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Wandering through Chek Jawa Wetlands


Chek Jawa Wetlands, Pulau Ubin

So here I am with my Panda (WWF) family. We went on a guided tour of the Chek Jawa Wetlands on 14th Dec, 2016. First let me hit you up with some deets on how to get to Chek Jawa.

The wetlands are on the island of Pulau Ubin. The island is reachable by bumboat (this is it's actual name) which you take from Changi Ferry Point Terminal. We were lucky enough to have a bus drop us off there but if you're coming in smaller groups you can take bus 35 from Tanah Merah Station. Bumboats don't have a schedule - they run from sunrise to sunset. Each boat takes 12 people and leaves once fully occupied. The trip costs $3 - pretty cheap for a "getaway".


Before the trip we attended a workshop on Sustainable Seafood - FYI one of Singapore's biggest environmental issues! Personally, I think all sea creatures are gross AF. They're some of the earth's ugliest beings - they either have too many legs or too few, have tentacles and suckers and pincers and other gross appendages. So obviously I've never consumed them (also, guys, Nemo. Fish are friends not food, remember?). Anywho, so I learned a lot about sustainable seafood! Eg did you know that seafood bought at supermarkets will be certified with either the MSC or ASC labels if they're sustainably acquired? Whaaaa? Yeah, start buying smart people. Save the oceans!


Why am I such a big propagator for these creatures if I think they're disgusting? Because, deep down, I'm mortally terrified of them. Crabs, lobsters, and most crustaceans... eugh. Also, I wouldn't want to mess with the home of the Loch Ness Monster + 112897329 other creatures whose existence we don't even know of yet?!?! IT'S AN ABYSS OF MONSTERS. Yknow? But also, balance of nature etc etc. We can't keep taking!


Moving on..

 
Rock oysters

Example of creepy - these are rock oysters. Looks like a diseased rock, you say? I agree 100%. Reminds me of the crew on the Flying Dutchman. And I do not want to go near those guys...

 
Panorama of Chek Jawa Wetlands

This is a pano of the wetlands taken from the boardwalk during a period of low tide. I saw a bunch of crabs (yay me) and a some mudskippers (yay me, again) BUT I did spot a monitor lizard too!! But grossness aside, this place is pretty sick (ha ha ha, see what I did there?). NParks arranges guided tours for you to be able to walk in the mud for a real first hand look at the creatures that inhabit Chek Jawa. The boardwalk is about 2km long so it's a short walk.

 
Panorama of mangroves and wetlands

Here's another pano taken from the viewing tower as you enter the wetlands (note: many many stairs must be climbed). On the left are the mangroves and on the right are the wetlands leading to the sea.

Fun fact #1: The sounds you here when entering the wetlands are from cicadas, not crickets. (according to our guide!) They're mating calls and if they sound frantic to you, it's because they are! Cicadas have an adult/reproductive life span of only 5 weeks so the males are desperately calling out to the females.

Fun fact #2: You'll notice some leaves with a "drip tip" - they're made this way so rainwater can run off them, making sure no algae form on the surface of the leaves, which would otherwise kill them.

Not-so-fun-fact #1: You'll notice signs of a Muslim Cemetery and some stone heads. Our guide told us that the small stone heads represent babies who were either stillborn or those who died young because of limited access to medical help on the island :(

 

So all-in-all, this was a pretty educational trip! For more on Pulau Ubin check out NParks' site.

For more info on sustainable seafood check out WWF SG.

Ickiest,

Niharika

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