Truckled in the southern part of the Singapore Strait, St. John island is located only 6 km away of the main island of Singapore. After visiting Pulau Ubin (another not so fascinating island around Singapore) last year I was eager to visit St. John (and secretly hoping I will like it).
Last weekend me and Dilyan hopped on a ferry scheduled from Marina South Pier to St. John island. The ferry terminal was overcrowded with passengers traveling to the neighboring Malaysia and Indonesia (and a lot of oddly shaped boxes, bags and possibly chickens).
Surprisingly there weren’t many enthusiasts that were waiting to board the ferry to the island. On our way to the terminal I imagined how we were going to fight (with pinkish tourist dressed in summer fedoras and linen shirts) for the last available seats on board. This wasn’t the case, not this time.
The ferry sailed at a really slow speed (like glacially slow) as if we were sailing past the Iguassu falls or other major attraction that required the captain to slow down and give us time to breath in the majestic view. In reality we were making way through a busy port (we got the opportunity to tribute to the beauty of the large cargo ships that scattered black smoke and plastic bottles and banana peels around them).
Upon arriving at the island we found out that the island had a sidewalks (Okay, that’s weird, right? I mean who would expect to see a sidewalk on a small island? Hello?) After the passengers left the ferry, the captain sailed to the neighboring Kusu island leaving all of us stranded on an island that was screaming ARTIFICIALL from everywhere.
There wasn’t much to do except for sitting at the picnic tables near the beach and counting the mosquito bites on our bodies. We checked the beach for sea-shells but the only treasures we found were few plastic bottles and a shoe (we did search for the other shoe trying to make a pair).
We wanted to visit the Tropical Marine Science Institute on the island, but it was closed and the only animals we saw were few really lazy cats that apparently loved chips (I think lazy chips-eating cats rank higher that unicorns).
There was a lot of time before the ferry was to come and we took a slow stroll along the sea in search for a nicer beach. This is how we passed the artificial path that connects St. John and Lazarus islands. After few minutes of walking and passing by naked, middle-aged people, that was sunbathing on their yachts we reached the only natural lagoon.
The place had all the things you would expect from an island – a nice white sand, beautiful clean water and expensive yachts that were ruining the whole picture. We did hit few bonuses like the garbage that was scattered all around us and the oil spills both in the water and on the beach. It was definitely not cool to find out that both my feet and clothes were covered in small oil stains. (although I did get a free natural peel while I tried to rub off the oil with sand).
I have to say that after visiting St. John island I understood why they used it to keep political detainees in the past. There is nothing this place can offer you especially if you are a badass traveler with a long experience of traveling behind your back. Next time I would save the $18 we had to pay per person and will spend it wisely (like I can buy a whole load of cookies).