The Pulau Ubin Bumboat is the only mode of public transport linking the northeastern island with mainland Singapore, used by island residents and curious tourists alike. It is the last remaining public bumboat route within Singapore using original diesel-powered wooden and fiberglass bumboats, and not the brand new quiet electric ones on the Singapore River.
The Pulau Ubin Bumboat departs from Changi Point Ferry Terminal on mainland Singapore, adjacent to Changi Village.
With no overseas trips advised at the moment, here’s the closest thing I could get to pretending to travel out of the country.
Heading down the steps to the main waiting area of Changi Point Ferry Terminal.
Signs point towards the domestic jetty for Pulai Ubin and the international jetty for Pengerang, Malaysia, of which there are no services for now.
Unfortunately, photography is not allowed in the waiting area.
Heading down, the bumboat operator will ask how many are in your group. For now, with social distancing measures, each bumboat takes 9 passengers rather than the licensed 12. As such, the fare has also increased from S$3 to S$4 so that the bumboat operator does not make a loss on each trip.
The Pulau Ubin Bumboat departs only when the boat is full, and not on a fixed schedule. That being said, if you want to depart faster, you can just top up the remaining passengers with cash and the bumboat operator will depart immediately – which is exactly what I did.
Since there were 8 people already including my group, we decided to just top up another S$4 so that the boat would depart immediately without waiting for 1 more passenger.
Heading down the domestic jetty to the bumboat.
Boarding the bumboat to Pulau Ubin.
The bumboat operator collects the fare of S$4 from each passenger, making the total amount for each run at S$36. No tickets are needed to be pre-purchased or issued – just pay the bumboat operator on board before the bumboat departs.
Departing from Changi Point Ferry Terminal.
The traffic is a lot less lighter than on weekends with frequent departures due to the higher number of passengers, and without Pengerang bumboats, traffic is reduced further.
The domestic jetty is on the inner (left) end of Changi Point Ferry Terminal.
Changi Coastal End makes for a natural “breakwater” to form a stable mini harbour at Changi Point Ferry Terminal.
Heading on to Pulau Ubin.
Leaving mainland Singapore behind.
Being overtaken by a speedboat. I wonder if these could be hired.
Passing by Singapore ATC.
Looking east to Pulau Tekong.
Pulau Ubin comes up pretty quickly.
The coastline of Pulau Ubin with Pulau Ubin Police Post and Celestial Ubin Beach Resort.
Approaching Pulau Ubin Main Jetty.
Approaching the alighting berth.
The journey from Changi Point Ferry Terminal to Pulau Ubin Main Jetty took about 15 minutes.
A last look at the interior of the bumboat.
Heading onto the Main Jetty.
The bumboat then departs for the departure berth.
Heading up the Main Jetty to Pulau Ubin.
A welcome sign greets visitors at the start of the pier.
An island map is available in front of the Nature Gallery.
To the left of the pier exit, there is a Taxi Van Service hut.
Taxi vans are parked around the hut.
The Main Village is located right beside the Main Jetty, with most shophouses along this road offering bicycle rentals.
This junction marks the city centre of Pulau Ubin.
There is a preserved Wayang Stage, though I’m not sure about performances now.
The road after the Wayang Stage leads to local food stalls.
Overall, a pleasant trip on board the Pulau Ubin Bumboat to escape for a few hours away from city life after many months.
Pulau Ubin Bumboat Details
Operating Hours: 7.00am to 7.00pm daily
Ride Duration: 10 to 15 minutes
Passenger Fare: S$4 per person
Bicycle Fare: S$2
Departure Times: Bumboats depart when full at 9 passengers. There is no fixed departure time.
If there are no boats available at Pulau Ubin jetty for your return trip, call the NParks hotline at 1800-471 7300 for assistance.