Pulau Ubin

Lonely Planet review

A chugging 10-minute bumboat ride from Changi Point Ferry Terminal at Changi Village lands you on the shores of Pulau Ubin. There’s no timetable; boats depart when 12 people are ready to go.

Singaporeans like to wax nostalgic about Ubin’s kampung atmosphere, and a small resort aside, it has thus far resisted the lure of cashed-up developers. It remains a rural, unkempt expanse of jungle full of fast lizards, weird shrines and cacophonic birdlife. Tin-roofed buildings bake in the sun, chickens squawk and panting dogs slump in the dust.

The best way to get around is by mountain bike (rental per day S$2 to S$10). Don’t bother with the cheaper clunkers as your bum will appreciate proper suspension. Veer right from the jetty to the Pulau Ubin information kiosk , pick up a map, and sniff around the exhibition on Ubin’s culture, history and wildlife.

Trundle off on your bike and see where the road takes you. For those keen on scraping their knees, there’s Ketam Mountain Bike Park , with over a dozen trails of varying difficulty. You can also take a trip to the Chek Jawa Wetlands in the island’s east. A 1km coastal boardwalk takes you out to sea and loops back through the mangrove swamp and the 20m-high Jejawi Tower offers stunning views of the area.

There are several of places to eat near the ferry terminal – complete your island adventure with some chilli crab and Tiger beer as the Bee Gees wail shamelessly from the stereo.

For those inclined to stay on the island, you can rent a basic but pricey chalet run by the Marina Country Club. Beach camping is allowed.