Welcome to Pulau Ubin, a charming island located just off the northeastern coast of Singapore. Known for its rustic charm, lush natural beauty, and slower pace of life, Pulau Ubin offers a unique escape from the bustling urban life of the city. In this travel guide, we'll explore everything you need to know to make the most of your visit to this hidden gem.
Getting to Pulau Ubin
The primary mode of transportation to Pulau Ubin is by taking a ferry from Changi Point Ferry Terminal. Here's how to get there from Singapore:
1. Take the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) to Tanah Merah Station.
2. From Tanah Merah Station, take a taxi or a public bus (Bus No. 2 or Bus No. 29) to Changi Village Bus Terminal.
3. From Changi Village Bus Terminal, it's just a short walk to Changi Point Ferry Terminal. The ferry ride to Pulau Ubin takes around 10 minutes and costs a few dollars. Ferries operate from 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
Ferry timings may vary, so it's a good idea to check the schedule in advance, especially if you plan to visit during weekends or holidays.
Upon arriving at Pulau Ubin, you'll find yourself in a tranquil setting with lush greenery, coastal views, and friendly locals. The island's main mode of transport is bicycles, and you can rent one near the jetty to explore the island.
Things to Do in Pulau Ubin
1. Chek Jawa Wetlands
One of the highlights of Pulau Ubin is the Chek Jawa Wetlands, a pristine nature reserve teeming with rich biodiversity. Explore the boardwalks, mangrove forests, and tidal pools to spot various species of birds, crabs, and marine life. Guided tours are available to enhance your experience.
2. Ketam Mountain Bike Park
For adventure enthusiasts, the Ketam Mountain Bike Park offers exciting trails through the island's hilly terrain. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced rider, there are trails suitable for all levels. Rent a mountain bike and enjoy the thrill of off-road biking.
3. Kampong Life Experience
Pulau Ubin is one of the few places where you can still experience traditional kampong (village) life in Singapore. Explore the kampong houses, interact with friendly villagers, and gain insights into the island's history and culture.
4. Pulau Ubin Nature and Heritage Trail
Follow this self-guided trail to explore the island's natural and historical landmarks, including quarries, old shrines, and lush forests. You can pick up a trail map at the Pulau Ubin Visitor Centre.
5. Mangrove Kayaking
Explore the island's mangrove forests by taking a guided kayaking tour. It's a fantastic way to get up close to the unique ecosystem and enjoy some tranquility on the water.
Tips for Your Visit
- Wear comfortable clothing and shoes suitable for outdoor activities, especially if you plan to explore the island on a bicycle or by hiking.
- Carry insect repellent to protect yourself from mosquitoes, especially in the wetland areas.
- Respect the environment and wildlife. Do not litter and follow all park rules and regulations.
- Cash is preferred on the island, as not all places accept card payments.
Pulau Ubin offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and a chance to connect with nature and Singapore's rich heritage. Plan your visit to this tranquil island, and you'll be rewarded with an unforgettable experience. Enjoy your adventure in Pulau Ubin!
One-Day Itinerary for Pulau Ubin, Singapore
If you have just one day to explore Pulau Ubin, you can still experience the island's natural beauty, cultural heritage, and adventure activities. Here's a suggested itinerary to make the most of your day:
8:00 AM - Arrival at Pulau Ubin
- Take the ferry from Changi Point Ferry Terminal to Pulau Ubin. Enjoy the scenic 10-minute ride as you approach the island.
8:15 AM - Rent Bicycles
- Head to one of the bicycle rental shops near the jetty and rent bicycles for the day. It's the best way to explore the island.
8:30 AM - Visit Chek Jawa Wetlands
- Start your day with a visit to Chek Jawa Wetlands. Explore the mangrove boardwalks, admire the tidal pools, and spot wildlife. Consider joining a guided tour for more insights into the ecosystem.
10:00 AM - Ketam Mountain Bike Park
- Cycle to the Ketam Mountain Bike Park for an adrenaline-pumping experience. Enjoy mountain biking on the well-maintained trails. If you're new to mountain biking, opt for the beginner trails.
12:30 PM - Lunch Break
- Head back to the main village area for lunch. You can choose from the restaurants mentioned in the previous guide.
1:30 PM - Kampong Life Experience
- Explore the traditional kampong houses and interact with the friendly villagers. Gain insights into the island's history and culture.
3:00 PM - Pulau Ubin Nature and Heritage Trail
- Begin the self-guided nature and heritage trail. Visit the old quarries, shrines, and lush forests while learning about the island's history.
4:30 PM - Mangrove Kayaking
- End your day with a guided kayaking tour through the mangrove forests. Enjoy the serene beauty of the water and keep an eye out for wildlife.
6:00 PM - Return to Jetty
- Return your rental bicycles and make your way back to the jetty.
6:30 PM - Sunset at Sensory Trail
- If time allows, visit the Sensory Trail near the jetty to enjoy a beautiful sunset view.
7:00 PM - Departure
- Catch the ferry back to Changi Point Ferry Terminal and bid farewell to Pulau Ubin.
This one-day itinerary offers a perfect blend of nature exploration, adventure, and cultural experiences on Pulau Ubin. Of course, feel free to adjust the schedule to your preferences and the ferry schedule, but make sure to soak in the island's natural beauty and relaxed atmosphere during your visit.
Recommended Restaurants And Food
Pulau Ubin may not have a wide range of dining options compared to mainland Singapore, but it does offer a few local eateries where you can enjoy delicious seafood and traditional dishes. Here are some good restaurants and food choices to consider during your visit:
1. Ubin First Stop Restaurant
This restaurant is a popular choice for seafood lovers. You can savor fresh seafood dishes such as chili crab, black pepper crab, and prawn noodles. The restaurant's rustic atmosphere adds to the charm of dining on the island.
2. Mama Chews
Mama Chews is a quaint café that serves home-cooked local dishes and refreshing beverages. Try their nasi lemak (coconut rice with various accompaniments) or laksa (spicy noodle soup). It's a cozy spot to relax and recharge.
3. Thong Sia Seafood Restaurant
Another seafood option on Pulau Ubin, Thong Sia is known for its crab dishes. Their signature chili crab and black pepper crab are highly recommended. Pair your meal with steamed rice and enjoy the island's fresh catches.
4. Ah Ma Drink Stall
For something refreshing, visit Ah Ma Drink Stall. They offer fresh fruit juices, coconut drinks, and other beverages. It's an excellent place to cool down after a day of exploring the island.
5. Kopitiam (Coffee Shops)
You can find several small coffee shops or kopitiams on Pulau Ubin. These places serve simple yet satisfying local fare, including kaya toast (toasted bread with coconut jam), soft-boiled eggs, and coffee or tea.
6. Hawker Stalls
Occasionally, there may be pop-up hawker stalls or local vendors selling snacks and local delicacies near the main village area. Keep an eye out for these stalls for a taste of authentic Pulau Ubin street food.
7. Bring Your Own Picnic
If you prefer a more laid-back and budget-friendly option, consider bringing your own picnic supplies. There are plenty of scenic spots on the island where you can enjoy a meal amidst nature.
While dining options on Pulau Ubin are limited, the island's seafood, local dishes, and relaxed dining atmosphere make for a unique and enjoyable culinary experience. Keep in mind that the availability of food may vary, so it's a good idea to check ahead or ask locals for recommendations when you arrive on the island.