Have you ever been to a place with someone which you thought at that time was the perfect person for you to come with but now you kinda regret your decision back then? I have.
Now, I never regret any travel plans that I took in the past. However, in this particular case, I regretted the company rather than the destination.
Pulau Ubin is a small island in Singapore which is great for biking, hiking and kayaking. Ever since I heard of it, I was obsessed on getting my feet on to that island and explore it for myself. It sounded like a great alternative to the busy city, and well, I have been to Singapore many times so I always love seeing parts of the city that are unexplored by my eyes.
At that time my sister offered a groupon voucher for a biking and kayaking package which was quite cheap. As I was going to Singapore, I told her to buy me two tickets, for me and my “friend”. Yes, I decided to take a guy to this place. Right before my supposedly relaxing day exploring Ubin, we got into an argument. I seriously didn’t want to go to Ubin with him, but I have already spent some money on the ticket and didn’t want to waste it. So silly me thought, “hmm, I can handle this just for a whole day – what’s the worst that could happen?”.
Well apparently the answer to that was : A LOT!
I don’t need to explain what really happened, but let’s just say we were annoying each other and really couldn’t stand being with each other at that time. However, we made a promise to go to Ubin and I wasn’t going to waste my opportunity. The bus ride to the ferry terminal was silent. The boat ride to the island was silent. As we got to the resort and rented our kayak, it was too a rather silent and awkward kayak ride. When it was time for us to go biking, it started raining. It wasn’t a drizzle, it was more like a storm. Seriously, wind was blowing violently, the tree in front of me looked like it was going to collapse. Thunder and lightning were constantly going at it and after around 2.5 hours, it stopped.
It’s like even nature didn’t like the fact we were hanging out!
As soon as the weather calmed down, we immediately rented our bikes, and it was already around 3PM so we really didn’t have much time anymore to go around. And guess what? The bikes didn’t even have gears, and we were on quite rough terrain. Right. I get it. This was NOT the fun time I had in mind.
I did however saw a really gorgeous quarry and a glimpse of a huge wild boar. But I was in a completely foul mood at the end of the day and just didn’t enjoy Ubin as I expected.
LUCKY FOR ME, this May I had the chance to re-explore Pulau Ubin with Singaporean travel buddy, Pamela. No guys were involved this time and I had in mind a great adventure.
Before taking the ferry, Pamela had this amazing idea to take lunch from the food court. We decided to queue for 20 minutes for a really famous nasi lemak there, and it was probably the best decision ever as I knew from my previous visit to Pulau Ubin, the food at the restaurant there are quite expensive. I definitely brought a better companion this time round (and a pretty food-smart one too!).
We were so relaxed, taking our time and rented a 10SGD bike for the whole day (this time WITH GEAR!). The route we took was totally different to the one I had previously taken. My sister was practically yelling at me the last time I came here for being so foolish missing out Chek Jawa. So this time round, I told Pamela that we just had to see this Chek Jawa.
The biking trek was ok, we were almost always out of breath but it was an overall enjoyable ride. Passing by huge trees and taking water break every now and then, we were in a completely non-rushable mood!
Bikes were not allowed to enter Chek Jawa so we left our bikes in front of the gate while watching wild boars crossing paths with us. So cute!
Chek Jawa is a cape with different types of ecosystems such as mangroves, coastal forest, etc. The place has this amazing wooden pathway allowing its guests to check out each ecosystem more comfortably. I was having so much fun!
Being near the water, analyzing the clear blue water and seeing different types of ecosystems. Time was not a problem and we stopped several time just for the sake of gorgeous views and nibbling our sandwich. In the middle of the path there was even a watch tower, Jejawi Tower it was called, where we could climb and see an amazing view of Singapore from afar. It was truly a bliss.
And I even spotted a small Muslim cemetery!
Finishing our small trek, we decided to find a place to sit down and eat our lunch. As we biked, we were accompanied by small kids, who were so much better on bikes than us! We saw an amazing quarry, ate our delicious nasi lemak and went back to the city (after a refreshing chendol at the food court!) with a huge smile.
Travel is all about carving memory, right? The good ones and the bad, but I was relieved I could override my previous Ubin experience. Ubin is such a great island with so many things to do, probably my favourite place in Singapore, and I would’ve hated to have only bad memory of the place.
For me, choosing the right travel partner is crucial, they will always be there in your travel memory. Coming back to Ubin and re-do the whole experience may seem a little weird for some of you, but for me it made perfect sense. I know that I can’t do it every time something bad happen when I travel somewhere, but Singapore is an important place for me and it was important for me to re-carve my memory at Pulau Ubin. I guess I may be a perfectionist?
Lesson learned for me, choose your travel partner wisely!
What do you think? Do you think it was silly of me to go back to Ubin? Have you ever had the same experience?
How DEW travelled there
Take the MRT to Tanah Merah, then take bus no. 2 to Changi Village. Find the ferry terminal (perhaps after trying out a few food stalls at the food court :P) and take a boat to Pulau Ubin. The boat ride is 2.5 SGD.
To rent a bike, simply pick one of the bike providers on the island, a bike for a whole day costs around 10SGD.