Kusu Island

Island in Southern Islands

Image by fiftymm99 Shutterstock

By far the smallest of the three Southern Islands, Kusu is also the most pleasant. Step off the boat and into an area of picnic-friendly landscaped gardens, home to a small turtle sanctuary and the colourful Tua Pek Kong Temple. Further on is the beach, its shallow water ideal for young kids. All of this, though, is on reclaimed flat land, which surrounds the original piece of Kusu – a forest-covered rock topped by the Kusu Kramats, three 19th-century Malay shrines.

You can visit the shrines, all painted a bright canary yellow, by climbing the 152 steps up through the trees to the top.

The island is generally quiet, except during the Kusu pilgrimage during the ninth lunar month (sometime between September and November), when thousands of devotees arrive to pay homage at the temples. Tea, coffee and cold drinks are sometimes available at Tua Pek Kong Temple, but don't count on it.