?
On the ninth month of the lunar calendar, thousands of devotees will go over to Kusu island to pay their respects to the different deities and kramats
What to do on the island?
There are now three Malay shrines or "kramats" and a Chinese temple on Kusu Island. Nearby, the Tortoise Sanctuary houses hundreds of tortoises.
Afternoon picnics are popular on this island. It would be nice if families and friends could spend time having fun in the sun and sea.
This island is popular for its lagoons, pristine beaches and tranquil settings.