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  On-line Guide to Chek Jawa
guides of chek jawa


My first time on Chek Jawa? It was a magical predawn visit. In my feeble torchlight were wondrous creatures I previously saw only in books. At dawn, the full awesome splendor and immense size of the flats were revelead. Then I discovered Chek Jawa was to be reclaimed in 6 months' time.

Many visits quickly followed. I attempted to share the magic with others through my first website about Chek Jawa.

To me, however, a visit to Chek Jawa is more than just discovering plants and animals. Chek Jawa attracts special people. On every visit, I almost never fail to make a new friend or share good times with old friends.

Why I want to guide at Chek Jawa? Chek Jawa belongs to every Singaporean. It is almost sinful to enjoy such a surreal place all alone. Shortly after my first visit in mid-2001, I felt compelled to share Chek Jawa with as many people as possible before it was lost to reclamation.

I simply became a self-appointed Chek Jawa guide, and guided whoever was already at Chek Jawa or brought groups who wanted to go. I even forced a few people who didn't want to go. It quickly became an obsession. When Chek Jawa guiding was organised, it was natural that I would continue as a guide.

What do I hope to achieve as guide on Chek Jawa? While the need to share Chek Jawa is no longer as desperate as it was before deferment of reclamation; we still only have a few years before deferment is up.

Guides are vital to help introduce this wonderful place to as many people as possible. A knowledgeable guide helps visitors see more and better understand Chek Jawa. There are many special creatures and interesting relationships that I myself did not realise until after many visits. For example, did you know there are tiny transparent shrimps that live on the giant carpet anemones?

Guides also help visitors interact with nature without endangering themselves or Chek Jawa. The unaware can easily damage Chek Jawa.

As suitably low spring tides last only for a short time, guides help make the most out of limited time to see the best that Chek Jawa has to offer.

What I enjoy about guiding on Chek Jawa? Chek Jawa touches everyone. Even the most hardened urbanite eventually succumbs under its spell. For some, it is the vast expanse of sky, sea and sand: a rare experience in Singapore. For others, the amazing profusion of life, great and small, that is revealed at every step. A world not often revealed to non-divers, and one that does not require an expensive plane ticket to visit.

It is a joy to watch the child in each visitor emerge on Chek Jawa, exploring a gentle wilderness, eyes opening to natural mysteries. What I enjoy even more than guiding is helping to develop new guides.

And it never gets boring! There is always a new discovery, often pointed out by a sharp-eyed visitor. New questions fire the quest for deeper understanding. And new friends to make, new ideas to exchange.

You can make
a difference!

Volunteer for
Chek Jawa
More details


a companion website to the chek jawa guidebook
website©ria tan 2003 www.wildsingapore.com