Friday, July 19, 2013
Today was Mike and Sandra day, and we were going on an adventure to Pulau Ubin!
Pulau means Island and Ubin means Granite (in Malay). Pulau Ubin = Granite Island
Makes sense! “Granite quarrying supported a few thousand settlers on Pulau Ubin in the 1960s, but only about a hundred villagers live there today. It is one of the last rural areas to be found in Singapore, preserved from urban development, concrete buildings and tarmac roads, with an abundance of natural flora and fauna.”
We decided to visit Pulau Ubin for the day, to see a bit of nature and get away from the city.
To get there, take the MRT to Tenah Merah Station then transfer to Bus No. 02 to the Changi Bus Interchange. From there only a few minutes walk to the Changi Point Ferry Terminal, where you can catch a short 10 minute bumboat ride ($2.50) over to Ubin Island.
The weather was great! We were excited to see blue skies and the sun out but also realized one thing… we didn’t have insect repellant. Knowing my luck and the fact that there was a Dengue outbreak in Singapore at the time, I was going to die… argh!
But it was too late, and we were already on the bumboat trip over and were docking…
Welcome to Pulau Ubin!
I had read that there was a fish spa available on the island, which is why we specifically decided to rent bikes from Celestial Resort: $10 for all day bike rental and a 1 hr fish spa. Unfortunately, the bike only had one gear… 😛
Heading in! As you can see, many shops offer bikes for hire at differing qualities and prices. You could definitely pay more and get a much better bike than we did. Actually, we recommend getting a better bike because otherwise you’ll be pushing it up the hills like we did!
Just simple, quiet, serene views all around the island, untouched by industrialization and technology.
Riding the bike through shaded trails, so tranquil!
Zombie Sandra after Mike!
It was REALLY hot. We bought a lot of water, but if you forget to bring some, there are a few places around the island you can purchase cold drinks from.
At one point during our ride, I wailed, “This is the worst part of our trip!” because of the 20+ mosquito bite welts that had appeared almost magically. For those who are sensitive like me, the suffering! The suffering is so bad!
There are a number of tame wild boars you might run into! We encountered them twice 🙂
I find the females quite dainty looking, does that even make sense?
Haha, one of them chased after Mike and kept nudging him (getting snot and mud over his shorts) for the fried banana he was carrying. Eventually he had to loudly shoo her away.
Took a rest by the water.
So many mosquito bites! And lots of planes in the background 🙂
Mike pointing out Malaysia, which you can see in the distance!
Lots of friendly dogs 🙂
We met a nice couple at the Visitor Centre who wanted a picture in front of it because the house is old and unique. In return, he offered to take one of us, how could we say no? Too bad they barely got the house in the shot…
The house from further away
Enjoying the nice views
Look, a boat from Vietnam!
We passed by a Muslim Cemetery, which I had never seen before. Don’t know if this is what they normally look like?
We climbed up the Jejawi Tower to check out the view! Saw lots of planes (up close!) taking off and landing at Changi Airport across the water 🙂
Mike’s pretty face!
By now, we had been biking for a couple of hours and we were hot (I was dying from itch) and sweaty. What better time to go for the fish spa?
Before heading in, we enjoyed a nice cold orange drink, included in the $10.
The fish spa was a long pond that wrapped around a corner in a shaded area to one side of the resort. There was another couple and a Vietnamese family that came in with us at the same time. The other 2 groups settled each at one end of the pond and Mike and I sat in the middle.
For the first 10 minutes, there were non-stop shrieks and giggles from the awful tickling sensation of the fish. We expected a pond with a couple fish nibbling here and there. NO. Not this place, this pond had enough fish to COMPLETELY BLANKET your feet. There were little fish that were ticklish enough and then there were bigger fish that were more ticklish.
It was hilarious. Don’t worry, I took videos so you can partake in the laughter too!
After a while, everyone got used to the buzzing, vibrating sensation of the fish and settled down for a relaxing nibble.
Mosquitos were still swarming me, but by now I had given up to the Dengue god and couldn’t care less. At least I had experience what it was like to have hundreds of little minion exfoliate my feet by eating my dead skin. 😛
And that marked the end of our Pulau Ubin adventure! After this, we headed back to Singapore and then back to our hotel.
But not before stopping for food! We stopped at Tekka Market in Little India close to our hotel to have some Briyani! Looks messy but I assure you it was tasty!
We got back to the hotel in time to enjoy happy hour and of course, shower!
Tonight, we were on a mission: To have dinner at Tim Ho Wan, one of the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant, known for their amazing dim sum.
It was 8pm by the time we got into the city and to Plaza Singapura, but the line was already closed! They are still so popular that even at 8pm, the queue was at its limits before closing. SAD FACE. Broken heart.
So, with heavy hearts, we walked around Orchard Rd and checked out a few of their endless shopping centres and even grabbed a tasty kebab to eat on the streets.
Eventually, we made it back to the hotel, but again, not before stopping for more food… naan bread in Little India, what do you expect?
Haha, we called it an earlier night than usual – 11pm bedtime, woo hoo!
And that’s the end of Day 07! Our last sleep in Singapore!
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