Pulau Ubin is Singapore’s few remaining nature jewels. Ever since Singapore was founded in the early 19th century, Pulau Ubin has been left mostly untouched except for about a few thousand islanders living on the small island off the north-eastern coastline of Singapore in the middle 20th century. A few villages dot the island only accessible from mainland through the jetty at Changi coast. Today, Pulau Ubin only has 100 villagers, and it is one of the last rural areas to be found in Singapore, accompanied by primary rainforests and swamps preserved from urban development.
One of the current popular tourist attractions on the island is Chek Jawa. A previous coral reef 5,000 years ago, Chek Jawa can be said to be virtually unspoilt, with a variety of marine wildlife comparable to other islands, such as sea hares, sea squirts, octopuses, starfishes,sand dollars, fishes, sponges, cuttlefishes and nudibranches.
Visitors may travel to Pulau Ubin from the main island of Singapore via a 10-minute bumboat ride from the Changi Village jetty. One-way ticket to Pulau Ubin cost $2.50 and so a trip to the island will cost you $5. People who do not want to wait can pay S$30.00 for the whole bumboat and leave without waiting. The rental price for bicycles range anywhere from S$2.00 to S$20.00 (for the entire day) depending on the condition of the bike, number of gears etc.
I was awed by the awesome scenery at Chek Jawa which we can hardly find in any heavily urbanised areas in Singapore. The serenity and beauty of the island captured me like what it did to hundreds of villagers who moved to the island from mainland many years ago. The virtually untouched nature struck me the most, and it really occured to me how well-preserved Pulau Ubin is, and efforts taken to keep the place as natural as possible, giving visitors like us a glimpse of what nature is like. I was indeed mesmerised by the blue skies, blue seas, lush forests, and the wonderful call of nature. Of course, the occasional rumbling sounds of the aeroplanes in the sky flying towards Changi Airport do irritate you a little, but hey, how often do you get to see so many different planes flying in the sky, without making as much sounds as when you notice them when you are at the airport?
I believe the best point on the island is near Chek Jawa, at the place where my friends and I were resting for some time. It was the place where we could see the past behind us, and how it connects us to the present, and how we are able to see the future.The past represents Pulau Ubin, and the ferries connects us to present mainland, and the Marina Bay skyline we could see in the distance represents the future Singaporeans are building right now. What a great day indeed.