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Travel Guide > Asia > Singapore

Pulau Hantu Travel Guide

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    Pulau Hantu is located to the south of mainland Singapore. In actual fact, it is made up of two small islets, Pulau Hantu Besar and Pulau Hantu Kechil instead of being one complete island. Its name means ‘island of ghosts’ in Malay but it is mainly due to the legend behind the island rather than any supernatural reasons.


    Like most of the Southern Islands, Pulau Hantu has a legend behind it. According to the legend, two great warriors were once locked in a fierce battle at sea long ago. In the midst of the battle, many other lives were lost and the once clear seas turned red with bloodshed. This angered the Jinns, who were genies living at the bottom of the ocean. In a moment of anger, a Jinn created a large whirlpool to suck the two warriors into the sea to drown them. However, the two warriors continued their battle even underwater. The Jinn then sprayed water on one of the warriors, which blinded him temporarily. The other warrior, seizing the opportunity, thrust his sword into the abdomen of his opponent. At the same time, the temporarily-blinded warrior also thrust his sword into his opponent and both warriors died. The gods felt that it was unfair that the Jinn had interfered in this human affair and ordered the Jinn to transform the warriors into islets so that their spirits could continue to live on. As one of the warriors was smaller than the other, the names Pulau Hantu Besar, which means ‘big ghost island’, and Pulau Hantu Kechil, which means ‘small ghost island’, was born.

    Sights and Activities

    Much like Sisters’ Islands, Pulau Hantu is a popular spot for diving, snorkelling and fishing. However, take note that there are no shops providing diving, snorkelling or fishing equipment so visitors will have to bring their own.

    There are shelters along the beach for picnic-goers as well as designated picnic areas. Likewise, there are no eateries or supermarkets on the island so visitors will have to pack their own food. On Pulau Hantu Besar, the bigger of the two islets, there are two swimming lagoons which are rarely crowded and is an ideal location for a relaxing afternoon.

    In spite of its proximity to the nearby Pulau Bukom refineries, the reefs at Pulau Hantu are rich in marine life and thus attract diving enthusiasts. During low tide, it is possible to walk across the shallow lagoon that separates the two islets. However, do not attempt this crossing when during high tides as the currents are strong and unpredictable.


    There are no hotels or hostels on the island and camping is the most common form of accommodation. However, take note that a permit from the Sentosa Leisure Group is required for staying overnight or for camping although the permit is free.


    There is no regular ferry that serves this island and the only way to get there would be by chartered boat from West Coast Pier. Boats operate 24 hours daily and costs vary according to availability and diesel prices. Be prepared for a little discomfort while taking the boats as they are generally not used for leisure trips. Due to the proximity of Pulau Hantu to the petrochemical installations on Pulau Bukom, access to the island can sometimes be affected due to the redirection of traffic.


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