• Day58

    The Island of Pulau Ubin

    July 19, 2015 in Singapore ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    Hello everyone, hope you are all well and happy! Yesterday I visited Pulau Ubin, a small island off the north-east coast of Singapore. Although it is well-visited by tourists year-round, it has maintained its rustic kampong (fishing village) look. This is what Singapore itself would have probably looked like in the 60s before its mass industrialization.

    I started by taking a 15-minute bum-boat ride to the isle, which was a bit nerve-racking at first. It rocked over large waves as we passed alongside huge cargo ships and at some points I thought we might capsize (and no one had life jackets). Thankfully we all made it to the island in one piece and relatively dry. After a quick lunch I rented a bicycle and started making my way through the trails. Most of them were paved, but some were only gravel and others just thin dirt lines through the fields and hills. It was really neat to do some actual mountain biking here, reminding me a lot of a wonderful family trip to the Rockies a few years back.

    When I got to the easternmost part of the island, I dismounted and started making my way to the coastal board walk and wetlands. Here I saw a lot of interesting wildlife, both plant and animal. Besides the flurry of birds and insects, I spotted big wild boars, large lanky lizards, slithering snakes, and of course the infamously mischievous macaques! The last ones can be especially nasty and will not hesitate to steal your belongings and eat your food (as the pictures will attest to), so after taking a few photos I thought it best to be on my way.

    Making my way through the trails, I visited a few interesting places, including a Buddhist temple and the 'German Girl's Shrine'. Legend has it that while being chased off her plantation by British soldiers, a young German girl fell off a cliff and died. Cremated, her ashes are venerated to this day by the locals. I also climbed to the highest point on the island, overlooking the Ubin Quarry (now a lake).

    After doing some more biking on the trails of the Mountain Bike Park, I decided to head back to the main village as I could feel a few a slight drizzle coming on. I turned my bike in and proceeded to indulge in a long-awaited feast of black pepper and chilli crab, tiger prawns in roasted garlic, green vegetables and (of course) rice. It was beyond what I had hoped for, and, sustainably sufunctified, I took the bum-boat back home. Enjoy the pictures!
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