Pulau Langkawi is not only a national park; it’s also a national treasure. An international holiday destination, it attracts myriad visitors each year, including those who truly appreciate all that nature has to offer. Declared a National Geopark in 2006, it was made part of the UNESCO Global Network of National Geoparks a year later.
It isn’t difficult to see why UNESCO singled out this marvelous location for the honor. Ancient natural history is alive and well at Pulau Langkawi. The geopark is home to the Machincang Formation, dating back some 550 million years, and the Chuping Limestone at Pulau Dayang Bunting is thought to be about 280 million years old. Other formations are equally as intriguing and provide non-stop photo opportunities.
On the coastline, visitors will be treated to a number of different coastal types ranging from rocky, sandy, and pebbly beaches to gravel bars, sea caves, and sea tracks. Clearly, this diverse landscape provides so many opportunities for scientific researchers, but also for tourists who want to admire the beauty of the location as well as learn about the natural formations that are present everywhere they turn. It’s a site whose treasures shouldn’t be taken lightly, but rather revered for what it is – an amazing example of natural history.
Yet, travelers aren’t always environmentally conscious. Those who care for parks like Pulau Langkawi note that some of the examples of blatant disregard for rules include hikers that wander off trails and trample on vegetation. Others leave litter and plastic water bottles behind and they clog the waterways or are picked up by unsuspecting animals. Some even take it upon themselves to take home “samples” of rocks and other resources.
That’s why responsible tourism is so important in this day and age, especially in these natural areas that require a little more attention in order to maintain the landscape as it should be. Simply put, travelers need to “stop and think” before they do something they’d normally do without thought in their daily lives.
Of course, everyone involved in tourism in some way or another is responsible for protecting the environment, particular in national parks worldwide. Not only tourists, but local governments, tour operators, industries, and local community members must all take sustainable tourism seriously. Common sense is essential and efforts to avoid abuse and over-use of resources need to be taken into consideration by everyone who steps foot in a national park or is responsible for arranging tours that take place inside such a park.
Check out on conservation projects organized to promote environment conservation.