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Pulau Ubin house

Currently, no one living there, except Mr Tan who goes there some weekends for his personal retreat.

House is only 50 – 100 metres from the island jetty via footpath.

House looks down a gentle slope to its front yard (can grow vegetables) and towards the sea. It has a well (drawn via hand pump) for fresh water, but no electricity. There is a small generator, but it consumes about $5 worth of petrol per hour. Cooking can be done with cylinder gas.

Mosquitoes are ferocious. Will need mosquito nets.

Mr Tan wants to keep Room #1 for himself. Men can sleep in the hall, in rooms #2 and #3, if they wish, they can also sleep in the porch or in the outdoor “pavilion”.

This is room #2:

Room #3:

The water from the well looked very clean (look into the red bucket) and was cold. It is drawn by means of a hand-lever pump:

The cooking area:

The house has a small room designed as a bathroom, but the piping is broken and so detergent water will seep into the soil, which won’t be good for the plants and vegetables.  If the men can fix an extension to the pipe to drain the bath water all the way down the slope to the public drain, the bathroom can then be used.

The house has no lavatory, but there is an outhouse:

Actually, the men don’t have to use the outhouse at all. Almost next door to the house is a public toilet block built by NParks for hikers and visitors to the island. No charge:

Next to the house is a Singtel mobile phone tower. Reception (at least Singtel) is excellent. Here is the front yard, which can be used as a vegetable graden:

Just visible at the left edge of the above photo is the “pavilion”. Here’s a better picture of it, great for enjoying the evening breeze:

And the front of the house again:

To reach the house, one has to take a boat from the ferry terminal at Changi Village:

It is a 10-minute crossing, costing $2.50 per person.  But there is no fixed schedule, with boats leaving only when 10 – 12 passengers can be found. Mr Tan advises that the earliest hour that 12 passengers can be found would be around 7  or 8 a.m., and the latest hour would be about 6:30 p.m. Beyond those times, one can hire the whole boat for $30.

The ferry terminal is about 30 minutes’  away from Tanah Merah MRT station by Bus #2. From Tanah Merah, it is about 30 minutes to Singapore General Hospital or MOM.


  • Can house up to 12 men (4 each in hall, room #2, room #3).
  • Ideal for those with arm or upper body injuries; not advisable for those with leg injuries.
  • Considerable distance from downtown, must allow 90 minutes’  travel time.
  • No electricity except by generator (costly); no light at night; no refrigerator.
  • Good water supply.
  • Can get gas in cylinders.
  • Need to clean up the house; minimal repairs needed other than drainage pipe from shower.
  • Mosquitoes.
  • Can grow vegetables, fruits.
  • Should be cool in the evenings, with all the greenery around.
  • Still haven’t worked out costs, but will likely include: (1) rent, (2) repair, fitting out, (3) transport allowance for men, (4) food allowance for men, (5) fuel for generator, (6) cylinder gas, (7) essential daily supplies such as mosquito repellent.



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