Chek Jawa Wetlands
A 15-minute bumboat journey and 3KM bike or van ride away from our mainland is Chek Jawa on Pulau Ubin. Inaccessible? Sure, but in 2021, that’s a good thing.
Heading out to the obscure nooks of Singapore is one of the easiest ways to bluff yourself that you’re overseas. And if that’s what you need to feel all relaxed and ready to face the next work week, look no further than what’s possibly Singapore’s “best boardwalk trail”.
Trails winding through six habitats
While there are a handful of boardwalks much closer to us, Chek Jawa is perhaps the mother of them all. Located on the eastern end of Pulau Ubin, it takes visitors through one of Singapore’s richest ecosystems, filled with all kinds of plants and animals across six different habitats: sandy beach, rocky beach, coral rubble, seagrass lagoon, coastal forest and mangroves.
Two boardwalk trails wind through teeming biodiversity, providing the opportunity to get up close and personal with nature without getting those white Stan Smiths muddy. Start with the Mangrove Loop (500M) to explore the swampy area of the forest, filled with mud crabs, mudskippers and all those aerial roots you learnt about in Geography class.
This loop connects directly to the Coastal Loop (600M) that brings visitors through a scenic boardwalk that lies close to the water surface during high tide. Spot Changi in the distance, and listen to the relaxing sound of waves washing onto the shore. Pontoons and shelters are available as a rest stop, where you can rehydrate on a hot day.
For a more intimate experience with nature, there are regular intertidal trails held by NParks that bring visitors down to the flats every few months.
Climb up a 7-storey-high bird watching tower for great views
Birdwatcher or not, you’ll want to work your way up the seven-storey-high Jejawi Tower for panoramic views. Look out for soaring hornbills, kingfishers and swallows, or soak in the views of the sea stretching out far into the distance from your 20M-high perch.
Image credit: @tifffhung
Fun fact: Jejawi Tower is named after the native Malayan Banyan tree that grows next to the tower.
Enter a 1930s cottage with a jetty out back
With the cottagecore aesthetic being all the rage now, don’t miss popping by House No.1, a rustic Tudor-style cottage built way back in the 1930s by Landon Williams, a British chief surveyor.
A vacation-home-turned-visitor-centre, the house is now filled with information boards showing the history of its architecture, as well as factual nuggets about the rest of Chek Jawa. Marvel at the historical structure that’s been around for around 80 years before heading out to its jetty right out the back.
The extensive jetty stretches out into the sea, and while it’s no longer in use, it’s a great place to take a breather and daydream about being at a far flung holiday destination.
Take a trip to Pualu Ubin’s Chek Jawa Wetlands
We love Chek Jawa for its rustic charm and untainted nature. If you’re in Pulau Ubin, don’t just stay close to the main jetty – take a 3KM bike, walk or van ride ($2) to Chek Jawa to experience its gorgeous wetlands.
There’re plenty of other things to do in the area as well – so follow our guide to Pulau Ubin to prepare for a full-day’s worth of itinerary on the island. Aspiring Bear Grylls can also sign up for a ruggard bushcraft experience to test your survival skills.
Chek Jawa Wetlands
Address: Chek Jawa Trail, Pulau Ubin, Singapore
Opening hours: 9AM-5PM, Daily
Getting there: Take a 15-minute bumboat ride from Changi Ferry Terminal ($4/person). Once you reach Pulau Ubin jetty, walk, cycle or take a van to Chek Jawa, located 3KM away.
For more boardwalks in Singapore:
Cover image credit: TheSmartLocal