Saturday, December 26, 2009

Fiddler crabs and madcap mudskippers at Chek Jawa

Ria and I had a fabulous outing with lots of families and pals at the Chek Jawa Boardwalk today. It is the Christmas weekend, and there is no better way than to spend a lovely morning enjoying the beauty of a natural inter-tidal area in Singapore. There were about 25 people who came for our nature walk today.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Trip to Chek Jawa Boardwalk on Boxing Day

The last nature walk for 2009 at Chek Jawa Boardwalk with the Naked Hermit Crabs will be on Boxing Day.

Come on down and join us. Let the kids go wild on nature during the school holidays. It is a lot of fun for the family and we can help you sneak in a story or two about the plant and animal biodiversity on our precious island.

Oh.... adult groups are welcome too! We have not forgotten about you.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Kids, Drawings and Chek Jawa

Here are the drawings done by the lovely bunch of kids who came to our Chek Jawa walk with their parents last Saturday. THEY ARE GOOD ARTISTS!

Do examine the pictures. They give you an insight to what the kids are thinking about after spending 2 hours with us exploring the mangroves.

Jabez (age: 9) was almost shouting when he wrote in block letters, "HELP THE SNAKES! or else!". You know what, he is right! Snakes have a place in our eco-systems too.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Teach the young ones

We had a most wonderful trip out to Chek Jawa Boardwalk with several enthusiastic families this morning.

We decided to hold our trip in the morning so as to avoid the holiday makers that descend on Ubin during a long holiday weekend. We were glad that we did as we practically had Chek Jawa to ourselves before the crowds started to arrive in the late morning.

See these happy faces? The kids had a great time bonding with nature with their parents. In the process, they learnt a lot about life in a mangrove, how the animals behave and the kind of habitats they live in.

We are glad that although we live in a highly urbanised city, many of our Singapore parents continue to impart a love (and respect)) for nature to their children. One of the mothers said to me, we are "stewards of the earth that is created for us".

Let's read what they saw during their trip to Chek Jawa.....

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Saturday 28-Nov. Note: a change of timing

Our last Saturday nature walk at Chek Jawa Boardwalk is ON! It is next Saturday, 28th November.

Please sign up with us quickly. Write to We have limited places.

As our upcoming walk falls smack in the middle of the long Hari Raya Haji weekend, we are expecting huge crowds to descend upon Pulau Ubin. So, the Crabs have decided to change the timing of our walk from 3 pm to to 9 am. This new timing allows us to avoid the crowds going to Ubin as well as returning home. We also think the 9 am timing is perfect for the year-end monsoon season as you may have noticed that the storms in recent days happen in the afternoon.

Let me give you the final details of the walk ....

Chek Jawa Boardwalk with Yishun Student Care Services

It was a fine and sunny Saturday morning where the Naked Hermit Crabs had the pleasure of sharing the beauty of Chek Jawa with the families from Yishun Student Care Services. We were accompanied with many NIE friends who were around to help facilitate the walk. :-)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Cool day for nature trip to Chek Jawa Boardwalk

It has been raining like crazy for the last couple of days, and the weather threatened to spoil our Last Saturday nature walk at Chek Jawa Boardwalk. But someone must have been praying, the weather turned out to be PERFECT for a trip to the great outdoors. And everyone was happy to be out enjoy the beautiful natural vistas.
One of the ladies in my group remarked that an outing like this beats shopping in Orchard Road on a Saturday afternoon. "Aye-aye" to that!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Next trip to Chek Jawa Boardwalk - 31 Oct 2009 (Saturday)

The Crabs would like to invite you to join us for a free tour of Chek Jawa Boardwalk on 31st October 2009 (Saturday). Come and explore the mangroves and coastal areas of Chek Jawa. There is no need to get your feet wet. The Crabs should be able to show you plenty of interesting animals and plants from the boardwalk.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Another fabulous day out on the Chek Jawa boardwalk

It was a sunny but breezy day and the Naked Hermit Crabs were delighted to share it with some 30 new friends! Even before we began, Ivan saw several wild boars near the trails!
It's a bit of a climb up the wobbly Jejawi Tower but we are rewarded with a great view of the surrounding mangroves and forest. And on the blue horizon, Pulau Tekong. We could barely make out the hills of Johor through the hazy day.

