We finally made it to Kusu Island during the annual pilgrimage season. We were so happy firstly to be on the water (it's only a 15 minute ferry ride) and then to alight at the tranquil surrounds of the island. The island was originally just a couple of rocky hillocks, but land has been reclaimed to make a very pleasant park-like area with palm trees and grass and lovely little bays. Everything is very neat, clean and orderly, just what you would expect in Singapore!
A short stroll took us across the turtle pond to the wishing well where we tried to hit the bells with coins. We were rewarded with a lovely tinkling sound when we were lucky enough to hit a bell. Walking on to the Da Bo Gong Temple, we were greated with incense burning, flags flying, offerings displayed on the alter, and people praying and milling around. It wasn't crowded as I had imagined, although I'm sure the weekends do get busy.
On the other side of the temple is temporary 'market', selling Chinese nicknacks and souvenirs. Walking through this you come to a hawker food centre, although not all stalls were open. Coconuts were plentiful and there was a limited amount of food on offer.
We brought sandwiches though and found a picnic hut on the beach to relax and enjoy the scene. The kids had a paddle in the shallow water while we made the most of the shade.
Just past the hawker centre is the 152 steps up to the Malay Shrines. Here you can see the lucky numbers written all over the rocks and tied to the trees. This area was a hive of activity, with plenty of people praying for good fortune.
It is a very pleasant day trip, and going at this time of year makes it a little more interesting just to observe the activities at the temples. There were quite a few elderly Chinese men and women making the pilgrimage, so the tradition is alive and well.
I would reccommend getting a taxi rather than the MRT to Marina Bay and bus (number 402) to Marina South Pier though. We caught a bus on our way back and if you intend getting the MRT from Marina Bay, the bus is a very unpleasant walk from the MRT, past lorries traveling to the huge constructon site for the Marina Bay Sands integrated resorts. These trucks are carrying gravel and the dust and grit sprayed into our eyes as we walked along the side of the road.
See my post here for more information about the history of Kusu Island.