Mangrove forest around Lumut
Taman Paya Bakau
The mangrove forest around Lumut is an unknown piece of tourism (call it eco-tourism if you want) and it deserves more attention. The mangrove forests in Malaysia have the same function as the dunes in Europe: protecting the land from the sea.
Originally you would find this kind of forests all along the Malaysian coastlines but much is already been destroyed. One of the larger areas is to be found at Kuala Sepetang.
Mangrove forest trekking near Lumut
before the renovation
Some call mangrove forests wasteland, smelly and dirty lands. However, mangrove are very important in the ecosystems of Malaysia. In some areas there's more, some areas there's not much left. In some areas the local Malaysian have build fish and prawn farms.
Kuala Sepetang is probably the richest area when speaking of mangrove forest. Lumut has it's own mangrove forest. When you take the boat from Lumut to Pangkor, you can get a glimpse of it at the Damar Laut site (your right site when leaving Lumut, opposite of the naval base).
"Nice, great, wonderful, beautiful, ... but I don't see much of it when I am on the boat." You're right. The mangrove forest are there, but how to get there? And what can you expect?
First of all, there are paths in the forest but it is also easy to get lost. It sounds strange when you realize how close you are to Lumut. But believe me, you're far away from civilization in the mangrove forest here, even though Lumut town is only a few kilometers away.
Left: Hanging bridge Taman Paya Bakauu
Right: Crabs caught in the mangrove hanging at the roadside
There's plenty of wildlife in the mangrove forest. At daytime you'll most likely see monitor lizards (in local language they are known as biawaks), monkeys, crabs and birds. If you're lucky, you may see turtles and snakes.
High water in Taman Paya Bakau... a beautiful view, unfortunately a
lot of the mangrove forest is at the point being destroyed.
In fact, there are a lot of snakes, cobras, boa constrictors among others. However, the change you see them is limited. Snakes are shy and operate mostly in the early evening or at night so there's not much to be afraid.
In fact you will be quite lucky to see snakes. As for turtles, I have seen turtles here though the ones I saw were all small, 10-15 cm.
A monkey is trying to "steal" my bicycle
In the waters you find quite a bit of fish. Locals sometimes take a boat to go fishing here for catfish, snappers and groupers (which they use for the great steamed fish dishes).
There are two possibilities to visit the mangrove swamps. The first one is to be found just outside Lumut on the way to Taiping. It's just a few kilometers out of Lumut.
Inside the mangrove forest park, walking on a bridge over the forest
Taman Paya Bakau is recently renovated with a nice bridge through the mangrove forest. It's good to do this little walk, there's a lot to learn as the explanations why the mangrove forest is important.
When you walk with dry feet in the mangrove forest you will almost sure see monkeys begging for food. Crabs love this ecosystem.
In no time you will see little red and orange crabs crawling around. And if you're lucky maybe some bigger ones show up.
The suspension bridge at Taman Paya Bakau
The mangrove forest is especially loved by animals like the monitor lizard, the biawak. You may be lucky to see them hanging around.
Around Taman Paya Bakau, this was until mid 2011 mangrove forest,
this is only one piece of land in this area that has been destroyed.
Read more about the Mangrove Forest around Taiping here
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