Tired of the concrete view and need an escape from city life? Despite the current border restrictions, Singaporeans still have a unique location to travel for a scenic nature getaway. Located within a short 15-minute bumboat ride from Changi Jetty, Pulau Ubin is the ideal island getaway for city dwellers.
The second-largest natural island in Singapore after Pulau Tekong, Pulau Ubin is a key nature sanctuary in Singapore. Home to Singapore’s largest mangroves and wetlands, the island is a treasure trove of biodiversity. Apart from being a treat for nature enthusiasts, Pulau Ubin provides a glimpse of the past with its kampung heritage and a whole range of fun activities for all ages.
Things To Note Before Going To Pulau Ubin
A popular destination, we may expect a substantial crowd making their way to Pulau Ubin over the weekend. To get to the island, we would have to take a bumboat which cost about $4 per person for a single trip. An additional charge of $2 is required if we are bringing a bike.
The first bumboat is scheduled as early as 6 am and the last boat leaves the main island at about 7 pm. Each boat trip has a limit of up 9 to 12 passengers. There is currently no fixed schedule and the boat leaves whenever it reaches maximum capacity. It is possible to top-up for the remaining seats if we are in a rush to get moving.
For certain activities such as kayaking and snorkelling, pre-bookings are required, so do reach out to the related vendors early. Do bring cash along as most stores on the island do not accept electronic payments yet.
Additionally, as the island is rich with biodiversity, wildlife encounters are not uncommon. It is good practice to avoid alarming any creatures you encounter or disturbing their habitats. Having insect repellent can also come in handy to prevent bites.
Take the time to enjoy the island and help keep it clean by leaving footprints and memories behind only. Here are 5 activities we can do on a day trip to Pulau Ubin.
#1 Visit Chek Jawa Wetland During Low Tide Timings (Guided Tour) – $60 per pax
Spanning over 8km with 1,020 hectares, Pulau Ubin hosts an array of natural habitats that would be a treat for nature lovers.
Starting from the famous Chek Jawa Wetlands, the habitat covers about 10% of the island. Just three km away from the jetty, we can walk or cycle over after getting off the bumboat. Chek Jawa is the intersection of six major ecosystems: the sandy beach, rock beach, lagoon, coral rubble, mangrove, and coastal forest.
Due to the unique combination of 6 different habitats, the area is blessed with biodiversity of creatures we would hardly come across such as cowfish, sea anemones and more. To maximise the educational experience, we can sign up for the Chek Jawa Wetland tours with NParks, for the cost of $60 per person. The maximum number per group is five pax.
Those of us that would prefer to explore by ourselves can do so for free by following the guided pathways. In an intertidal location, we can check for the tidal timings to avoid disappointments. For an optimal experience, it is best to visit the location when the tide is below 0.5 meters.
#2 Get A Glimpse Of The Singapore Kampong Life (Guided Tour) – $60 per pax
For all history fads or anyone that wishes to experience what life was before the skyscrapers, we can go on a 2-hour tour to explore the heritage of Pulau Ubin. Another tour by NParks, the tour cost $60 per head with a maximum of five people per group.
The tour will start at the Ubin Volunteer Hub before it takes us on a 2.2km trail where we will be passing through Jelutong campsite, Butterfly Hill, Pekan Quarry, Sensory Trail Ponds, Kampong House, Old Bin Kiang School site, Toa Pek Kong Temple and Wayang Stage.
We can sign up for the tour at NParks.
#3 Rent A Bike For A Day To Cycle Around The Island – $10 to $15 per pax
Instead of walking around the island, we can opt to cycle as a swifter and more leisurely way of getting around.
Right off the jetty, we would be greeted with several bicycle rental shops in the main Ubin Village. We can expect to pay about $10 for a regular bicycle and $15 for a mountain bicycle. For newer bicycles, we can expect to pay about $20 to $25.
As the island span about 8km, we can cycle around it in about four hours. If we want a more adrenaline-pumping activity, we can head over to Ketam Mountain Bike Park. The first mountain bike park to meet international mountain bicycling association standards has about 10km of bike trails. The tracks are split into different skill levels and beginners can stick to the blue square trail.
#4 Kayak Through The Mangroves – $82 to $105 Per Pax
Apart from kayaking in freshwater bodies on the main island, Pulau Ubin offers a range of sea kayaking trips for the adventurous. The routes offer us unique opportunities to observe nature and wildlife up close.
For mangrove kayaking, we can approach some of these expedition companies below:
|Company||Tour Name||Cost Per Pax ($)|
|SerendipET||Mangrove Kayaking & Viewpoint Hike in Ubin||$82|
|Adventures by Asian Detours||Mangrove Kayaking||$98|
|Manawa by Adrenaline Hunter||Mangrove Kayaking in Pulau Ubin, Singapore||$105|
Most of these expeditions last for about four hours. The Singapore sun tends to be quite intense and merciless so do remember to apply enough sunblock to prevent any sunburns.
#5 Enjoy Fresh Seafood Dinner – $20 to $30 per pax
After a long day of going on an outdoor adventure, we can catch a hearty seafood dinner at the famous Pulau Ubin seafood restaurants.
There are three main seafood restaurants on Pulau Ubin – Season Live Seafood, Cheong Lian Yuen and Smith Marine Floating Restaurant. Served in our local zi char style, the seafood is all freshly caught. For a more unique experience, we can head over to Smith Marine which is a 5 mins boat ride from Pulau Ubin.
Situated on a floating platform, diners can catch their own fish for dinner. This is a sure-fire way to guarantees the freshness of our dinner. If we choose to indulge in a dinner set, we will be treated to fish, chilli crab, prawns, vegetables, and a noodle main.
All in all, a whole of activity and a delicious dinner would amount to an affordable cost of $280 for 2 to 3 pax.
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