Singapore

Pulau Ubin

June 5, 2016

On this relaxing Sunday, a few friends and I went to Pulau Ubin, which is a small island just north of Singapore. We ended up just missing the college shuttle to the MRT station (and it only comes every half hour on Sundays sobs), so we took taxis directly to the Changi Ferry Point Terminal.

From the ferry terminal, we took bumboats to the island. The ride took about 15 minutes, and it’s only $3 one way. The boat leaves only when there’s 12 passengers. There were 6 in our group, and we were able to share a boat with another group and made our way to the island without having to wait yay!

The bumboats actually, make a bum-bum-bum sound as it’s moving, which I thought was cool.

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View from the bumboat

When we got to the island, there’s a small village area that has food, drinks, and BIKES TO RENT AYYYYYYY! Each bike rental place has a stall number, and we rented our bikes from #31. I read in Lonely Planet Singapore that #31 was one of the better bike vendors on the island, and I thought we did get a pretty good deal from them: $8 to rent each bike all day, and it included a basket and bike lock.

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Welcome sign for Pulau Ubin

We biked around the east part of the island, starting with the Sensory Trail. This trail was unpaved (darn those rocks) and lined with gardens and signs that pointed out cool plants.

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Pineapple plants!

Along the way to the Chek Jawa Wetlands, we stopped a few times and took some “we-fies” with my selfie camera. Here in Singapore, they call group selfies “we-fies.” When I first heard the term “we-fie” from an NUS student, I honestly thought she was saying “wifi” in a weird way, but she meant group selfie.

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We-fie by some pond thing (tons of mosquitoes omg)

We got to Chek Jawa, locked our bikes on the bike racks (because bikes aren’t allowed on the wetlands), and walked along the boardwalk through the wetlands. The boardwalk is about 1 km, and it goes out over the ocean and through the wetlands.

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On the boardwalk overlooking the Johor Strait

The views were gorgeous and so worth the long bike ride to get there. There were crabs, mudskippers (basically fish with legs), and many kinds of cool-looking trees. I’m not a tree expert though, so I don’t even remember what the trees are all, only that walking through them on the boardwalk reminded me of Jurassic Park. We even climbed up a 20 m viewing tower and got to see the island from above the trees!

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View from the boardwalk
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Mangroves
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View from 20 m up

When we got back to the bike racks, we saw some wild boars eating from to-go boxes! Someone must have left food in their bike basket, and the boars were going through them and eating all of it, scaring off many island tourists. We had to sneak in without making any sudden movements to unlock our bikes and leave the wetlands. The boars were very close to me (like less than 5 feet), and I got to take a picture of them eating.

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Wild boars

On the bike ride back, we almost ran into a group of monkeys. Some local kid threw a cracker on the road in front of Maggie’s bike, and a monkey ran forward to grab it. She had to swerve around to avoid the monkey; I didn’t see anything, but the monkey apparently had some friends, because a monkey ran in front of my bike, and I nearly hit it! That would have been worse than that one time I actually ran over a squirrel back home…

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At least this monkey didn’t steal my drink (@Will)

Overall, Pulau Ubin was definitely worth the half-day trip (even though I have lots of mosquito bites)!

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