Pulau Ubin

Why to Visit Pulau Ubin?

Pulau Ubin, located in the northeastern part of Singapore, is a small island known for its rustic charm and natural beauty. Often referred to as the "last kampong" (village) of Singapore, Pulau Ubin offers a nostalgic glimpse into the country's past and provides a tranquil escape from the bustling city life.

Covered in lush greenery, Pulau Ubin is a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. The island is home to diverse ecosystems, including mangroves, wetlands, and forests, which provide habitats for a variety of plant and animal species. Exploring the island's nature trails and cycling along its rustic roads are popular activities among visitors.

One of the main attractions of Pulau Ubin is its traditional village setting. The island is dotted with wooden houses, local shops, and seafood restaurants that exude a laid-back, old-world charm. Visitors can immerse themselves in the island's rich cultural heritage by interacting with the friendly locals and learning about their traditional way of life.

A must-visit spot on Pulau Ubin is Chek Jawa Wetlands, a unique ecological reserve teeming with marine life and rich biodiversity. The wetlands feature a boardwalk that allows visitors to explore the mangrove forests, sandy beaches, and seagrass lagoons, offering a fascinating insight into the island's natural heritage.

For adventure seekers, Pulau Ubin offers activities like kayaking, camping, and fishing. Renting a bicycle and cycling in Pulau Ubin is a popular choice for exploring its various attractions at a leisurely pace.

Pulau Ubin is a testament to Singapore's commitment to preserving its natural heritage and cultural traditions. Its unspoiled landscapes, traditional village charm, and abundant wildlife make it a unique and enchanting destination for those seeking an authentic and off-the-beaten-path experience in Singapore.

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Things to Do at Pulau Ubin

Spot Wildlife at Chek Jawa Wetlands

Chek Jawa, located in Singapore, is a remarkable natural wonder that showcases the rich biodiversity of the region. This intertidal zone is a treasure trove of unique habitats, encompassing six distinct types in a relatively small area.

Visitors can embark on an exploration of Chek Jawa's diverse ecosystems by traversing more than 1 kilometer of wooden boardwalks that wind along the coastline and meander through the enchanting mangrove forest. These well-designed pathways offer an up-close encounter with the surrounding flora and fauna, allowing for an immersive nature experience.

The abundance of fascinating creatures at Chek Jawa is truly captivating. From the entrance of the park, you may encounter a family of wild boars passing by, providing a glimpse into the island's untamed wildlife. On the beach, you might spot a large monitor lizard basking in the sun. As you wander through the Mangrove Loop, the mud flats come alive with scuttling mud crabs. Look up into the trees, and you may catch sight of various bird species, including vibrant kingfishers and majestic sea eagles.

Chek Jawa offers a unique opportunity to witness the wonders of nature up close. Its diverse habitats and abundant wildlife make it a haven for nature enthusiasts, photographers, and those seeking an immersive experience in Singapore's natural heritage. Exploring Chek Jawa is a truly mesmerizing journey through the intricate and captivating tapestry of the intertidal zone's ecosystem.

Visit the Historic House No. 1

Pulau Ubin House No. 1, boasting a remarkable mailing address in Singapore, is a heritage Tudor-style house that holds significant cultural value and has been granted conservation status. It currently serves as the Chek Jawa Visitor Centre, providing visitors with insightful panels that delve into the house's history and the remarkable biodiversity of Chek Jawa.

A notable feature of House No. 1 is its distinction as one of the few remaining houses in Singapore with an original working fireplace. However, due to the presence of a bat family that has made it their home, the fireplace has been boarded up for their protection.

The house's backyard leads to a scenic viewing jetty, which offers visitors a closer glimpse of Pulau Sekudu, a small island characterized by a peculiar frog-shaped rock. This unique geological formation is intertwined with a local legend surrounding the formation of Pulau Ubin itself. Additionally, plane enthusiasts can enjoy observing aircraft taking off from nearby Changi Airport, making the jetty an ideal spot for plane spotting.Pulau Ubin House No. 1 presents a fascinating blend of historical significance, natural beauty, and intriguing legends. Visitors can appreciate the conservation efforts undertaken to preserve this heritage house while immersing themselves in the captivating narratives of the surrounding environment.

Climb Jejawi Tower for a bird’s-eye view of the surroundings

The Mangrove Loop at Chek Jawa begins with a magnificent sight—the towering presence of a giant Jejawi tree. This majestic tree has not only left a lasting impression on the landscape but also inspired the name of the nearby viewing tower: Jejawi Tower. Rising up seven storeys high, this impressive tower provides visitors with breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding coastline and forest.

