Tips for visitors to the shores

What should I be aware of?

Not all have facilities: Besides Sentosa and Labrador Beach, the more remote islands only have basic facilities (toilets, shelters). Bring along all your needs: food, drinking water and other essentials. Please do not litter. Bring back all your litter and dispose of it on the mainland. Do not leave valuables unattended on the shores.

Safety first

Watch the tide: Don't go far out if you are not familiar with the tides. Your route back to the shore might get cut off by the incoming tide.

Watch the weather! Lightning is dangerous. It can occur without rain. If the weather turns ominous, quickly go to one of the many shelters equipped with lighting protection. If you hear lightning, IMMEDIATELY seek shelter. And do not go out again until lightning has stopped for some time (half an hour is a good gauge). You are most vulnerable on the flats but lightning can also strike among the trees. Do not shelter under trees, under cliffs.

Dangerous animals: Dangerous animals such as stonefish, stingrays and sea snakes are still common on our shores. Many soft-looking animals on the shores protect themselves with toxins which can cause rashes. You may also get hurt if you touch your eye or mouth after touching toxic animals. Most animals have a way to defend themselves in unpleasant ways. Some can sting through even booties and hard soled shoes.

The best way to avoid injuries

  • Walk slowly, watch where you put your foot.
  • Avoid stepping into the water. Especially avoid murky water, or water full of seaweeds, where you cannot see what you are stepping on.
  • Do not touch or step on animals.
  • Do not harass animals. CHOPSTICKS ARE BAD. They make you want to poke everything at close quarters, well within striking distance of animals that can sting, bite, pinch and slash you.
  • Wear COVERED shoes. Booties are best. (see below)
  • Wear long pants to cover all skin exposed to water. Tuck your pants into your booties or shoes.

More about some dangerous and harmful animals on our shores
May be fatal May be very painful Can be harmful Can bite/pinch

Yellow-lipped sea krait
Cone snails

Sea urchins

Don't climb the rocks: Rocks are slippery with algae and covered with sharp barnacles that can give nasty cuts that take a long time to heal. A nasty fall may result in broken limbs and concussion.

Don't step into areas with soft mud: You may lose your shoes and then step on something unpleasant.

Prepare properly for your shore trip

Proper preparation makes for an enjoyable visit to the shores.
Poor preparation can make the trip miserable and unpleasant. So take some time to prepare!

What should I wear?

Wear light, breathable clothing.

If you are going to be wading in water, wear long pants that cover all skin to protect against jellyfish and other small stinging, drifting animals.

Appropriate footwear: diving booties or closed, hard-soled sports shoes with shoelaces.

Do NOT go barefoot on the shores!

Do NOT wear these on the shores:

  • Open sandals expose your bare foot to all kinds of hazards. From broken glass, sharp litter, annoying critters to hookworm larvae.
  • Shoes without laces (e.g., with velcro) are not secure in mud.
  • Flip-flops will fall apart in the least bit of mud.

Do NOT walk with your shoes encased in plastic bags. This reduces the grip of your shoes on the ground. The ground can be slippery with seaweed and mud. You may then fall and not only get mud all over yourself (not just your shoes), but you may also get injured.

Other useful items to bring

  • Extra pair of footwear to change into for the journey home.
  • Hat to protect from the sun. It can get hot on the flats on a sunny day.
  • Enough drinking water. Ideally, 1-2 litres per person for a day trip.
  • Raingear (raincoat, poncho) and plastic bags for electronic items.
  • Sunscreen: the sun can be particularly strong on a sunny day. See Natural Hazards: Sunburn on the wild shores of singapore blog.

What should I do to prepare myself for the visit?

Before your walk have a good night's rest, drink plenty of water and have your regular meal. If you are not feeling well, do not go for the visit.

MORE information
Special tips for photographers visiting the shores.
Here's more on general preparations for a visit to the wild.
More FAQs on shore visits.

Are you ready for a safe trip on the shores?
Try this quiz!

Join a guided walk!

Instead of going on your own, why not join a guided walk!
The best way to experience and learn about the shores is to visit with an experienced guide.

See more! Guides are familiar with the terrain and seasons of the shores. They can show you more during the short window of low tide. They can also tell you more about what you see so you can learn more.

Be safe: The shores are not dangerous if you know what you are doing, but for the unfamiliar there are potential hazards. With a guide, even young children can interact safely with the shores.

Minimise your impact: Every inch of the shores are alive with small animals and growing plants. A guide will help you see more and yet minimise the impact of your visit.

Have a great time! Guides are eager to ensure you have an enjoyable visit. Whether you are just there to see what's so special about the shores, or if you need more details for a project or have a special area of interest. Do tell your guide, who will gladly try to help you.

Join exciting public guided walks at these locations!
Chek Jawa
Kusu island
Pulau Semakau

Want to organise a trip just for your group at your preferred time, see this list for some contacts.


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