Sunday, July 15, 2012

Kampong Bukit Coffee Chinese Cemetery @ Pulau Ubin [Singapore]

There was a very well known Thai temple in Pulau Ubin that used to draw crowds every weekend to the least unspoiled island of Singapore. To put it bluntly, those van operators in Ubin town owed their business to Wat Siam before the "discovery" of Chek Jawa!

Anyway, the road leading to Wat Siam is boringly known as Jalan Wat Siam although the locals have an ominous name for it; Cemetery Road.

It's really hard to miss those Chinese tombs located on top of a steep slope. According to the sign post, the cemetery is called Kg Bt Coffee Chinese cemetery and i am assuming that Kg implies kampong (Malay for Village) and Bt means Bukit (Malay for Hill).

Quite a number of tombs were damaged and i could not ascertain if it was a matter of exhumation-not-completed or an act of plain vandalism.

Notice the red and green coloured Chinese characters in the middle? You have to read it in columns which in this case were the husband's name in the centre and the names of his two wives flanking it.

Found this gloomy, eerie-looking rest area that was 50-100 meters away from the main road; not something i would hope to chance upon at night.

To be honest, i was both scared and worried at the same time since i was alone! However, i was also very curious on what i could find further in. From the main road, the cemetery appeared small although in reality, it stretched quite a few hundred meters deep.

Once again, the guardian of the tomb!

Unlike most Chinese tombs on mainland Singapore, the tombs in this cemetery have neither the grandeur nor the vibrancy [many don't even follow the traditional Feng Shui in housing the dead; for example, lack of a tortoise shaped burial mound]

Even the grandest tomb paled in comparison.

Some graves had obviously not received any relatives for a long time. Well, the jungle would do a good job in camouflaging them so that curious people like myself would get a shock when we accidentally knocked against them.

Another simple grave.

The coloured words baffled me; it's common in the past to have husband and wives buried together but we all know chances are not high that one would die together with their loved ones. Therefore, only the name of those dead would be in red and those still alive, green. If your observation skill is really sharp, you would have realised that quite a number of tombs i posted have all the names in green, raising the question if anyone die.

A stone lion with goli (marbles) as eyes.

This reminded me so much of those period dramas when graves required nothing except a burial mound made of soil and a stone plaque with the name of the deceased.

Uncovered tiles right in front of a half hidden tomb. Despite the harsh elements of weather, they still look pretty new to me!

Due to the cemetery's isolated location, it is a favourite spot for paranormal seekers. Add in a few fatal biking accidents and you can roughly gauge how "hot" the place is when it comes to school holiday periods.

One of the stories i heard was the names-less tombstone. For many people, it would appear as a block of stone with no inscription but, if you happen to see words, you would know it immediately because it would be the words for your name.

Most graves were placed randomly except for the three in the picture.

One thing is for sure though; they all face a specific direction. 
The East.


Pulau Ubin, along Jalan Wat Siam


  1. you are very daring!!!

  2. im, in reality, a scaredy cat. wahaha.

  3. I chanced upon this cemetery a few years while cycling at pulau ubin. Although I try to locate it again, I just cannot remember where it is it until I saw your blog.

    1. Heard there is another Chinese cemetery in Ubin but i have yet to chance upon it! let me know if you found it. :)

  4. Your are brave to cycle alone there. I would have cycled back to where other people are. ahaha

    1. i hope i am more brave though; my fear for snakes makes it really hard for me to truly explore off beaten paths and this is irritating me!!! :(

  5. Hi I’ve been to this area. But I found it by accident when I was riding at the Ketam trail. My sincere advice to all of you is PLS DONT GO THERE IF YOU HAVE NO REASON TO GO THERE.. when I found the place, I can’t find my way back to the jetty. I only managed to find the way out almost near to 7pm... and the place was already dark. I was really scared coz I’ve heard many stories about this place. And up till now I never ever thought WHY I WAS THERE and How I reached there... I never plan to go there ..never want to. Dunno where the is it LUCK or something else.

    1. that must have been really freakish for you! i had stayed overnight at ubin before and it can be extremely eerie without the street lights at night.

    2. Anonymous4:27 PM

      what kind of stories? Can share :p