PULAU PAYAR MARINE PARK
The Pulau Payar Marine Park, comprising four uninhabited islands of Payar, Lembu, Kaca and Segantang, makes up Malaysia’s oldest Marine Park sanctuary. These islands, famous for the varied and colorful marine life that they support, offer the best diving site on Peninsular Malaysia’s west coast. Access is not a problem as speedboats and catamarans ply the route on a regular basis from Langkawi and Penang.
At Pulau Payar, the largest of the four, you will find the Marine Park Centre, which was set up and operated by the Fisheries Department. Here, useful information can be obtained on the do’s and don’ts while visiting the island.
If you are not into water activities, do check out the two hiking trails that have been constructed to enable visitors to explore and enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding sea and beyond. Gazebos, picnic tables, BBQ pits and restroom facilities are also available for public use. Although picnics and camping are allowed, cutting of trees and open burning are strictly prohibited.
Nearby is a jetty, and just a short distance away is a pontoon, with facilities for easy access to the reef below. The waters of Pulau Payar have an additional attraction — artificial reefs built from tyres, concrete blocks and old boats, which over the years developed into mature reefs that are teeming with marine life.
* All visitors are required to obtain a permit and pay a conservation charge that will be used towards the management and maintenance of the Marine Parks. Your local travel agent or the resort where you’re staying should be able to provide the necessary assistance.
HOW TO GET THERE:
Pulau Payar is located approximately 15 nautical miles west of Kuala Kedah, 19 nautical miles south of Langkawi Island and 32 nautical miles north of Pulau Pinang. Most people depart from Kuah Jetty in Langkawi with speed boat or catamaran. The journey takes about 45 minutes.