if you go to chek jawa during normal times, what you'll get is swamp and mosquitoes. judging from the time and date, thread starter is probably planning to visit during low tide period, when the rich variety of marine life at the flats can be seen. may be early and out of the way, but it'll be worth it.
For folks who are unaware, Chek Jawa is supposingly restricted of access after a surge of visitors that follows the announcement of the government to halt a land reclaimation project around the area, after a group of environmentalists found that Chek Jawa is in fact a marine gem in Singapore.
So, NPark organises limited numbers of visit to Chek Jawa, providing the necessary information, restricts the amount of visitors into Chek Jawa, and cornering off vulnerable areas from being harmed.
I have originally called NPB on 1 March, the so-called "first" booking day for 2006 to Chek Jawa, to secure 6 positions for a group of friends who are interested to visit Chek Jawa. It just happened that this year school starts that early, that we have to abandon the original plans, and supply with those interested a chance to visit.
To: sehsuan - I don't suppose NPB will allow exceptional cases to visit Chek Jawa, not really sure though. From what I construe, the only way to visit Chek Jawa legally is to join the NPark free tour to Chek Jawa.
To: onyx - Van, it should be S$2 for to/fro.
To: pai - As far as I understands, NPark chose the hours that coincides with times that are better to demostrate the true identity of Chek Jawa.
To: nicholas68 - Nope, I lived in the extreme North though, and I usually gets up at 4:30am to prepare for sunrise shooting at places like Mandai or Punggol.
To: dfstan - When I finally get through on the NPB Hotline, all weekend tours are taken.
Guys, to clear the air about the "restricted access" to Chek Jawa: there is no physical barrier to prevent the casual visitor from wandering into the area on his or her own. However, it being an intertidal, its marine inhabitants and their habitats will only be exposed at the lowest of low tides; hence the specific dates and times of the NParks guided walks. During and around such times, the intertidal will be patrolled, and any non-participant of the walks will be asked to leave. Reason for such practice has been put forth below - to restrict uncontrolled access to the area in order to minimize human impact to the ecosystem there. So, really, the only way to visit and enjoy Chek Jawa is to join the guided walks, however difficult it is to get a spot. Moreover, on such walks you get to have a very friendly guide explain to you the significance of what you are seeing, in terms that me and you can digest.
Judging from the date and time of this outing, I suppose you guys will be joining a guided walk. Enjoy yourselves on Chek Jawa, and please wear proper footwear (i.e. no slippers or sandals) and prepare to get it really wet and muddied. Don't get too busy snapping away to listen to your guide!