Visit 100 hectares of Singapore wetlands jewel, Chek Jawa (Java). Located just off the main coast of Singapore on the island of Pulau Ubin, Chek Jawa is a treasure trove of coral reefs, beach creatures and mangroves. Visitors will delight in the area’s enthralling natural surroundings and its host of intriguing animal residents!
Discovery and History
The unique ecosystem and natural surroundings of Chek Jawa were only first discovered in the early 2000’s, after an ecological tour group stumbled upon the area. Since then, the National Parks Board of Singapore has taken over management of the beach to ensure that the exceptional natural surroundings and wildlife are protected.
Six Distinctive Habitats
Chek Jawa is an extremely important natural beach, home to six different ecosystems. The coastal forest and mangroves sit inland from the water, housing dozens of unique animals and plants. A rocky shore juts up to the peaceful seagrass lagoon, hemmed in and protected by multiple sandbars. Colorful coral reefs inside the lagoon provide dwellings to the thousands of marine species that live there.
Flora and Fauna
With six vibrant ecosystems placed in one distinct area, Chek Jawa features a lot of interesting plant and animal life. Walking along the rocky shores of the beach, you are bound to discover crabs, shrimp, barnacles and all types of shellfish. Living within the lagoon are dozens of species of fish, such as Pipefish, Mudskippers and Sea Horses. The mangroves and forests, meanwhile, play host to unique birds like the brightly colored Collared Kingfisher and the Straw Headed Bulbul. Carnivorous Monitor Lizards and many other animals also live within the forested habitats of Chek Jawa.
Access to Chek Jawa
Since taking over management of the park, the Singapore National Parks Service has constructed several boardwalks and walkways that allow visitors to access the natural habitats while minimizing visitors’ impact on the environment. A viewing jetty allows tourists to get a closer look at the marine wildlife on display in the lagoon, and a seven story tower called the Jejawi Tower affords visitors a view over the tops of the forest canopies, where many birds nest and fly. The newly built visitors’ center offers information and guided walking tours of the interior of Chek Jawa.
Chek Jawa is located on Pulau Ubin, a small island off of Singapore’s northeast coast. Admission is free but it is wise to book ahead, as spaces are limited and many visitors wish to admire Chek Jawa’s natural beauty, especially at low tide when most of the marine life is prominently visible. Ferries (SGD 2) to Pulau Ubin depart from Singapore’s Changi Point Ferry (Tanah Merah MRT station) between 6am and 8pm.
Whether you’re an avid ecotourist or a sightseer just interested in getting up close to some creepy crawly creatures, Chek Jawa is sure to have something to fascinate you. A visit to Chek Jawa affords the once in a lifetime chance to experience the truly natural environments that are becoming so scarce around the globe.
Chek Jawa @ Pulau Ubin Map
Explore seagrasses in Chek Jawa with TeamSeaGrass
Chek Jawa is for nature enthusiastic and also for seagrass lovers. Seagrass is the only family of plant which grow in the sea. Check out the tour dates on TeamSeaGrass blog to see if you can be part of the tour. Also visit trip preparations and FAQ’s page for the useful tour information on their blog.