I kept this diary of things we have done in Singapore for 2 years. I have now moved some of it to other travel pages but you can still find links to many of our activities here. I have also created a reading list of books we have read about the region.

Western Japan

Birds in Singapore

Kuala Lumpur stopover

Thai Diving

Singapore Liveaboard

Local Residents

Beijing Summer

Diving with Sharks

Shanghai Heatwave

Taiwan Tourists

An Indian week

Where U bin?

Island hideaway

Steamy running

A Trip to the Zoo

Gardens by the Bay


Singapore walks

Mind the bus

Flower power


Early weeks


Vicky's Blog


Ubin VillageLamma Island off Hong Kong is a popular day trip for the locals. A ferry drops you at the pier and you can stroll around the island before stopping at one of several seafood restaurants for a nice lunch before going home again. Pulau Ubin is the Singapore equivalent. Tucked in the Johor Straights north of the airport and halfway to Malaysia it is a short boat ride from Changi Village. We head up there on the May Day Bank Holiday.

At 9.15 the pier is already crowded with locals, mountain bikers and the odd westerner like ourselves. Efficient attendants direct us to the many 'bum boats' - with about 12-15 passengers on board they head off on the 10 minute crossing to the island at $2.50 per passenger.

Cycling in UbinPulau Ubin Village is not a beauty spot but a collection of ramshackle tin roofed huts. Most are renting bicycles to the hoards of tourists who have arrived to enjoy the Bank Holiday. You head off into the island through tropical forests with crickets whistling loudly and the odd house (usually selling cold drinks) or man tending his garden. Apparently most of Singapore was like this before it got covered in tower blocks and concrete. There are talks of developing here too as the main island runs out of space so visit Pulau Ubin soon!

Anenomes at Batu BatuTo the east of the island are the 'Chek Jawa Wetlands'. A nature reserve where you can leave your bikes and follow walkways, first through the mangroves and then along a raised walkway along the shore. The tide is out when we visit and crabs are scuttling around in the mud much to the amusement of the many visitors. The water is a thick murky brown so it is good to see that something survives down there.

We continue our cycling to the west of the island where the keener cyclists are trying there skills on the mountain biking circuit. You have to keep your wits on the road as many of the other cyclists don't have a lot of road sense - riding 6 abreast and watching the fields, not the road, passing can be hazardous. By 12 we are hungry and head back to Ubin Village for lunch. We opt for the largest joint in town and find a table by the shore with a nice breeze. Our Tiger beers are very welcome as we are very hot and sweaty by this stage. The veg, rice, fish and pork comes along at various intervals. Never mind the wait. We are enjoying the rest and the people watching. After a good lunch it is back to the pier and a short wait in the queue before we are back to the mainland - tower blocks and traffic again. Click on the picture below or run in full screen or slideshow.