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Monday, March 12, 2012

Visit to Chek Jawa

Chek Jawa is located at Pulau Ubin, and it's landscape host one of Singapore’s richest biodiversity.
During low tide, visitors can spot starfish and anemones on the shallow basin.

When we realised Naked Hermit Crab (http://nakedhermitcrabs.blogspot.com/) is running
free tours every 2nd Saturday, we quickly registered our interest.

And so last Sat, we took a 10min ride from Changi Jetty to Ubin, followed by a 15min ride on the island’s mini Van. For those adventurous ones, you can rent a bike from $2 onwards and navigate your way to Chek Jawa Visitor Centre. (hint, there is a lot of hills)

The bum boat ride itself is very much part of the FUN, kids relish the open air and sometimes sea water brushing against us. (van and bumboat price is per head)

We went to Ubin with Tan and Heng families, 6 adults and 8 kids.
Do gather more kids along for more FUN and exploration !

Along the way, we will come across numerous kampungs and abandoned plantations.

First stop, we got a rubber-tree tapping demonstration by one of our guides, Ley Kun.
Kids are very curious how rubber sap flows from the trunk.

At the Visitor centre, we are split into three groups, our guide for today is Ria.
She is the owner of Wild Happenings Singapore (http://wildsingaporehappenings.blogspot.com/).
Coincidentally, Daddy has been following her blog for the latest nature activites around Singapore.

5 min into our walk, we sighted the magnificent Hornbill ! nPark is trying to rehabilitate
the hornbills on Pulau Ubin, and we could not contain our excitement.

We knew earlier that we need to climb a Tower, but we did you know the Jejawi Tower is six storey tall ! A breathtaking view awaits you at the top. We were fortunate to spot the resident eagle.


Video : Look at the height of the Tower !


Yeah, we make it ! So proud of the kids !

The best (and worst haha) part of your trail is along the mangrove boardwalk !
Every two steps, we HEAR the kids’ new discovery, everyone was trying to find the next crab, mud-skipper, even spiders and snake !

Love all the small and colourful crabs ! The crabs are only 1cm, and it is not easy to spot them.
Mudskippers are truly master of camouflage !

Be warned, the mosquitoes here are immune to insect repellant. Daddy smell like a lemongrass, but he was still attacked by battalions of mozzies ! Long sleeve is highly recommended, as some kids might develop reactions or bad rashes from the stings.

Trust us, the sights is worth the sting. Just go prepared and you will be rewarded ! Do not forget to take a deep breath during the walk, the rotten-egg smell is manufactured from bacteria and sulphur.
Not plesant but 100% natural, and our guide mention it smells like Fart po00oh !

Sweat, mosquitos, now fart, Pulau Ubin's Chek Jawa is not for every kids wahaha :p

Three families, half way though treking, we are smiling because we left the mosquitos behind !

Next, onto the coastal boardwalk, which will bring us near to the mangrove swamp ! The exposed roots, moss and shy crabs kept the questions coming from the kids (why are there so much rubbish,
why got grass here, so many crabs with BIG craws etc etc )
.

Truly an outdoor Science class :)

A boardwalk has been built over Seagrass lagoon. Some time back, the authorities were concerned that the visitors were stomping on the eco-system and maybe picking up too many Starfish souvenirs. We need to remind our readers that Naked Hermit Crab’s free-walk does not include walking on the mud-banks during low-tide.

10 years ago, on one of our dating trips, Mummy and Daddy saw the rich pickings during low tide. It is an amazing experience to touch the marine creatures, but this will be a strict No-No from the green conservationists.

Even though our feet is dry on the boardwalk, the kids have sufficient distractions to tick their curiosity. Even the frequent aeroplanes flying overhead kept us guessing "AirAsia, Sia" etc.

Weather was kind to us, allowing us to complete our two hour trekking with relax pacing.

Here are our friendly guides, Ley Kun and Ria. On the boardwalk, we were told the Pulai tree (one of Ubin's tallest tree) need to be grounded to prevent damage from lighting.

Even the rubbish does not skip the kids' attention, poor fowl rummaging among the rubbish.

Kids are always looking out for more flora and fauna

This is the hornbill's nest, and we understand Mummy and baby hornbill are nesting inside,
while papa has gone to look for worms.


End of the tour, we went to an old English cottage, "Chek Jawa Visitor Centre".

Kids are encouraged to pen and draw their experience :)

.. while adults went to one shady corner to chit chat. Daddy Barry invites us to the real mud-walk in June :)

Wild Boar came to bid us goodbye.

Lunch at one of the island’s coffeeshop, there are at least five to choose from. We follow our guides and order the delicious calamari ($15).

After lunch, it is time to say good bye to our Pulau Ubin. Hopefully, Kids will be able to come back for more activities soon (example cycling, visit the scenic quarry, or even walk on the wetlands !)


Photo credit from Bpdg and Bee Hong.
Links :
- Wild Shores of Singapore post
- Heng family Ubin experience
- More photos at SengkangBabies FanPage


SengkangBabies would like to thanks Naked Hermit Crab and our friendly guides (Ria and Ley Kun) for sharing Pulau Ubin’s rich flora and fauna knowledge with us . We hope there will be minimum development on this island, to keep everything as rustic as possible.

Quick, go and register your family for the next Chek Jawa trip here --> http://nakedhermitcrabs.blogspot.com/


. **updated 2013Jan - we went for a Wetland tour on Chek Jawa. FUN !

6 comments:

  1. Great photos and coverage!!! =D

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks Klessis, bring jBabies there, but becareful the commando mosquitoes !

    ReplyDelete
  3. Happy Family!! :)
    My blog:http://ofairyo.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  4. thanks Fairy, you change your blog ?

    ReplyDelete
  5. We are going Pulau Ubin next Sat and super excited! It's the first time there, any tips for us? :) I'm kinda worried about the mozzies...heard v vicious, is it true?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Angeline,

    for the kids, the experience starts from the bumboat, the van :)
    Climb the tower (you can feel the stairs wobble a little bit), but the view from the top is worth it !

    Mosquitos on boardwalk behind the tower is most vicious, this is also the place where kids play who-spot-crab\mudskipper first haha.

    There are quite a few hornbills now, majestic yellow.

    End the trip with the friendly (but still wild) wildboar, no feeding, then enjoy some rustic environment while yo uenjoy a simple fare of bee hoon or fried rice.

    Very relaxing to eat and see the cyclists popping by.

    ** The best itinerary could be the one when you go walking on the sea bed (lowtide)

    cheers,
    andy

    ReplyDelete

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