Guestbook drawings - 26 September 09

Here are the wonderful art pieces from our September guided walk. It was lovely to be able to showcase their interest, appreciation and reflection about Chek Jawa.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Chek Jawa Boardwalk - 26-September-09 Saturday

Hello everyone! We are back for our usual last-Saturday-of-the-month guided tour, and we’d like you to join us!

Here are the details:

Dates: 26 September 2009, Saturday
Time: 3 pm
Meeting place: Chek Jawa Information Kiosk
Your group size: not more than 5

Write to nakedhermitcrabs at with the title “Sign up for Chek Jawa Boardwalk Tour September” and we will confirm your places for you. We accept walk-ins too! As always, we ask that you come in small family and friend groups of not more than 5. Please don't organise an extended family group or a company outing. The Naked Hermit Crabs are, er.... small and vulnerable. We confess.... we will get overwhelmed by large groups.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

International Coastal Cleanup at Chek Jawa (12-Sep)

One of our Crabs, Anuj, led a team of 35 volunteers to clean up a section of Chek Jawa (South) on 12 Sep 2009 (Saturday). These volunteers come from all walks of life and they have independently signed up with ICCS to volunteer their services for the day. Many of them have volunteered for a few years already. Admirable! There must be something special about coastal cleanups that make them come back year after year.

Besides the 'independents', there were many other organisations involved in the cleanup of the entire Chek Jawa stretch, including AVA, LTA, St Nicholas Sec. School, Pei Hwa Sec. School, Advantest and Gemalto.

According to the data collected at Chek Jawa on 12 Sep 2009, there were 325 people involved in the event and they collected 2.786 tonnes of trash. That is about 8.5 kilogram of trash collected by each person!

The International Coastal Cleanup, Singapore, is now in its 18th year of battling marine trash in Singapore. A big part of the cleanup is actually about the collection of data about the trash itself. By collating data, scientists, government agencies, corporations and NGOs gain a better idea of what constitute our trash and what harm the coastal environment, and hopefully formulate better laws and strategies to fight marine pollution.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Chek Jawa - peaceful, untouched, a retreat from the daily stresses of life

The Crabs were out in full force yesterday. We shifted our monthly nature walk to the last Saturday of the month and it looks like we made the right decision.

We had about 45 visitors in total; 20 who registered for the walk, 5 walk-in visitors and about 20 teachers-in-training from the NIE Green Club who came to observe us in action. The weather was just what we wished for - sunny and with a lovely breeze to keep everyone happy.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Chek Jawa Boardwalk - 29-Aug-09 Saturday

Hi friends,

In case you miss our earlier announcement, we're holding our monthly Chek Jawa (Pulau Ubin) nature walk on Saturday instead of Sunday. And it is this coming Saturday, 29th August.

Date: 29 August 2009
Meeting Place : Chek Jawa Information Kiosk
Meeting Time : 3 pm
Duration : 1.5 to 2 hours
Cost : still free for now
Group Size : not more than 6

Friday, August 14, 2009

Chek Jawa - Last Saturday of every month

The Naked Hermit Crabs are making a BIG change to their Chek Jawa Boardwalk nature trips. Instead of holding our walks on the last Sunday of each month, we have decided to change them to the Last Saturday of the Month!

So the first Saturday walk happens this month on 29 August.

Nothing else has changed:

Meeting Place : Chek Jawa Information Kiosk
Meeting Time : 9 am (updated since 25 November 2009)
Duration : 1.5 hours
Cost : still free for now (amazing!)
Group Size : not more than 6.

