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Text and photos from The Finder | 11 November 2017
Located only 5.6 kilometres and 45 minutes off the main island of Singapore, Kusu Island is popular with in-the-know day-trippers, and is full of legends, superstition and mystery.
1. Visit historic sacred sites

The main highlights of the 85,000 m2 island are the three Malay shrines and the Chinese temple. Located near the shore, the temple is dedicated to the Chinese God of Prosperity and Goddess of Mercy while the holy shrines atop a little hill commemorate a pious man and his family. They're open year-round, but most devotees pay their respects during the annual Kusu Island pilgrimage season, which typically happens between September to November. The island welcomes over 100,000 pilgrims during this period.

The Chinese temple on Kusu Island is a popular spot for visitors between September to November
2. Make a wish

At the shrines, you'll see yellow pieces of cloth tied to the trees and branches, each symbolising a wish made by believers. The shrines and temples are said to be able to grant wealth, good marriage, children, health, and harmony, making them popular among believers who visit for blessings and worship. Some Singaporeans believe that if a wish you make on the island comes true, you must visit again to offer thanks, and some will also untie a yellow piece of cloth. There's also a little wishing well near the temple where you can toss coins to hit the bell in the middle.

3. Get to know some tortoises

Don't be surprised to see hundreds of tortoises at the tortoise sanctuary and shelter on the island. After all, Kusu Island means Tortoise Island in Chinese, and it has a strong history and affiliation with the reptile.

Kusu Island's beaches are ideal for having picnics, swimming, and exploring marine life
4. Have a picnic

Pack an afternoon picnic and pick a spot on the island's vast spaces. Picnic or not, pack plenty of snacks and water for a day out here as there are no eateries or convenience stores on the island.

5. Go swimming

Kusu Island is popular for its lagoons and beaches, so bring your bathing suit and have a blast in the sun, sand and sea.

6. Explore the marine life

Venture along the shores and you'll probably notice a variety of hard corals and soft corals on the island. If you look hard enough, you might encounter some fishes, crabs, shrimps, and clams.