Friday, November 13, 2009

How to visit the shores of Singapore?

Blogs are great ways to spread the word about our splendid seashores and coral reefs in Singapore. And of course, it will attract the curiosity of people. Of course, some will be interested to see the beauty of our nature places with their own experience.

So the big question is "How to visit our seashores?". Here's how!

Can I go out to the seashore during today's low tide?

The most important component of a seashore trip is the tides. It requires an adequate low spring tide to see marine life exposed on the shores. I'm sure there are many first timers that think that low tide happens everyday so we can go out everyday. True, low tide happens every day but the level of low tide differs.

> To find out more about the concept of tides, check out Ria's wildshores blog here.
> To check Singapore's tide level for this and next month, check out NEA's tidal forecast.

Which shore can I go? How to go?

> Click on this Wildsingapore fact sheet on the accessible shores of Singapore to get details of how to get there, what to see and do, guided walks offered and contacts to groups who can provide guided walks, photos and more links.

What do I have to take note to prepare for a shore trip?

> Check the NEA weather forecast here!

Click on the following Wildsingapore URLs that will guide you in the following areas:
> Tips for visitors to the shores.
> Frequently Asked Questions about visiting our shores.

From the FAQ, there's one question I want to surface it here:

Is it safe to visit the shores?

All animals need to defend themselves from predators or they will be eaten up and soon become extinct. Some of these animal defences can cause humans irritation, pain or even worse injuries and death.

As with any nature walk, it is important to respect the wildlife: do not touch anything and leave animals alone. Watch where you step: the stonefish has spines that can peirce thick shoe soles and a venom that is very painful. Some shores may have portions that are particularly soft. In such places, it is not unusual to sink up to the knees or deeper.

At the same time, our visit to the shores also affect the safety of the shores. Our shores are fragile. Many small sea creatures live in the sand and mud. These are killed when we step on them, no matter how gently we walk. These small sea creatures form the base of the entire food chain on our shores. Seagrass have delicate roots and take a long time to recover when trampled on. Corals are slow growing and a careless footstep can destroys years of growth.

So if you are a first timer, I would high recommend you to join a guided walk of our shores instead of going alone. This is mainly for your own safety as well as the habitat's safety.

Why are some shores shown in the blog not described in the fact sheet?

They may be restricted to public access, unless a permit is approved for various reasons like research. Examples of areas that can be inaccessible are Raffles Lighthouse, Sultan Shoal, Live firing islands (P. Biola, Senang, Sudong, Pawai, Salu etc), Jurong Island, Chek Jawa (shore only) and Tuas.

Some mainland shores are not detailedly described on how to go because we may in the process attract the wrong type of crowd to the shore to poach or remove marine life. I've seen this several times at various mainland shores and it's just unsustainable.

But if you are truly interested in just purely taking a look at our shores, I would recommend you to join our guided walks first. Another way is to volunteer your service and in the process you will be able to both enjoy and contribute back to nature with the company and guidance of other nature explorers. I myself also started off my passion with Teamseagrass. :-)

Where can I find guided walks to join?

> Ria's Wild happenings in Singapore is a great platform that shows you the different guided activities you can participate. So go take a look and join the trips!

Who can I contact to find a nature guide or group?

> Click this link for the list of contacts you may want to check out to organise your own nature trip!

How can I act or volunteer for our shores?

> Check out this link on how to act for our wild places.

Alrighty! Hope this post will help clarify your doubts and get you more ready to visit our shores! If you still have queries, please add comments on this post. If you have blogged about your trip and want to share with me, feel free to add your url in your comments as well.

Have fun!

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