Pulau Semakau

Singapore's human-made natural island

Photo of , , Greater Singapore

What we say: 4 stars

In 1999, a water-impermeable border was constructed around the Singaporean islands of Pulau Semakau and nearby Pulau Sakeng, enclosing them and the sea in between.

Ever since then, the lake that was created has been filled in gradually by ash from Singapore's incinerated trash, and by 2045 a single island is expected to be finished. This unusual and intriguing modern environmental development, known only as Pulau Semakau, is now home to important ecosystems like mangrove forest teeming with wildlife. The new land has also quickly filled in organically with plant life, the seeds of which were spread only by birds and strong winds.

The island's surrounding waters are also rich with life including corals and starfish, and even the odd dolphin has been known to make an appearance. Due to its fragile ecosystems, the island may only be visited with an organised tour; if wanting to go it's necessary to make arrangements well in advance as waitlists are currently long.

For fishing trips, you might check out Sports Fishing Association. For overnight camping, Singapore Astronomical Society is a good bet. Nature Society of Singapore is the best choice for birdwatchers, and Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research offers intertidal walks.

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