That was Rob’s advice when I told him I was venturing out to Pulau Ubin, an undeveloped island here:
This writer says, A trip to Pulau Ubin is a throwback to Singapore in the 1960s. The island is home to Singapore’s last villages or “kampongs”. Another writer writes, you will not find malls and air-conditioned places, instead, you will find great local restaurants and places where you can rent a bike for a ride around the island. I especially liked what this writer had to say: The island is decades behind mainland, gleaming Singapore. Much of it was under a dense jungle canopy; we passed through Golden Orb Alley where it seemed like all the trees were joined by the silky webs of the substantially spectacular Golden Orb spiders. Hand-sized-Huge.
It took almost 2 hours to get there from Rob’s place. (Directions below.) On the ferry over, I started talking to this lively gentleman, Freddy:
He had the day off and kindly accompanied me around the island. I didn’t encounter any “wild dogs” as Rob or this writer warned of: Dogs roamed free in packs of not three but more, when they appear out of nowhere. The only wild dog sightings were these pups:
We did, however, have a dramatic episode involving some wild boar. (Trivia: A group of boar is a “sounder” or a “singular”. Guess when it comes to boar, plural is singular.) Watch my 5-minute documentary, “How To Steal A Boar’s Baby” here. I was legitimately nervous, miles from anywhere, with Freddy’s tales of boar attacks. (He said they can charge people for no reason. He may have been joking, but I’m not sure.) Freddy himself was pretty hesitant to get anywhere near them.
I basically followed Freddy around all day like this:
We found this small museum, the Chek Jawa Visitor Center, a Tudor-style cottage that was originally a personal vacation home. The display included an actual, quite-large aquarium.
In the back, a long pier stretched out toward Seduku Island (Pulau Seduku). Find out what happened when a pig, an elephant and a frog challenged one another to a swim to Johor, Malaysia – the land visible across the water.
Freddy wasn’t too keen on the idea of eating lunch on the island, but I made him. The food wasn’t amazing or anything, but fine for about $5 a person ($4 US.) Freddy got that fried rice (above) and I got that soup. The squid (or whatever it was) was rather chewy. Overall rating: C / average.
Here are all the pics I took:
My favorite was of this fence, built to prevent people from swimming over from Malaysia, just across the water there.
Directions: From the Tanah Merah MRT stop, take the #2 bus to Changi Point Ferry Terminal. Make your way to this building (pictured)– do not go over the footbridge (like I did). $5 gets you a ferry ride one-way to Pulau Ubin (Ubin Island.) Then another $5 gets you a bike to ride all day!
glad I brought: sunscreen, plenty of water, cool comfy clothing
wish I’d brought: sunglasses, insect repellent, well-concealed snacks
Total cost for lunch and transportation to and from: $20SG