Pulau Ubin Singapore Reviews
Hidden gem of Singapore Mar 18, 2015
Pulau Ubin is an offshore island off the eastern side of Singapore. It is a hidden treasure, one which will have difficulty knowing its existence unless a local recommends it. It has one of the most luxurious wildlife habitat, ranging from the rainforest to swamps. The most common activities are cycling, trekking or just pure exploration.
Getting to Pulau Ubin can be tricky. One will need to take SBS 2 or 29 to Changi Village, where the service will terminate. Then, the journey continues to a 20minute ferry ride from the Changi Terminal to Pulau Ubin terminal. Do not mistaken the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal with the Changi one. If you are unsure, just head towards Changi Village, and the terminal is a short walk from there.
The boatman will try to gather 12 passengers for his bumboat ride. It will cost $2 per trip. Once a boatman has identified his 12 passengers, though sometimes they can compromise and start the ride with less then 12. Do some boat hopping from the jetty to the boatman's boat, pay him and the boat is off to Pulau Ubin. The channel between Changi and Ubin is pretty busy. You can see commercial boats travelling to and fro. Also, Pasir Ris New Town can be observed from the left side of the boat if you are travelling to Ubin, (Right on the way back to Changi) and it offers great views especially at night. Once you reach Ubin, do some boat hopping again and land on to the jetty. Welcome to Ubin!
There are many ways to explore Ubin. The most common is to explore on wheels. There are taxis which are available at the jetty which will bring you to some attractions in Ubin, but mainly to the temple. Many local youths enjoy cycling with their friends. The rental fee for bicycles are very reasonable, approximately $3 for the whole day. Or you can just walk on the tarred roads or off the road tracks.
There are also guided tours in Pulau Ubin. Check out the National Parks Board website for more details, http://www.nparks.gov.sg/park38_6.asp.
Apart from the standard greens in Ubin, check out the vacant quarries. Do note that it is dangerous to do down the quarries and DO NOT swim in them. The views of quarries are splendid in the western side of Ubin. If you are looking for beaches, Mamam beach has toilets and resting facilities and a nice location for pinics. Another beach is Noordin beach, good for pinics too.
Other things to do in Ubin: Eat seafood, there are many seafood restaurants in the jetty, and it is a must to have a seafood meal there. The seafood are fresh and delicious. Also, you may also catch prawn sales at the prawns farms on Ubin. Ubin also has many histories related to WWII. The cottage near Chek Jawa will provide a historical aspect of the island. If you walk along the path towards Mamam beach, you will come across a house, which is known as Head Villagers' House. There you can stop for a rest and drink and look at some wild lifestock there.
All in all, if you are looking for greenery and peace away from the bustling activities in Singapore City, Ubin definitely can offer a splendid time-out for a day's activities. Do note that the bumboats operate till sunset, so unless you are ready to camp overnight in Ubin, arrange for transport back after sundown. Ubin is dark as there is no street lamp except for the regions near the village so be careful after sundown. Also, take note of the tides as some areas can be flooded to ankle depth at high tide. Do take care to push the bicycles pass sluise/ swiss gates, there will be signs there to remind you. Beware of blood thirsty mosquitoes too!
Ubin is a hidden gem in Singapore Sights. It can also give you the now-lost sights of local kampong lives, which was the Singaporean way of living in the 60s. I totally recommend all visitors to give Ubin a visit when in Singapore!
IMPT: The govt has recently annouced to reopen the quarries. So Please take extra care to check when blastings occur
Update 2015: check out my latest blog entry on Pulau Ubin: http://www.travbuddy.com/travel-blogs/125596
Part of the Pulau Ubin after 7 years travel blog
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