Over the years, humans have definitely been very fascinated by the underwater world. Just look at popular novels and movies – at one time or other, artists, directors and writers have sparked off imagination just by showing others their own view of the sea kingdom. We just lap it up because there is something unearthly and utterly magical about what lies beneath the surface. I guess that is the reason why books and films like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Atlantis and The Little Mermaid are still so hugely popular. Nowadays, though, you don’t really have to go through someone else’s lenses in order to appreciate the beauty of marine life. All you need to do is go to Malaysia’s very own Coral Garden at Pulau Payar in order to have a firsthand view of how it really is like under the sea.
Before you head off to one of the most famous Langkawi dive sites, do remember a few essential things you would need to work out before the day of your holiday. Remember that there isn’t any accommodation at Pulau Payar itself so you would probably want to make reservations elsewhere while you are there. In line with being a responsible traveller, try to hunt down hotels that are big on conservation and have environmentally friendly practices already put in place. If you are travelling from outside Malaysia and need to book a flight, try not to get on planes which require transfers because this means that you are doubling your carbon footprint. If at all possible, consider alternative modes of transportation.
There are three ways you can get to Pulau Payar which is where the Coral Garden is situated. This will depend entirely on where you are before departing for Pulau Payar. If you are visiting Langkawi, there is a 55-minute boat ride to endure before you get to enjoy the beauty of the corals. Alternatively, you might be interested in travelling around Penang before hand – the boat ride from this island will take a little more time though. Either way, once you arrive at Pulau Payar, you will welcome the sight of the glorious sandy beaches peppered around the island. There are four which are frequented by tourists and all possess pristine beaches which are perfect for a picnic. When you leave, don’t forget to bring your litter with you. After all, you wouldn’t want to spoil the beauty of this island for other travellers, would you?
If you are diving in Langkawi, you would probably already be heading towards the southwestern tip of Pulau Payar which is home to the Coral Garden, the land of rich reef and marine lives. First time divers at the Coral Garden never fail to marvel at the sight of the sea creatures teeming amongst the hard and soft coral. It is definitely beautiful to note the different marine life that exists way below our consciousness. The more adventurous among you might want to consider branching off to different areas of Pulau Payar. There is an area around Pulau Segantang – that is an island west of Pulau Payar – which is perfect for experienced divers. You will literally be swimming with fishes and other sea fauna at this dive site. Wherever you are, remember to follow the simple rules. Do nothing to harm or frighten the flora and fauna at the dive sites! Also, do not leave anything behind so as to not disturb the fragile ecosystem of the sea.
Those who don’t dive can also indulge in a little bit of snorkelling around the area. You might not be swimming with the fishes – literally – but you will still be able to get an insight into Poseidon’s world. Furthermore, you will still be able to catch a glimpse of various fishes swimming around the corals. That is always a fun sight to behold! Being this close to Nature will totally give you a sense of happiness because there are so many different things about the sea creatures to see. A day trip gives you a glimpse into another world and this is definitely a part of your travels which you will never forget.
Coral Garden and Pulau Payar definitely offers something different to all kinds of tourists. Divers love the fact that this part of the world boasts one of the best dive sites to enjoy corals. Others would just be happy to relax on the undisturbed and unpolluted beaches dotting Pulau Payar. It is definitely entirely due to responsible tourists such as yourselves that many other travellers get to share in the beauty of Coral Garden at Pulau Payar every year.
Check out on community projects organized to promote environment conservation.