Many people from around the world feel that Singapore is nothing but a concrete jungle. Without a doubt, Singapore is better known for its shopping facilities, food and recently the two casino resorts at Marina Bay Sands and Resort World Sentosa. There are many natural places which even many locals do not know off, or have not visited.
Chek Jawa is in Pulau Ubin, an island off Singapore which you can reach from Changi Point bumboat jetty. It is a one hectare littoral zone, filled with seagrasses, sand flats, coral rubble and surrounded by coastal forest and mangroves.
Nature lovers will find Chek Jawa a beautiful place to visit and explore. One of the most appealing aspects of the place is that several different ecosystems can be found in this reliably small area. These ecosystems and the plants and animals found there is no longer a common sight in Singapore. In fact, they are also fast disappearing around the world as well.
You can find a hill covered with trees and plants and are inhabited by a variety of animals which feeds off the trees and plants and also seeks shelter in the coastal hill forest. The hill overlooks Chek Jawa and you can find a variety of rare birds, including the Oriental Pied-Hornbill, the Red Junglefowl and the Straw-Headed Bulbul. You will also find beautiful and unusual trees like the critically endangered Delek Air and the Seashore Nutmeg. A recently completed tower gives you a panoramic view of Chek Jawa.
Another interesting aspect of Chek Jawa is the mangroves, where you can find many interesting plants and animals. You will find interesting and unusually shaped mangrove trees that had adapted themselves to being covered in seawater during high tides and grow in the soft mud. The boardwalk into the mangroves brings you closer to the trees as well as the magnificent Nipah Palms. You will also be guided to find Fiddler crabs and mudskippers during your stroll at the mangroves.
At low tide, you can take a close look at some of the strange animals that lived at the rocky shore, which is one of the few places left that has a natural rocky shore, gravel beach and some interestingly formed rock. You will find barnacles, crabs and fierce shell-drilling snails during your exploration. Under the rocks you can find even more interesting animals like the living cowries, sea stars and fast flat crabs.
The backbone of Chek Jawa is the sand bar. The sandy shore is filled with tiny crabs, Sea Stars and Sand Dollar. You can also find many shorebirds that flys in from as far as Siberia resting and feeding there. Behind the sand bar is a seagrass lagoon, which is a calm and shallow lagoon filled with seagrasses and seaweeds. Be amazed by the Carpet Anemones which comes in stunning variety of colors and some are even bigger than the face of an adult. During some times of the year, you can even find colorful sea cucumbers amongst the seagrass. If you look harder and are lucky, you can even spot Sea Hares, Squids and Manti Shrimp.