Pulau Ubin Guide: Top 13 Fun Things To Do In Pulau Ubin

Plan your next weekend getaway
By: agnes
August 26, 2022

Singapore is dubbed one of the most developed countries in the world. But one place that people visit in order to turn back time is Pulau Ubin. Pulau Ubin is an island located northeast of the mainland and includes pre-development features. So don’t expect to find tall buildings or malls over here, instead, you’ll find old taxi stands and wooden houses. It’s definitely a place worth bringing your children to, in order to teach them about life before independence. Plus, there are many fun things to do in Pulau Ubin. If you’re planning a trip there, check out our guide to this traditional spot.

How To Get There

Source: Visitsingapore.com

There’s only one way to get to Pulau Ubin, which is by boat. But in order to get to the boat, you’ll have to Changi Point Ferry Terminal first. At the terminal, you can then look for boats to Pulau Ubin. These boats operate from 7am-7pm and do not have a proper schedule. This is because they only leave once they have all 12 passengers in the boat. Therefore, be prepared to wait a little while or even pay for the extra empty seats if you’re in a hurry. The good news is that the boat ride per person is only $4 with an extra charge of $2 if you’re bringing along your own bike.

Getting Around Pulau Ubin

Source: Unsplash / Annie Spratt

Pulau Ubin isn’t a very big island, measuring about 3.93 square miles. Thus, getting around the island is fairly easy. You have the options of cycling, walking or getting a taxi – depending on whether you want convenience or the thrill of exploration. If you choose the first option, bike rentals are easily available near the jetty and cost about $5-$20. There are also various types of bicycles from children’s ones to mountain bikes.

On the other hand, if you choose to walk, not only would you get some steps in but also be able to take in the nature Pulau Ubin has to offer. From beautiful sceneries to the abundant greenery and animals you could bump into is incredible. Last but not least is taking a taxi. This mode of transportation is convenient but may cost you a bit. However, if you’re feeling a little tired or are in a hurry then taking a taxi is ideal.

Fun Things To Do In Pulau Ubin

1. Kayak Through Mangroves

Source: Unsplash / Filip Mroz

Fun things to do in Pulau Ubin include a kayak excursion through the mangroves. It’s possible to kayak through the dense mangrove tides for as long as 4 to 5 hours. Thus, making it suitable for all kayaking levels, from beginners to professionals. You may see kingfishers, hornbills, otters, and perhaps dolphins as you kayak through the mangroves. If you’d like, you can take a guided kayak journey in the Singaporean wilderness with an expert guide.

2. Visit The Sensory Trail

Source: nparks.gov.sg

If you’re looking to explore nature, then this is one of the fun things to do in Pulau Ubin. The Sensory trail makes use of both your senses of touch and scent. It’ll also quench your appetite for knowledge about local flora, fruit trees, and herbs. Located on the island’s southernmost tip, this trail is accessible to all ages and abilities. Those with a particular interest in vegetables and spices will surely find interest in learning about common ingredients like turmeric, ginger, curry leaves and more.

3. Spot Unique Species At Butterfly Hill

Source: nparks.gov.sg

Over 140 different species of butterflies can be found in this small sanctuary, which was built to protect them. Therefore, if you or your family loves butterflies, then this will surely be one of the fun things to do in Pulau Ubin. The Black Veined Tiger and Common Bluebottle are among the species you can expect to encounter. But the highlight would have to be the Dwarf Crow, which was thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered back in 2002.

4. Cycle Through The Island

Source: Unsplash / Jeremy Bezanger 

Cycling is one of the fun things to do in Pulau Ubin. A bicycle is an excellent mode of transportation for getting around the island. In addition to flat and difficult terrains, Pulau Ubin island’s activities include vast coasts that make cycling a peaceful pastime. For as little as $5-$20 a day, you can rent a bicycle for your whole visit. There are also some biking trails that tourists often use. To find out more about this, make sure to ask the locals.

5. Get A Breathtaking View At Jejawi Tower

Source: nparks.gov.sg

From the tower’s 120 stairs, you can see all the way to the Johor River and the island’s beautiful forest canopy, as well as the Chek Jawa wetlands. However, only 20 people can stand up at the viewing site at a time, so you might have to wait your turn. In addition, if you’d like to see things up close, make sure to bring a pair of binoculars with you. 

