Saturday was a perfect day to ride bikes. So Jeff, our friend Jihyun, and I went to Pulau Ubin to do just that. It was our first time going to the small island to the northeast of Singapore. It felt like we had taken a trip back in time when we got off the bumboat. Pulau Ubin is, in terms of urban development, mostly untouched and a stark contrast to the highly developed mainland of Singapore.
Pulau Ubin was once known for its granite quarries, but now tourism is its main industry. Some people still live on Pulau Ubin; we rode by a few homes on the bike trails. I imagine life on Pulau Ubin must be somewhat like the Singapore kampongs of the 1960's I have only read about.
To get to Pulau Ubin, take a cab to Changi Point Ferry Terminal, where you can take a bumboat for S$2.50 per person, each way. You pay the boat's captain after you get on. Follow the signs which read "Pulau Ubin" to get on the right boat.
As soon as you get off the jetty at Pulau Ubin, you'll see Ubin Town (above). There are many stalls where you can rent bicycles for the day. You can also find places to sit down in the shade and eat or have a cool drink. It is possible to enjoy Pulau Ubin without renting a bike, but I think it wouldn't be as fun.
Jeff and Jihyun on a bike trail. There are maps like the one in this photo and trail markers all over the island.
Our very first video!
There are lots of small drink stalls on the island where you can enjoy a cool drink and take a break from the heat.
Bumboats at the jetty, waiting to take visitors to Pulau Ubin back to the mainland.
If you decide to go, make sure you wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Also, pack some sunscreen if you burn easily. We paid S$5 per person for a round trip on the bumboat, and S$13 to rent a bicycle. Pulau Ubin is close, inexpensive, and a fun way to spend a day.