Life on Ubin
Be transported back in time to 1960s Singapore as you embark on a trip to nearby Pulau Ubin. Home to Singapore’s last villages or kampongs, the island still retains the rustic beauty and simplicity of a bygone era.
Wander along the many trails and see how the local residents live. With no access to the modern and efficient public utilities on mainland Singapore, the villagers rely on wells for water and noisy diesel generators for electricity, and depend on traditional farming and fishing for subsistence. For those wishing to experience life on this quiet island, a resort is located just off the main village, along one of the bicycle trails.
Adrenaline junkies and thrill seekers can rent mountain bikes from the many rental shops at the main village, near the jetty, and embark on a thrilling and exhilarating ride across the island’s rugged terrain. Don’t forget to stop by the quarry to enjoy the mesmerising beauty of the undulating granite hills and stunning views of the aqua-coloured lake.
A trip to Pulau Ubin is not complete without a visit to Chek Jawa Wetlands, one of Singapore’s richest ecosystems, which was officially launched on 7 July 2007. Visitors can either walk, cycle or hire a vehicle to get to Chek Jawa Wetlands. Click here for more information on Chek Jawa.
Before you head back to mainland Singapore, stop by the provision stores and eateries and tuck into some scrumptious kampong cuisine.
About the island
Shaped like a boomerang, Pulau Ubin (Granite Island) is situated just off the north-eastern corner of mainland Singapore. Once a cluster of five smaller islets separated by tidal rivers, it has since been united by the building of bunds for prawn farming to become a single 1,020-hectare island. Two other islets, Pulau Ketam (Crab Island) and Pulau Sekudu (Frog Island), lie to its south.
In the early days, granite mining supported a few thousand settlers. Much of the original vegetation was cleared for the cultivation of rubber and crops like coffee, pineapple, coconut and jasmine. Today, abandoned granite quarries remain as picturesque relics of Ubin's history, while forests and grasslands have regenerated to cover up the ravages of the past.