Islands of legend
Legend tells of a poor widow who had two pretty daughters, Minah and Linah who were very close to each other. After the widow died, the sisters left the village to live with a distant uncle.
One unfortunate day, Linah met a group of pirates while fetching water from a well near the sea. Frightened, she ran home with the pirate chief giving chase.At the uncle's home, brandishing a dagger, he made known his wish to marry Linah. That night, the two sisters wept bitterly in each other's arms. When dawn broke, the pirate chief and 16 of his men came to take Linah away. Clinging to each other, they were forced apart by the pirates, and Linah was carried away. The desperate Minah swam after the boat but was drowned and Linah dived into the stormy waters in grief.
The next day, the villagers were shocked to see two islands at the spot where the two sisters had drowned.
The two tranquil islands, called Subar Laut and Subar Darat, was henceforth known as Sisters Island.
The Two Sisters
Big Sister island (Subar Laut) faces the open sea while Little Sister island (Subar Darat) faces the mainland. The two islands are separated by a narrow but deep channel. Currents through this channel can be very dangerous, sometimes making it difficult for boats to get alongside the jetty.
Marine life on the Sisters
Although both islands had been affected by reclamation to create artificial swimming lagoons, they are now home to some of our richest reefs.
And a wide variety of hard and soft corals are found on their shores. Among the corals are special creatures such as this coral goby that is only found among a specific type of branching coral.
The octopus is a commonly predator prowling the corals especially at night.
While clown anemonefishes, better known as "Nemo" can be found on some of the large sea anemones in the reefs.
Giant clams are overharvested on many of our accessible shores, but on the Sisters Islands you can still see some.
Diving Sisters Islands
Jani's the Blue Tempeh blog has links and photos of dives at all our Southern reefs. As she describes it "huge seafans and many seawhips can be found aplenty here".
- More about the Sisters' Island Marine Park on the NParks website, including signing up for public walks
- Sisters Islands on wildsingapore information for visitors and links to more
- Sisters updates field trips, coastal works and other news from the wild shores of singapore blog.
- More about biodiversity of the Sisters Islands, a factsheet set up as part of the Mega Marine Survey.
- Photos of Sisters Islands on wildsingapore flickr.
- Sisters Islands on the Sentosa website: with details on how to get there, who to contact for permits to camp overnight.
- Diving Sisters Islands on Jani's Blue Tempeh blog
- Reef survey data of Sisters Islands on the Coral Reefs of Singapore website
- Wildfact sheets introduction to common marine life in Singapore.Fantastic Flora of the Sisters Islands "its impressive tree-population has no comparison in Singapore, except perhaps, Pulau Jong." Rare trees and climbers found, on Joseph Lai's eart-h.com
- Sisters Islands on infopedia by the National Library Board