Public Education Visit to Chek Jawa, Pulau Ubin, 19th and 20th Oct 2001, 5-7pm


Summary - Introduction - The dates, time & tide
What your guides will do for you - What you have to do - How to get there
Guide assisted, not guided - Suggestions of what to bring and wear


The Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research (RMBR) and friends are conducting two days of guide-assisted educational visits to Chek Jawa. Guides in bright orange caps will help the public in their discovery of marine life at Chek Jawa on Fri 19th and Sat 20th Oct: 5pm - 7pm. All are welcome on these walks which are suitable for children.

If you do wish join us, please
email me and provide these details:
1. Name
2. Number of people in group
3. Date (Fri 19th or Sat 20th)
4. Expected time of arrival

We will advise the boat and van operators of expected numbers.
Please read the details below if you are coming. See you there!

The inter-tidal areas of Chek Jawa are a unique host to a variety of habitats: mangrove, rocky shore, beach, sand and mud flats, sea grass beds, sand banks and coral rubble. In light of the impending reclaimation of Chek Jawa, the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research (RMBR) conducted
salvage collection trips between May - Aug 2001. The invertebrate, fish, algae and plant life set against the unique ambience of the place has revealed an interesting diversity of invertebrate, fish, algae and plant life, some of which, though relatively rare in Singapore, are common at Chek Jawa - carpet anemones, sand dollars, sea stars, and a variety of sponges. For a quick preview.

In light of the uniqueness of the habitat, the biodiversity, the few tide-suitable days left and the desire to share the beauty of Chek Jawa with the public, the Raffles Museum and friends organised a pair of semi-guided trips during two days in
September. See also Postcards from Chek Jawa: for thoughts and images of those who joined these trips.

The trips were a considerable success, and the walks are suitable for children and layman alike. Time and tide allows a repeat of the exercise, possibly the last, this October. This series also marks the first of a series of public education guide-assisted walks that will be conducted by the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research & friends as part of the new education programme of the museum. Look forward to more trips in 2002!

The dates, time & tide
Dates of visits
Friday 19th October: 5pm - 7pm
Saturday 20th October: 5pm - 7pm

The tides
Fri 19 Oct tides 4pm: 1.4m, 5pm: 0.7m, 6pm: 0.3m, 7pm: 0.3m, 8pm: 0.5m, 9pm: 1m
Sat 20 Oct tides 4pm: 1.7m, 5pm: 1.1m, 6pm: 0.5m, 7pm: 0.2m, 8pm: 0.3m, 9pm: 0.6m

Refer to these tidal heights and check
the map for what you are likely to see at various tide levels.

What your guides will do
Guides familiar with marine life will be stationed around the shore in the various habitats to help point out some of the interesting organisms and try to tell you some stories! Markers will indicate where these stations are, and the guides will be wearing bright orange caps for you to identify them. These guides are mainly staff and volunteers from the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research at the National University of Singapore and postgraduates and undergraduates from the Department of Biological Sciences, The National University of Singapore.

What you have to do: 3 things

1. Please email me and inform me of:


1. Name
2. Number of people in group
3. Date (Fri 19th or Sat 20th)
4. Expected time of arrival at Changi jetty



We will advise the boat and van operators accordingly.

2. Reach Chek Jawa yourself and at least by 4.45pm. You can, of course, come earlier and look at the plants including the Nypa forest and enjoy the ambienbce at the beach. Bottlenecks may occur, especially on Saturday.

Plan to be at Changi jetty by 3.30pm latest. It will take you about 45 minutes in total from Changi to Chek Jawa. We will advise the bum boat operators and van drivers to expect large numbers.

How to get to Chek Jawa:

  • Take a bumboat from Changi Jetty - the jetty is near the Changi Village Hawker Centre. The bumboats will take you to Ubin Jetty. Cost: $2/person. Maximum 12 passengers. Just join the queue and the boats will leave when they have 12 persons. If there are less than 12 persons, you might have to wait a little while until enough people turn up.
  • Take a van from Ubin jetty - walk to the inland end of Ubin jetty, to the road, and look for vans and land rovers. They will all have "PU" license plates these days! Just tell the driver "Chek Jawa" and he will do the rest. Again, they might wait for enough people to fill the van. Cost of 1-way van trip to Chek Jawa: $2 per person.
  • From the drop-off/pick-up point, walk to the Chek Jawa shore - it is a 3-minute walk. Take the fork to your left, which slopes steeply down-hill. Follow the path to reach the beach. To the right of the sign "Welcome to Chek Jawa" is a broken down jetty, follow it down to the beach and go to your right towards the big rocks. At this point, you should see the guides and other participants. The fork to the right takes you to House No. 1, a disused house. This is NOT the meeting point.
  • Here is a
    brief view of the road to Chek Jawa.
  • Look for your guides wearing orange caps - just head out towards them or explore the coast yourself. The inter-tidal area you visit will be a little soggy, but you will not sink beyond your ankles. Most of you will keep to the sandbanks and hardly sink! So it will be suitable for very young children as well.
  • The same route gets you back to Changi! Van drivers will be eagerly waiting for you.

3. Take nothing but photographs and leave nothing but footprints

Resources for the curious
We may not have enough guides to personally guide everyone, so to assist you in the process of discovery, we do recommend you use the following:
1. The
guidesheets on flora and fauna you are likely to see on Chek Jawa.
2. The Chek Jawa
quick tours and galleries. There have been updates to the Quick Tour and a new section on rare plants in Chek Jawa our threatened heritage.
3. "A guide to Seashore life" by Leo WH Tan & Peter Ng. Published by the Singapore Science Centre. 160pp. ISBN: 981-00-0254-8. Cost $5.15. Available at leading bookstores.

You can of course just enjoy the ambience!

Suggestions of what to bring and wear
Your own water, at least one litre!
Wear booties, or closed shoes with laces and hard soles.
Bring a spare change of clothes, or at least a t-shirt.
Be prepared for wet weather - never know when it rains.
Bring a haversack for your valuables and water.
You will be comfortable walking around in shorts and t-shirts.
You will need a torch after 7pm.
There are two wells nearby to wash up.

See you there!


N. Sivasothi
Research Officer
Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research
The National University of Singapore