Picture
Posing in front of a lake on Pulau Ubin
It's hard to believe that this past weekend was our final weekend here in Singapore. We made the most of it with two very active day excursions.

On Saturday, we journeyed to Pulau Ubin with our German friends, Katharina and Soeren. Pulau Ubin is one of Singapore's islands, and is a quick ferry ride away. The island is known for its nature trails on which you can walk or bike.

My first thought when we docked on Pulau Ubin is that it doesn't look anything like Singapore. In fact, it reminded me more of Vietnam. There is very little infrastructure and the bike rental stores are run down. There are also a ton of island dogs that appeared to be strays, although I suppose they could have been pets. What surprised me the most about the island is that people actually live there. I had imagined that it was solely a nature reserve, but we saw several shoddy shacks along our path. This was also a striking difference as you don't generally see these types of houses in Singapore.

Pulau Ubin was a great escape from the concrete jungle. It's lush and tropical, and probably resembles what Singapore used to look like. I'm glad the government didn't build too many modern structures on the island. It was refreshing to bike around on dirt trails and I enjoyed exploring the scenery. 

Picture
Docking on Pulau Ubin
Picture
Welcome!
Picture
Huts where you can rent bikes
Picture
Ocean trek
One of the trails is an ocean trek - a platform was built above the ocean so that people can see the native wildlife. We read signs that explained there is a reef with flatworms as well as a seaweed lagoon. Unfortunately, the tide was really high when we were there, so we couldn't really see anything.

Along a different trail, there is a really tall watchtower. We climbed to the top and had a spectacular view of the island as well as Singapore off in the distance.

Picture
At the top of the watch tower
Picture
View of the jungle
Picture
Mangrove trees
Picture
Boar wrestles with a coconut
And of course, a nature trek wouldn't be complete without a few animal encounters. During one of our pit stops, we came across a wild boar and her baby. The boar was extremely funny and comfortable around humans. She wrestled with a coconut, trying to bite it open. However, the coconut was muddy and slobbery, so it kept slipping out of her snout. Every so often, the boar would get frustrated and then walk around the bike parking area, sniffing baskets to see if she could steal any food. I was shocked at how close we could get to the wild boar!

We also encountered several monkeys along a different trail. At first, they watched us cautiously, keeping their distance. Then, one of them caught sight of the shiny granola bar wrappers in Joe's backpack. The monkey tried several times to sneak up on Joe, but ran away every time Joe turned. Although the monkey stayed away from Joe, it sprinted at me and looked like it was going to jump on my back (just my luck!). Joe yelled at it and I screamed and pedaled my bike as fast as I could. Luckily, I got away untouched but it certainly gave me a heart attack! I can't quite figure out why monkeys always try to attack me!

Picture
Baby boar
Picture
Joe gets close to the boar
Picture
Mean monkey
Picture
On the pier at East Coast Park
On Sunday, we went out to the East Coast Park of Singapore with our friends Kim and Eric. The East Coast Park was another great getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city (Joe and I kept asking ourselves why we waited so long to discover these tranquil places!). The park is very extensive and follows the coastline, and there are paved running and bike paths that guide you along the way. The view of the ocean was really pretty, and I was shocked at how blue the water looked because the water around Singapore is generally brown.

Overall, we enjoyed our exploratory and active weekend. We'll certainly miss this awesome, warm weather when we're back in the states!




Leave a Reply.