Langkawi has always been synonymous with being an idyllic beach paradise. However, to get a view of the picturesque clear waters and sandy white shores, one needs to take a boat ride out of the main island of Langkawi (where Kuah Town is) to the neighbouring islands. Some of these popular islands include Dayang Bunting island, Pulau Beras Basah and Pulau Singa Besar.
Known to be 1 of Langkawi’s preferred and hottest island for snorkeling and diving, the Pulau Payar Marine Park offers the beginner snorkeler the opportunity to be emerged in the surreal underwater world. With rising popularity, comes with an influx of crowd and I must confess that the marine park was a little too commercialized for my liking.
1. Offers a good variety of tropical fishes, sea urchins and hard corals for the amateur snorkelers, especially so if it is your first time.
2. Get the rare opportunity to swim amongst the black tipped reef sharks!
3. The chance to snorkel in the middle of the vast sea while being caught in a downpour! Despite the poor visibility (can’t see much), I was ecstatic yet slightly terrified to be swimming against the currents in the middle of nowhere. No longer am I the girl who cannot swim for nuts and had to hang on to her boyfriend’s pants as he steered her to the right direction!
1. The marine park tends to get a little crowded slightly before noon, thus making it difficult to embrace tranquility on the tiny island.
2. Having snorkeled at other islands like Tioman, Phuket and Phi Phi island (amazing!), I must admit that I was a little bored after my first hour. Experienced snorkelers might like to give Pulau Payar a miss.
3. The island is 90% surrounded by a dense forest so unless you don’t mind becoming an explorer, your best bet is to remain on the tiny stretch of beach. Island-hopping might be a better option for those who prefer to get their money’s worth.
Come every lunch time, the baby black tip sharks are a common and favourite sight amongst the visitors at Pulau Payar Marine Park. After all, the closest that most of us have gotten to a shark is probably inches from a glass panel! This extremely rare encounter with the 1 of the world’s most fearsome yet mis-understood marine creature is definitely climbing up the chart of every visitor’s most memorable moments in Langkawi!
Unfortunately, I missed out on this thrilling experience to come face-to-face with these sharks as I opted to snorkel in the open sea, thinking that there was more to be discovered. Wrong choice! 😦
* Most of the pictures taken by our very talented photographer blogger, Darren (who, by the way, won the OMY Best Lifestyle Blog award last year!).