LAZARUS ISLAND – The digital age has made us more interconnected than ever before, but this interconnectivity has come at a cost. Everything is on our phones these days, and the subtle pressure to constantly upkeep our social media and work is draining our physical and mental batteries as well.
That, in part, has resulted in many of us wanting an escape from our daily lives, contributing to this notion of chasing wanderlust to unplug and escape. I mean, look at all the beach getaways destinations that are marketing themselves as an untouched paradise that can whisk you away from pesky bosses and assignments.
Typically, this escape takes the form of the Maldives or Boracay. But, it doesn’t have to be.
Just take a 15 to 20 minute boat ride to St John’s Island ($18 for a round trip), and cross a short link bridge, and you’ll find relief waiting for you in Lazarus Island. Now that’s a vacation that doesn’t require burning through your annual leave or any sort of meticulous planning.
Why go to all that trouble you ask? For the cheery seaside vibes, and the option to fly kites or have a picnic in peace, without the throngs of people that plague mainland choices like East Coast Park or Marina Barrage. Lazarus Island gives you a true off-the-beaten path experience that you wouldn’t expect to find so close to our shores.
Here’s what you can expect to see and do on your day’s trip to Lazarus Island.
A Small-scale Houtong Cat Village
If you are familiar with Taiwan, you’ll know of the Houtong Cat Village in Ruifang, New Taipei. With more than 200 cats living in the village, this lovely village is famously known for having more cats than residents.
Now, Lazarus Island does not have as many cats as Houtong, but it does have a sizeable cat colony. Once you cross the link bridge from St John’s Island, it won’t be long before a group of feline friends will start rushing up and clamouring for attention.
You can bring food to feed the adorable cats (they seem to prefer wet food over dry ones), and if you’re lucky you’ll meet the one-eyed pirate cat that has netizens gushing over it.
Cat lovers, be warned, you may never want to leave the island.
Lazarus Island isn’t like your Maldives or Boracay — there’s no 5-star resort, spa, or world class service at your beck and call. The island has, in our opinion, the luxury (ironically) of not being commercialised at all.
We can’t say it’ll be that way forever, and there were plans to turn it into a beachside resort (which never materialised), but before/if it does, it’s an island that is truly untainted by any form of commercialisation. Other than a few pavilions and pathways, you’ll be hard pressed to find much indication of civilisation, save for seeing the Singapore skyline right across the sea.
Whether it is taking a short stroll along the beach or suntanning, it’ll be tranquil and serene experience, something that is certainly lacking in the beaches on mainland Singapore.
There are also no facilities like washrooms so be sure to use them at St John’s Island before making your way over.
Primed for Picnics and Kite Flying
The sparseness of people on Lazarus Island also makes it a great spot to have a picnic by the beach. Whether it’s a big family gathering or an intimate session with your partner, the largely secluded beaches of Lazarus Island would mean you don’t need to worry about anyone cramping your style.
Also, what’s a picnic without flying kites and the never-ending sea breeze at Lazarus will ensure an easy time getting your kite to fly up high. You also don’t have to worry about your kite getting tangled up with others or bumping into anyone whilst sending your kite into the air.
#beachlife Photo Opportunities
Lazarus Island’s quiet and largely untouched state means the entire island presents many photo opportunities for the avid photographer for an outdoor shoot of a beach paradise.
From the sandy beaches to the lush forest, there’s plenty of backdrop for you to work your photography magic. During low tide, there’s a particularly bright blue and yellow boat resting on the shores of Lazarus which would add an interesting element to your photos.
Don’t be surprised when your friends think that you’re on a holiday on some island paradise far away from Singapore, when in truth, you’re barely half an hour away enjoying the secluded peacefulness of Lazarus Island.
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