Diving in Langkawi - Pulau Payar Marine Park
A Gift of Nature to Us
Diving in Langkawi means diving around Pulau Payar. Payar is a Marine Park, it's a tiny elongated island located approximately halfway between Langkawi islands and Penang. It was recognized by the Malaysian government as a marine park since 1985, the only Marine Park on the west coast of Malaysia.
It is amazing that such a tiny speck of land can be home to an incredible number of marine animals and in large quantities too. It is also a shelter for many species that are unique and not to be found elsewhere on the west coast of Malaysia.
Divers and snorkelers come from Langkawi and Penang for a day trip. The boat ride takes between one to two hours depending on the sea condition from these two ports of calls.
Pulau Payar does not have fresh water supply from the ground. That is one of the reasons why it is saved from becoming just another resort island. There is a small Marine Park Ranger base, the rangers get their fresh water supply from pooling the rainwater.
Diving in Langkawi
For such a small area, there are a number of incredible dive sites here. Some artificial reefs were also sunk around the island, making it ideal for more marine creatures to build their nests. Basically, most of the diving is done on the part of the island which faces north. This is adjacent to the leeward side of the island, where there is a narrow strip of the beach visible.
Langkawi - Pulau Payar Cruise and diving
Take an air-conditioned coach for your Boat Cruise - Payar Island Marine Park and Langkawi Islands where you will board a boat for a day long cruise.
A number of dive operators operate from Langkawi. Divers and snorkelers are picked up from their hotels to the the jetty, either at the main Kuah jetty or the Royal Yacht Club. Pick up time varies between 8 am to 9 am. Usually, your trip will also include a packed lunch.
Normally, two dives would be scheduled, with a surface interval planned during your lunch break. It is not possible to do more than two dives a day due to logistics problem. By 3.30p.m. both dives would be completed and divers go back to their hotels with the dive boat.
Seasoned divers who have dived the Andaman Sea can relate to the greenish hues of the ocean around Pulau Payar. It is so beautiful, which defies description by words. It has to be eye-witnessed to be believed.
Under the pier at the island, it was packed with so many fish. Even the fearsome barracudas patrol the area. Moray eels are also common, rearing out their big ugly heads of their tiny caverns. Scorpionfish, lionfish and colorful anemones all greet you in their natural habitats.
For micro underwater photographers, with patience and luck, you would capture sea horses, sea snails like the nudibranch and tiny shrimps on your camera lenses. My oh my, you would wish you have a re-breather unit strapped on your back for unlimited time underwater!
Baby black tipped sharks roam the beach, being so used to visitors that you can hand feed them with morsels of fish! Be careful, because these predators have sharp teeth. You do not want to bleed in the water when they are around!
For young family and snorkelers, it is an ideal place to introduce the children to the real, natural marine habitat. There is a Langkawi Corals reef platform that caters to non-diver whereby it has viewing windows on the side of its hull. You would feel as if you are witnessing a giant aquarium.
Yes, it is too bad, visitors are not allowed to spend overnight on the island. However, this usually adds more to the appeal to Pulau Payar because one visit is simply not enough for those who love the marine life and who are addicted to breathing compressed air.
Marine Park conservation ticket and lunch would be included in the price of your snorkeling or dive trip. Diving and snorkeling gear are also included in the package. Make your booking at least a week in advance because the number of visitors per day is regulated to visit the Pulau Payar Marine Park.
Langkawi has a wide range of hotels. For the traveler who want to go rock bottom cheap, Cenang Beach has several cheapies. Our hotels in Langkawi and Cenang Beach hotels offer a range of mid and top end hotels at your service.