Ascending Jejawi Tower is a memorable experience that rewards visitors with an elevated perspective of the natural beauty that encompasses Chek Jawa. As you climb each level, the vistas unfold before your eyes, revealing the intricate tapestry of the coastal landscape and the lush green canopy of the forest. From this vantage point, you can truly appreciate the vastness and diversity of the area.

Whether it's the sweeping views of the coastline, the mesmerizing patterns formed by the mangrove forest, or the harmonious blend of land and sea, Jejawi Tower offers a unique and awe-inspiring perspective. It's an ideal spot for nature enthusiasts, photographers, and anyone seeking a moment of tranquility amidst the splendor of Chek Jawa. So, make sure to include a visit to Jejawi Tower during your exploration of this remarkable natural wonder.

Kayak through the Mangroves

Experience a unique adventure by booking a mangrove kayaking tour in Pulau Ubin. Led by knowledgeable guides, these tours take you on a mesmerizing journey through the intricate waterways of Pulau Ubin's mangrove forests. Along the way, you'll learn fascinating insights about the island's history, nature, and local residents.

Mangrove kayaking offers a refreshing and immersive way to explore the natural wonders of Pulau Ubin. Paddle through the serene waters, surrounded by lush mangrove trees, and discover the hidden treasures of this unique ecosystem. Your experienced guide will provide valuable information about the mangroves' significance, the diverse wildlife that calls it home, and the island's conservation efforts.

In addition to mangrove kayaking, there are other exciting tour packages available on Pulau Ubin. Explore the surrounding fish farm kelongs, where you can witness traditional houses on stilts and gain insights into the local fishing industry. Alternatively, opt for a bike tour and pedal your way around the island, discovering its scenic landscapes, quaint villages, and cultural landmarks.

These tour experiences offer a delightful blend of adventure, education, and cultural immersion. Whether you choose to kayak through the mangroves, visit fish farms, or embark on a bike tour, Pulau Ubin promises unforgettable moments and a deeper appreciation for the island's natural and cultural heritage.

Experience Old Kampung Life along the Sensory Trail

For those seeking a more leisurely exploration of Pulau Ubin, the 1.5km long Sensory Trail offers a delightful option. This scenic trail connects the Main Village to Teck Seng's House, making it ideal for visitors who prefer shorter walks or cycling distances.

The Sensory Trail not only showcases the natural beauty of Pulau Ubin but also provides insights into the island's rich cultural heritage. Along the trail, you'll have the opportunity to learn about the crops traditionally grown by villagers for sustenance and trade. It's a fascinating glimpse into the agricultural practices of the past.

As you meander along the trail, keep an eye out for a picturesque pond adorned with vibrant lotus flowers and shaded by majestic coconut trees. This serene spot offers a perfect setting for relaxation and immersing yourself in the tranquility of the island.

The Sensory Trail is a wonderful way to appreciate both the natural and cultural aspects of Pulau Ubin. Whether you choose to walk or cycle, this scenic route offers a pleasant and engaging experience. Take your time to soak in the sights, sounds, and scents of the trail, and let the beauty of Pulau Ubin unfold before you.

Go Offroad Biking at Ketam Mountain Bike Park

Pulau Ubin is a beloved destination for cycling enthusiasts, offering not only the opportunity to immerse oneself in nature but also the thrill of challenging off-road cycling routes. Among the popular cycling spots, Ketam Mountain Bike Park stands out with its extensive network of trails, measuring over 10 kilometers and designed to international standards. Cyclists can choose from a range of difficulty levels, from the relatively easier Blue Squares to the more demanding Black Diamond and Double Black Diamond trails

It's important to note that these bike paths are geared towards experienced riders and not suitable for beginners. Prior to embarking on your cycling adventure, ensure you have a suitable mountain bike and the necessary protective gear. It is also advisable to avoid cycling alone for safety reasons.

Exploring Pulau Ubin on a bike offers a unique and thrilling experience, allowing riders to traverse the island's diverse terrain and soak in its natural beauty. Whether you're seeking an adrenaline-pumping challenge or simply a refreshing ride through scenic landscapes, Pulau Ubin's cycling trails are sure to deliver an unforgettable adventure for cycling enthusiasts of various skill levels.

Go Fishing

Fishing enthusiasts on Pulau Ubin often engage in the popular pastime, casting their lines at different locations across the island. Whether positioned along the picturesque beaches, perched on the jetties overlooking the coast, or stationed near the bridges within the mangrove area, you're likely to encounter fishermen seeking their catch.

