Pualu Ubin – fabulous island with terrible history

Pulau or actually Pulau Ubin is an fabulous island located in the north east of Singapore. Though the place is really magical, only about hundred people live there nowadays. The island is often considered to be just a huge village. Indeed, Pulau is the largest and unfortunately one of the last rural areas in Singapore.

This amazing place is one of the last that you can find an abundance of natural flora and fauna. Moreover on Pulau many wild and threatened birds have their home. The island is famous for it. What interesting, the name of the island has its specific meaning, and not many people know that Pulau Ubin means “Granite Islands”. And yes, for sure, staying on the island you will spot many granite quarries there. Other names of the island are Pulau Batu Ubin or Granite Stone Island.

And this is when a titbit comes. A popular legend has it that the island of Pulau was created when a frog, a pig and an elephant challenged each other to a competition. That one which got to the island’s shore was supposed to turn to stone. None managed it so each one has turned to stones and this is why there are so many stones on the island.

I like listen to such titbits and this one above I have heard from one of the villagers. I was planning this trip for a long long time but every time when it seemed everything’s ready, suddenly something came up driving me to change my plans. Finally, now I managed to embark on the trip to Pulau and I must admit I am so proud of myself;).

Well, the Pulau’s history is quite long and very interesting. I won’t be dwell on the beginning of the island but let tell you a few interesting things from the last century. Pulau has quite sad story. It used to be very popular place of immigrants because it’s been always full of croplands. People from neighbouring islands kept flocking into Pulau to live a calm and long live. That was until the World War 2 has come. The Nazis decided to set up one of their concentration camps just there, on the calm and innocent island of Pulau. The same cams were sounded in Poland – Auschwitz, in Ukraine – Trebling and in a few European countries.

Thousands of people from the whole Singapore were closed in the concentration camp on Pulau. Most of them passed away before the war’s over. Almost no-one survived and that’s why today the island is so poorly inhabited. Most of the Nazism victims’ offspring decided to leave the island because of the bad memories. Now, most of people living there are owners of farms. The tourism industry is not very developed on the island and this is why I love so much this place.

I go there every summer and I can relax there. No tourists, no noise only the nature and peace. However sometime I think it’s a pity that so little people know the beauty of Pulau Island, but after all it’s such a blessing that the island hasn’t been changing and throughout the years it looks still the same.