29th October 2007, 08:31 PM
Kusu Isle Tua Pek Kong temple!!
Kusu spiffs up ahead of annual pilgrimage
Food court set up; Taoist temple and Malay shrine ready for visitors
By Lim Wei Chean
THE annual buzz at Kusu Island - spring cleaning and repainting - has started anew, and the food court is taking shape again.
Starting this Thursday, thousands will make trips to the island to pray for good luck, prosperity and fertility, during the Chinese lunar ninth month.
Last year, 95,000 visitors thronged Kusu Island during the pilgrimage season.
Kusu's residents have been busy since last week.
Mr Hussain Hashim, caretaker of the island's keramat (a Malay shrine), organised an annual spring cleaning.
He told The Straits Times: 'We want to make it all nice and clean so visitors can come and see how beautiful it is.'
Aged 60 but still youthful-looking, Mr Hussain has roped in over 50 members of his extended family from the mainland to spruce up the shrine, which gets a stream of visitors from the various religious groups.
These devotees charter their own boat to get to the temple before midnight, in a bid to be among the first to pray.
It is believed that the first to put the joss sticks at the altar will be the luckiest.
50-cent discount for early bookings
From Thursday until Nov 9, the first ferry bound for Kusu Island will depart from Marina South Pier at 7am and last ferry will leave Kusu Island at 7pm. Tickets cost $12 for adults and $7.50 for children between Mondays and Fridays. On weekends and public holidays, tickets are $13.50 for adults and $8.50 for children. Those who book in advance get a 50-cent discount. For enquiries call the Sentosa hotline 1800-736-8672.
Transport to Marina South Pier
From MPA PORT MARINE NOTICE NO. 137 of 2007
During this period, some 100,000 devotees and visitors are expected to make their way to MSP to take part in the pilgrimage. Hence, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), in co-operation with relevant agencies, will be implementing additional measures to ensure a smooth flow of vehicle and passenger traffic to and from MSP, throughout the pilgrimage season.
• Increased Frequency of SBS Transit Bus Service 402 The frequency of SBS Transit Bus Service 402, which plies between MSP and Apex Tower at Anson Road (via Marina Bay MRT Station), will be increased during the Kusu Pilgrimage Season to accommodate the enlarged passenger volume.
• Free Shuttle Bus Service The MPA will be engaging a private operator to provide a free shuttle bus service plying between Car Park B at Marina South and MSP. The free service is provided on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays during the Kusu Pilgrimage season from 6 am to 7.30 pm.
• Road Closure To facilitate traffic movement, Marina Coastal Drive, which leads right up to MSP, will be closed to traffic (except authorized vehicles) from 6am to 3pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays during the Kusu Pilgrimage Season. The public is advised to park at Car Park B and transfer to the free shuttle service to MSP during these road closure times.