Kusu Island is one of the many islands located south of the country. The island is specifically situated about 5.6 kilometres to the south of the main island of Singapore and off the Straits of Singapore. The name basically means Turtle Island or Tortoise Island in Chinese. The island is also referred to as Pulau Tembakul or Peak Island in Malay. The term Kusu also refers to turgidity in Tamil; nonetheless the term is not in any way related to the name of the island and is a common misconception.
A story that was passed down from generation to generation by both Chinese and Malay Singaporeans tells of a magical turtle that transformed itself into an island in order to save 2 shipwrecked sailors, a Chinese and a Malaysian. The island grew from 2 small rocky outcrops on a reef and changed into an island holiday result that has a general area of 85,000 square metres.
Three holy shrines of Malay saints (also known as kramats) is erected at the peak of the rugged hill on the island to memorialize a virtuous man named Syed Abdul Rahman, his sister Puteri Fatimah and his mother Nenek Ghalib who lived in the 19th century. A number of followers take time to climb the 152 steps that leads to the kramats in order to pray for good marriage, wealth, peace, harmony and good health.
The shrines are likewise popular to childless couples who would constantly pray for children of their own. In spite of common misconceptions, these devotees do not pray to the kramats. A popular Chinese temple named as Tua Pek (means Grand Uncle) or Da Bo Gong is also located on Kusu Island. The temple was built by a wealthy businessman in 1923. The temple houses two main deities who are Guan Yin (also known as the Goddess of Mercy) and Da Bo Gong.
Guan Yin is popularly known as the giver of sons while Bo Da Gong is known as the curer of disease, giver of diseases, calmer of the sea and preventer of calamities. Kusu Island is popular for its pristine beaches, lagoons and tranquil location. Visits are often made by way of ferry from Marina South Pier to see the Tortoise Sanctuary and Wishing well. Afternoon picnics are also very popular, however overnight stay is not allowed on the island.