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Monday, August 08, 2011

Pulau Ubin

This visit was sometime back and not sure of the actual date, I think it Aug 2011

Today I joint the group from Buddhist Fellowship for Pulau Ubin tour.

Pulau Ubin, the island between mainland Singapore and Johor Malaysia provides a much-needed escapade from the hustle and bustle of city life in Singapore.

Being a lazy Singaporean, I only visit Pulau Ubin with groups.

My first visit was during my NJC's time. We were students who are being organised to do some treasure hunts and learnt how to read map and find places in the process. At the end of the day, we learnt to set up our camps for an overnight stay.

Being ladies, we had to struggle a lot before we could set up our camps in the wild. I think that was the first time for me to be away from home.

I remembered that we have to drink well water. Before we drink it, we were told to put some pills into the muddy and milky water so that it is better for our weak stomach.

That was the first time I treasured tap water and missed home food. The taste of the water was a bit funny, yet we were too thirsty to mind about it.

I recalled we cooked instant noodle using fire from the dry woods we collected. We collected brick and built our stove. That was easy as bricks were easy to find at that time.

Setting up camp fire was fun too! I like to watch the sudden sparkle flying as the dry wood is being lit. Dry woods were every where and easy to find. We had a warm night watch the camp fire, singing song and chatting till midnight fall.

In the middle of our sleep, the heavy rain flooded our camps and we are all wet. We have no choice but to wake up and chat through our night sleepily.

The second time I visited Pulau Ubin was with my library colleagues (Yun Chin and her Church friends). It was over 10 years from now.

We just have a day tour and exhausted ourselves with lot of leg work. It was a sunny day and we had packed our lunch and spend more than a morning there.

In between the walk, we had a short nap in the middle of the field. When I look at the photos we took, it look quite comfortable then.

Now it is my third visit. Today is Sunday, and it is very crowned at the jetty. I think the natural and rustic charm of Pulau Ubin draws large visitors on week ends and holidays as the idyllic setting is ideal for outdoor activities.

Our group organised by Buddhist Fellowship is blessed to have Ms Evelyn Ong to conduct the guided walk for us

The program for the guided walk is as follows:

0700 to 0730 am : Meet at the jetty at Changi Point

Yes, we start early in the morning. The meeting place is at Changi Point Ferry Terminal.

As I had not drove there for years, I stopped at two other jetty along Changi Coast Road before I found the right one. Parking at the open carpark in front of the Ferry Terminal on Sunday is free and that is the incentive for most of us who choose to drive there!

Notes from the organiser:

* If you are taking bus, the numbers are 2, 29, 59 and 109. The Bus Interchange is next to the Food Centre.

* If you plan to take your breakfast at the nearby Food Centre, do have a light one before taking the bumboat.

After conducting the headcount and briefing, we took the bumboat to Pulau Ubin. The ride was around ten minutes.

8.00 am
All the participants arrived at Pulau Ubin Jetty. Evelyn, volunteer guide at the NParks Information Counter give us an introduction of the island tour.

0745 hours
We commence our walk through the Sensory Trail which includes the Herbs Garden, through the rubber plantation and a visit to a domesticated wild boar, and finally to Chek Jawa on boardwalk.

1130 hours
Around this time, we break for lunch at the old kampong coffee shop.

1400 hours
The afternoon is free and easy...we'll explore The Lost World of P Ubin. This is reminiscent of the good old kampong days. Families and children will love this.

1600 hours
Return to the P Ubin jetty to take the bumboat back to Singapore shore.

1645 hours
A final brief before going home.

Here are some do's and don'ts to observe and details/things to do/bring:

1. Wear a comfortable pair of walking shoes/trainers and clothes.
2. Bring a bottle of water.
3. Extra pair of T-shirt.
4. Raincoat/poncho, just in case.
5. Mosquito repellent.
6. Sun block.
7. Snacks/fruits/energy bar/wet tissues, etc...
8. Mobile phone (on silent mode, pls).

We get close to nature and discover the Ubin's amazing diversity of plants and animals and it made today a beautiful day!

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