Ubin Island is a granite island off the northwest of Singapore island, in the Straits of Johor, between Singapore and Malaysia. The spot—full of lush forest, hiking and cycling trails, and traditional wooden buildings—is a popular retreat for locals and offers a glimpse into what Singapore was like before its extensive development.
Ubin Island’s Malay name, Pulau Ubin, means Granite Island, and there are indeed some abandoned granite quarries here. However, these have been long abandoned, and nowadays they are overrun by vegetation and wildlife. A major attraction of the 2,520-acre (1,020-hectare) island is the Chek Jawa Wetland, an intertidal flat with coral reefs that are home to an abundance of fish and other aquatic life.
Spend some time snorkeling, or enjoy kayaking, relaxing on the beach, walking, or cycling along well-tended tracks. While you can easily explore the island on your own, you could also opt for a guided walking tour or kayaking trip.
Things to Know Before You Go
- If you want to stay overnight on Ubin Island, you can set up a tent at the Jelutong Campsite, near Ubin town, or on some of the island’s beaches.
- Make sure to bring cash to the island; there are no ATMs here, and the shops and restaurants do not accept other forms of payment.
- The island boasts a number of restaurants serving tasty seafood.
- Bicycles are available to rent on the island.
- Entrance to Ubin Island is free.
How to Get There
Ubin Island is a short (10–15 minute) bumboat ride from the Changi Point Ferry Terminal in Changi Village, on the northeastern coast of Singapore. Boats leave regularly throughout the day, but there are no fixed departure times; they leave when they are full. Ferries don’t operate after dark, so if you want to stay into the evening, make sure to hire a private boat.
When to Get There
Ubin Island is popular with local Singaporeans, who mainly visit on weekends and holidays. Go midweek to avoid crowds. Ferries only operate between sunrise and sunset.
Eat Nasi Lemak at the Changi Hawker Centre
Travelers headed to Ubin Island pass through Changi Village, which has a popular hawker center that is a great place to try local food. The center’s nasi lemak (a dish of coconut rice with dried fish, spicy sambal, peanuts, and cucumbers) is especially famous, so make some time to try it before or after your visit to the island. The hawker center is located right next to the ferry terminal.