6 Facts You Might Want to Know About S’pore’s Own Hidden Island, St. John Island

Image: Jordan Tan / Shutterstock.com

If you are looking for a quick getaway in hopes of soaking in the sun, or exploring the flora and fauna on paved tracks does sound like a good idea.

Saint John’s Island, previously known as Pulau Sakijang Bendera, is one of the Southern Islands in Singapore and is very popular with the netizens for a weekend visit or even a short staycation at the Holiday Bungalow located on the island.

However, there are couple of myths and facts about the island that many people might not have known of, and we are here to unbox them for you.

It used to be a quarantine station

Image: nas.gov.sg
Image: nas.gov.sg

Before St. John Island became a popular hotspot for tourists, it was the quarantine station for cholera cases detected among immigrants in the late 19th century. In 1901, it housed victrims of beri-beri and by 1930, it gained world recognition as a quarantine centre.

It was a site of mass execution during World War II

Image: paranormal.org.sg
Image: paranormal.org.sg

If you have visited St John Island, you would have seen a giant chessboard sprouting out of nowhere. The chessboard is rumoured to be where captors played games of chess using the prisoners of wars, and when these human “pieces” were defeated, they would be beheaded on the spot – which probably also accounts for all the hauntings seen on the island. There have been reports of screaming and crying at night, and the sound of marching boots.

It houses the world renowned Tropical Marine Institute

Image: natureramble.wordpress.com
Image: natureramble.wordpress.com

For those who are interested in marine sciences, you can make a trip down to the Tropical Marine Institute at St John Island. At S$16 per person, you get a tour of the facility and witness the highlights of their research. You can even get a chance to see some of the sea creatures!

It has a bungalow for rent

Image: touristinmyownland.wordpress.com
Image: touristinmyownland.wordpress.com

Yes, it is possible to spend a night at St John Island for a short getaway. The Holiday Bungalow comes comfortably furnished with a kitchen and sleeps up to 10 people, with the lowest price at only S$53.50!
Image: mothership.sg

Sir Stamford Raffles was believed to have first anchored there

Image: streetdirectory.com
Image: streetdirectory.com

Sir Stamford Raffles was believed to have anchored off St John Island on 28 February 1819 before heading to mainland Singapore the next day.

You can fish on the island

Image: forum.fishingkaki.com
Image: forum.fishingkaki.com

Fishing kakis would be familiar with the fishing spots on St John Island which is just a ferry service away! On weekdays, the islands are mostly deserted and quiet, which gives you plenty of alone time while waiting for your catch – many of which cannot be found in the Singapore waters!

Cassandra is a professional glutton and a lifestyle blogger who is always chasing the latest food trends in town. She documents her gastronomical adventures on her blog (www.cforcassan.com) and on her Instagram page (@cforcassan)