Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Pulau Ubin

Pulau Ubin is this sleepy tiny island about 5km by 1km tucked in the North-East corner of Singapore in the Straits of Johor. See Map.
There had been pressures to develop the island and connect it with the mainland with a bridge and the mass rapid transit, but so far, they have not succeeded. Ubin remains this kampung (village) right into year 2007. Whilst on the island, it felt like I am back into my childhood days. Time had stood still.

We started at the Changi Ferry Terminal, where even bumboats reverse park (something uniquely Singaporean). :)

This is just about the most modern looking part of the island.
The old jetty was a lot narrower and wobbly.

The old house stood the same...
You find similar stilt houses in the region in Malaysia and the Riao Archipelago which Singapore is part of geographically. Difference is that there are no debri underneath these ones. So even kampungs are clean in Singapore.
Hmm... don't know if the government is going to like me saying that we are part of the Riao...
... can be sensitive stuff considering that as recent as in the 60s, the late ex-President Sukarno of Indonesia was claiming souverignty over Malaysia and Singapore!

Taoist shrines like these are common place across the island.
. This is the useful vehicle that brought me around the island.
Old kampung charm
"This is the German girl shrine holds the remains of a German girl who died in 1914 when she accidentally fell off a steep cliff whilst running away from the British who had come to take over the plantation. It is said that her body was discovered the next day, covered in ants and buried at the beach where she was found. The villagers kept seeing her ghost so her remains were moved to a nearby Chinese shrine and kept in an urn. The remains were eventually looted, but the urn remains. It is not known how her shrine became popular with gamblers, among others", from http://www.wildsingapore.com/ubin/places/temple.htm.
It is amazing how this German girl who was born a Roman Catholic and died a Roman Catholic could become a local legend with a following of Chinese devotees. A newspaper report says devotees also come from Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.
.Place for buring incense paper.
Offerings to the German girl spirit.
Cosmetics, drinks, flowers...etc
So we stopped for some coconut water.
This place is lived in by an amazing 77 year old man who grows herbs and sells them to in the mainland.
Amazingly strong man for his age.
He is showing us the herb he just pulled from the ground.
He harvests the roots, dry them and sell them to medicine shops.
It is said to cure kidney problems and cancer.
He claimed to have helped many without costing them a hole in the pocket.
A Taiwanese customer who has been cured by the herb wants him to set up a farm in Taiwan.
This naughty cat is fishing.
. This is the village centre.
The Tua Pek Kong temple.
This deity is Guang Gong, a famous general from the era of the
Three Kingdoms in China (190-263 BC)

Going home... back in Changi

1 comment:

red songkok said...

well done my friend of Baraonda Meetup.

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