Pulau Ubin offers a diverse range of fish species that can be caught. Anglers have the opportunity to reel in prized catches such as barramundi, threadfin, mangrove jack, flatheads, and archers. It's important to note that while fishing is generally permitted in most areas, it is prohibited in the quarries found on the island.

Climb Puaka Hill for the Best Quarry View

Pulau Ubin, which translates to "granite island," derived its name from the abundance of granite rock found on the island in the past. During the 1970s, this granite was extensively utilized in the construction of public roads and housing. Although the quarries are no longer active today, visitors can still explore several viewpoints scattered across the island to catch a glimpse of their former glory.

To experience the most spectacular quarry view on Pulau Ubin, make your way to Puaka Hill situated on the island's western side, which overlooks Ubin Quarry. At Puaka Hill, you'll find two viewpoints to choose from. The lower viewpoint requires a brief five-minute ascent and provides a slightly elevated perspective of the quarry pool and walls. However, if you continue along a steeper and rockier pathway for an additional 10 minutes, you'll reach the highest point of Pulau Ubin. From there, you'll be rewarded with a more majestic view of the quarry and the lush surrounding canopy.

Visit Shrines and Temples

In the past, Pulau Ubin was inhabited by both Chinese and Malay communities, and traces of their diverse faiths can still be found across the island today. From the Muslim cemetery near Chek Jawa to small shrines and temples scattered in various locations, signs of their religious practices are prevalent.

Among the notable shrines on the island is the German Girl Shrine, which was constructed to commemorate a young girl who tragically lost her life while attempting to escape when her family was captured by the British army during World War I.

Despite its dwindling population, Pulau Ubin's remaining residents continue to uphold their cultural traditions. One of the highlights is the Tua Pek Kong Festival, celebrated annually, where the main village is adorned with decorations and visitors can enjoy extravagant wayang (traditional opera) performances on a dedicated stage. This vibrant festival typically takes place in May, coinciding with the Vesak Day public holiday, providing an enriching experience for those who visit during this time.

Places to Eat in Pulau Ubin

New Ubin Seafood

This particular restaurant in Pulau Ubin stands out among the seafood dining establishments. While renowned for its delectable seafood offerings, it also boasts a signature dish featuring beef. The highlight of their menu is a tantalizing combo pack consisting of Angus beef steak, perfectly seasoned potato wedges, and caramelized onions. Additionally, guests flock to this establishment for their mouthwatering fried rice, prepared using the rich flavors from the beef fat. Of course, no visit would be complete without savoring the traditional Singaporean chili crab, another popular item on their diverse menu.

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Season Live Seafood

Season Live is a charming waterfront restaurant that offers a tranquil dining experience with a stunning water backdrop. As you settle down at your table, you'll notice plastic tubs filled with a variety of exotic sea creatures, adding to the unique atmosphere. While enjoying your meal, you can relish the delightful flavors while being caressed by the refreshing cool breeze from the water.

The menu at Season Live boasts several standout dishes, including their mouth watering fried squid, succulent butter prawns, and the delectable sambal sweet potato leaf. These culinary delights are sure to satisfy your taste buds and leave you wanting more. For an enhanced dining experience, it is recommended to secure a table near the water's edge, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the ambiance and make the most of your visit to this exceptional restaurant.

Smith Marine Floating Kelong Restaurant

Smith Marine is a unique and innovative concept in Singapore, being the first floating restaurant of its kind. Established in 2015, this restaurant prides itself on providing exceptional services to its customers. One of the standout features of Smith Marine is that diners have the opportunity to engage in fishing activities, catching their own Sea Bass and Snapper, which are later expertly prepared by the skilled chefs.

The restaurant boasts a spacious layout with ample seating arrangements, making it an ideal choice for family gatherings or group outings. Alongside the delightful fishing experience, Smith Marine offers a delectable menu that includes several must-try delicacies. Among the highlights are the Fried Fish skin, Gong Gong, and Lobster, which have gained a reputation for being some of the restaurant's finest dishes. Whether you're a seafood enthusiast or simply seeking a memorable dining experience, Smith Marine offers a unique blend of adventure and culinary delights.

The Coastal Settlement

Nestled within the verdant foliage of Pulau Ubin, Singapore, this casual dining restaurant and bar provides a delightful culinary experience. Surrounded by lush green vegetation, the restaurant offers a tranquil setting where visitors may even catch sight of a flight of Hornbills passing by on occasion. Renowned for its delectable breakfast menu, the establishment also boasts an enticing array of dishes that are sure to tantalize the taste buds. Among their standout offerings, the Fragrant Beef Rendang stands out as a must-try delicacy, capturing the essence of the restaurant's culinary excellence.

