Langkawi’s Pulau Payar Marine Park is one of Malaysia’s most beautiful and popular site to snorkel and scuba-dive. Just an hour boat-ride about 35 km away from the main Langkawi island, Pulau Payar is covered in dense vegetation and is completely unoccupied.
This well-preserved, uninhabited marine park extends over a few of islets with Pulau Payar being the largest. These islands are strictly regulated by the Fisheries Department of Kedah to maintain their pristine form.
One of the highlights of Pulau Payar is its Coral Garden, where the coral system and various sea creatures are protected in a secluded section of the park. Fishing is strictly prohibited.
Besides its colourful marine life, the main attraction of Pulau Payar is the baby Blacktip Reef sharks. Visitors are allowed to feed and swim with the baby sharks. Pulau Payar is one of the few places in Malaysia to provide the experience to get upclose to these wild sea beasts in their natural habitat.
In our snorkelling experiences, we think Pulau Payar is one of our favourite snorkelling spot. Besides sharks and many colourful fishes, we also came across a giant grouper in a near distant. Scary but what an experience! The water was also a lot calmer which makes snorkelling easy and relaxing.
If you are into scuba diving, there is a floating platform moored off Pulau Payar. The best diving area is to the east, west and south of Pulau Payar, along the reef system.
Getting there: Join a tour. There are several travel agencies operating day tours to Pulau Payar. Pulau Payar Marine Park is about an hour away from Kuah Jetty, Langkawi where ferries leave every morning and return by late afternoon.
Price: The packages vary from RM200 and above which includes hotel transfers, ferry fair, entry fee to the island, snorkelling gears, lunch and refreshments. The packages will cost more if it includes the use of reef-viewing platform and/or with diving equipment.