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Travel Guide > Asia > Singapore

Sisters' Islands Travel Guide

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    The Sisters’ Islands are two islands located to the south of Singapore. The two islands are named Big Sisters’ Island and Small Sisters’ Island respectively due to their size. A small channel separates the two islands but it is not advisable to swim in this channel due to the dangerous currents.  Swim only in the designated swimming lagoons of which there are two on the islands.


    A popular legend is associated with the islands. There was once a poor widow who had two beautiful daughters named Minah and Linah. The sisters were very close to each other and when their mother passed away, they were sent to live with a distant uncle. One unfortunate day, Linah encountered a group of pirates while fetching water from a well near the sea. Frightened, she ran home while the smitten pirate chief chased after her. When the pirate chief reached their uncles home, he took out a knife and made it known that he wished to marry Linah. That night, the two sisters wept bitterly and when dawn came, the pirate chief brought along 16 of his men to claim Linah. The two sisters were forced to separate and a desperate Minah swam out to sea to chase after her sister, who was being carried away in a pirate boat. Just then, a storm broke out and the waters became rough. The desperate Minah drowned in the rough waters and upon seeing her sister drown, Linah jumped into the sea after her sister and drowned as well. After the storm subsided, the villagers tried to look for the two bodies but their efforts were in vain. The next day, the villagers were shocked to see two islands where the sisters had drowned and it was believed that the love of the two sisters touched the gods, who turned them into islands so that they could be together forever. It is claimed that every year on the sisters’ death anniversary, there will always be rain and storm. However, we leave it up to you to determine the truth in it. A couple of variations of the legend are also known but the main idea of two sisters drowning is constant throughout.

    Sights and Activities

    The Sisters’ Islands boast quiet beaches and cool blue waters and is popular with campers and picnickers. The palm trees and beach shelters make it a relatively good location to just laze on the beach. Another popular activity is snorkelling in the clear blue waters where snorkelers can get to enjoy some of Singapore’s richest reefs which are home to an assortment of marine life. The islands are also home to the long-tailed macaques but they are known to be relatively aggressive so it is advisable not to feed them. Try not to leave food unattended and dispose of your rubbish in the monkey-proof bins.

    Getting there

    There is unfortunately no regular ferry service to and from the island and the only way to get there would be to charter a ferry from Marina South Pier. Rates are variable and negotiable depending on the availability of boats and the price of diesel. Hiring of the boats is only available during office hours even though the boats operate 24 hours a day. As the boats are not really meant for leisure trips, be prepared for a relatively uncomfortable ride with limited on board facilities.


    There are no hotels or hotels located on the island and camping is the most common form of lodgings. Take note that overnight stays or camping requires a permit from the Sentosa Leisure Group.


    From Marina South Pier, charter a ferry to get to Sisters' Islands. Fares may vary.


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