St John's Island


Clear blue sea and tropical sandy beach of St John Island, Singapore; Shutterstock ID 127867628; Your name (First / Last): Josh Vogel; Project no. or GL code: 56530; Network activity no. or Cost Centre: Online-Design; Product or Project: 65050/7529/Josh Vogel/ Destination Galleries

Shutterstock / Jordan Tan

Spooky St John's has a chequered past: it was a quarantine station for immigrants in the 1930s before becoming a political prison and later a rehabilitation centre for opium addicts. A prison-like feel still lingers with high barbed-wire fences and watchtowers dotting the landscape. Most visitors come for a quiet spot of fishing or to head across the paved walkway to the tranquil, sandy beaches on neighbouring Lazarus Island.

If you plan to travel here during the Kusu pilgrimage (during the ninth lunar month sometime between September and November), check the ferry has not cancelled its stop at St John's – as it sometimes does.