Pulau Ubin, Singapore was my play ground, almost every other month we would come here for camping. It's only 10mins boat trip from Singapore. Recently I had recommended my Taiwanese friend to visit this island when he was in Singapore and he loved it, this is his Blog Post. He actually toured around Singapore with his bike when he had to stop over from Europe back to Taiwan.
This island brought back many memories, it was also a place I started my family. Back in 1990, I knew my ex-wife previously from Brunei Armed Forces when we were training 9 days in Outward Bound School on this island. Before that I was there for 5 days training when I was 13 years old back in 1985. My survival skills all started from this island.
What Pulau Ubin had offered me
- Started a Family
- Family Camping
- Survival and Team Work Course
- Buried our Dog
- First Wild Boar Meat
- Fantastic Seafood
- Wild Living
I first visited this island when I was a little boy, my dad and his friends came to this island for picnic and had a tug-of-war competition. It was a lovely island, everything was so natural, coconut trees everywhere. Over the years this island had been transformed to such that I do not remember it any more.
Below are some photos from our trips over the years and will explained how the authority had destroyed nature.
me on a sampan boat ride to the island
My dad squatting and myself
That's me, the other island above is Singapore
me and my dad
Dad in the middle, the winning team. Look at those coconut trees!!!
After marriage, we frequent this island countless of time. Always camping on Noordin Beach. The hike is around 5km and the path was natural. Those days the Navy was not paying well since I was only a Lance Corporal. This was the only place we could have fun without spending too much money. Go swimming, sun bathing, fishing, crabing and test out survival skills.
On this particular trip, we had to bury our dog, a week ago he had swallow a Durian seed and since then she was feeling bad, the vet could not do anything. We took him on this 4 days camping trip, on the third day he died. Buried her just beside a tree and we cut short the trip.
Those days we packed light, just tent, clothes, cookset, water and ration. We did not use mattress as the beach was soft. Photos below were taken in 1992.
My first Tent, it leaks when rain but still can do.
beside our tent, there is a white spot and that was our dog. We found her dead on the same spot
one of the Granite Quarry that was mined back in 1850 by the British
The authority later built this toilet, there was this auntie who stayed on the island sold soft drinks from here. She knew us so well back then.
Natural off-beaten path
Ever since we have our kids, we spent little time on this island. When my son turned 3 years old and daughter 4 years old, I felt it was time for them to be exposed to the wild.
Back in 1999, with my sister, her boyfriend and friend, we came back to this island and I was shocked. The off-beaten trail was gone and it was tarred. I could roller blade all the way to the campsite. However I was glad the beach still remained the same as before except for some overgrown trees and the soft drink auntie was still there, she recognised me immediately. Kids had a lot of fun during this camping trip.
sister bf was trying to fish
BBQ Singapore style
Kids enjoying light sabre fight with glow sticks
my second tent on the left, Lafuma enough to sleep for 2 Adults and 2 kids
GRANDFATHER, FATHER AND SON CAMPING
Now that my kids have grown, so back in 2001 I decided that my kids should get to know their grandfather better. I organised a camping trip back to this island, back to the same beach. This time the authority had build a shelter. This was fantastic and if it rain we could take shelter and do our cooking under it.
Cray Fish BBQ Dinner with Guinness Stout
Dad fixing up the gas lantern
are you still my friend?
Heading back home
Due to my work, we had done little camping trips on this island, mostly when I have time, we would travelled to Thailand and Malaysia for holidays. I decided that we should revisit this island again and exposed the kids to MTB.
Back in 2005 with my best friend Irwin who rans a music school, we organised a MTB seafood trip. Since then my Son had been plastering me to take him on off-road rides.
On this trip we had a rare view of wild boar and a family of eagles. They were too fast for my camera.
Coconut drink stop
teaching the kids how to ride over water
PULAU UBIN TODAY
I found these photos from the internet, I was so shocked they had built fences around the perimeters. In past history there had been a family of 3 elephants swam across from Malaysia to this island, even tigers did that. But from my understanding the fences was built to prevent illegal immigrants. What have they done to this beach!!!
If you look at these 2 photos carefully, you will notice from my previously photo, the sea level had risen. In my opinion over 20 years, the sea had came 20 meters inland. Noordin Beach will be gone in no time so are my memories of this lovely place.