Little Island Brewing Co.

Located in Changi Village close to Pulau Ubin, Little Island Brewing Co. is a charming bar and grill that specializes in crafting exceptional beers using traditional brewing techniques. In addition to their quality local brews, the smokehouse at Little Island Brewing Co. serves up some of the most delectable dishes around

Indulge in their mouth-watering smoked beef, which is slow-cooked for a remarkable 15 hours, and prepared to perfection. With a combination of top-notch local beers and delicious smoked meats, Little Island Brewing Co. is sure to satisfy even the most discerning taste buds.

Know Before You Go

How to Reach?
Best Time to Visit
Tips to Visit
  • To reach Pulau Ubin, you can follow these steps:
  • Start by making your way to Changi Point Ferry Terminal, which is located at Changi Village. You can easily reach Changi Village by public transportation or taxi.
  • At Changi Point Ferry Terminal, purchase a round-trip ticket for the bumboat ride to Pulau Ubin. The bumboat is a small motorized boat that serves as the main mode of transportation to the island.
  • Once you have your ticket, proceed to the designated boarding area and wait for the next available bumboat. The boats operate on a regular schedule, typically departing when there are enough passengers.
  • Board the bumboat and enjoy the scenic 10-minute ride across the water to Pulau Ubin. The boat ride offers picturesque views of the coastline and surrounding islands.
  • Upon arrival at Pulau Ubin, disembark from the bumboat and step onto the island. You will find yourself at the jetty area, which is the main arrival point.
  • From the jetty, you can explore the island on foot, rent a bicycle, or hire a van or taxi service to get around. Pulau Ubin is relatively small and can be easily explored by foot or bicycle.
  • Remember to check the ferry schedule for the return trip from Pulau Ubin to Changi Village to ensure you don't miss the last boat back. It's recommended to allocate enough time to fully enjoy the island's attractions and natural beauty before heading back to the mainland.
  • The best time to visit Pulau Ubin is generally during the dry season, which occurs from March to September in Singapore. During this period, you can expect lower rainfall and more favorable weather conditions for outdoor activities.
  • The months of March to May offer pleasant temperatures and are ideal for exploring the island's natural beauty on foot or by bicycle. It's a great time for hiking, bird-watching, and enjoying the scenic landscapes.
  • If you prefer to avoid crowds, weekdays are generally less busy than weekends and public holidays. This allows you to have a more peaceful and serene experience on the island.
  • It's worth noting that Singapore's weather can be unpredictable, and sudden showers can occur even during the dry season. It's always a good idea to carry rain gear and be prepared for occasional rain showers.
  • Ultimately, the best time to visit Pulau Ubin depends on your personal preferences and the activities you plan to engage in.

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  • Here are some tips to help you make the most of your visit to Pulau Ubin:
  • Plan your transportation: Pulau Ubin is accessible by a short bumboat ride from Changi Point Ferry Terminal. Check the bumboat schedule in advance and plan your trip accordingly. Keep in mind that the last bumboat back to the mainland usually leaves around 5 or 6 PM, so plan your visit accordingly.
  • Rent a bicycle: One of the best ways to explore Pulau Ubin is by renting a bicycle. You can find rental shops near the jetty area. Bicycles allow you to navigate the island at your own pace and visit various attractions easily. Remember to bring cash for the bicycle rental as most shops do not accept card payments.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and footwear: Pulau Ubin offers a lot of opportunities for outdoor activities and exploration. Dress comfortably and wear sturdy shoes suitable for walking or cycling. Consider bringing sunscreen, a hat, and insect repellent, especially if you plan to spend time in the forested areas.
  • Visit Chek Jawa Wetlands: Don't miss the chance to explore Chek Jawa Wetlands, a unique ecosystem teeming with biodiversity. Check the tide timings before visiting, as the best time to explore Chek Jawa is during low tide. Guided tours are available, or you can explore on your own using the boardwalks and trails.
  • Visit Ubin Quarry: Head to Puaka Hill for a panoramic view of Ubin Quarry. The lower viewpoint offers a good perspective, but if you're up for a more challenging climb, continue to the higher viewpoint for a majestic view. Remember to stay on designated paths and follow safety guidelines.
  • Explore the island's villages: Pulau Ubin still retains its rustic charm with traditional villages. Take the time to explore the villages, interact with the friendly locals, and try local food at the eateries in Changi Village or along the main roads of Pulau Ubin.
  • Respect nature and wildlife: Pulau Ubin is home to diverse flora and fauna. Help preserve the natural environment by not littering and avoiding any activities that could harm the wildlife or their habitats. Keep a safe distance from any wild animals you encounter.
  • Carry essentials: Bring along essentials such as water, snacks, a map or GPS device, and a fully charged mobile phone. Facilities on the island are limited, so it's best to be prepared.
  • Check the weather forecast: Pulau Ubin is an outdoor destination, so it's important to check the weather forecast before your visit. Rain can make certain activities challenging, so plan accordingly and bring appropriate rain gear if needed.
  • Enjoy the tranquility: Pulau Ubin offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Take the time to soak in the tranquility, enjoy the scenic beauty, and appreciate the island's natural wonders.