Confirmed trips:
28-Nov-09 (9 am)
26-Dec-09 (9 am)

Come and join us to explore the different coastal habitats on Chek Jawa. Even though we are not going on to the shore, there is still much to see and enjoy. There are monitor lizards, fiddler crabs, spiders, rare plants, wild boars, mudskippers and lots of fruit trees. If we are lucky, we might even spot the Oriental Pied Hornbill, White-bellied Sea Eagle and the giant Atlas Moth.

What to bring: camera, binoculars, drinking water, a hat, sunblock

For additional information about Chek Jawa Boardwalk, click here ....

And how to get to Ubin and Chek Jawa ....

1) From Changi Village, take a bumboat ride to Pulau Ubin
2) At the Ubin jetty, hop into a taxi van and tell the taxi driver to take you to Chek Jawa. Give yourself about 1 hour to get from Changi Village to Chek Jawa.

Finally, drop us a line at our email address, nakedhermitcrabs at, to let us know us know that you're coming. We will give you a reply to confirm your place. However, if you have not registered with us but feel like showing up on the day itself, do come along anyway. If yours is a small group, we should be able to take you in as well.

We want to live a more spontaneous life!

Meanwhile, enjoy the rest of the photos taken at Chek Jawa....

(how rubber tapping works)

(a stick insect)

(a beautiful moth, unidentified)

(a young visitor to Chek Jawa)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Chek Jawa again!

(natural rock formation on the southern shore of Chek Jawa)

On Sunday, we had our regular monthly nature walk at Chek Jawa Boardwalk. Instead of the usual huge crowds that we used to have, we had just 5 visitors this time. We wondered if the low turnout was because we asked for pre-registration and it may have deterred many people from committing to a trip. We must think harder for a solution to our problem that oscillates between having too many visitors and then too few. It is not easy to find an equilibrium!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

YCMC-NHC Workshop cum Volunteer Experience 18 July

This year, the Naked Hermit Crabs are very honoured to be involved in the inaugural Young Change Makers Conference 2009 held on 18-19 July 2009. We were invited to conduct one of the workshops and were delighted to meet not one, but two, groups of enthusiastic youths!

During the workshop, the YCMC participants learnt more about what Naked Hermit Crabs guides do at Chek Jawa. Ivan regaled them with tales of Chek Jawa, such as its history and the unique six eco-systems present, as he presented a virtual tour of the wetlands.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Chek Jawa Boardwalk Tour Double Bonanza – 18 and 26 July 2009

Greetings everyone! You are in for a treat this July with a Chek Jawa Boardwalk tour double bonanza as we are back with not just our usual last-Sunday-of-the-month guided tour, but another one on 18 July as well!

July is an exciting month at Chek Jawa. You may even see durian trees fruiting! So come join us on one of the dates below.

Here are the details:

Dates: 18 July, Saturday and 26 July 2009, Sunday
Time: 3 pm
Meeting place: Chek Jawa Information Kiosk
Your group size: not more than 5

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Chek Jawa Boardwalk trip with the Naked Hermit Crabs

No need to get your feet wet. Come and join us at our monthly boardwalk trip to Chek Jawa

There will be lots to discover for both kids and grown-ups. Find out more about the fiddler crabs, giant mudskippers, Oriental Pied Hornbills, coastal mangrove trees, and much more.

Pre-registration is needed. Please write to and let us know how big your group is.

As always, we request that you come in small family and friend groups. We have only a couple of volunteer guides, so we can cope with a limited number of people for each trip. Thanks for your understanding!

Date: Sunday, 28 June 2009
Time: 3 pm meet at the Chek Jawa Info Kiosk
Duration: Two hours
Cost: no charge for now

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sentosa Shore Walk, 12,13 Jun09

This is the walk worth waiting for! It's time for our annual Sentosa shore walk during the June school holidays.

