Payar Island, I snorkeled with Sharks!

payar

I save one day during my trip to Langkawi Malaysia to snorkel at Payar Island. Payar Island or Pulau Payar is Langkawi’s very own marine park. It is a very popular tourist destination and famous for its diving and snorkeling area. Pulau Payar is located some 1-hour away from ‘Kuah town’ (Langkawi’s main town) by boat.

Satu hari gue simpen di Langkawi khusus untuk dihabiskan main-main sama ikan di Pulau Payar. Pulau ini adalah taman laut yang dijaga banget kelestariannya sama Langkawi. Maklum, satu-satunya. Berjarak satu jam naik kapal, Pulau ini ngetop untuk dipake nyelam atau snorkel. Ayo berangkat!

We bought the ‘one day tour’ to Pulau Payar from our hotel. There were two choices of the package. The more expensive one with a chance to experience a coral’s floating platform equipped with an underwater observation facility, or the cheaper one without. We chose the second one. Our hotel was so nice and gave us a discount. So instead of paying RM (Malaysian Ringgit) 200 per package, we got it for RM 150 instead. It included hotel transfers, return cruise to Pulau Payar, lunch, government environmental conservation charge and complimentary use of snorkeling gears.

Hotel tempat gue nginep di Langkawi baik banget ngasih diskon untuk tur sehari ke Pulau Payar. Tadinya musti bayar sekitar Rp.600 ribuan per orang untuk kesana, setelah diskon jadi Rp.400 ribuan. Lumayan kannnn. Itu sudah termasuk antar jemput hotel naik bus turis yang bagus, pulang pergi naik kapal ke Pulau Payar-nya, bayar pajak pemerintah, alat-alat snorkel plus makan siang. Lengkap. Paket yang gue ambil ini, adalah ‘paket pantai’, jadi kita diturunin di pantai dan bebas snorkel disitu. Ada paket lain yang jauh lebih mahal, yaitu ‘paket platform’. Di paket ini, turis diturunin di sebuah pelataran apung di tengah laut, dan mereka bisa snorkel disekitar situ. Kurang menantang sih menurut gue, enakan berenang bebas dari pantai!

Arrived at Pulau Payar, we were dropped at the beach. From there, we could see the colorful fish everywhere welcoming us. Simply can’t wait to play with them or feed them. The fish feeding was actually not allowed at that time (didn’t know why it was temporarily forbidden), but I saw a lot of people did it anyway, and the hungry fish swarmed them instantly. Kodak moment!!

payar

Begitu sampai di pantai, ratusan ikan kecil warna-warni sudah menunggu di bibir pantai. Mereka udah biasa dikasih makan sama turis, jadi nagih semua, nggak ada yang takut-takut. Gue-pun beli biskuit dan sibuk ngasih makan sambil berenang sama ikan. Kalau mau lebih enak, berenang dulu ke tengah ke area yang sepi, baru deh ngasih makan ikan. Lebih seru. Di air Pulau Payar ini, juga banyak hiu berukuran kecil sampai sedang yang berkeliaran minta makan sama turis, tapi kelakuannya lebih malu-malu dibanding ikan-ikan kecil-nya. Jadi untuk ngasih makan sambil foto bareng, gue musti agak sedikit kejer-kejeran sampe ke kolong dermaga. Haha!

We snorkeled for hours. The reefs and corals at the deeper water were still alive and beautiful. The amount of fish was plenty. Parrotfish, Gil from ‘Finding Nemo’, and some people were lucky enough to see huge groupers swimming around. I played chase with some baby black tip reef sharks, which was really fun! The water was okay except for some falling leaves everywhere at the shallow water. The white sand beach at the left side of the park was really clean though, with clearer water also. The lunch picnic provided was simple but good enough to fill our empty stomach after a few hours in the water. It energized us to play some more. We didn’t have an underwater camera, so we bought a single use disposable camera for RM 80 (quite pricey I think) and caught some actions underwater.

Kalau berenang sedikit lebih jauh ke tengah, ada wilayah khusus snorkel untuk melihat terumbu karang yang ada. Sama pengelolanya, wilayah itu sudah ditandain dengan tali yang mengapung. Jujur ya, menurut gue lumayan loh koral dan terumbu karangnya. Masih sangat terjaga dan cukup warna warni. Ikan-ikannya juga cukup variatif dan gede-gede. Di deket situ juga ada pelampung sangat besar buat orang-orang bisa naik keatasnnya dan ngaso di tengah laut (bisa untuk 10 orang dewasa). Karena gue belum punya kamera bawah laut, gue sengaja beli kamera bawah air sekali pake yang dijual disitu seharga Rp.250.000. MAHAL benerr….tapi ya gapapa deh, buat kenang-kenangan.

If you plan to go to Pulau Payar, take notes that the peak tourist season is during the dry season, which is November to April. Just like this trip of mine on April, the island was crowded with Chinese tourists mostly and the price was normal. If you are on a budget and expect less people, you can visit during rainy season from September to November. The price can drop (as low as RM 110 for the same package I took – so I heard) but of course it rains every day for about 2 hours and at night also.

Setelah capek main-main air, kita dikasih makan siang box yang nggak spesial tapi cukup lah buat gue yang lagi laper. Apa aja enak kalo lagi laper ya kan. Hahaha. Habis itu gue jalan 10 menit ke bagian kiri Pulau yang pantainya berpasir putih dan dipenuhi ikan warna-warni juga. Untuk sebuah tempat wisata, Pulau Payar ini memang tidak luar biasa tapi cukup oke kok. Satu hal yang paling mengecewakan hanyalah ruang ganti baju dan kamar mandi yang joorookkk. Mirip lah sama tempat wisata di Indonesia yang nggak terawat. Sisanya, not bad.

pulaupayar

The whole experience was not bad. The view was nice and the tour was quite well organized. The only thing was the toilet at the beach. It was very bad, smelly, and all dirty. I washed up with some bottled water that I brought from the hotel, and had a hard time changing my clothes. They should really pay more attention to that. The other things were fine. Just don’t forget to bring sun protection lotion, as the sun will surely burn if it’s a sunny day. We were there for about 7 hours or so, and it’s about to get dark when we finally transferred back to the hotel. Tired but pretty content.

Untuk info buat yang pengen main kesini, catet aja kalau Bulan November-April adalah musim ramenya. Gue kan dateng pas April nih, jadi lagi rame banget (sama turis dari Cina kebanyakan) dan harga paket tur juga normal. Sedangkan bulan September-November adalah musim sepinya karena musim hujan dan harga tur-pun bisa drop sampai Rp.300 ribuan per orang. Jangan lupa juga untuk bawa pelindung matahari buat kulit, bawa kamera bawah air sendiri, bawa makanan ikan sendiri, dan bawa air botol gede sendiri untuk bilas!!

Balik dari Pulau Payar ke Langkawi, hati senang, dan siap jalan-jalan lagi keliling Langkawi. YUUKK!!

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i feel the constant need of being in the sunolivelatuputty.com -@shiningliv

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