Discover the town of Pulau Ubin in Singapore
Just west of Pulau Tekong, you will find a small island with the name of Pulau Ubin. Somewhat sparsely inhabited, Pulau Ubin is one of the last true refuges from the rush of development that characterises the Singapore mainland. Home to roughly a hundred villagers, Pulau Ubin in Singapore is one of the few surrounding islands currently inhabited.
The name Pulau Ubin can be literally translated "Granite Island". Indeed, the when large granite deposits were discovered here in the 1960s, the island became a hive of activity. The population grew from a few hundred villagers to a few thousand settlers. The granite mined here served to supply the local construction industry with floor tiles. However it wasn't long before the mining operation on the island was largely abandoned. Examples of the use of this granite can be found at the Horsburgh Lighthouse and the Singapore-Johor Causeway.
Today the occupants of Pulau Ubin make their living by farming, fishing and tourism. Many of the quarries are being re-colonised by vegetation and are actually quite picturesque. Those still living on the island live in wooden houses and enjoy a somewhat natural, laid-back lifestyle. There are no tarred roads, no large shopping complexes and no urban development projects. Nature here is somewhat untouched and enjoys a rich abundance of wildlife and plant life. While it seems that the government has issued forth plans to develop the island, none of these have really come to fruition. Instead, development in Pulau Ubin has taken the form of widening bicycle paths, building trekker shelters and developing a small tourism infrastructure.
Tourism to Pulau Ubin, Singapore, has been mostly of the local variety for a number of years. The opportunity to get back to nature and enjoy a more traditional or rural way of life has brought many natives back to the island each summer. In addition to being a place for outdoor activities, recent interest in nature has spawned a new interest in the island. Visitors can enjoy the Tanjung Chek Jawa coral reef as well as a variety of marine animals and other wildlife. What's more, it is a very affordable holiday for locals. If the island remains an undeveloped refuge, it is likely that it will also gain popularity with foreigners and serve as one of the country's many draw cards.