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FAQ's of Pulau Ubin

What is the history behind the name "Pulau Ubin" and why was it given that name?

The name "Pulau Ubin" has its roots in Malay, with "Pulau" meaning "island" and "Ubin" translating to "granite." The island was given this name due to the abundance of granite rock found on the island.

In the past, Pulau Ubin was home to numerous granite quarries that played a significant role in Singapore's development. The granite from these quarries was used in the construction of public roads, buildings, and infrastructure, particularly during the 1970s. The island's granite was known for its quality and durability, making it a valuable resource for construction projects.

The name "Pulau Ubin" reflects the historical importance of the island's granite industry. It serves as a reminder of the island's past as a hub for granite extraction and its contribution to the development of Singapore's infrastructure. While the quarries are no longer active today, the name "Pulau Ubin" continues to pay homage to the island's rich history and heritage.

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Are there any unique wildlife species or habitats that can be found on Pulau Ubin?

  • Yes, Pulau Ubin is known for its rich biodiversity and offers a habitat for various unique wildlife species. Here are some notable examples:
  • Oriental Pied Hornbills: Pulau Ubin is home to a healthy population of Oriental Pied Hornbills, which are large, colorful birds known for their distinctive calls and striking appearance.
  • Estuarine Crocodiles: The island's mangrove swamps and waterways provide a habitat for Estuarine Crocodiles. Although sightings are rare, these reptiles can be found in the surrounding waters.
  • Mangrove Wildlife: Pulau Ubin's mangrove forests support a diverse array of wildlife, including mangrove snakes, mudskippers, fiddler crabs, and various species of birds and insects.
  • Smooth-coated Otters: These playful and social creatures can sometimes be spotted along the shores of Pulau Ubin. They are known for their agile swimming and playful behavior.
  • Macaques: Long-tailed Macaques are prevalent on the island and can be seen in various areas, especially near the village and popular spots. It's important to maintain a safe distance and not feed them.
  • Bird Watching: Pulau Ubin is a haven for birdwatchers. Many migratory birds visit the island during certain seasons, and it's a great place to observe and spot different species, including herons, kingfishers, and sunbirds.
  • Butterfly and Insect Species: Pulau Ubin's forests and open spaces support a diverse range of butterflies and insects. The island is known for its butterfly trails and is home to several rare and beautiful butterfly species.
  • It's worth noting that while exploring the island's wildlife, it's important to respect their natural habitat, maintain a safe distance, and observe them without causing any disturbance or harm.

What are some of the traditional villages on Pulau Ubin and what is their cultural significance?

  • Pulau Ubin is known for its traditional villages, which provide a glimpse into the island's rural past and cultural heritage. Here are some of the notable traditional villages on Pulau Ubin:
  • Kampong Melayu: Kampong Melayu is one of the larger villages on the island. It has a predominantly Malay community and features traditional wooden houses, reflecting the architectural style of a bygone era. The village offers insights into the cultural traditions and lifestyle of the local Malay community.
  • Kampong Noordin: Kampong Noordin is a small village located on the northeastern part of Pulau Ubin. It is named after a prominent village elder, Noordin Bin Mohammad, who was known for his contributions to the village and the island. The village has a tight-knit community and retains its rustic charm.
  • Kampong Puaka: Kampong Puaka is a village situated near the western coast of Pulau Ubin. It is home to several local residents and showcases traditional village houses, often made of wood and elevated on stilts. Exploring Kampong Puaka allows visitors to experience the tranquil and close-knit village atmosphere.
  • These traditional villages hold cultural significance as they represent the island's heritage and the way of life of its inhabitants. They provide a glimpse into the past, preserving the traditional architecture, community dynamics, and cultural practices that have shaped Pulau Ubin's identity. Exploring these villages offers visitors a chance to learn about the island's history, engage with the local community, and appreciate the unique cultural heritage of Pulau Ubin.

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