Pulau Ubin, the forgotten backyard.

Singapore is known as a small metropolitan city but little did you know that she is made up of 63 islands. As more land is required for development, land reclamation is the key to keep the island expanding. Many of you will agree that Singapore has been surrounded by tall and huge buildings and it is hard enough to even see the sky. Hence, to promote greenery and nature, Pulau Ubin is one of the small island that has been best preserved and spared from urban development, at least for now. ‘Pulau‘ means island while ‘Ubin‘ means tile in Malay. Recently, I pay a visit with my close friends ideally during the day.

Located off the North Eastern end of Singapore, away from hustle and bustle city, it has an area of 1020 hectares and has the shape of a boomerang. (Above is a map of Pulau Ubin) There are quarries used for mining activities but had been ceased in the 1960s.Those defunct quarries became lakes and its vicinity colonised by vegetation into secondary jungles.

Pulau Ubin is accessible by bumboats at Changi Jetty for SG$2.50 per trip. Ubin is ideal for leisurely strolls with a family or friends. If you travel alone, not to worry there are well-marked roads and trails to explore. The best option to explore this island is by renting  bicycle for only SG$5 for 3 hour. Before embarking your journey to the island, do remember to bring food and drinks in case getting thirsty or hungry. There are shops at Pulau Ubin selling drinks and snacks.

The bumboat will only leave the jetty if all 12 passengers slot are filled or pay SG$30 to get the entire bumboat all for yourself. Some bumboat (like the one above) is also being used for fishing activities. I feel safe when I noticed the orange life vest (above the bumboat ceiling).

Upon disembarking, you will be welcomed with this sign above.

A van (a luxury vehicle in the island) can be chartered for those who do not wish to walk but that defeat the purpose of why I visit the island.

There are plenty of bicycle rental shop available near the jetty as low as $6 for at least 3 hours.

It pays to be careful. As the terrain gets bit rough. Take extra precaution especially on downhill.

Don’t be alarmed if you see any animal crossing your way. A family of wild boar crossing.

Chek Jawa wetlands is a must to visit when you’re in Pulau Ubin. It has a rich biodiversity and because of that the government decided to left it untouched. 

The main entrance to Chek Jawa, No riding is allowed beyond the point. Bicycle lots are made available dear the gate. Open from 8.30am to 6.00pm daily.

This charming cottage was built in the 1930s by then Chief Surveyor, Langdon Williams, as a holiday retreat. The architecture is Tudar style ans similar to cottages built in tea plantation during british colonial era. This unique house has been designated a Conversation building in 2003 and is now the transform into Chek Jawa visitor centre.

Fantastic view!

Jejawi Tower is one of the highlight in Pulau Ubin. Standing 20 meters tall, one has to climb up the stairs to view the scenery of the island. Tiring but worth the pain!

While you’re at the top. Take a rest and enjoy the nature environment, If you’re lucky, you can spot the different species of birds. Besides that, you can even spot a plane. I’m lucky to spot Singapore Airlines A380! The buildings across in the center is actually the Basic Military Camp, Pulau Tekong. Been there! Done that!

Animal encounter

Don’t be surprised if you find a well or even old cemetery. Pulau Ubin used to be small community village but most had moved to the mainland.There are still some Kampong houses scattered on the island.


This area used to be a mining quarry. Look what nature transformed this place into. A beautiful sight!

Coastal Boardwalk running along the coast and into the mangrove area allows visitors to get up close to plant and marine life such as fiddler crabs and monitor lizards, without damaging the area. Sadly, it was high tide!

Awesome view

This conclude my trip to Pulau Ubin. I really hope this island remain as it is in near future.

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12 Thoughts

  1. hey there! Thanks for liking my post. And I am so glad that you did. Because I am going to Singapore with a friend of mine this weekend [Friday to Monday] and I have been googling around to find a good travelogue on Singapore. I am going to read your posts on Singapore to double check my itinerary, whether they are doable or not. And Pulau Ubin is one of the plan in my itinerary as I planned to visit this place on Sunday morning. Keep blogging! And very nice photos. Are you sure you are an amateur? ;p

      1. That’s why. Lady Luck must be by my side at the moment I guess. Hehe. I hope I will have a pleasant stay there. The only problem is the conversion rate. Why-lah your currency so high one? Haha.

        By the way, can you read Malay? Because if you can, I am planning of emailing my itinerary to you and get you to comment on my plan as I did the itinerary based on my research on the Net and it was just this morning that I got to borrow a book: A Walking Tour – Singapore, from the public library.

  2. Hey thanks for this post. I’m always asking people, “What is there to do in Singapore?” Even people from Singapore tell me nothing much, besides shopping. I’ve been thinking about visiting but still not sure.

    1. Thanks for liking. There’re plenty of things you can do here besides famously known as shopping paradise. Stay tune! I’ll post more about what you can do in Singapore and i hope it will change your perception.

  3. Thanks for posting another side of Singapore. Although Singapore is getting urbanized. Still there are part of it left untouched. I’ve seen all your post and I have to admit most of the photos here are GREAT!! with that Im following you. Awaiting for your updates.

  4. Nice photos! You (almost) make me want to go to Singapore (again). I always thought it was a boring clean little island full of chewing gum nazis but now I know better! I want to go to that cottage!

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