Want to visit Pulau Ubin but not sure whether it's ok for children? Check out what these three HoneyKids mums had to say...
If you’re looking to escape from city living and enjoy a dose of nature, then no doubt you’ve got Pulau Ubin at the top of your wishlist. But how kid-friendly is the island? Are toddlers a serious no-go? We got chatting to HoneyKids mums to get the lowdown on Pulau Ubin with kids. Here are their parent tips and honest reviews…
Parent tips: Can you do Pulau Ubin with kids?
Georgina, mum to Minnie, Willa and Ted
When my well-travelled friend, her husband and their three kids visited Singapore, I wanted to show them a different side to the place. An intrepid day trip to Pulau Ubin more than fit the brief. With four adults and five kids under seven, we filled our own bumboat. The trip alone was a major highlight for the kids – hanging their heads out the windows and breathing in the sea breeze.
On arrival, we were buoyed by the old Singapore village vibe and headed straight to the bike hire. There are bikes galore – we managed to find one to suit everyone (including an adult bike with a baby seat and retro dinky bikes for older kids). Like everything on the island, the bikes are timeworn, but this only added to their charm. We laughed our way around Pulau Ubin along tree-lined paths and across streams.
A major hit with the kids was our stop off at Butterfly Hill. Post-ride, we enjoyed a refreshing drink at a local seafood restaurant. The kids played on the beach and had an unsanctioned, but much-enjoyed, dip. By this time everyone was showing signs of fatigue, so we headed back home (and waited less than five minutes to board the ferry). The beauty of an excursion to this family-friendly island is that it’s easy, quick and super affordable (so there’s no pressure to stay all day to make it value for money). We’ll be back for sure!
If the littlies are really looking to bask in the nature of Pulau Ubin, consider camping outdoors at Jelutong or Maman Beach where you can pitch your tent for the night. Permits are not needed, but you’re advised to let the officers at Pulau Ubin Police Post know you’re there. They’ll also provide a quick brief on the all-important do’s ‘n’ don’ts of camp life on the island. Prepare to be a tad stinky by the time you return though: there are toilet facilities around the campsites, but no showers! We’re pretty sure the kiddos won’t care. And what it lacks in washing facilities, it makes up for with a peaceful kampong-style life.
Tracy, mum to Jack, Angelica and Rafferty
When we lived in Singapore, we were always looking for days out that weren’t going to break the bank. With three kids ranging in age from six to 16, Pulau Ubin fitted the bill. We took ourselves over for a rustic adventure. Once we were all kitted out with hire bikes (including a small mountain bike complete with stabilisers for our daughter), we headed off on a family bike ride around the island. The terrain was a mix of paved roads and stony tracks, and we loved the many David Attenborough-esque moments we had en route spotting woodpeckers, wild boar, monkeys, snakes and giant monitor lizards.
The information centre (located in a mock-Tudor house known as House No. 1) is well worth a look around. There, you’ll find toilets (with TP, soap and running water!) and drink machines, too.
The kids loved the island’s high viewing platform, in the south-east corner, which gave us a bird’s-eye view of Singapore and Malaysia. This was also where we noticed the massive storm rolling in! We got soaked on the way back to the jetty, so although we saw the beautiful quarry at a glance through the blur of rain, we didn’t get to check this area out on this visit, but will definitely head back soon for more outdoor fun.
Take rain macs… and ziplock bags for your phone! Oh, and ladies: wear waterproof mascara and don’t wear white! The storms come in quick and there is little shelter along the trails.
Amy, mum to Ruby and Teddy
We had a fab time at Pulau Ubin, but I must admit it was a bit hard going with tiny tots! Because both my kids are three and under, we definitely enjoyed an easier pace than most. We headed over first thing in the morning to escape most of the morning heat, and the children loved the bumboat, as I knew they would. You really do feel like you’re on holiday as you zip across the water!
We hired bikes with toddler seats on and took our time heading to the Chek Jawa Wetlands, one of Singapore’s richest ecosystems. It got a bit steep and gravelly in parts so we pushed the bikes and the kids toddled after us, stretching their legs. All good – it gave us the chance for a breather and to soak up all that fresh air.
The mangrove boardwalk when we got there was nice and shaded, which made it really enjoyable. We enjoyed some plane spotting on the coastal boardwalk, too! There aren’t any railings on some of these, so be sure to keep an eye on the little ones and remind them to stay close to the middle. Other highlights? The Sensory Trail was a good shout and really interesting. If your kids love bugs, butterflies and critters, it’s worth a look for sure!
Pulau Ubin with kids is definitely doable – just be prepared to take it slow and be patient.
Take a backpack so that it’s out the way when you’re cycling… and fill it with snacks for the kids! They’ll need the refreshment and the energy if you want to soak up the sights of the island.
Don’t forget to read our full guide to Pulau Ubin, including how to get there and what to see!