Sunday, July 08, 2007

Chek Jawa Wetlands - Launched!

070707 – If this was a date in the lunar calendar, it would have been seen as a very inauspicious date in the ghost month. However, ironically, 7 is a lucky number in Western culture, and thus on this special day, Chek Jawa Wetlands was launched.

The launching ceremony was held at House No. 1, which also just gained the status of Chek Jawa Visitor Centre.

Unfortunately, the day began with looming dark clouds.



It soon started raining, but luckily most of us came prepared with ponchos or umbrella :)



As it was raining, everyone had to find shelter, and those who couldn't squeeze into the huge tent had to find shelter at the toilet :P



Minister Mah was the Guest-of-honour of the event. And despite the rain, we went ahead with the guided walk!

This was the first time that we had a guided walk on the new boardwalk, and shucks! My performance was disastrous!

Dunno what got into me that day. Lots of kalang kabok! Probably one of my worst walks so far. Made a number of blur mistakes. Good thing Kok Sheng was tagging along, and helped sort out some of the things :P

Sigh...

Anyway, had to guide and so didn't really take many photos. Most of the photos below were taken on an earlier visit before the launch.

I started with the mangrove section. Here's a stunning view of Chek Jawa from the Jejawi Tower named after the Malayan banyan tree next to it!



The boardwalk cuts through a patch of nipah palm, which was also called the attap palm locally.



I used to live in a kampong, and the roof of my house were actually made from attap leaves!



Many of the palms were fruiting (that's where your attap chee came from), and one of them was even flowering!

Apart from the nipah palm, we also saw many other interesting mangrove plants, like the bakau kurap, perepat, api-api, screwpine, and sea holly. They are many animals too. We saw many crabs, and I even caught sight of a mud lobster, but it went into its burrow before I can grab a shot!

We also saw a banded krait (see it at Kok Sheng's blog) which got everyone really excited, and a few giant mudskippers.



Can never seem to get a good photos of the giant mudskipper – it's always too far away and my camera just doesn't have enough zoom.



We eventually reached the coastal section, and had a good view of some of the coast animals and plants.



Here's a seashore nutmeg tree. Its seed produces an oil that is used in medical soap as well as for treating epidermal infections.

And in the distance, we can see Pulau Sekudu, also known as the Frog Island.



According to local myth, a frog, a pig and an elephant had a swimming competition across the Johor Strait. The frog kenna drown first and formed Pulau Sekudu. The pig and the elephant didn't fare much better, and soon got drown together to form Pulau Ubin. It could have been some really melodramatic love story (like Romeo & Juliet) if only the elephant and the pig were also lovers, but too bad who ever started the myth were not the romantic sort. Hahahahha...

When the event was over, the volunteers gathered to toast for more good years to come.



Here's Evelyn (on the left, whom I jokingly called her the beer auntie) and Kaifen helping to pour the champagne.

Indeed, Chek Jawa has gone a long way. It used to be sleepy kampong, then was almost reclaimed, and now, it is a lovely getaway from the hustle and bustle of mainland Singapore!

See also:
- The Wildfilms blog for other details!

4 comments:

Goh said...

Hello! You must be the lead naked hermit crab. I got a handsome photo of you here, http://phraeb.zenfolio.com/p4154484/?photo=h305D32A0#811414176. Cheers, Peihao.

tHE tiDE cHAsER said...

Thanks for the photo, Peihao! But... handsome???!!??? who r u kidding! Alamak!!! I'm getting FAT!!! LOL

Goh said...

hahaha, not really la. do more guiding, probably can burn some fats while walking around. seeya soon!!

Siyang said...

hehehe ;p