Book Of Adventure 8: Pulau Ubin

Posted: August 4, 2010 in Uncategorized

Captain’s log                     Stardate: 64095.7 (August 05th, 2010)

Previously, five members of the Singapore Paranormal Investigators (SPI), including myself went recce on a small island situated in the north east of Singapore. Known as Pulau Ubin, and its one of the last rural areas found in Singapore. Also commonly heard as the last “kampong” or village that still exist, and a stroll through Ubin does takes you back in time of old Singapore with the simpler pleasures of life. So you never really need a time machine when there’s one just next door =)

Let me share some of the interesting ones that I’ve read. Shape like a boomerang when seen from above, the name Pulau Ubin, literally means “Granite Island” in Malay. That explains why you can see many abandoned granite quarries there. It was said that, the word ubin is said to be a Javanese term for “squared stone.” In Malay, the island is also known as Pulau Batu Ubin or “Granite Stone Island.” So its like walking on a largest granite ever found on Earth!

Also found in Hokkien as chioh sua, which means “stone hill.” Kindergarden children might as well give a straight answer if they were taught about the history of Pulau Ubin. Should anybody asked them: “Where can you find granites?” And they will simply answer: “Pulau Ubin can find one.” A little joke here. Hah! =D

Legend has it that the island was formed when three animals from Singapore, a frog, a pig and an elephant challenged each other to a race to reach the shores of Johor (Does that mean that the pig and elephant were to swim??). Whichever fails, that animal will turn into stone. What a curse! Their attempts to succeed fails, as all three came across many difficulties. Eventually, the elephant and pig were together turned into Pulau Ubin, while the frog become Pulau Sekudu or Frog Island, which is actually an islet part of Ubin.

Something tells me, that this part of the legend reminds me of Kusu Island, a.k.a Turtle Island…

Anyway, the reason for this recce is to prepared for a future spooky walk, and that our primary objective is to mark those so-called “hot spots” that gives rise to numerous spooky tales. At the same time, to familiarize with the route before calling in the participants.

As far as I can remember, this is my fourth time visiting the island ever since that SPI overnight investigation been conducted on the island a year ago. For those who were familiar with the island, might have catch the glimpse and haunted stories that circulates across the internet. Those stories about the island been spooked. Tell-tale signs from the past, those urban legends. Stories after stories been stored into archives, that even gotten some, to felt superstitious about the island. Some were rumours, some were true. But much of it were clueless, unheard of, and eventually left forgotten. This eventually leads into branches of dark mysteries left untold. But who knows, one day there will be someone who is kind enough to shed some light on a particular mystery….

However, this is not the first time SPI had conducted an event on the island. Based on the forum under events section, its been five times in a row. Three of them were overnight events. Seems to me that some places in Ubin just can’t be avoidable.

The areas where we will seek out are one of the many that were based on eye-witnesses reports. We will therefore, take this into consideration to familiarize with the route, as to ensure we are on the right track. Even if we had to use an alternate route, we still have to make sure that it directs us to the right track.

This also, gives me an opportunity to establish my next Book of Adventure. The first few occasions I’ve been here has always been on the east side of the island, as based on the map. So on that very day, we will set foot on the west side. And its also where the Outward Bound Singapore training school is located. As such, I’ve decided to set this exploration of mine as an addition to this recce.

So once again, we set our quest towards the island by a bumboat from Changi Ferry Terminal. The whole day had been a slight rain, which showers from that earlier morning where it had been heavy. But at least, it wasn’t a continuous downpour of cats and dogs. Better still, the weather had been a cooling and windy day from the start to the end of the day.

And so, here we are. The island tranquility, sights and sounds of nostalgia hit us like a tide wave. Its back to the good old kampong days for some of us who were born during those times =)

Best of all, we also make some new friends along the way. Three dogs had followed us for quite some distance. No matter how we tried to shoo them away, they still insist on following. Guess they are just being friendly. And some of us even had this thinking that they might leads us to the locations we are looking for. Yeah right, for sure. Haha! Frankly speaking, I was quite worried about them running around us, as I got this bad feeling that they might even jumped on us. Who knows they might do that. I nearly suffered the phobia on dogs just thinking about that!

Only when we were resting at the island’s Celestial Resort, where the dogs went ahead doing their own business. They seem to having fun playing in the sand. We wait for them to be a distance away before we make a move.

Photos shown will do the rest of the talking =)

The whole day had been an enjoyable trip. Its fortunate that the weather was not a hot one. Even though there’s a slight rain, it still gives us that cooling and breezing feeling to accommodate while we still on the island. So much of it had let me to feel like as though we were on another country during the cold season =)

While on the way back to the jetty, we came across a van, which was one of the Ubin transportation. One of us then decided if we could flag it down, and to request for the driver whether it is ok to give us a ride back to the jetty instead of walking the whole mile. He agreed, for a price of $6. Sounds fair enough, and that saves us the time than to head back on foot =)

We had dinner at a small Malay coffeeshop that was located next to the jetty. Once done, we call it a day and ferry back to mainland.

The whole trip was worthwhile. The effort spent is all there is in preparation for our future event, to be set once again in Pulau Ubin =)


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