Cycling in Pulau Ubin, Singapore
Suggestions for leisurely bicycle rides on the island
by Pedal Ubin Guides (part of Raffles Museum Toddycats!)
What to see and do in Pulau Ubin? (map)
- Enjoy a bicycle ride in relative safety - the roads are mostly paved, there are some wide trails especially if you head east and if are adventurous, you can head for the Ketam Bike Park.
- Pulau Ubin has a nice mix of plants and animals due to the mixed habitats of ex-plantations and kampung grounds, interspersed with aquatic and inter-tidal habitats. These are best examined in detail on foot though, so get off and look!
- The scenery of kampungs, plantations, forest, quarries and mangroves provides a feel of Singapore in the 1970’s, and it makes us feel nostalgic of our less urbanised past.
- The water bodies adjacent to Pulau Ubin are the Straits of Johor and Serangoon Harbour - you are always lose to one or the other so the feel of a beach getaway is permanent!
- You can buy seasonal fruits, with rambutans and durians favourites. Coconuts are perennial!
- Talk to villagers who work and live there.
- Visit Chek Jawa, the jewel of Ubin. You can cycle there and lock up bikes and walk through the boardwalk.
- Smile at fellow tourists on the island! It’s a place to relax and be happy!
Safe Cycling on Pulau Ubin
- Pulau Ubin is very much unlike East Coast Park, Singapore’s most popular park. The latter is flat and well paved. Cyclists are the fastest moving vehicle in these parks.
- In Pulau Ubin, however, you share the roads with other vehicles, and you are the slowest of these. The roads are not all paved, there are dirt roads and narrow tracks. Inexperienced cyclists certainly need to be cautious.
- The biggest hazard, however, are the slopes. Learn to use both your brakes evenly on the flat roads around your bicycle rental shop and change your bicycle if you are not satisfied. You can also rent a helmet from the shops these days.
- Learn to apply your brakes gently while going down gentle slopes and you will discover you can control your descent. Never apply pressure to your brakes suddenly, but begin to brake early and gently. Practise this until you are familiar and when you encounter a steep slope, you will be prepared.
- The simplest rule to be safe is to cycle slowly - if you ride at a leisurely pace, you will minimise damage in an accident.
Check out the WildSingapore's page of links on Pulau Ubin - link
Learn more about Ubin's heritage - see Pulau Ubin Stories
- Important number to add to your handphone: NParks Information Kiosk: 6542-4108 (8.30am - 5.00pm daily)
- Things to bring and/or wear:
- At least 1 litre of drinking water - you can buy drinks along the way.
- Snacks to enjoy a picnic by the beach.
- A cap and sunblock but also a raincoat or poncho - both sun and rain are frequent and unpredictable!
- Insect repellant, especially if you are vulnerable to insect bites.
- Use shoes - covered-toes, laced and hard soles.
- First aid kit.
- Have a GOOD breakfast before the ride (at Changi Village or Pulau Ubin).
- We recommend an early start e.g. 8am - so begin with breakfast and end by lunch.
Be careful and considerate on Pulau Ubin
- Bring your trash to the mainland.
- Patronise the shops you take shelter at.
- If you stop, park your bicycle by the side of the road or trail to allow others to pass.
- Keep left when cycling - be careful on any paved road, vans ply the island!
- Give way to pedestrians; be hospitable even if they are in the wrong place!
- Speed injures, so cycle slowly. You may have heard stories of broken bones and teeth - well they were all going too fast!
- Do not bring your bicycles on to the Chek Jawa boardwalk - they are not allowed.
First things first
- Get a map from NParks Visitor Kiosk at Pulau Ubin Village (or download this map(2500 x 1538))
- Rent a bike
Bicycle rental is available soon after you turn left after leaving the jetty.
- There are several bicycle kiosks between the jetty and the village center.
- Whole-day rental costs between $3-$5.
- Check the brakes, gears, saddle height and general fit of the bike.
- Cycle around the village square and check if you feel comfortable - remember, you will be on this bicycle for the next three hours at least.
- Get help from the shop owner if needed.
- Get a number to call for help if your bicycle breaks down - some do offer this service!
How to get there?
