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Who says you have to travel out of Singapore for a beach break? If you’re looking for soft, white sand and turquoise waters, say hello to the still relatively isolated beach paradise of Lazarus Island, and its historical neighbour, St John’s Island, right next door. St John’s was once used as a quarantine centre for immigrants suffering from cholera and leprosy, and later as a drug rehabilitation centre for immigrants. Don’t let its chequered past put you off, though – today, it’s a quiet weekend getaway, reached easily by ferry. Getting there: Boats depart at least twice daily from Marina South Pier.