Ever since I booked a ticket to Langkawi, I was looking forward for this very tour to Kilim Geoforest Park better known as Mangrove Tour.It is the first Geopark, not only in Malaysia, but Southeast Asia. After landing in Langkawi Airport spotting strong similarity of the landscape with rural Bengal and lack of time to do so much in the tropical paradise, I was in dilemma whether to go for the “Mangrove Tour”as I have seen so much of mangrove at riverine estuary of Mahanadi in Orissa in past few months.But ultimately it turned out to be the most thrilling, exciting and adventurous activity in Langkawi.
23rd March, 2016
The tour bus picked me up from Pantai Cenang beachfront along with other passengers. It drove us right through the middle of the Lankawi Island and dropped us at the jetty around the North West corner of the island near the Tanjung Rhu beach.It is a secluded place after crossing a forested track away from the crowd of Cenang Beach. Numerous speed boats were anchored along the waterfront.All of us were transferred to one boat. Soon it started to browse through the serpentine Kilim River estuary with impressive as well as thrilling speed.
Note:I did not corrected the inclination of the below image to provide a real view what I had on a bumpy ride
As we dig deeper inside the park the mangrove forests become dense. It is a topography of its kind. Similar mangrove flora along the banks but the unique limestone Karst Topography which makes Kilim strikingly different from the Sunderbans or Bhitarkanika back in India. The rocks, natural arches, caves rising out of the water were just bewildering.
The boats had double engine and cruise at considerable speed giving the occupants enough thrill and strong breeze to cool off from the intense Sun. Boats meanders through the narrow creeks as the onlookers(small monkeys) on the shore stare curiously. Suddenly the boats stop as numerous eagles snoop into the water for their prey.
There are numerous caves and caverns along the creeks. Crocodile Cave was one such cavern which gets exposed during the ebb. Boats can go in and get out from other side though generally general tourists without any caving experience or specialized gears are not allowed to crossover. Gua Kelawar(Bat cave) is another big cave where one can go in to see the stalactites and stalagmites inside the Kilim Park.
At the mid day , boats stop over at the Tropical Fish Farm for lunch. It is a floating platform where different kinds of fishes along with sting rays are domesticated. It has a waterfront restaurant that offers mostly Fish based meals of Perankan/Malayan style.
After lunch, the flotilla approaches towards the Datai Bay and onward to the Andaman Sea. Slowly creeks enlarge and opens up at the sea mouth. Color of the water gets turquoise and often rough. After the bumpy cruise for next half an hour the tour ends with a view of a cliff just alike King Kong in appearance. Kilim Geoforest Park will remain as one of the highlights of my Langkawi adventures.
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