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A Pulau Ubin adventure offshore Singapore

Pulau Ubin adventure Singapore

The Pulau Ubin adventure begins after the cute ferry dropped us off on the island

Pulau Ubin adventure in Singapore

After hiking MacRitchie Park, I thought the jungle trekking in Singapore was over. The friend I was staying with suggested taking a ferry to one of Singapore’s small offshore islands. It seemed like the perfect adventure.

Getting there

Getting there was a little bit of a challenge as it consisted of subway, bus, ferry. Anytime multiple connections are involved, things can become tenuous. I jumped on the MRT to Tanah Merah and then took bus 2 to the very end of the island nation. At the Changi Village Ferry Terminal I grabbed a ferry to Pulau Ubin. I then had to wait for more people as the ferry goes over when there are 12 people ready to go. It was only a couple of Singapore dollars for the ride over.

Pulau Ubin adventure Singapore

What awaited me in Pulau Ubin

It did not take long for enough people to join the ferry. I waited about 5 minutes and then we boarded and were across the straits to the island in ten minutes. I could see boardwalks along the coast and eagles in flight, so I was excited to get going.


I arrived a little later than I hoped, and the trip to the island took over an hour, so unfortunately, I did not have as much time as I wanted to explore. There are no hotels on the island although you can camp.

Pulau Ubin adventure Singapore

Arrival on the island and the first building are bike rentals

Where the ferry dropped us off there were several bike rentals that greeted us as we approached the small village. I rented a bike for about $6.00 that had to be returned by 4 p.m. There were also several outdoor restaurants in the vicinity and only one was open. I was there in December when it got dark soon after 5 p.m.

Pulau Ubin adventure Singapore

A view from the only restaurant in town at Pulau Ubin

Unplanned long lunch

I wish I would have eaten on the mainland first, but I heard the seafood was really good on the island. I ordered some black pepper shrimp at the only open restaurant and about an hour later I got my meal. Despite the long wait, the shrimp was absolutely delicious.

Seafood Pulau Ubin

Delicious shrimp was worth the wait

The poor restaurant was swamped and the little lady was literally running around. I was annoyed to lose more time, but there was nothing I could do except relax and drink my beer, something I am quite good at.

Chek Jawa Wetlands

I finally got on the bike and headed out on the road. My first stop was the Chek Jawa Wetlands. There was a small Visitor’s Center here and a short trail that looped around the mangrove swamp with a boardwalk on the shoreline that doubled back in the jungle to an observation tower.

Pulau Ubin adventure Singapore

Greeted by a lazy wild pig at Chek Jawa wetlands

Pulau Ubin adventure Singapore

White-bellied sea eagle at Chek Jawa wetlands

I saw some interesting bird and wildlife including crabs, a funny looking lizard that might have been a monitor lizard, a mud guppy, flocks of parakeets, and eagles from the Jejawi observation tower. There were also wild pigs hanging out at the bike rack where visitors could park their bikes while checking out the trails. There are hornbills on the island, but I did not get to see one of these unfortunately.

clouded monitor lizard

I think this is a small clouded monitor lizard, but not 100%

Pulau Ubin adventure Singapore

Odd looking creatures in the mangrove swamp at Pulau Ubin

Pulau Ubin adventure Singapore

Abundant creatures inhabit Chek Jawa and Pulau Ubin

Pulau Ubin adventure Singapore

Beautiful greenery down below the Jejawi Tower

Pulau Ubin adventure Singapore

The view straight down from Jejawi Tower in Chek Jawa

The rest of the time I spent biking around the island taking pictures of the jungle. Once again, I found myself in a remote spot. There were others on bikes that I ran into from time-to-time, but for the most part, it seemed I had the whole island to myself.

Pulau Ubin adventure Singapore

Trails are not limited to the jungle at Pulau Ubin

Unfortunately, that time was too short thanks to the late start. Pulau Ubin is a place I would recommend either getting to really early in the morning, or staying overnight at a campground.

Pulau Ubin adventure Singapore

Beautiful view of the mangrove forest and shoreline from the Jejawi Tower at Chek Jawa

Pulau Ubin adventure Singapore

Boardwalk trail in Chek Jawa

Palau Ubin adventure Singapore

Turning in my bike rental after a fun day exploring Pulau Ubin

In my two full days in Singapore, I hiked through a jungle park in the middle of the most densely populated country in the world, and enjoyed a bike ride through a birding paradise in the Chek Jawa wetlands at an offshore island.

Pulau Ubin adventure Singapore

Goodbye Pulau Ubin and Singapore

When I took off from the airport the next day, I looked down as we gained altitude and could see the boardwalk on Pulau Ubin in the Chek Jawa Wetlands that I had explored just the day before. Singapore turned out to be a surprise and much more than a giant Southeast Asian metropolis.


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10 Responses to A Pulau Ubin adventure offshore Singapore

  1. Tilly March 27, 2014 at 7:31 pm #

    Wow! You shared pretty interesting story of your travel.
    Tilly recently posted..The best beaches to visit when in Australia

    • Ted Nelson March 29, 2014 at 5:57 pm #

      Thanks Tilly. I actually wear your hat.

  2. Trips By Lance March 27, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

    Food is one of the most important reasons I travel. So at least you got excellent seafood while enduring the long wait.
    Trips By Lance recently posted..Five Experiences: Indianapolis NCAA Tournament Fun

  3. Erin at The World Wanderer March 28, 2014 at 3:36 am #

    Wow..this place looks great. I love the photo of you biking, and can see how that would be a great way to see the place. Sorry about the late start, but maybe when I go, you can come and show me around! We can camp there!
    Erin at The World Wanderer recently posted..Music Monday: I See Fire.

    • Ted Nelson March 28, 2014 at 7:23 pm #

      It would be great to go camping with a lovely Irish lass.

  4. Leah March 29, 2014 at 1:46 pm #

    I know that this may shock the hell out of you, but one time I hiked the MacRitchie Nature Preserve. I almost died of dehydration and it was so hot that the banana in my backpack turned black in a matter of hours, but it was fun. I wish I’d known about this Pulau Ubin. It looks far less strenuous.
    Leah recently posted..French Lesson: A Study of Wine & Cheese in Paris

    • Ted Nelson March 29, 2014 at 5:59 pm #

      The post just before this one was from MacRitchie. I spent three or four hours in MacRitchie and it was a strenuous hike. I was pretty bushed after walking around in the jungle all day, so I can sympathize. Biking is a little more low key as you get a breeze and it is not as taxing as hiking. Singapore is pretty close to the equator, so it is always hot and humid.

  5. Jick Sern May 7, 2014 at 9:35 am #

    Hi Ted, glad you enjoyed our Garden City! I’m ashamed to say that even though I’m a citizen, I had not been to P. Ubin for almost 20 years. There is actually a resort there if you want to stay:

    • Ted Nelson May 7, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

      I wonder if the resort is still open. I did not see any sign to this place when I was there an their Facebook and website has not been updated since 2012.

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