Known for its tranquillity and kampongs straight out of the 60s, Pulau Ubin offers a quick weekend escape away from hectic city life. Getting there isn’t difficult as there’s reliable transportation throughout the day. If you’re planning a getaway, check out our easy-peasy guide to exploring Pulau Ubin — from kayaking and camping to getting your seafood fix!
What to do before going to Pulau Ubin
First things first, make sure that you’ve packed enough cash as there’s no ATM machine on the island.
Another rather inconvenient fact is that the toilets there aren’t the cleanest, so it’s a good idea to bring a few packs of wet wipes. We recommend that you visit the toilet closest to the jetty once you arrive because you’ll have to do quite a bit of walking to reach the others.
Don’t forget to also bring mosquito repellent because tropical islands are a party ground for these pesky insects.
How to get to Pulau Ubin
Travelling to Pulau Ubin is quite simple. All you have to do is make your way to the Changi Point Ferry Terminal and hop onto a bumboat which costs $4 per person, one way. If you’re bringing along your bicycle, you’ll have to fork out an extra $2.
The bumboat operates daily from 5.30am to about 9pm, but we advise you to try and make your way back by 6pm (unless you’re camping overnight). Otherwise, you may need to pay the entire cost of a trip if there’s no one else travelling back with you. 😢
As for parking at the ferry terminal, there’s a paid parking area available.
Getting around in Pulau Ubin
There are a few ways to explore Pulau Ubin aside from walking. If you’re up for sweating it out, cycling would be a good option to explore the island’s nooks and crannies. You’ll find places to rent bikes all over the island — but you’ll also see a lot of people bringing mountain or foldable bikes because of how convenient it is to transport them on the bumboat.
Alternatively, you may choose to walk or take a taxi. The taxis in Pulau Ubin are quite interesting because instead of regular cars, you’ll see vans. Taxi fares are pretty affordable, especially if you’re travelling in a group (taxis can take up to 6 passengers per trip). For instance, a round-trip from Chek Jawa Wetlands will cost you about $24 or $4 per person for a group of 6. You’ll be able to book a taxi either by the hour or by trip.
Things to do in Pulau Ubin
There’s no dearth of activities to do in Pulau Ubin. Here are our top favourites! 🌟
01 • Kayaking
Most people who go to Pulau Ubin don’t leave without kayaking. That’s because unlike places like Macritchie Reservoir where the water is a lot calmer, kayaking in Pulau Ubin allows you to experience both the open sea and the calmer mangrove waters in a single trip. But worry not because most of your kayaking trip will happen near the mangroves, so this activity is guaranteed to be beginner-friendly!
Not only that, you’ll also get to admire stunning views of the mangrove swamps and witness a myriad of animals that live in them. Look out for hornbills, macaques, otters, monitor lizards and sea eagles! 🤩
💡 Pro tips:
- Booking for kayaking is usually done online, so don’t forget to make reservations before heading down to the island
- Bring along a set of extra clothes as you’ll definitely get wet while kayaking as most kayak operators will allow you to safely leave your belongings with them
02 • Go mountain biking at Ketam Bike Trail
MTB junkies, don’t make the mistake of going home without testing out your biking skills at the Ketam Bike Trail. This 10-kilometre route was constructed according to the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) standards, so you’ll know that you’ve ridden on a world-class trail.
There are three trails at this park — the beginner trail is known as the Blue Square Trail, the intermediate trail is known as the Black Diamond Trail, and the advanced trail is known as the Double Black Diamond Trail. Even if you’re a beginner, you’re sure to have a wheelin’ good time!
Another noteworthy thing about this trail is that it surrounds the picturesque Ketam Quarry. Take the time to admire the view of the quarry from different sides. The sky’s reflection on the quarry water is also memorable.
- Bring along enough water to sip through your trip — it’ll take you about 2 to 3 hours if you’re planning to complete all trails
- Wearing long pants is a good idea as you’ll be cycling through lalang fields
- Don’t forget to pack your helmet, elbow pads and biking gloves
Love cycling? Check out our guide to Singapore’s Park Connectors!
03 • Drop by Ah Ma Drinks Stall and Warung Pak Ahmad
If all that cycling or walking is making you tired and thirsty, why not catch your breath at Ah Ma Drinks Stall or Warung Pak Ahmad?