Take the Ubin bumboat ferry ($2.50/person) from Changi Village
To get to Changi Village/Jetty:
- From Tanah Merah MRT, take SBS Bus No. 2 to Changi Village (ends here) OR
- from Tampines Bus Interchange, take SBS No. 29. It passes through; ask the bus driver where to alight.
- Note that Changi Point Jetty is in Changi Village: walk down Lorong Bekukong - the road behind the bus interchange/hawker centre. See Singeo's bus stop map.
- If you are driving, parking spaces are available at Lorong Bekukong, behind the Shell petrol station.
Food and drinks on the island
- There is one Muslim stall and four Chinese restaurants in Ubin Village.
- There is a provision shop at the village.
- Canned drinks are on sale at the "Why You So Like That?" stall after the Sungei Jelutong bridge and also at the old Orchid Farm next to Maman Beach.
- Coconut water is sold at Sg Jelutong Bridge on late morning weekends.
Possible Routes to explore.
The former basketball court in front of the NParks Volunteer Hub
(Meeting Point 1 on the map) is a good place to begin from.
1. Northern Routes (relatively easy; 2 hours)
Village leads to left and right loops which are no longer connected, after reaching northen coastline, double back and link to second loop via Jalan Batu Ubin.
1a. Noordin Trail
- Village, Basketball Court
- Jalan Batu Ubin (Pekan Quarry and heronry lookout point)
- Jalan Noordin
- Noordin Beach (toilets) (north coast view)
- Turn back, can join Maman Loop via Jalan Batu Ubin but be careful of the steep slope!
1b. Maman Loop
- Jalan Ubin (plantations)
- Can include Sensory Trail Loop (see 3a below).
- Take the trail (not road) past Murai Hut
- Former Orchid Farm (has rest point, drinks for sale and pets to see, including a large "tame wild boar"!)
- Mamam Beach (toilets) (north coast view)
- Jalan Maman (road)
- Jalan Sam Heng
- Jalan Ubin
2. Western Ubin (longer routes to German Girl Shrine and former Thai temple; 3 hours)
- Jalan Jelutong.
- Pekan Quarry and heronry Lookout Point
- Jalan Endut Senin, passes Sg Jelutong
- Sg Jelutong bridge - coconut stall (opens late morning during weekends)
- "Why You So Like That?" stall - buy drinks from Uncle Leong Kiat, the friendly and chatty owner growing herbs. Also a view of Ubin Quarry.
- Jalan Endut Senin, resort on left
- Sg Puaka - view of prawn ponds: mudskippers and fiddler crabs at low tide
- At fork after Sg Puaka, go straight (not turn right) - leads to the German Girl shrine [read about the "Mystery Girl of Ubin" - link].
- Ketam Mountain Bike Park - Blue Diamond Trail is passable to average cyclists but make way to other riders. This leads to lookout point with views of Ketam Quarry and mainland Singapore.
- On the way back - optional turn into Jalan Wat Siam to see Chinese cemetery on right of slope. Sharp right (do not enter OBS land) turn leads to site of former Thai Temple (now relocated to Punggol).
- Follow trail to the north coast to see Western Straits of Johor, the Ubin coastal fence and the souther Johor (Malaysian) coastline (north coast view).
- Turn back.
3. Eastern Ubin - has offroad and hilly parts (toughest routes, requires some skill; 3 hours)
3a. Sensory Trail Loop
- Jalan Pekan Ubin -> Sensory Trail
- Enjoy the offroad experience
- Mangrove, prawn ponds and planted fruits
- Get off your bikes to visit the spice, fruit and vegetable gardens
- Sensory Trail rejoins Jalan Ubin
3b. Chek Jawa Route (cont'd from 1a)
- Look out for the Malay House on the left
- Head for the eastern tip of Ubin
- ALmost a secret: Look for one of the last signs of the Malay Village - the cemetery. It is situated along the coastal trail between Kelichap and Pekakak Huts.
- Punai Hut - leave bikes here to visit the Chek Jawa Visitor Centre and boardwalk
- Backtrack or alternatively, use the trail via Beberek Hut (see map). This is hilly so novices be prepared to push!
By N. Sivasothi & Tan Kaixin, ver 1.0 (23 Jul 2008)