If Mr Jonathan Tan were to invite his Korean friend to Singapore, an idyllic getaway to the Southern Islands would certainly be part of their itinerary.
The Southern Islands, managed by Sentosa Development Corporation, include Kusu, St John's, Lazarus, Pulau Hantu and Sisters'. Getting to them requires taking a ferry at a fee. Visitors can swim, sail, go scuba-diving, snorkeland fishthere.
Kusu Island, which means Tortoise Island in Chinese, is most famous for its wishing well and Tortoise Sanctuary. It is also known as a pilgrimage spot.
St John's Island offers a magnificent view and has lodging which comes with a kitchen. The island is connected to the uninhabited Lazarus Island by a causeway. Lazarus was originally known as Pulau Sakijang Pelepah, or Island of One Barking Deer and Palms.
Pulau Hantu is made up of two islets - Hantu Besar (Big Ghost) and Hantu Kecil (Little Ghost). Both have shelters and picnic areas, while Hantu Besar also has two swimming lagoons and a public toilet with fresh water.
The Sisters' Islands are home to Singapore's first marine park, comprising Sisters' Islands and their surrounding reefs, and the western reefs of nearby St John's Island and Pulau Tekukor. The park's ecosystem supports marine life like coral, anemone, seahorses and fish.