Sunday, March 18, 2007


I never knew the cliffs at Sentosa were so beautiful.

Pink cliff

I went with a few volunteers and beachfleas to Sentosa last Saturday to check out the intertidal area. While I've visit the area before, this was the first time I went via what I called the longer "adventure" trail. And good thing that we decided to recce this trail, as I finally got to see the beautiful pink cliffs with my own eyes! England may have its White Cliffs of Dover, but we have our very own Pink Cliffs of Sentosa!

The trail, though much longer than the usual one we took, was certainly more interesting.

The above was a collapsed stairway leading to a broken jetty. Wonder if this jetty harbours any interesting stories, waiting to be uncovered...

There are lots of caves along the cliff. And here's one with a "stranded" beach volleyball.

Sentosa caves

There were also hundreds and thousands of cute little onch slugs (Onchidium sp.).

Onch slug, Onchidium

These slugs often blend in very well with the rocks. So do remember to keep a look out for them to avoid stepping onto them when you are out on rocky shores. Onchs graze on algae on the rocks at low tide. They have gills on their backsides to breathe air.

We also found some pitcher plants creeping over a tree.

Raffles Pitcher Plant, Nepenthes rafflesiana

And there was a lovely tidal pool among the rocks with carpets of beautiful zoanthids (aka colonial anemones) and fanworms.

Zoanthids and Fan worm

Some zoanthids are known to contain toxins to protect themselves from predators, so avoid touching them, especially if you have wounds on your hand. And if you accidentally touched them, don't touch your eyes and mouth after that.

There were lots of barnacles on the rocks too. The ones below are star barnacles (Chthamalus sp.).

Star barnacles, Chthamalus sp.

Although many people thought that they were shells, barnacles are actually crustaceans like prawns and crabs.

Finally, we reached the intertidal area that we usually visit. Below is the so-called 断魂崖 (i.e. Broken Soul Cliff).


Someone painted these words on the cliff.


On reaching the lagoon, we had a pleasant surprise waiting for us. It's tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides) flowering season!

Tape seagrass, Enhalus acoroides

The picture on the left shows an "exploded" fruit, and the one on the left is the female flower with the male pollen floating around like styrofoam bits. Check out the Wildfilms blog and the annotated budak for more details.

We also found a few cute polka dot nudibranchs (Jorunna funebris).

polka dot nudibranch, Jorunna funebris

Nudibranchs are slugs - snails without shells. These polka dot nudibranchs feed on sponges.

We also saw lot's of beautiful corals and anemones.

Corals and sea anemones

The top two were hard corals (not sure about the species though), while the bottom left is a soft coral (Sacrophyton sp.) and the bottom right is a branched anemone (Phymanthus sp.).

And while the Chinese New Year was already over for a while, Andy found a plastic container full of kueh balu! The strange things you can find on our shores sometimes...

We also saw several crabs. Below is a brown egg crab (Atergatis floridus).

Brown egg crab, Atergatis floridus

Egg crabs are poisonous, so don't eat them! And that also include the red egg crab (Atergatis integerrimus) below.

Red egg crab, Atergatis integerrimus

Some how, the red egg crab always reminds me of the crab-like invid scouts from the Mospeada series of the anime Robotech. Those of you from my generation will know what I mean. Just compare the photo above with the one below...

Brings back good old memories... Don't you think so?



shenjiaqing said...

Amazing Sentosa!
i particularly like the cliff! :)
Thanks for sharing.
What a waste that Sentosa is not promoting this 'true' (merely meant not man made) and beautiful nature part of the shore.
But this place is probably left the way it is because of not many people know, or else, may be it will end up to become some 'safari' which is more accessible to the public (or another profit generator)?

Ron Yeo said...

Yah, it's really a fabulous place :)

TS said...

wahaha, u always come up with cool analogies. The red egg crab pose is really funny. ;p

Ron Yeo said...

pai seh, pai seh... :P

~mantamola~ said...

just curious, 16 Feb 74.... what had happened there? who wrote on the rock? should be considered as vandalism....

Ron Yeo said...

Wahahahahaa... yah loh, vandalism. But maybe there's some sad love story behind this... like The Return of the Condor Heroes, u know? Little Dragon Girl jumped down at 断肠崖 (i.e. Broken Intestines Cliff... Wahahhaaa...), and Yang Guo is waiting for her to return. Maybe there is a Singapore version. Wahahhahaa....

Kok Sheng said...

those "natural caves" were thought to be the remains of the sentosa tunnel entrances... :) cool

DDeden said...

Nice sites, here and urban forest. I was in S'pore in 80s.

Ron Yeo said...

Thanks ddeden! Yah Kok Sheng, some of the caves have signs of human activities, especially at the entrance. Perhaps some of them could be the legendary enrance to the tunnels. A number of them were still left natural though, especially the shallow ones which are just cracks on the cliff :)

Tee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ron Yeo said...

Hi Tee, sorry, but I'm not interested in business opportunities, since I do not intend to make money from my blog.

Anonymous said...

Back in the 60s, when i was about 7 yrs old... i do recall the broken stairway leading to and from the jetty... it was supposed to end at the start of a Lighthouse... thats why there 's a road near Palwan Beach called Lighthouse Beach Walk, where the lighthouse used to be situated... interestingly, the jetty was linked to a 'make shift' open concept toilet with wooden doors about 3-4metres above the rocky shore, so that when u defaecated, it will drop onto the shore to be washed away by the incoming tide... let's contact each other to discuss further... i am researching on this 'elusive' Lighthouse on sentosa. my email is and my name is john