What we remember the most of Langkawi is no doubts our kayaking trip in the Kilim Karst Geoforest Park, a nice breath of fresh air, after one month plagued by the haze in Malaysia obstructing our view and our lungs. While the visibility was still not perfect, it was still an enjoyable trip in between the mangrove forest.
We were supported on this excursion by Junglewalla, o local company made of biologists rather than ordinary travel guides. After they picked us up around 10am, we were driven to Kubang Badak region, about half an hour away from our accommodation in the city and out of the boundaries of the protected UNESCO World Heritage Site and natural park.
Incredible to say, after so many years travelling, it was our first real attempt at kayaking so that we had to be taught all the basics by our guide Hemir, and that later we would have put into practice also in our amazing kayaking trip in Cheow Lan Lake.
Other two guests joined us for this fantastic experience, and once we wore our safety jackets we were ready to go. But exactly while we were entering our kayaks, Hemir told us that a couple of days before, a crocodile had been seen in the area, after over two decades they were missing! It didn't matter it was probably escaped from a not far away nursery, since our heartbeat started to race anyway.
But once we started we just relaxed seeing that we were totally protected with our guide in front and a boat from the company guarding our backs.
Not only it was our almost first time kayaking, but it revealed to be even more complicated because we had a double kayak and we couldn't manage to coordinate our movements. Eventually me and Oti decided to take turns rather than lag behind, paddling just one at a time so that we eventually could manage to keep our kayak straight.
It was essential to stay close to our guide Hemir, since he was such a wealth of knowledge that we didn't want to miss anything! He gave us so many information about the local fauna and about the activities of their companies, involved also in night patrolling against poachers that he really deserves a great review!
While approaching the sandy banks, we could see many mudskippers, a strange animal that is considered to be a fish, but can stay also out of the water on the sand while looking for food.
Its peculiar characteristic are the eyes that are found on top of the head rather than on the sides. Next to the mudskippers there were also plenty of small crabs, some having bright blue colours, others with one pincer much bigger than the other. We were explained that the reason is that the crab is truncating one of its pincer, that later grows back in a smaller size, to grow the other much bigger and attract partners!
There were also the never missing macaques in the forest, that we discovered to eat the same food that humans do, so that they can be mimicked in case you are castaway! And there were of course also many eagles, considered to be the symbol of Langkawi island itself.
After about 90 minutes we finished our kayaking trip and were transferred to a local restaurant for the lunch. And the best part of it was not the food itself, but the possibility to listen to more insights of the naturalistic protection of Langwawi as experienced by Hermet and Junglewalla. We were even told unofficial news about very rare animals "secretly" inhabiting the island, and struggling for their survival.
After the mangrove tour and the restaurant, we concluded the day with a short hike to a local fresh water pool, where we took a refreshing swim, and we made ourselves ready to dive again into the Malaysian haze!
Disclaimer: While our kayaking trip was sponsored by Junglewalla, our experience and opinions were totally honest and sincere.