So, when I heard that Lazarus Beach has a mobile water-play park called Splash Adventure, I was intrigued. Perhaps it could give me the feeling of being away from Singapore.
This essentially is a floating platform that comes equipped with features like trampolines, jump platforms, a slide and a diving board. From the pictures alone, it looked like one of those floating aqua parks in Langkawi.
The entry fee is $45 per pax and chargeable by the hour, but from now till the end of December, they are having a special launch price of $30. However, this does not include the price of the ferry ticket and you have to purchase that separately.
Another thing to note is that Splash Adventure is only open on weekends and public holidays so unfortunately, you can't visit them on a weekday while you're clearing leave.
Is it the next ideal weekend destination for families and thrill-seekers? Well, I decided to visit Splash Adventure myself to check it out.
In all honesty, the journey there was quite a hassle, especially since it requires a 30-minute ferry ride from Marina South Pier to St John's Island and an additional 20-minute walk to Lazarus Island.
What made the walk feel even longer was the hot and humid weather. As the path to Lazarus Island isn't sheltered, you're always under the sun, so I suggest slathering on plenty of sunscreen or risk getting burnt to a crisp.
I also recommend putting on your swimwear before you board the ferry. While the island has toilets you can change in, these are quite far from the beach area and aren't the cleanest.
The mobile water-play park
I'll admit that I initially wasn't very impressed with the water-play park and from afar, it didn't look as exciting as I had envisioned it to be.
I was also expecting there to be some form of linkway bridge connecting the floating platform to land but there wasn't any, meaning that you can only access it by swimming over.
If you aren't a strong swimmer, fret not, as you can always take a short break mid-swim on the floating mat out on the waters. A skipper and lifeguard will also be stationed on the floating platform, so if you need a little assistance, you can call them for help.
As per Safe Management Measures (SMM), no more than 20 people were allowed on the water-play park at any one time, so my companion and I had to wait around 45 minutes for our turn.
However, that doesn't mean there is nothing to do. While waiting, we chilled for a while on the beach and people-watched. You can also lounge under some shady trees to read a book or grab a quick bite.
If you can't wait to get into the water, you're also free to do so and right before it was our turn to play at the Splash Adventure, we spent some time swimming in the ocean and sun-bathing on the floating mat.
When we finally boarded the floating platform and tried the activities, I gradually began to enjoy what the water-play park offered and I have to say that it was a lot more fun than I had anticipated it to be.
I first tried the diving board which looked like child's play from afar. People were diving off it like it was no big deal. However, it was a different story when I stepped onto it and it took me some time to pluck up the courage to take that leap of faith, literally.
In the end, I realised that it wasn't that bad after all and the trick is to just close your eyes.
The slide was plenty of fun too and it's one of the less intimidating options that are suitable for the less adventurous.
There are also trampolines (of different heights) that you can bounce off into the water. These are slanted at an angle so that when you jump onto them, they propel you into the water — be careful not to land on your belly!
The thrill-seekers can try leaping off the jump platforms which are much higher up than the trampolines and diving boards. The height was a little too much for me, unfortunately.
There was also the monkey swing, though I wouldn't really consider it a swing — it was more like a climbing rope. The goal was to inch your way to the top like a monkey on a tree and for those who are successful, there is a squeaky chicken that you can squeeze to announce your victory.
I expected to get bored after 15 minutes of play, but I surprisingly wasn't. Even when I wasn't trying out the various activities, I enjoyed watching others do so, especially the braver ones who were attempting complicated tricks. I was even upset when our time was up and unwillingly made my way back to shore.
So, is it worth a trip down?
I'll take back my initial impression because Splash Adventure was much more fun than I thought it would be and it might even be worth a second visit.
I also think it's an ideal getaway destination for island-hoppers, thrill-seekers and families with hyperactive children. Thanks to the island's clear waters and clean beach as well as the floating platform's unique features, it felt like I was in Langkawi.
However, I do have my gripes. For one, $45 an hour is rather steep, especially for people who may want to spend more than an hour on the floating platform. But, perhaps this is to dissuade people from hogging up space on the platform and it also ensures that SMM regulations are adhered to.
Additionally, I am not a fan of the commute to Lazarus Beach as it was a little inconvenient. While frequent island-hoppers may be all right with the distance, I personally found it too far and time-consuming. The scenic views are admittedly spectacular but Singapore's humid and hot weather makes the experience less enjoyable.
As the beach is quite far from the ferry terminal and the ferries run on a fixed schedule, you may miss the ferry back to Singapore if you don't plan your time right. From what I saw, it almost happened to some people.
Do note that if you miss the ferry, you will have to wait almost an hour for the next ride.
One could always leave the beach earlier to avoid this issue but that would sadly mean less playtime.
If you're keen on visiting Splash Adventure, you can book your tickets on here.
Location: Lazarus Island
Opening hours: Weekends and Public Holidays, 9am to 6pm