Dates: 12-June-09 Friday morning (full) and 13-Jun-09 Saturday morning (full)

Places are limited. Do sign up by writing to nakedhermitcrabs at with the following information:

Name of team leader: _____________
Mobile # of leader: _______________
# of people in team (max. 5): ________
# of children in team: _____________
Preferred date: 12/6 or 13/6

We will only allow children who are 6 years-old (K2) or older to join us at the Sentosa walks. The younger ones will have to wait for their turn when they grow older. This is our rule, so please respect it. The walk is not suitable for young children, toddlers and babies.

Meeting place and time?
We will inform you upon confirmation of places for your team. The walks are in the morning.

What to expect from the Sentosa shore walk?
1) Your shoes will get wet. We will be walking in ankle-high water in the inter-tidal zone. It is NOT a walk on a sandy beach.
2) It is a 1.5 to 2 hour nature walk
3) You will see lots of inter-tidal marine and plant life, including corals, crabs, fishes, seagrasses.
4) Read more about our past Sentosa shore walks and see photos to get a better idea of what to expect. Click here.

Do I have to pay for the walk?
No, you don't to pay the Crabs for the nature walks. Transitions Optical has sponsored these walks and so it is free for you. You will however have to pay for the standard entry fees into Sentosa.

Do write in soon as places run out quickly.

- the "Crabs"

Monday, June 1, 2009

Hot and Humid May

The last day of May was unrelentless in its heat and humidity. We thought it was deterrent enough for the typical air-conditioner-loving Singaporean, and so we were not sure how many people will turn up at our Chek Jawa Boardwalk trip. But we were pleasantly surprised. 45 people came!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

What we've been up to in May

Whew! What a crazy month!

During the weekend of 24-25 May, the Crabs were at the Envirofest event (at Toa Payoh Hub) together with nearly everyone else from the active nature conservation community of Singapore.

Nature lovers were out in full force to share their work with the members of the public. Doing an exhibition is as important as doing field work. It gives us a platform to reach out to the masses with our message of conservation. Saving habitats, giving a voice to the animals that we try so hard to save cannot be the work of a few individuals in a community. We have to share what we have learnt in all our field trips with ordinary folks. They may not joined us in our field trips but many are no less concerned with issues of nature conservation in Singapore. They are the ones teaching their own children, students, sharing with friends and family. Every effort counts.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Chek Jawa Boardwalk Tour - 31 May 2009

Greetings to all whom we met at Envirofest over the weekend.

The Naked Hermit Crabs will be holding their regular Chek Jawa Boardwalk tour on Sunday, 31st May 2009.

As we are expecting a HUGE turnout after our roadshow and in view that the school holidays are starting this weekend, we are requesting that you drop us an email to sign up for this walk. This will help us gauge the response and try to get more guides to come out and help.

As always, we ask that you come in small family and friend groups of not more than 6. Please don't organise an extended family group or a company outing. The Naked Hermit Crabs are, er.... small and vulnerable. We confess.... we will get overwhelmed by large groups.

Here are the details anyway:

Date: 31 May, 2009, Sunday
Time: 3 pm
Meeting place: Chek Jawa Information Kiosk
Your group size: not more than 6

Signup is needed. Write to nakedhermitcrabs at

How to get to Chek Jawa?
1) From Changi Village, take a bumboat ride to Pulau Ubin
2) At the Pulau Ubin jetty, hop into a taxi van and tell the driver to take you to Chek Jawa.

You make your way to Chek Jawa at your own expense. As for the tour, the Crabs do not charge for now.

