death by paper cut











{March 25, 2012}   coasting at pulau ubin

chek jawa is important because of its rich biodiversity at the intertidal zones and significant because of the momentous decision to defer its destruction reclamation in 2001 due to overwhelming public support to conserve it. this deferment should not be assumed to be permanent, so visitors should not take it for granted that it will always be there or that enough is known about it already.

i have visited portions of chek jawa over time, but it was only last week that i had the opportunity to leisurely bask in its green grandeur along the whole stretch of the boardwalk.

Chek Jawa Wetlands 1

this was also the first time that i got to chek jawa very comfortably in a van. van hire (with their drivers) are available at the main jetty. a two way trip to chek jawa costs us $24, which was not too bad because there were 6 of us. of course if you can gather a larger number of people, the cost per person will be cheaper. then again, i had no problem contributing to the local economy of pulau ubin in any case.

Chek Jawa Wetlands 20 - Coastal Boardwalk Chek Jawa Wetlands 23 - Coastal Boardwalk

Chek Jawa Wetlands 28 - Coastal Boardwalk Chek Jawa Wetlands 29 - Coastal Boardwalk

it was opportune that our visit to chek jawa took place at low tide on a very cool day with sufficient cloud cover to keep the heat at bay. being a weekday, albeit the march school holidays, we also did not have to contend with the hoards of visitors. i believe this was a contributing reason why we managed to spot a number of wild life along the way.

tree climbing crab

Chek Jawa Wetlands 18 - Coastal Boardwalk

Chek Jawa Wetlands 17 - Coastal Boardwalk

fiddler crabs

Chek Jawa Wetlands 26 - Coastal Boardwalk

oriental pied-hornbill

Chek Jawa Wetlands 43 - Hornbill Sighting Chek Jawa Wetlands 44 - Hornbill Sighting

wild boars (which are rather used to urban people, but should not be approached nonetheless)

Chek Jawa Wetlands 47 - Wild Boars

a species of lizard (not spotted at chek jawa but at the sensory trail)

Pulau Ubin 30 - Sensory Trail

towards the end of the loop, was the quaint visitor centre (aka house no. 1) and the viewing jetty.

Chek Jawa Wetlands 49 - Chek Jawa Visitor Centre

Chek Jawa Wetlands 56 - Chek Jawa Visitor Centre Chek Jawa Wetlands 50 - Chek Jawa Visitor Centre

Chek Jawa Wetlands 53 - Chek Jawa Visitor Centre

although it is common knowledge that bumboats are the usual way to get to and from pulau ubin from changi point ferry terminal, i am still fascinated by its rustic system in the uber orderly way of life in singapore, and that it is allowed to survive till this day – there is no fixed timing for the departure of the bumboats that do not disembark until 12 passengers congregate, the boatman collects $2.50 (sometimes $3) from each passenger without issuing a ticket and the ride is often characterised by the ruptuous roar of the engine and choppy currents. this juxtaposition to how clinically systematic singapore is, is as far a throwback to more bucolic times as it can get and i hope that the bumboats will continue to be the modus operandi of pulau ubin’s ferry services. this is because the boatmen represent to me, the independence of the business owner and his resistance to be corporatised into a pte ltd. not being able to ascertain for sure when the next boat leaves reminds the city slicker that he has to go with the flow and that visiting a place like pulau ubin cannot be rushed or timed.

Departing from Ubin 5 Departing from Ubin 4

Departing from Ubin 1 Departing from Ubin 3

and if you’re already in the mood to kick back further after arriving back at the mainland of singapore. a short distance towards 200 netheravon road from the changi point ferry terminal is the coastal settlement.

the coastal settlement is housed on a fairly large area with cozy indoor and lush outdoor seating. the deco is vintage themed and very thoughtfully curated from retro window panes to a full automobile. also noteworthy is the attentive and prompt service.

we didn’t try more than a dessert and coffee at the coastal settlement because we already had lunch at pulau ubin, but what i had i really liked. the menu seemed to have quite a wide variety with mouth-watering descriptions. the only draw back to this place is its inaccessibility without your own car, but then again, being far from the madding crowd is charm in itself.

The Coastal Settlement 4 The Coastal Settlement 6

The Coastal Settlement 3 The Coastal Settlement 7

The Coastal Settlement 13 The Coastal Settlement 8

The Coastal Settlement 14 The Coastal Settlement 11

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