If you have ever been to Pulau Ubin through the bumboat services located at Changi Point Ferry Terminal, you would have noticed another departure gate as well as a long registration table that indicates its destination: Pulau Pengerang.
A one-way bumboat ride will set you back by SGD10 per pax, and it takes about 30 to 45 minutes to travel from Changi in Singapore to Pulau Pengerang in Malaysia, with the last ferry from Pulau Pengerang at 4pm. While this amount of ferrying time may be taxing for some, this presents a great short getaway opportunity from fast-paced Singapore for me, as compared to to Johor Bahru through Woodlands or Tuas checkpoint.
One could easily get a taxi upon clearing the Malaysian customs at Pulau Pengerang. A bad thing about these taxis though, is that they do not have a meter drilled into the interior of the vehicle. Instead, the fare depends on the traveling distance, which interestingly includes a meal along the way back. The good thing on the other hand is that, the taxi driver will be responsible to drive you around the island until you are ready to return back to reality and you will be promptly dropped off back to the ferry terminal.
For my trip, I went to only two of the sightseeing spots recommended by my friend due to time constraint. The first place I went to would be the famous ostrich farm. The farm may not be as big as you think it would be as compared to a normal farm size, but they do have so many ostriches that you will be increasingly amazed as you gaze!
Directly at the registration table where you purchase your entrance fee, the farm staff would place a newly born baby ostrich, as if to catch your curiosity.
As part of the service provided by the farm, there is a shed where there would be a guide who would be introducing the background of the farm as well as some amazing facts about the ostriches. But if you are one of those who prefer to kill your curiosity first by means of exploring on your own, you may go ahead with a walk.
Interestingly, the farm lets loose a couple of ostriches to run around on their own but within the farm area of course. But lest you worry, these ostriches are harmless, although at times they may tease you but pretending to peck at you.
Cassowary (picture above) is a restricted and protected species of the ostrich in the world. And this is one of the few farms that are allowed to purchase them, of which costed them a bomb too. This is also largely because the Cassowary can cause serious injuries to humans when agitated, so this one and only Cassowary in the farm is safely caged up.
The second place that I went to is the fruit farm further down the ostrich farm. The fruit farm is much larger than the ostrich farm, and hence houses quite a variety of fruits. And if you are lucky to be there at the right time, you may get to see how the flowers blossomed too.
A little bus ride from the entrance of the fruit farm, you will reach the main site itself. Along a stretch of road with the metal rods hanging above, you will get to see a range of fruits that are still in the process of growing before it ripens for consumption.
Like with the ostrich farm, there will be a guide explaining the different types of fruits on the farm and what they can be used for. There are also signs to indicate to visitors where they are heading to. So, in any case you do not manage to catch what the guide is saying while you are busy snapping pictures, all is not lost.
The whole fruit farm tour will take about an hour to complete, of which you will be given a short break to catch your breath from all the talks and walks.
And upon reaching the end of the fruits tour, you will be at the start of a mini-sized zoo tour.
You will not get to see the typical horses, elephants, tigers, and so forth in this mini zoo, understandably since its located within the fruit farm, but inside resides small farm animals like rabbits, chicks, and monkeys. Well, and the sole crocodile is an exception.
Just a few more walks into the mini zoo, you will see a monkey uncaged but chained up. This monkey swings about a lot and, cheekily, usually towards the guests.
Just at the end of the mini zoo, there is a big space area that keeps several goats without any dividers to separate them and regardless of their color or species.
Looking at the pitiful eyes of this goat, if you have a bunch of grass to spare, please do present a small amount to it.
Finally, it’s about time to catch a meal with barely enough time to catch the last ferry out of Pulau Pengerang. Most taxi drivers will bring you to this small stretch of road that has quite a few restaurants. The one I went to has been awarded by a Singapore’s local variety show. Whether the food does tastes as it would seems to be, we could not come to an agreement, so do let me know your views when you are there!
For the entire trip, the total amount spent on the taxi costs RM150, due to the slightly longer traveling distance to the fruit farm from the terminal, and this price excludes the entrance fee to both places, which costs a total of RM32.
Pulau Pengerang may seem insignificant, as compared to other places of Malaysia. But if you want a short, one-day getaway from the whole of Singapore, without worrying about traffic congestion at Woodlands or Tuas checkpoint, Pulau Pengerang may just be the solution.