BEER, BEACH AND THE BLACKTIP REEF SHARKS OF PULAU PAYAR MARINE PARK

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BEER, BEACH AND THE BLACKTIP REEF SHARKS OF PULAU PAYAR MARINE PARK

The emerald green water was apparent even from a distance.  An hour of ferry ride from Kuah jetty booked through a tour agency, Ekomegah Holidays, we arrived at Malaysia’s oldest Marine Park sanctuary – The Pulau Payar Marine Park.

Arriving at midday and in time for lunch, we settled at one of the cottages with a packed lunch prepared by the tour agency, before our intended exploration. 

BEER, BEACH AND THE BLACKTIP REEF SHARKS OF PULAU PAYAR MARINE PARK

BEER, BEACH AND THE BLACKTIP REEF SHARKS OF PULAU PAYAR MARINE PARK

Minutes before, a briefing was made by the guide and a map was presented which showed how vast the property is. The Pulau Payar Marine Park comprises of four uninhabited islands of Payar, Lembu, Kaca and Segantang.  These islands offer the best diving sites on Peninsular Malaysia’s west coast.  With the clear waters that it offers, it is likewise one of the best snorkelling spots in the island. 

We opted to just stay in one island, the largest and touristy one, Pulau Payar.

BEER, BEACH AND THE BLACKTIP REEF SHARKS OF PULAU PAYAR MARINE PARK

BEER, BEACH AND THE BLACKTIP REEF SHARKS OF PULAU PAYAR MARINE PARK

With cans of beer in tow, which we purchased beforehand at a nearby convenience store while at the ferry terminal, and after we had our quick lunch, we scouted for a strategic location where drinking spree and swimming would go hand-in-hand and effortless.  Thus, we stayed under the boardwalk at the opposite side of the ferry port.

In the true sense of relaxation, I lean on the stilts of the boardwalk, gazed at the landscape and the visible underwater as the waters touch my feet, and as the continuous consumption of beer was heavenly.

BEER, BEACH AND THE BLACKTIP REEF SHARKS OF PULAU PAYAR MARINE PARK

BEER, BEACH AND THE BLACKTIP REEF SHARKS OF PULAU PAYAR MARINE PARK

BEER, BEACH AND THE BLACKTIP REEF SHARKS OF PULAU PAYAR MARINE PARK

While drinking, the sight of the school of fish that comes in varied species and at times a blacktip reef shark was common.  I was simply amazed.  I have never seen a blacktip reef shark that close.  They swim so fast in my attempt to hold them.  They came in numbers by the way.  The sharks that we are accustomed to while watching films and documentaries are deadly.  We left uninjured though in this stint.  They were so adorable that you could swim with them.

BEER, BEACH AND THE BLACKTIP REEF SHARKS OF PULAU PAYAR MARINE PARK

BEER, BEACH AND THE BLACKTIP REEF SHARKS OF PULAU PAYAR MARINE PARK

There is a Marine Park Center at Pulau Payar, which was set up and operated by Malaysia’s Fisheries Department.  The advocacy is for responsible tourism and marine conservation. 

The three of us being used to wherever we shall be settled in a beach for as long as there’s a stash of beer to consume, we could stay much longer if not for the time constraint imposed.  Most tour operators only offer a day tour as special passes would be needed for an overnight stay.

BEER, BEACH AND THE BLACKTIP REEF SHARKS OF PULAU PAYAR MARINE PARK

BEER, BEACH AND THE BLACKTIP REEF SHARKS OF PULAU PAYAR MARINE PARK

The marine park is popular to tourists due to convenience, not to mention the panoramic natural beauty of the site.  There are gazebos, picnic tables, BBQ pits and most importantly restroom facilities available for public use. 

BEER, BEACH AND THE BLACKTIP REEF SHARKS OF PULAU PAYAR MARINE PARK

BEER, BEACH AND THE BLACKTIP REEF SHARKS OF PULAU PAYAR MARINE PARK

At around 2PM, the tour operator called.  Our time was up but even on the last minutes, we continued to take a look at the blacktip reef sharks enjoying the spotlight in a swarm of tourists.

BEER, BEACH AND THE BLACKTIP REEF SHARKS OF PULAU PAYAR MARINE PARK

No. 67-68 Persiaran Bunga Raya
Langkawi Mall, Phase II, Kuah,
07000 Langkawi, Kedah Darul Aman, Malaysia
+60 49695989
ekolgk@gmail.com

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