SINGAPORE. Pulao Ubin, Chek Jawa Wetlands. While planning my trip to the enchanting natural abode in Singapore, Pulao Ubin, I had pin-pointed the main attraction on the island, Chek Jawa, a beautiful natural reserve spanning 100 acres of intertidal flat wetlands in Singapore, teeming with wildlife and mangrove vegetation. This was certainly going to be my most enchanting encounter with the live ecosystem.
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After thoroughly refreshing encounters with lovely butterflies, birds, reptiles, and exotic flora on the island during my first trip, I came back and finally was standing at the entrance of Chek Jawa, the Visitor Centre, which is also known as, House No 1, built in the 1930s and restored to its present Tudor style in 2003. The ground level of the house has informative displays about the Chek Jawa Wetlands.
Chek Jawa was a coral reef area some 5000 years ago, and today too it is virtually unspoiled. You can enjoy the gorgeous sea views along with the mangrove swamp at the end of the boardwalk.
Chek Jawa Wetland is a mixture of 6 different habitats and a rich ecosystem, rich in marine biodiversity with over 500 species of marine creatures. This wetland also comprises of two mangrove trees, which are listed in the Heritage Tree Register of Singapore.
The best way to explore Chek Jawa Wetlands is to go on the manmade walkways through and around the wetland area. There were two routes; 600m Coastal Loop and the 500m Mangrove Loop, altogether a 1.1 km loop that offers splendid experiences of the rustic island. The educational panels along the way help visitors identify a few flora and fauna and learn a few fun facts.
Time flies just like the airplanes leaving Changi airport visible from the island. You keep moving with the mangroves admiring the beauty of nature and finally come to the Jejawi Tower, named after the Malayan Banyan tree (Jejawi). The 20 m high tower is impressive and the circular staircase brings you to the top for a breathtaking wraparound panoramic view of the island’s lush green cover along with Johor River and islands. You can also see Singapore airport with its tower blocks, cranes, and air-traffic control tower and then say bye to this fascinating example of Singapore’s richest ecosystems, and return to the sparkling, man-made modernity of the Lion City.