Pulau Ubin also called Ubin Island is considered as the “last village” or “kampong” in Singapore situated in the northeast of the main island. The name Pulau Ubin literally means “Granite Island” in Malay, which explains the many abandoned granite quarries there. Pulau means “island”, and Ubin is said to be a Javanese term for “squared stone”. To the Malays, the island is also known as Pulau Batu Ubin, or “Granite Stone Island”. The rocks on the island were used to make floor tiles in the past and were called Jubin, which was then shortened to Ubin.
To get to this island, take a bus 29 from Tampines Bus Interchange (a short walking distance from Tampines MRT Station) to Changi Village.
After 30 minutes, you will arrive at Changi Village Bus Interchange. Aside from Bus 29, other bus services that goes to this area are Bus Nos. 2, 59 and 109.
Once you alighted, find the direction to Changi Point Ferry Terminal (walk to the left side the moment you alighted the bus)
At Changi Point Ferry Terminal, take a bumboat to Pulau Ubin. There is no specific timing on when the boat leaves, as long as there are already 12 passengers, then the boat will leave the jetty. The fare is 2.50 SGD and will be collected on the boat once it leaves the jetty. The big space at the back of the boat is where you can put your bicycle if you decided to bring your own.
You will be arriving at the island after a 10 minute boat ride.
Once you entered the island, best to familiarize yourself with the island by checking some location map or even the signage at the main public jetty.
A visitor guide which I believe is very essential that you read before you start exploring the island.
A wooden house by the shore, something you will not see anymore in the main island.
An old wooden jetty
The best way to explore the island is by bicycle, there are several renting stores nearby. Rental cost is 10 SGD, if you choose a “newer” bike, it costs 15 SGD. If you will check Chek Jawa Wetlands, you will need a bicycle lock because you will need to leave your bike outside the Chek Jawa. Ask the rental store for a bicycle lock and they will provide you for free but you have to deposit an extra 5 SGD.
The bike I rented for 15 SGD, they did not remove the plastic to prove that it’s “new”, lolz.
There is also a National Parks (N Parks) office nearby in case you want additional inquiries about how to explore the island.
Though there are several guide maps for you to try like DIY Tree Trail by N Parks but I decided to just explore on my own and follow directional and road sign.
A small lake by the road
It’s so peace and quiet in this area
If you felt tired from cycling, there are several waiting sheds throughout the road for you to rest and recharge.
An old house along the road
A tall bamboo tree as you continue to cycle along
Directions to Chek Jawa Wetlands
Entrance to Chek Jawa Wetlands, bicycles are not allowed starting from this point so you will need to leave you bikes outside the gates, there are designated parking areas so no need to worries and this is the time you will need the lock you borrowed from the bike rental stores.
Just a caution, there are wild boars roaming in this area, as I park my bike nearby and rest for a while in the waiting shed before I enter Chek Jawa, one of the boar tried to snatch my backpack (which I left on the basket of my bike) good thing the bike fell on the ground which gave me an opportunity to snatch back my bag. Maybe he smell the garlic bread (which I bought for my lunch) in my backpack 😉 so just be extra alert if you see them around.
There are two main area in Chek Jawa, the visitor center with a viewing jetty and the mangrove boardwalk with a tall viewing tower.
The Chek Jawa Visitor Centre
Inside Chek Jawa Visitor Center with the door leading to the viewing jetty
The longggggggg viewing jetty
Nice view as you start to walk on the viewing jetty
Another view from the jetty
View of the visitor center as you walk back from the end of the jetty
The visitor center rear view from the viewing jetty
We chance upon this beautiful bird at the tree just beside the visitor centre
Last view of the visitor centre as I walk away and proceed to the mangrove boardwalk
The mangrove boardwalk
As you walk along the mangrove boardwalk, you will see this viewing tower
View from the top of the viewing tower
Another view from above the viewing tower
The trees looks so short from the view at the top of the tower
Going down from the top of the viewing tower
After going down from the viewing tower, continue to walk to mangrove boardwalk
Continue walking to the mangrove boardwalk and you will be lead to this boardwalk but i decided to walk back because it is very hot and this part of the boardwalk is not covered with any tree 😉
As I walk back at the “tree-covered” part of mangrove boardwalk, I chance upon this gentle beauty
I left Chek Jawa Wetlands and continue to bike on the way back to the main public jetty and pass by another lake, such a nice view.
Too bad swimming is not allowed
Just before arriving at the public jetty, there is a big waiting shed area (just in front of N Parks Centre) where you can rest after cycling for a long time. I ate my sandwich here before another wild boar attempt to snatch my bag again 😉
After I returned my bike, I walk around the public jetty for the last time and try to take some more photos.
An assembly area nearby.
There are a lot of tourist and campers assembled here when I arrived in the island earlier in the morning. I think they are booked tours or something.
As I was about to leave the island, I saw this cutie nearby. What a very nice way to end my trip.
This ends my exploration of Pulau Ubin, the boat at the end of this jetty is waiting for me (and 11 other “explorers”) to bring us back to the concrete jungles of the main island.
– Although there are at least two eating place i saw in the island, you can try bring your own food like sandwich or any packed lunch.
– There are a lot of camping sites in the area just be sure to register to relevant authorities.
– Cycling around the island is a bit challenging if you are not a regular cyclist (the last time I rode a bicycle was more than 8 years ago so i feel sorry for my legs, lolz). Be extra careful in slope areas.
– Beware of wild boars 😉
– Drink lots of fluid, bring sunblock.