by Chelsea Wee
Chelsea is our first Actxplorer intern with a big heart to serve & make the world a better place. She recounts her first Actxplorer trip beyond the shores of mainland Singapore – a kayaking adventure in Pulau Ubin!
It was a really beautiful day to be out and about Pulau Ubin and that was what we were about to do. Having heard so much about Pulau Ubin and the amazing natural landscapes and wildlife there, I could not miss the chance for a trip to a kelong.
We took a short but enjoyable bumboat ride to Pulau Ubin, When we reached the island, it felt like being transported back in time to when Singapore was a small fishing village, the air was fresher and the atmosphere seemed a lot more relaxed.
A quick 5 minute walk from the jetty brought us to the Asian Detours Hut where we met our guides and kayaking instructors of the day Colin and Sharil. Colin was very patient and extremely detailed in his explanation of the parts of a kayak (which most of us didn’t know about), and taught us the fundamentals of kayaking such as how to paddle properly and what to do… in case of a capsize.
We quickly got in our kayaks and headed for the kelongs surrounding Pulau Ubin. It was an enjoyable journey, being surrounded by the sea and nature. We even saw 2 adorable dogs swimming around the kelongs!
Once on the kelongs, the owner showed us around the different pens, and explained the value of the different fishes. He had a whole pen of huge Grouper fish, almost a meter long, and other types of fish like Sea Bass.
We had the chance to catch some fish for lunch and learnt how to descale and clean it. It was an eye-opening experience to learn where and how fish are farmed for consumption. I had my first-ever experience of gutting and scaling a fish – an achievement that my mum was very proud of.
We headed back to Pulau Ubin for our barbecue lunch with our catch from the kelongs. It was the first time Asian Detours organised a BBQ lunch at the kampong house for guests after a kayaking adventure.
The conversations were light-hearted and fun. Colin entertained us with stories about how Pulau Ubin has changed over the years, and his own adventures of spotting tigers & leopards as an outdoor guide in Malaysia. He hopes to bring more people on trips around Pulau Ubin to show them that Singapore has very beautiful natural landscapes and wildlife, and hence encourage them to be more environmentally conscious.
Overall, it was a great time spent meeting new people and learning more about kelong fishing. If you would like to come with us on an adventure with Asian Detours, click here!
The Kelong and Kampong Barbecue adventure are still in the works – we will let everyone know when the kayak & lepak trip with Asian Detours is ready!
Thanks once again to Asian Detours for inviting us to Ubin Day Out!!