Mountain Biking & 5 Other Things to Do at Pulau Ubin

Pulau Ubin

1. Savoured the richness of fatty rice

Nothing would attract Singaporeans more effectively than whiffs of good food. Before working out a sweat at Pulau Ubin, fill up your tummies at Changi Village Food Centre. Faithfully serving army boys and supper hunters for years, you can’t quite mention this food centre without thinking about one of Singapore’s favorite dish, Nasi Lemak.

Many might know that “nasi” means “rice” in Malay. But did you know that “lemak” means “fat” in Malay? And for good reasons too. From the rice cooked in coconut milk to the deep fried chicken wings, and not to mention the fried eggs, fish fillets, nuggets and otahs, there’s nothing in this dish that not cooked in the unhealthiest way possible.  That’s probably the reason why it tastes so good.

There are a number of stalls selling Nasi Lemak, but the main rivalry appears to be between these 2 stalls below. My personal favourite? International Nasi Lemak.

Address:
International Nasi Lemak

Cuisine: Malay
Changi Village Food Centre – Blk 2/3 Changi Village Road, Singapore 500002
Stall 01-03
Opening hours: 9.30am to 3.30pm, 6pm to 12mn | Weekdays | 9.30am to 7.30pm | Saturdays
Check out the review by ieatishootipost

Mizzy’s Corner
Cuisine: Malay
Changi Village Food Centre – Blk 2/3 Changi Village Road, Singapore 500002
Stall 01-26
Opening hours:  7am to 4am | Daily
Check out the review by ieatishootipost

They have each claimed their share of followers/ cynics so try them out for yourselves!

2. Braved the sea, the rain and the wetlands

Once the tummies are filled, it’s time to ferry across to Pulau Ubin. About a minute’s walk away from Changi Village Food Centre is the Changi Point Ferry Terminal where bumboats depart from 6am to 8pm and only when there are enough passengers (about 10 people). It costs $2.50 per person and an additional $2 if you’re bringing along your bicycle. The ride can be choppy so motion sickness sufferers beware (might want to rethink the fatty rice)!
Upon landing on Pulau Ubin, don’t hurry off to rent a bicycle. Head east to start off with a visit to Chek Jawa Wetlands, where over 1km of boardwalk along the coast is best enjoyed by foot (accessible daily, 8.30am to 6pm). For the more adventurous, NParks organises special guided walks on the shore for groups of up to 15 people. Each tour costs $60 and bookings can be made here. Chek Jawa comprises of 6 habitats – coastal forest, mangrove, sandy each, sandflats (lagoon), coral rubble and a tiny island (Palau Sekudu/ Frog Island) and wild life to be spotted includes wild boars, stick insects, otters, seahorses, mud skippers, stingrays, shell fishes, sea anemones among others.

Address:
Changi Point Ferry Terminal
51 Lorong Bekukong, Singapore 499172

3. Came upon the resting place of a WWI German girl

With enough walking done, it’s time to trade up for a faster mode of transport. Cycling is by far the best way to discover Pulau Ubin and bicycle rentals are readily available. The rental shops are all packed alongside one another so prices are fairly competitive, ranging from $8 to $14 for a day (word of caution: the cheaper bicycles might have no suspension or gears, definitely not recommended for the terrain at Pulau Ubin). Renting from any of the shops would be alright, just make sure the brakes are working and the seat is comfy. It’s no fun having to push your broken bicycle back from across half the island.
It’s always fun to conquer pit-stops instead of cycling around with no end in sight. You can get a map from the bicycle shop to identify the various landmarks and the signs around the island will be sufficient to direct you there. Besides visiting the several quarries scattered across the island, head west and challenge yourself to find the German Girl Shrine.

4. Attempted to be a mountain biker

And if cycling on Pulau Ubin is too mainstream for you, proceed to Ketam Quarry and take it up to the next level with mountain biking at The Ketam Mountain Bike Park. At this park, well paved roads give way to bumpy stone and dirt trails. Even though there are maps along the trail, they are not going to be much use given the lack of landmarks for orientation. It certainly did not help that the signs hardly seem to correspond with the maps. So just pick your preferred route and remember your way back!

5. Conquered the highest peak on Ubin

Once you’ve headed back to the main trail, park your bicycles at Ubin Quarry and scale your way to the highest point in Pulau Ubin, Bukit Puaka. Here you’ll get a nice panoramic view of the island’s surroundings to reward yourself for the sweaty climb.

6. Encountered a fishy plant

When you’ve decided your bottom has taken enough beating for the day, return your bicycles and wrap off your day with some tingling of your senses. Just a short distance from the ferry terminal, the Sensory Trail showcases an array of medicinal herbs, fruit trees, ornamental plants and vegetables, including the interestingly named fishy plant and toothache plant.

To return to mainland, just wait at the terminal until there’s enough people for a bumboat and you’re on your way. Since the bumboats do not depart till they gather sufficient passengers, do not linger too long on the island as the number of potential passengers dwindles and you might end up waiting around for an hour or so.
Many adventures await you at Pulau Ubin, just don’t get lost on the way!
Check out other people’s adventures herehere and here.

Tips:

– Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Slippers and sandals offer poor protection from cuts and sprains.
– There are drink stalls around but bring your own water bottle. The tap water is not suitable for drinking.
– The shelters are few and far between when wet weather strikes. Bring a small umbrella. Put your valuables in a ziplock bag. Bring a towel and change of clothes (the bicycle’s back wheel will splash mud all over the back of your shirt).
– The trees offer shade along most routes but a cap, sunglasses and sunscreen would be helpful.
– No amount of insect repellent or patches will keep the mosquitoes away but don’t let that stop you from trying!

Date timer: ~ 8 hours

It’s surprising how many Singaporeans have yet to cross over to this little island of ours, are you one of them? 

* Images designed by Freepik

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About DownloadADate

Kia is a Singaporean who likes to make lists and plans. She sees her weekends as sacred pockets of time that should be used for more than just movies and food. She enjoys cuddling up with a book as much as exploring new places by foot in the insane Singapore humidity. Listening to her friends who lament that there’s “nothing to do in Singapore” and fly all over the world for holidays, Kia seeks to look for escapades closer to home. She found that even in such a tiny country, there are many places she hasn’t been, things she hasn’t tried, and old places are being revamped into new ones all the time. Soon, she saw the places around her like how tourists would see them, but better – fresh and yet familiar. Kia then sets out to plan itineraries for her weekend escapes and it became a habit she enjoyed. And now she wants to share them with you. After all, there are 52 weekends in year and only so many holidays you can take. What if you can turn your dates with family and friends into holidays every week? Check out her adventures at www.downloadadate.wordpress.com

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