Tuesday, 27 October 2009

My solo retreat to Pulau Ubin

Warning: Super long post with lots of photos.

Everyone needs a short break/getaway/holiday every now and den. So does Teacher Jerry! =)

Now that the kids are having their exams. I finally had sometime for myself today and decided to give myself a well deserved retreat!

Destination: Pulau Ubin. It's been almost 11years since I last visited Ubin. And recently, I seem to have a lot of friends who embark on solo trips..So, I decided to try a solo trip too! Hee.. I was kinda excited about this visit. =)

The only way to get to Ubin is to take the bum boats from Changi Point Ferry Terminal.

These are the Ubin bum boats waiting at the jetty.. Usually, the boatman will only leave the jetty when there's 12 passengers. For today, he decided to just ferry me and 2 other people! Woo hoo!
On my way to Pulau Ubin!!The whole journey takes around 10 - 15mins only. Although it's just a short distance away from Singapore, but still, I'm out of the island of Singapore!The sign that welcomes you to Pulau Ubin! Oh, I've mastered the skills of self photography on this journey too! Hee...1st Stop: Nparks Information kiosk. There's 2 maps. 1 map on Pulau Ubin and another map on Chek Jawa, which was my destination for today! =) P.s: I think this photo looks very professional! Hee.. Dun you think so too?Up next: Rent a bicycle!And I got myself a Transformer Bumbler Bee.. =p $5 for 1 day.And that's all I need to begin my very own retreat - Refresh.Recharged.RelaxThe 1st beauty that I saw was Pekan Quarry. In case, you dunnoe wat's a quarry. Here's Wikipedia explanation on it.See! Told ya! I'm getting better in self photography aka cam whore. =pAnd I suddenly realised that the weather was getting very very hot...And a thought came to my mind. Can I climb up that coconut tree to get some coconuts? Hee... Coconut trees are everywhere on Pulau Ubin!Hee... Better be more realistic and bring out my 2 best defenders. Nivea Face Sun Block Whitening Cream with SPF 50 and SunPlay Sun Block with SPF 130. =DNparks have set up lots of maps like these on the island in case u go missing. Chances are rather high if you stay off the main roads... =pTalking about their roads... They have really crazy and steep roads! The roads I cycled today are one of the steepest I have ever climbed!But still, being able to cycle along the quiet roads, listening to the sound of insects, taking in the beautiful scenery and breathing in the "kampong air"... It was all worth it. I dunnoe how to describe "kampong air" to you...

It's a kind of air that you can only smell when you are in an area where the forest are so intense and there is no much vehicles around. Hmmm.. Simply - The smell of nature. =) These are how kampong looks like. These are attap houses. Their rooftops are made of zinc sheets. =) When I saw these houses, I suddenly miss my grandma kampong... =(Along the way, I saw Cookie Monster!Next, I reached Balai Quarry! The water here is so "BLUE"! Like our swimming pool water! I had an urge to dive in and swim I tell u! And it's so big! I think can swim 1 whole day no problem. Hee.. But, its illegal and dangerous to do that of course....So, just gotta make do with its beautiful scenery and a handsome coach... =pAlong the way, I saw this doggie sleeping on the roadside. The time was around 9.30am. Remember this dog.And I'm reaching Chek Jawa soon!!Finally I reached... After climbing dunnoe how many steep slopes...This pair of good legs are going to bring me to explore Chek Jawa! =) I love them!Might as well take a photo too... Hee...Once in Chek Jawa, I encountered a Komodo Dragon! Really big! Kinda got freaked out by it! Hee....This is Jejawi Tower and its 20m tall! I'm going to conquer it! I made it to the top! Tiring of course! But still, I remember to take a photo! HeeThe view from top.. I see rain coming...This is call Nipah. It's seed are what I love to eat. Called "Attap Chee" =) Mangroves on Chek Jawa... Impressive site.I'm on the coastal boardwalk. It's a super duper long bridge where supposingly you can see lots of marine lifes during low tide. =) Taking 1 more photo before I seek shelter from the rain.. Hee..Rain came and I had to seek shelter! As I was just looking down @ my feet. I saw something super duper amazing.Millions of small fishes were swimming right below me! Instantly I feel like I'm in Maldives! Wahaha... Simple things like these makes me super happy. Hee...The rain came. The best companion is the book that I'm reading on now. "Your First $1,000,000 Making It In Stocks" by Dr Michael Leong.

Reading my favourite book, with the rain breeze, cooling weather, enjoying the peacefulness of the area and the occasional fly past of aeroplanes. I said to myself “啊。。幸福啊。”Luckily, the rain didnt last too long. Before I leave my shelter, I decided to take a photo again. Hee..And the moment I leave the shelter, I saw the komodo dragon again! This time it's swimming!This is House No.1. No, it's not a haunted house. The unique feature of this house is its fireplace. Base on the brochure, it's the only working fireplace in Singapore. And this house has been converted into a visitor center.I must admit... I was shocked to see such a big house exist!On my way back to the Jetty, I saw that doggie again! This time, it changed position. Instead of sleeping by the roadside, it's sleeping in the middle of the road! Time was 12.45pm. Win liao... And what's a Ubin trip without ending it with a cold sweet coconut drink! Hee.. =)I'm a happy little boy with his coconut.I think this man is the village head. Because when I was @ the jetty, I heard the boatman calling him “村长”I truly enjoyed myself for this solo retreat. Now I understand why so many of my friends like to go on solo trips. You can do things at your own pace, decide on which routes you want to take.

Even if its a wrong path, no one will blame you.. You only got to answer to yourself. Reflect on your thoughts without being afraid of being interrupted. And most importantly, you get to enjoy the peace and quietness around you.

The moment I started cycling on Pulau Ubin today, I found myself slowing my pace down, listening to the sound of insects and breathing in the air that's long lost since I moved away from kampong... It's simple things like these that bring back lots of memories and refresh my mind..

Now I'm all recharged and ready to face all the challenges that's ahead of me! Hee... Really glad that I went for this trip.

I'm so refreshed now! =)

I will recommend Pulau Ubin to those who wish to have a short escape from Singapore... I spend 5hours on Pulau Ubin and I felt it was a great retreat! Anyway, the bum boat tickets are cheap. $2.50 per trip. Not that expensive for a short retreat. =)

When was the last time you visited Ubin? For me, it was 11 years ago. Hee...


Siying! :D said...

wah.. Chek Jawa..
This brings back fond memories from OBS, when we kayaked around the whole island which took about six hours..
the last time I went to Ubin was January last year.. for OBS.
and yeah, the sun there is really scorching. no buildings to block mah..

will be back for swimming lessons after my Os.

-clara rachel lai si ying

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