6. Visit House No 1

Source: roots.gov.sg

Located at the entrance to Chek Jawa, House No 1, or the visitor centre is one of the few fun things to do in Pulau Ubin. When the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) rehabilitated the 1930s Tudor-style house in 2003, it was repurposed into an exhibition room with informational panels about the history and intriguing facts of Chek Jawa. The original fireplace and brick chimney are two of the building’s most notable features.

7. Set Up Camp

Source: Unsplash / Tommy Lisbin

One of the fun things to do in Pulau Ubin is camping; we believe everyone should camp at least once in their lives. The natural air conditioning and countless amount of stars are an experience that cannot be traded. If you decide to camp, there are three campgrounds to choose from: Endut Senin, Jelutong, or Mamam. If you prefer to be closer to the village then choose Jelutong and if you’d like to be further up north, choose Mamam. Endut Senin on the other hand is located inside the Ubin Living Lab. There are no showers in all these campgrounds and you’ll need to register with the Pulau Ubin Police Post before camping.

8. Pay Your Respects At The German Girl Shrine

While this isn’t exactly a ‘fun’ thing to do, this spot in Pulau Ubin holds a lot of history that deserves a visit. To honour the daughter of a German coffee plantation manager, a Roman Catholic shrine was built. According to folklore, the girl fled via the back door towards the end of World War I and plummeted to her death in the quarry behind the estate. Her body was discovered by local labourers, who then buried her in the sand, and surrounded her with flowers and incense. The German girl became a deity of sorts once she was laid to rest at the current location, and worshipers from as far away as Thailand have gone to pay their respects.

9. See A Typical Chinese Kampung House At House 363B

Source: nparks.gov.sg

Pulau Ubin is a historical island that is kept the way it is since the 1960s. Thus, there are many houses and shop lots that still look like how they do generations ago. If you’ve never seen a Chinese kampung house before then you’ll want to check out House 363B. It was once the home of a local grocery store owner, but now it serves as a showcase space filled with repurposed furniture, cabinets, and even kitchen utensils to give it a lived-in appearance. NPark’s ‘Kampong Tour,’ which includes a pit stop at the residence, is the only way to get there. To book yourself a guide, click here.

10. Hike Up Puaka Hill

Thrill-seekers rejoice! Here’s one of the few fun things to do in Pulau Ubin – hiking! Puaka Hill offers hikers an amazing view of Pulau Ubin, with its highest point at 74 metres. It doesn’t take long to get to the top as it’s roughly a 15-20 minute hike. However, the route is pretty steep and not exactly the easiest. But the fresh air from nature and the view are surely worth it.

11. Instagram-Worthy Spots 

It’s not truly a vacation unless you visit one of these best places in Pulau Ubin for some Instagram-worthy shots. If you ever decide to hike Puaka Hill, make sure to find a perfect spot which overlooks the old granite quarry and waters. The Chek Jawa boardwalk which features a kilometre of the platform will surely offer a good shot of the clear skies. Along the Sensory Trail route, there are plenty of the best spots for visitors to capture their moment with a backdrop of nature.

12. It’s Fishing Time

Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi on Pexels

Pulau Ubin might be known for its clear blue skies and sandy beaches,  but the place is also abundant with marine life. There are several fishing spots on the island which allow you to catch fish like barramundi, archers, flatheads and threadfin.  Whether you prefer to do fishing activities on the jetty or even on the beach, there are various spots that you can check out. 

13. Chek Jawa Wetlands

A trip to the Chek Jawa wetlands is one of the fun things to do in Pulau Ubin. Located on the eastern part of the island, it boasts 100-hectare areas with numerous floral and fauna including wild boar, kingfishers and sea eagles. With the 1.1 kilometres of boardwalk that is surrounded by lush greenery, you will surely feel more rejuvenated. Plus, it is a chance for you to closely view its ecosystem with mangroves and coastal forests. You can also opt for the guided tour which cost around $60 for a group of 15 people.

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