31 August 2014

Ubin: Great in any weather!

It's time for my Ubin fix! A dose of tranquility and gentle exploration.
Changeable weather makes for great photos as the sun acts like a spot light on some of my favourite parts of Ubin.

As usual, the main reason why we are on Ubin on a Sunday is to eat the Sunday-only Ubin-only to-die-for lontong. The nasi lemak is also delicious. Plus the kopi. Aiyah, the Best Breakfast in Singapore lah.
We then decided to check out the Sensory Trail which starts near Ubin Town. We encountered a small troop of Long-tailed macaques who were quietly and slowly foraging in the trees. It's good to see that the macaques on Ubin have not been 'spoilt' by human feeding. Andy also spotted a flying lizard.
Throughout our walk, we were accompanied by several dogs. They were very lively, quarreling with one another, jumping in and out of the water, and sniffing out everything. Here's a pair swimming in the sea with Chek Jawa on the horizon.
We came across a Saga tree full of the bright red seeds! The word 'Saga' has been traced to the Arabic for goldsmith. In India and Sri Lanka, the seeds of this tree have been used as units of weight for fine measures, of gold for instance.
The Sensory Trail was developed in 1995 to allow the visually handicapped a chance to experience Ubin using their senses of touch and smell. The Trail includes many panels with Braille which can be read by touch. Sadly, I noticed some of the Braille panels have been ripped off. Sigh. I cannot understand vandalism.
On the jetty at Celestial Resort near Ubin Town, we saw a pair of men going through a driftnet. We tried to get to the jetty from land but the access is locked.
I also came across two men using a cast net to fish in the mangroves.
Oh dear, the rare Tumu berau is no longer where it used to be (yellow arrow).This tree is so rare it was thought extinct in Singapore until some were rediscovered at Pulau Tekong in 2005. I first saw it in Dec 2009 and last saw it in Feb 2013 when I noticed its branches were snapped off, probably by people who were clambering up and down to the water. The small Gedabu nearby is still there.
As we head back for Ubin Town, we pass the old fish ponds that have been planted with water plants. Lotus and water lilies make a lovely kampung scene. Thank you NParks!
The lush vegetation of various forms really make for a picturesque scene.
How nice to see an artist at work near the pond.
Unfortunately, the edges of the beautiful pond had signs of oil. Were these sprayed by NEA for mosquitoes? I won't be surprised, because NEA does this even at Chek Jawa in the mangroves and intertidal even though mosquitoes don't breed in salty water. Sigh.
Andy spotted lots of these Giant shield bugs. The adult is on the left in the photo, while the rectangular one is an immature nymph.
Andy also spotted nymphs in different colours and sizes!
He later found this odd bug which we later realised is a bug that is in the process of moulting!
There is also a Tree Trail at Pulau Ubin with all kinds of common and uncommon trees and plants. You can download the DIY Trail guide from the NParks website.
The on-off rain eventually turned into a downpour.  I was really surprised to see the artist walking in the rain sheltering under his canvas!
The large shelter built over the old basketball court and which has solar panels is also a great place to take shelter from the rain. Sadly, it doesn't have drains around it so the water eventually swamps the floor.
We decided it was time for lunch and headed for the Two Sisters' restaurant. Alas, it was closed. We heard that one of the sisters was not well with some heart problems. Oh dear. I hope she gets well soon.
So we had our pepper crab fix at Ah Lian's restaurant instead. It was huge, tasty, a bit on the salty side, and rather pricy.
The rain did not deter families from exploring Ubin!
How nice to see kids playing in the rain!
Rambutans are for sale near the Ubin Jetty! And visitors continue to arrive as the rain eased up. Ubin is truly a great place to visit in any weather. Thanks to Pei Yan for initiating the trip!
Anyone can visit Pulau Ubin, the last place in Singapore to enjoy kampung life: slow, cheap and easy. Among the upcoming Ubin activities are the free monthly guided walks at the Chek Jawa boardwalk by the Naked Hermit Crabs.

2 comments:

  1. I was wondering if you have ever seen this small little islet off the jetty at House No. 1. My family used to vacation at this house when one of my late uncles was the caretaker. We called the islet Pulau Katak, after its weird rock structures that resembled a figure that has the head of a man and body of a frog. The adults used to tell us that a man was cursed to turn into that figure. Not much elaboration beyond that really. I was rather young then and not a very good swimmer, but the teenagers in my family would jump off the jetty and have a race. They'd swim up to the islet and touch the stone and swim back. I would try to find old photos but I have a feeling that we lost them somehow. Might have one or two lying around in one of my relative's place.

    I think the closest I can find online is this:
    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2656/4012948129_bd242903a8_o.jpg

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  2. Hello Arlene! Nice to hear from you and thank you for dropping by the blog. I think you are referring to Pulau Sekudu or Frog Island? Yes, I do survey it regularly and blog about our trips here http://wildshores.blogspot.sg/search/label/sekudu

    More stories about Pulau Sekudu here
    http://www.wildsingapore.com/ubin/places/sekudu.htm

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