After making some enquiries as to what I could do on a layover in Singapore, a work colleague suggested a trip to Pulau Ubin. He gave me some basic information and the seed was sown.
I was up bright and early ready for my adventure. Not wanting to waste time, I took a taxi to the ferry terminal. There was a short wait before we boarded a bumboat that took us across the busy shipping channel to the island.
Once off the boat it was a short walk along the jetty to hire a bicycle; my preferred choice on the day. I wanted to try and see as much of the island as possible.
On the journey over to the island I got chatting to a lovely couple from the UK and we ended up spending the day together. All of us wanting to see as much as possible.
The first stop off point for us was a disused quarry. The water was the most spectacular shade of blue, perhaps partially due to the granite that used to be mined in the area. Back in the 1960’s there were a few thousand settlers working on quarrying the granite; now there are only about a hundred villagers living on the island.
The island of Pulau Ubin is situated off to the East of Singapore. It also resembles a boomerang, if you look at a map.
We head onwards and find a quiet track where there were yoga classes on offer. We stopped off briefly, hearing a rustling in the palm trees nearby. Taking a closer look we saw some monkeys enjoying what they do best, monkeying around ;-). You had to tread carefully as one decided that it was time to spend a penny and we were directly below.
Later we see another monkey ransacking cyclist’s baskets which were parked up while the unwitting tourists did some walking. A word of warning, do not leave anything in your basket if you decide to go off for a wander.
We end up back at the seashore and a lovely elevated boardwalk. Walking along here we bump into a man who informs us of a wild boar a little further on. All three of us took the opportunity to take a quick photograph before he disappeared into the mangroves.
We were very surprised to see a brick building which was open to the public; The Chek Jawa Visitor Centre. It looked quite out of place and reminded us of home. Hardly surprising as we realised that it was modelled on a traditional Tudor style house of the 16th century. It was originally used as a resort home by British Chief Surveyor, Langdon Williams.
Further on and we came across a viewing platform. Umpteen flights of stairs later we finally reach the top. Oh my goodness, what gorgeous views. Above the tree tops and looking out to sea, it was something else.
At this stage, we were all feeling rather hot and thirsty so we stopped off at one of the eateries and had a coconut milk.
Probably a good time to mention that you need to take cash with you as there are no ATM’s and they do not take credit cards on the island. There is no admission fee, nor opening or closing time, although the bumboats only run during daylight hours.
Wish I’d gone there!I had a 2 day layover in Singapore flying back to London from Sydney about 2_years back but mainly explored the main island. Managed a bit of stargazing from fort canning park before some stupid lazer show,adding to Singapores already brutal light pollution, made me give up!however it was nice to sit back and look up at canopus with a temperature of 30c at 20hr!