So you think you know Pulau Ubin? Deep-dive into one of Singapore’s most fascinating spots during Pesta Ubin: a month long festival!
Pulau Ubin is one of the last kampungs left in Singapore and a visit to this offshore island will allow you to appreciate the villagers’ simple way of life. Located off eastern Singapore, there’s no passport needed, but bring an open mind and a thirst for adventure. Needless to say, Pulau Ubin experiences many visitors day in day out. If you have never been one of them, leave your cafes and extravagant nightlife in the mainland: the Pesta Ubin festival is the best time to drop everything for a daytrip….
Held annually, Pesta Ubin is essentially Pulau Ubin’s open house and will allow you to experience the island in all its breathtaking glory: the 2018 edition is happening 26 May to 24 June. Sign up for a load of activities, spot animals in the wild as well as the flourishing landscape. Kayak through rivers and mangroves, cycle through rustic tracks or even just take a casual stroll through the island. Unwind by sipping on a cold coconut while chatting with the laidback locals. At Pesta Ubin, there is something for everyone: check out our top picks.
For the thrill-seekers
Pesta Ubin is perfect for those who love to get their adrenaline pumping. The Pesta Ubin WalkRunBike will be divided into two foot trails – the 2km brisk walk and the 6km run along a rustic route. This year there will also be a mountain biking segment conducted by experts, which will include a ride from Jalan Jelutong towards Ketam Mountain Bike Park and back to the start point. Water lovers, participate in kayaking sessions that will feature Pulau Ubin’s two rivers and its tallest hill, or perhaps paddle amongst the mangroves.
Family bonding in the great outdoors
This is your opportunity to make Bear Grylls proud. Let’s Cook Outdoors will teach you how to make a fire from scratch and also basic survival cooking while Let’s Build A Forest Home lets you build a cozy abode from primitive materials. Families that want to spend a night, check in to the Family Nature Camp and experience a 2D1N family bonding camp in the wilderness. Heads up: there really are wild boars here.
Dabble in some heritage
Heritage lovers, this one’s for you. One of the highlights of Pesta Ubin is the Tua Pek Kong Festival, hands down. Organised by the Ubin villagers, expect the Wayang Stage at Ubin Town to be decked out in vibrant decorations and marvel at traditional opera in their flamboyant outfits. Missed out on one night? Don’t be disheartened, these celebrations run for a full six days and six nights. If you’re seeking a more mellow option, learn how to play games such as five stones and hopscotch or catch Ubin, Sayang – a film about Ubin villagers and their way of life.
For Mother Nature enthusiasts
Pesta Ubin offers numerous nature walks if hiking is your thing. Interested in seeing the various species of birds? Don’t miss out on the three-hour guided birdwatching tour. Not a bird lover? Then hop on a guided tour of Ubin’s mangroves, where you will learn about the restoration efforts and also catch a glimpse of Ubin’s quaint kampong houses. Once you’ve had your fill of physical exercise, join artist Alpana Ahuja to observe Ubin’s ecosystem and landscape, followed by on-site drawing and painting.
Check out more of our adventures in Pulau Ubin and beyond:
There’s that time we went kayaking through the mangroves…
And mountain biking down some steep slopes
But here’s our top five things to do on the island
Want to venture further? Check out our island-hopping guide to Singapore