Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Chek Jawa


Located at the eastern end of Pulau Ubin, Chek Jawa is one of Singapore’s richest nature sites, supporting six major habitats in a small area. A coastal forest, mangroves, rocky shore, sandy shore and sand banks, seagrass lagoon, and coral rubble comprise the habitats.  Along the boardwalk, Nipah Palms (Nypa fruticans), Mud Lobster (Thalassina anomala) mounds, and mudskippers are commonly seen. Marine life in the intertidal flat include Noble Volutes (Cymbiola nobilis), Sandfish Sea Cucumbers (Holothuria scabra), and Mangrove Horseshoe Crabs (Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda).

Chek Jawa had been earmarked for land reclamation in 1992, but was granted a reprieve in December 2001 when appeals to save the site poured in from the general public and nature community. The widespread interest in Chek Jawa was generated from large scale public walks organised in late 2001, in a final attempt to showcase her beauty before reclamation works began. Prior to 2001, Chek Jawa was unknown and had not been explored.

Facilities at Chek Jawa, open daily from 8.30 am to 6.00 pm, include a 1.1 km boardwalk through the coastal and mangrove forests, the 21-m Jejawi Tower, and a visitor centre at House No. 1. Two nature groups lead walks in Chek Jawa: the National Parks Board (intertidal walks), and the Naked Hermit Crabs (boardwalk trips).

Getting there

Visitors to Chek Jawa first have to make their way to Pulau Ubin by taking a bumboat from Changi Point Ferry Terminal ($2.50 per person, one way; bicycles attract an added charge). These seat 12 people and operate from dawn to dusk. Trips after dark are by special request with the operators.

Once on the island, visitors may choose to walk, cycle or hire a ride to Chek Jawa. Numerous shops near the Ubin jetty offer bicycle rental. Directions may be obtained from the Ubin NParks Information Kiosk located opposite the jetty. Those hiring rides should look out for the drivers who usually wait by their vans, close to the jetty. The fee, negotiated at the start, depends on the journey (i.e. destination; one- or two-way). All vehicles, including bicycles, can only go as far as Punai Hut. Walking is required for the remaining distance to the Chek Jawa Information Kiosk.

Other Resources

Adventures with the Naked Hermit Crabs. http://nakedhermitcrabs.blogspot.com/. (Accessed August 2011).

Chek Jawa. National University of Singapore. http://chekjawa.nus.edu.sg/. (Accessed August 2011).

National Parks Board. Chek Jawahttp://www.nparks.gov.sg/cms/index.php?option=com_visitorsguide&task=attractions&id=78&Itemid=73. (Accessed August 2011).

Tan, R. Chek Jawahttp://www.wildsingapore.com/places/cj.htm. (Accessed August 2011).

Wee, Y.C. & R. Hale, 2008. The Nature Society (Singapore) and the struggle to conserve Singapore’s nature areas. Nature in Singapore 1: 41-49.

Yeo, R. K. H. The Tide Chaserhttp://tidechaser.blogspot.com/search/label/Chek%20Jawa. (Accessed August 2011).

Wikipedia. Nature Society (Singapore). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nature_Society_Singapore (Accessed May 2012).


Chua, E. K., 2002. Chek Jawa: Discovering Singapore's Biodiversity. Simply Green, Singapore. 115 pp.

Ng, P. K. L., H. T. W. Tan & K. K. P. Lim, 2011. Chek Jawa. P. 73. In: Ng, P. K. L., R. T. Corlett & H. T. W. Tan (editors), Singapore Biodiversity. An Encyclopedia of the Natural Environment and Sustainable Development, Editions Didier Millet, Singapore, 552 pp.

Tan, R. & A. Yeo, 2003. Chek Jawa Guidebook. Simply Green, Singapore. 224 pp. Out of print.

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