Thursday, May 19, 2016

Pulau Ubin

I continue From Here 


This day was meant to be a getaway from the city. We wanted to take the bumboat from Changi ferry terminal and head to a much tranquil and untouched Singapore. However, a late start and a confusion drastically delayed our plans. One has to take a boat from Changi point ferry terminal but I confused it to be the Changi ferry terminal. See, the difference is in only the word "Point". Well, these two are separated by about a kilometre but the catch is that you cannot walk from one place to another. There is a Police check post that prevents you from doing that. And in the middle of these two ferry terminals is the airport. So to get to the other side, you have to go around the airport for almost more than an hour. So, by then it was noon. Preethi was tired, so she decided to head back to the hotel and catchup with some sleep and explore the neighbourhood markets. I dropped her off at the Tanah Merah MRT and headed to Changi point ferry terminal on bus number 2. 

I reached the ferry terminal at around 1PM, just in time to see a ferry leave. While waiting, I decided to start my first urban sketch with the material I had bought last evening. In about 15 minutes, the next ferry was ready and there were enough people to board. You pay S$ 2 to the driver directly and there is not ticket or anything. The ride was for about 10 minutes and it was enjoyable. A postmaster was carrying a lot of letters to the island. That was a familiar sight from back home. There were other youngsters excited about the ride.

At the island, there are several shops that rent out bicycles. I rented one for S$8 and as it began to rain heavily, I bought a raincoat for S$ 2. The rent is usually for the entire day and you could explore the complete island. The island is well marked and there are signboards everywhere. I saw a map and planned my route. 

It poured heavily for about 10 minutes and that turned this ride into a memorable experience almost immediately  I headed to the Maman campsite and was all alone there. It is one end of the island. 

I headed back to the main road and took the route to Chek Jawa wetlands. There is a oneway mud track to get there. The island is filled with tall trees and  glimpses of the sea at places. I got to see a few animals. Obviously the macaws, wild boars and some birds.

There is a nice boardwalk built around the wetlands with several viewpoints. The views from here are spectacular. 

Apart from a few shops along the entrance, the island is almost a ghost town. There are a few shops elsewhere but they also seemed abandoned. A few small chinese shrines are also seen on the way.

There is also a strange shrine of a german girl who died during the second world war. 

I bicycled all the way to the west end of the island thus completing the entire stretch in 3 hours. (1:30-4:30). There was one nice chap from Singapore who welcomed me to his country and enquired about my travel. 

I handed the bicycle back and headed back to the ferry terminal. As the boat pulled away from the island, I began to already miss it. It did remind me of the Cheung Chau island in HongKong. However, the later was very crowded and you could walk around. Bicycling here was an interesting experience. 

Continued Here 

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