Half-day Itinerary: Pulau Ubin
Interesting stories aside, Pulau Ubin is a haven for all things belonging to Mother Nature. Having been conserved and kept from urban development, Pulau Ubin has a rich ecosystem and the natural environment is perfect for those who wish to cycle, see sights, take photos or even just take a leisurely stroll along the designated paths on boardwalks. If you are thinking of taking a break from the busy city and visiting Pulau Ubin, here's a suggested itinerary to guide you.
To get to Pulau Ubin, from Changi Ferry Terminal, take a bumboat ($2.50 per pax) to the Pulau Ubin Jetty. Please note that at this terminal, bumboats also reach Pengerrang, Johor (that's in Malaysia) so please join the right queue. The bumboat leaves once there are 12 passengers on board.
Choose your mode of transport (8.00am)
Explore Ubin using your preferred methods! Right here at Pulau Ubin jetty, stop by at the NParks information kiosk for a free map and enquiries if you have any. You can either rent a bicycle (about $8 per pax; do not pay attention to the signs islandwide that say '$2?' as they are misleading) or continue your journey on foot.
Pekan Quarry (8.15am)
The abandoned quarries are a great photo-stop for all visitors- after all, this is what the island is well-known for! Immerse yourself in the beauty of the hill and water combination which reminds visitors of lovely paintings.
Main view of the Pekan Quarry
Ubin Volunteer Hub (8.45am)
At the western region of Pulau Ubin, you will be see the community centre of the island, which was a venue for people to engage in recreational activties, educational activities (for pre-school children) and various other communal activities. The Ubin Volunteer Hub was once named the Ubin Community Centre.
Pulau Ubin Town
EITHER Ubin Town (9.30am)
This area is the heart of Pulau Ubin, and is also where you will take a glimpse into the lives of people who used to make the island their home. At Jalan Ubin, the beautifully-maintained Malay kampong houses which you will see around the area take you back in time to the pre-independence days when Singapore was still plagued with poverty. It is a reflection of the hardwork that our forefathers had put into developing our nation. Take photos with the rubber plantations, the famous towering Pulai Tree and Nipah palms, which produce the attap chee (used in desserts), gula melaka (brown sugar) and leaves of attap tatching.
OR *The Sensory Trail (9.30am)
If you are in for some excitement, you will never forget the unique experience of the Sensory Trail, as you use all of your senses, apart from your sense of sight to explore nature. You will get to feel, smell and taste fruits, spices and herbs that have a wide variety of uses-such as for cooking, for medicinal purposes and for beautification purposes. The trail was originally designed in 1995 for the visually handicapped as they should also be given the chance to admire the gifts from Mother Nature. Today, the trail is open to all visitors on the third Saturday of every month at 9.30am, so do not miss your chance!
Chek Jawa (10.00am)
Chek Jawa is a beautiful wetland reserve. Here you will be able to get up close and personal with many of the exotic species of flora and fauna that thrive in the well-regulated environment on Ubin. Why do I say “well-regulated”? This is because Chek Jawa is maintained by the Sandbars, which not only ensure the water levels are optimum for the organisms, but also regulate the pH, salinity and temperature of the waters.
Chek Jawa is a 6-in-1 rich ecosystem because it features six very distinctive habitats-namely the mangrove, sandy beach, coastal forest, sand and mud flats, coral rubble and the distinguishing natural environment of Frog Island. You can visit these habitats by taking the 500m boardwalk, and at the same time, admire the lush greenery of your surroundings which had been untainted by pollution and deforestation. This is also a great opportunity to see some of the most interesting species of marine life.
Once you're here, do not miss the iconic House No. 1, with its immaculate Tudor-style architecture and the visitor centre. Ascend the 20m Jejawi Tower to enjoy a panoramic view of the entire island.
Mamam Beach (11.00am)
At Mamam Beach, admire the beautiful shoreline of Johor Bahru from afar (you can still have a view of Johor Bahru without joining the wrong queue back at Changi Ferry Terminal!), or have a picnic at the benches and tables as well as use the toilet facilities if you wish. Please note that the water is not safe for drinking or bathing.
German Girl's Shrine (11.30am)
According to the islanders of Pulau Ubin, the shrine was erected in memory of a German girl, the daughter of a coffee plantation owner on Pulau Ubin, who tragically lost her life while fleeing from the British who had come to seize the plantation in 1914. Her remains were found and eventually placed in a temple, where gamblers would often pray for good luck or in gratitude if they do strike lottery.
Lotus Pond Temple (12.00pm)
The Lotus Pond Temple is located at the end of the bridge at Sungei Jelutong. It was originally built as a memorial for previous Chinese and Malay residents of Pulau Ubin who are now deceased. Recently, it has been upgraded to a temple due to its increasing popularity. The lovely sight of the lotus pond, located in the middle of a beautiful field of blooming flowers, makes the temple even more irresistible for tourists.
Lunch: Ubin First Stop Restaurant (12.30am)
Finally, satisfy your hunger at the Ubin First Stop Restaurant, located near the Ubin Jetty! Don't forget to savour the signature dish, the Sambal Chilli Crabs. It originated in Singapore and is considered a local delicacy, especially among Chinese and Malays. If the Chilli Crab does not suit your tastebuds, try the other favorites from the menu such as promfret fish, black pepper crab, prawns and black pepper crayfish before heading back to the mainland.