I have always been curious about Pulau Ubin – an island off our mainland. For more than a decade, Cynthia and I and some of our friends have been talking about visiting Pulau Ubin. To cycle, or to observe the wildlife. For some reasons, all that talk does not seem to go anywhere. Earlier last year, I have joined a corporate volunteering event to weed at Pulau Ubin. The island is charming. Rural, unlike any place I have seen in Singapore. During my mother’s visit, I brought there her for a day trip. My sister also wanted to join us. So we have five adults and a toddler, eager to explore the very last defender of Singapore’s village living.
Pulau Ubin is a 1020-hectare island. It is not as tiny as I thought. It does look like a mini Singapore. The town center is on the south by the shore (just like our mainland!). West side of the island is reserved for Outward Bound. To the east, there is Chek Jawa Wetlands. I laughed when we saw the posters saying that there are wild pigs in the island. Ya right. This is Singapore. Lo and behold, there are wild pigs in Singapore! They were dashing around near the Wetlands looking for, I suppose, food. Cynthia said that the wild pigs are smelly. To be frank, I smell nothing of that sort. I smell only the smell of nature.
It was a nice walk from the town center to the wetlands. Armed with the printed guide by our National Park, we could more or less figure out the landmarks and the points of attraction. Cynthia was our de facto map reader. I was hopelessly reading our location off my GPS phone. Fortunately, we have Benny, our real map reader.
Would you bring a 2-year old toddler to Pulau Ubin? To be honest, it was quite nerve wrecking to get my niece Bethany in and out of the boat. Because in Singapore, these small boats are not secured to the pier during boarding time. They reverse, press against the pier with the engine on, and the passengers then gingerly jump in and out of the boat. As for the walk, majority of the roads are paved. But there are some unpaved roads. So, my sister has to turn back while my mother, Cynthia and I pressed on. Do bring insect repellent. And lots of sunblock.
Pictures speak a thousand words. And I have prepared a photo album, just for you.
- Click here to view the photo album.
To get to Pulau Ubin, you can take a boat from Changi Point Ferry Terminal. Once you are in the island, you can go on foot (expect hours of walking), take a taxi, or rent a bicycle. Next time I visit the island, I would cycle for sure.