Merlion symbol of Singapore

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Biking Adventure

Bikes on the bum boat
Friday was a holiday for Good Friday-they try to cover all the religions here, so it is good for days off at least. Since we had spent two days unpacking we were up for a change on Sunday. I had read about an island called Pulau Ubin just off the coast of Singapore. It is said to be like going back to Singapore in the 1960's before all the development occurred. We loaded up the bikes in the back of the car and headed for the ferry terminal. It is a very small terminal and being a Sunday it was pretty crowded. Not knowing exactly what we were supposed to do and lugging bikes with us we stood out as tourists. Luckily another bike rider pointed us the way to the boats and we were quickly ushered onto a bum boat. These boats hold 12 people, no more/no less. As it was mostly families traveling together we were needed to get this group of ten on their way. You have to carry the bike down some stairs and then try to get onto a moving boat-quite an experience. Off we went on our 15 minute ride to the island. The island was forested and very green with few buildings visible from the approach. There were many bike rental shops in the small town, but it was not at all crowded and we didn't see many people on the trails. The trails travel all around the island and are mostly gravel roads. There is a mountain bike park with single track trails and some very steep slopes in a quarry which we avoided. There were also a few historical sites such as a vacation home built by a wealthy Brit in the early 1900's. It really was a world away from the modern, crowded city of Singapore. We ate lunch at a small outdoor waterside cafe. A good day overall and a chance to see another side of Singapore.

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