Ah Ma is an 80-year-old lady who only opens her humble stall on the weekends and public holidays. She sells fresh coconut water as well as other refreshing cold drinks.
Warung Pak Ahmad on the other hand is an unmissable stall, thanks to the big placard that reads, “Cold Drinks Sold Here”, as well as the many potted plants and attractive banners at the entrance. We absolutely love the kampong ambience at this stall, but sadly, it’s only open on random days. 😢
04 • Climb the Puaka Hill
We were once told by our guide that this place is called Puaka Hill (Haunted Hill) because back in the days, young lovers would jump off the cliff (and die) to profess their love. 😰
These days, the cliff is fenced and the view at the top is simply breathtaking. The hike up and down is also fairly straightforward, taking only 20 minutes. Be careful not to miss the entrance to the hill though, as it’s quite concealed. Here’s a map of Pulau Ubin to help you stay on track.
05 • Visit the Chek Jawa Visitor Centre
Also known as House No. 1, the Chek Jawa Visitor Centre is nestled on the eastern corner of Pulau Ubin. The house was originally built in the 1930s as a holiday spot for the Chief Surveyor in Singapore, and it’s the last-standing authentic Tudor-style house with a fireplace in Singapore.
That’s not all — the house also faces the sea and has its own jetty. Be sure to take a stroll there and click some photos for the ‘gram.
While you’re in the Chek Jawa Wetlands area, do also take some time to explore the boardwalk and the 7-storey high Jejawi Tower, which offers a great canopy view of the surrounding area.
06 • Camp at one of the campsites
(Photo adapted from: The Travel Intern and Economy SG)
Camping is one of the best ways to experience Pulau Ubin, mainly because you’ll get to see how the island changes after dusk.
There are 3 campsites — Jelutong Campsite, Mamam Campsite and Endut Senin Campsite. Jelutong Campsite is the closest campsite to the jetty, while Endut Senin is between Ubin Quarry and Sungei Puaka. Mamam Campsite is the farthest away, located around the northern side of Pulau Ubin.
Camping in Pulau Ubin is safe even for solo travellers, but it’s highly advisable to inform the local police that you’ll be camping overnight just for the peace of mind. Other than that, remember to also pack enough wet wipes as there’s no shower facility available on the island (or just skip cleaning yourself!) 😆
If you’d like to get a complete camping experience, bring along some portable cooking utensils and cook up a simple meal.
💡 Pro tips:
- Never leave your tent unattended
- You’ll only be allowed to camp if you have a valid permit, so don’t forget to apply at least 2 weeks in advance
- Since there’s not much light available on the island at night, take this opportunity to stargaze
07 • Treat yourself to some fresh seafood
(Photo adapted from: The Smart Local)
If you love seafood, you can’t afford to leave without digging into the fresh catches of the island. Most of the seafood restaurants in Pulau Ubin are located within walking distance from the jetty. At extremely affordable prices, they serve up mouth-watering options like sambal mussels, chilli crab, salted egg squid and oyster omelette. 🤤
Those looking for halal dishes should totally check out Maleh Cafe for their delicious nasi lemak, mee rebus and mee siam.
08 • Or dine at Smith Marine Floating Restaurant
(Photo adapted from: Changi Recommends and EatBook)
Did you know that there’s only one kelong in Singapore where you can dine? The seafood at Smith Marine Floating Restaurant is super fresh as it’s caught right from the fish farm (the restaurant is part of the fish farm).
One of the highlights of the restaurant is that it lets you catch your own fish for your meal. Even if you’ve never tried your hand at fishing, you’ll still most likely catch one within minutes! The restaurant’s signature is their steamed fish — especially Hong Kong or Teochew style.
If you’re seasick, you might want to pop a pill before heading down, but don’t worry because the kelong is quite big and stable.
Now that you know how to spice up your Pulau Ubin trip, hurry and make those plans! And don’t forget to check out our fleet to find the perfect vehicle for your day out!
Ready to explore Pulau Ubin? Download GetGo now to rent a car from just $3/hour and use promo code G50BLOG to enjoy 50% off* (capped at $8) your first drive.
* Code is only valid for the first booking. Other T&Cs apply.