Have a great week ahead!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Exciting April

The Crabs were back in action guiding at Chek Jawa on April 26th. This month was LK and my turn to guide. I hadn’t guided with LK since past few months so we were happy to see each other back in action. She is like my mentor who listens carefully and always answers my guiding questions.
The trip on the bumboat to Ubin started very well. I was delighted when LK treated me with pistachio chocolates that she had got from Melbourne. (Here's the insider story...LK had got Ivan and me to guide last month by bribing us with the promise of getting goodies from her Australia tour. So she had no choice). Like me, this Grey Heron perching near the Ubin jetty was also having a good time.
The guided tour was to start at 3pm. Since LK and I had reached the Information Kiosk a bit early so we decided to go on a stroll around the Kiosk area. First we checked the durian tree that is a stone’s throw away from the Kiosk. As the durian season is coming in few months time the fruits are getting conspicuous but still they are rather small. With the help of our binoculars we spotted as many as 5 young durians.
A few steps away from there, we spotted the St Andrew's Cross Spider. Hanging on an intricately weaved zigzag 3D web, the spider had folded its legs such that it resembled a cross having only 4 legs. It looked really beautiful.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Free Chek Jawa Boardwalk tour - 26-Apr Sunday

Time flies! We're having our nature walk at Chek Jawa Boardwalk this Sunday.

Date: 26 April 2009, Sunday
Time: 3 pm
Meeting place: Information Kiosk at Chek Jawa

Please come in small groups of not more than 6. We have only a couple of guides this Sunday, so we can only take about 20 visitors.

Happy Earth Day (belatedly)!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Draft Blue Plan seeks your feedback

"The Draft Blue Plan is a proposal to the Government and people of Singapore from the members and organizations that form “International Year of the Reef (IYOR) 2008 Singapore” – interested members of civil society concerned about the conservation and management of Singapore’s coral reef heritage. Contributions and advice from the leading marine biologists in Singapore have been incorporated. It was released on 23 April 2009. Members of the Public can download a copy of the Draft Blue Plan here.

Comments and suggestions from members of public are invited. You may email us at before the closing date, 14 May 2009. The Blue Plan will presented to the Government with the collated and edited comments in late May 2009.

Please note that is designed to receive emails only. While we will give every opinion/comment due consideration, due to human resource constraints, we are unable to respond to queries and may not be able to include every comment into the final Blue Plan due to editorial considerations. Please contact the Marine Conservation Organisations Listed in Annexes B & C of the Draft Blue Plan if you are keen to find out more about the wide range of activites and programmes that are being organised. We apologize for this inconvenience."

Sunday, March 29, 2009

March Mayhem

After a 2-month hiatus, we're back for the first guiding session of 2009 on the Chek Jawa boardwalk.

As announced previously, only a very small handful of guides were available this month, since most of us were busy with other matters. As such, we were a little worried about the size of the turnout, and whether the number of visitors would be too much for us to handle.

But as we made our way to Pulau Ubin, we could see that trouble was brewing in the skies above.

Oh dear.

Upon arriving at Chek Jawa, it seemed all too clear that a downpour was imminent.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

29 March, free nature walk at Chek Jawa Boardwalk

The Crabs are back in action for Chek Jawa! We are finally resuming our free walks after a two-month hiatus.

Date: 29 March 2009, Sunday
Time: 3 pm
Meeting place: Information Kiosk at Chek Jawa

Please come in small groups of not more than 6. We have only a couple of guides this Sunday, so we can only take about 20 visitors.

Usually we don't need anyone to register before the trip, but on account that we have only 2-3 guides this weekend, I suggest you drop us a line at our email address to inform us that you are coming. It might help just in case we have more visitors than we can cope with.

Have a great week ahead.

Friday, January 23, 2009

No Chek Jawa Boardwalk Tour in Jan and Feb 2009

Dear Friends,

The Naked Hermit Crabs are taking a short break from guiding this January and February. So, there is no Chek Jawa walk on 25-Jan-09 and 22-Feb-09 (last Sunday of each month).

We resume our walks in March on the 29th.

We wish everyone "Gong Xi Fa Cai" and may we continue to have our wonderful nature places to explore in Singapore.

- The Crabs