pulau ubin

i’ve never been to pulau ubin before and for some out of the blue reason (actually, it was because i saw it in a “rediscover singapore” booklet and that sort of gave birth to a desire to explore as much of singapore as possible.) decided to spend a day on the island.

big boo boo.
i didn’t know pulau ubin belonged to singapore.
i would be burn alive if i admitted that in say, a beauty pageant. 😐

*waiting for the ferry*

a 15 minute journey on a bumboat to pulau ubin cost me $2.50. they do not have specific timings for the bum boats ride – the boat’s ready to go as long as there are 12 passengers waiting in the queue.

*leaving the jetty*

i’m a lover of boat rides. dearly miss the little speed boat we took in bintan – the feeling of bouncing off sea currents at that speed in open waters is exhilarating!

*in the bum boat*

the simplicity and bareness of the boat’s interior actually surprised me in a pleasant way. like, “that’s all you need to get to another island?”

i love the feeling of being on a boat. as long as i don’t dwell on the possibility of the boat sinking and me drowning, being out in the open sea, with the breeze blowing against my skin, brings me immense comfort and a quiet thrill.


i fell in love with the island immediately – rural, simple and laid back. you’re welcomed by the npark information kiosk, bicycle rental shops, old school coffee shops and seafood restaurants once you get off the boat.

the crowd surprised me because it was a weekday but i guess school holidays makes all the difference.

we rented bicycles and bought water. we didn’t have much of anything else. no insect repellant, no sunblock and no sense of direction as to where chek jawa is. we just went with the flow and got ourselves bitten, burnt and lost, but only for a short while. all fun though. i love reckless and carefree fun!

*fruits and vegetables*

barely 5 minutes of cycling, we came across this garden of fruits and vegetables.

2 sightings made my morning here in the lovely garden.

#1 the OMG-SO-BIG caterpillar

#2 the dog that was on heat, we think. it would dig frantically and hump furiously against the soil. it’s cutely funny. 😀 this friendly dog followed us around for a good 25 minutes before disappearing into the bushes.

i think we cycled past the ubin-hsbc volunteer hub before arriving at this quarry. hsbc has a strong presence on this island! there’s the hsbc volunteer hub and then there’s the hsbc water works hub and then there’s the tudor style colonial cottage – house #1 maintained by hsbc.

*the pekan quarry*

a really beautiful sight.
i can imagine a wu xia scene taking place here.  it’s really peaceful to stand there and witness the gorgeousness that is around you. leave it to the caucasians nearby who spoiled the moment with their shouting, whistling and hooting.

but they went a way after a while and i was brought back to heavenly bliss.


but this scared me a little.
my love for nature is quite selective.

more cycling followed.
time check : 12pm.
we have cycled for almost 2 hours under the sun when i came across another 2 things that delighted me.

we walked pass a house (walked because we didn’t have any more strength to cycle up the steep slope) and i saw…

#1 monkeys!
i think there were 4 of them but i didn’t dare go near them because one of them was not caged. hur hur.

#2 beautiful and well fed cats!
so lovely.

20 minutes later…
we were, with our bikes parked at the entrance of chek jawa, on the 20m tall jejawi tower, a place which provides a panoramic view of the island.

*view from the jejawi tower*

above trees, 20m above ground, overseeing the sea, shore and trees and spotting big birds in the skies, we had the tower all to ourselves when rain drops starts to fall. families left to seek shelter while we stayed where we were, out in the open, letting the rain drops fall on us.

it was a very  nice feeling.
i would have scrambled for shelter if it rained when i am out in the open in singapore. the nature brings out different sides of individuals, i guess.

after spendng 45 minutes on the tower, we went back down and continued with our journey to the chek jawa wetlands boardwalk.

the chek jawa wetlands boardwalk – i am not sure where it began.

*nipah palm*



*small colour crabs*

*barnacles filled rocks*

i don’t like barnacles. at all.

it was almost 2pm.

we found house #1 while looking for public washrooms. there’s a gallery inside talking about preserving the environment. the house is absolutely lovely.

bought isotonic drinks and rested our tired legs on the rocks. this is the view from house #1. gosh, if only i lived here!

almost 3pm.
tired and hungry, we decided to head back to the jetty and get us some lunch. the journey back was actually much faster than the journey there. i think we took the longer road.

*balai quarry*

another gorgeous sight to behold.

(i thought there was another quarry that i saw but i don’t see it anywhere in the photos that i’ve taken.)

lunch finally served at 3.30pm.

the food at ubin first stop restaurant is delicious. i’m still thinking about the food there. yummy……..

the restaurant used to be an opium club.
hmmm. even after so many years, the same location is still a place for pleasure…

before leaving the island at 5pm, we had tea at the coffee shop near the jetty. owner of the place provided electricity with his own money to light up the jetty for 14 years. this done out of nothing but love for the community of people around the island. how generous is that?

we painted while drinking tea.
what an artsy way to bid the island goodbye.

the topic was “draw anything or something that left an impression on you today while touring the island.”

i drew a tree.
i saw flowers, red dots and a paper bag on the paper of others.

it was funny because i drew like i was a survivor of some very horrifying accident. the painting was utterly depressing compared to the rest.

hur hur.

time to say goodbye.

i will never forget the day so well spent.
i thought cycling 2 hours at east coat park was a feat until i cycled for 5 hours at pulau ubin.

my only regret? not seeing the wild boar.
that’d be so cool.

i don’t mind going back there again to cover the other half of the island!




  1. Sharifah

    Hi there, great pics. Reminds me that it has been a long time since I’ve taken a bumboat ride from the Changi jetty. Have to do it again one of these days. And thanks for the joke about not knowing who or where Pulau Ubin belongs to. Put a smile on my face!

  2. chloe

    hey sharifah, you should pop by the island one of these days! i think it really bring us city dwellers a nice sense of peace.

    glad you appreciate the joke…no everyone is as kind as you! 😀

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