Take a trip back in time on new Pulau Ubin tour

Teck Seng's Place, a refurbished house that will give visitors a glimpse into life on Pulau Ubin in the 1970s.
Teck Seng's Place, a refurbished house that will give visitors a glimpse into life on Pulau Ubin in the 1970s. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Teck Seng's Place features interpretive signs and specially-curated memorabilia.
Teck Seng's Place features interpretive signs and specially-curated memorabilia. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Above: A refurbished 1970s Chinese kampung house, complete with a mosquito net-covered bed, will take visitors back to days gone by. Left: The 1ha orchard, with trees planted by students, will feature around 350 fruit trees from 30 different species,
A refurbished 1970s Chinese kampung house, complete with a mosquito net-covered bed, will take visitors back to days gone by. ST PHOTOS: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Above: A refurbished 1970s Chinese kampung house, complete with a mosquito net-covered bed, will take visitors back to days gone by. Left: The 1ha orchard, with trees planted by students, will feature around 350 fruit trees from 30 different species,
The 1ha orchard, with trees planted by students, will feature around 350 fruit trees from 30 different species, including rambutan and starfruit, once commonly found in kampungs.ST PHOTOS: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Starting next year, it will give glimpse of 1970s kampung life and include visit to fruit orchard

Walk through a furnished kampung house complete with a 1970s copy of The Straits Times and mosquito net-covered bed, or stroll through a durian and starfruit orchard.

Visitors to Pulau Ubin can now revisit Singapore's kampung days, away from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

The Ubin Fruit Orchard and Teck Seng's Place - a refurbished 1970s Chinese kampung house - are some of the attractions on the new Rustic Reflections tour, announced yesterday by the National Parks Board (NParks) at the end of its year-long Celebrate Ubin campaign, which highlighted the island's rich animal and plant life and history.

"The tour is very good... for Singaporeans to experience the heritage of the past," said NParks deputy director for Pulau Ubin Choi Yook Sau.

A 10-minute walk from the jetty, Teck Seng's Place was built in the 1970s by Mr Chew Teck Seng, who owned a provision shop in the island's village centre.

Previously known as House 363B, the home has been furnished with items donated by Ubin residents and other members of the public, aimed at evoking earlier times. Among the items are a Rediffusion radio and a dry food cabinet used to preserve food before refrigerators became common.

The house is open to the public on the second and fourth weekend of each month, and on public holidays, between 10am and 2pm. It will also be open on the third Saturday of each month as part of the Rustic Reflections tour, which is expected to start next year.

The 1ha orchard will feature around 350 fruit trees from 30 different species, including rambutan and starfruit, once commonly found in kampungs. Student volunteers from Ngee Ann Polytechnic helped plant some of the trees, while Nanyang Girls' High students produced signs about them.

Ubin resident Chu Yok Choon said the orchard was a good addition that would help educate younger visitors about the island's heritage.

 

"In the past, almost every house used to have its own garden and fruit trees," said the 71-year-old grassroots leader, who has lived on the island all his life.

The tour will also feature stops at a new sensory trail pond, made up of former fish farming ponds redesigned to attract wildlife such as herons and kingfishers, as well as an existing Malay kampung house.

"Through these initiatives, there will be more opportunities for the public to get a glimpse of kampung life on the island, and experience life as it used to be on Ubin," said Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development Desmond Lee, who planted a durian tree to mark the orchard's opening.

Later this month, a tender will be called for a water treatment system to be installed and maintained at the Ubin Living Lab, which is used by researchers and visitors, as well as compact water treatment systems for public toilets at the Chek Jawa wetlands and other areas.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 04, 2016, with the headline 'Take a trip back in time on new Pulau Ubin tour'. Print Edition | Subscribe