It was to be my first mountain biking experience here. Hiring bicycles, I set off with my bunch to the Ketam Mountain Bike Park, considered one of the best mountain bike trails in the world. The trail is almost 8kms long and boasts of a wide range of terrain from open meadows to thick jungles, numerous steep ascents and descents with signs en route indicating different levels of difficulty. As I completed the trail and headed to explore different parts of the islands, the splendour of Ubin was laid before me. It wasn’t just the dense tropical rain forests. With rain pouring hard on, we got lost at times only to find another path leading elsewhere to another splendid location.
Free from urban development, this island is an abode for rich and preserved wildlife, abandoned quarries, plantations, wooden house villages, wooden jetties, relaxed inhabitants and largely untouched nature. Muddy tracks, stony patches, heavy rains, thick jungles- it did take us to a different land indeed. The granite outcrops are particularly spectacular from the sea because their grooves and fluted sides create furrows and ridges on each granite rock slab. Witnessing traditional farming, fishing, floating houses, encountering wild but mild boars, watching birds that I have never seen before, I rode past on and on.