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Beautiful Kilim Karst Geopark in Langkawi
Step into the beautiful Mangrove Forest Geopark in Langkawi and be awed by the lush forest extending before your very eyes. Much like what its name suggests, this Geopark is under the recognition and protection of UNESCO and houses many of Malaysia’s biodiversity wonders. The Geopark itself is not a simple walk in the park. Be sure to take your time and explore the full brilliance of the park as you go around and be immersed in many different activities. Of course, you will be glad to know that we will be listing some of the destinations and things that you should definitely visit and watch out for:
Take a boat tour around the mangrove river!
It will be hard to miss out on the lush Kilim Geoforest Park, a huge mangrove forest covering more than 100 sq km of the park area. At first glance, the mangrove forest may look untamed but this perception belies the serene and fertile surroundings of the forest itself. The mangroves themselves are not there for show as well. In a swamp ecology filled with muddy and salty ocean water, mangroves act as a natural filter and wave barrier of the ocean water and wave. In fact, during the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami, several coastal areas of Sri Lanka suffered far less coastal damages compared to others due to mangrove forests absorbing the direct impact of the titanic wave.
The roots of the Mangrove also work as a filtration network for the ecosystem. (Image Credit: Flickr//Andy Latt)
The mangrove also acts as a filtering system to keep the ocean water clean. Its strong stilt roots are able to absorb oxygen from the air while simultaneously filtering out forest debris. Try scooping out the seemingly muddy water and you will see just how crystal clear the water actually is! So be sure to jump on that boat and row your way around the fertile mangrove forest for a trip you do not want to miss out on.
Fiddler crabs with their huge right claws roam the mud areas around the mangrove roots. (Image Credit: Flickr//Martin Thomas)
The dense Kilim Geopark is also home to a rich selection of wildlife. The swamp debris trapped by the stilt roots also carries with it microscopic microorganism and insects. This prime feeding spot attracts a number of swamp dwellers such as squirrels, mud crabs and the famous monitor lizards. The latter of the three has the ability to dive underwater far longer than humans and hunt underneath the seemingly murky water of the swamp with ease. Sometimes, you may also chance upon a crocodile or, if you are lucky, a dolphin and an otter!
River otters can be spotted hunting for food along the mangrove river banks. (Image Credit: Flickr//Angi Wallace)
The water is not the only habitat prime for rich fauna life. Look up and you will see that majestic birds also make their nests in this beautiful mangrove forest they call home. These include the white-bellied sea eagle, the kingfisher and the kite bird among many others. You should also not miss out on the eagle feeding spectacle at the calm water area surrounded by high rocks and forest.
Monkeys hang around the riverbanks foraging for food. (Image Credit: Flickr//Ibrahim Arab)
The name speaks for itself. Step right up and explore the exciting sight of monkeys hunting for crabs and fishes by the water. They will look at you with that big wide eyes and the curiosity of a baby but do not let that fool you - they love tourists, especially their water bottles. So be sure to always keep your bags with you and place all your belongings close to you.
Female monkey nursing it's young among the branches of the mangrove forest. (Image Credit: Flickr//Serge THELLIER)
If you are lucky, you might also get a glimpse of a whole monkey family hanging around the tree branches and grooming each other. So be sure to get those cameras snapping and start taking some amazing pictures that you will forever cherish.
The entrance of Crocodile cave. (Image Credit: Flickr//Richard Herbert)
While it is called the Crocodile Cave, do not fear as you will unlikely find any crocs inside the cave during the low tide. As you enter the cave, you will see the orderly linings of limestones on the cave walls and the colony of bats hanging around the cave. You will also notice the jagged walls of the cave due to constant erosion from the high tide. It is amazing how the constant force of flowing water is able to gradually erode and form a new opening in the cave. So get that camera snapping as you marvel at the sheer wonder of the Crocodile Cave.
Bats hanging upside down on the ceiling of the cave. (Image Credit: Flickr//Sandy Frewin)
Next, it is off to the Bat Cave. Here, not only will you see the colony of bats and the beautiful limestone on the walls, but you will also get to see curved stalactites hanging on the cave ceiling. You will also get to see stalagmites and stalactites coming together to form a single pillar, giving further beauty to the already stunning rock formations. The rocks here are already centuries old and it is not an exaggeration to call them literal living fossils. With so rich a cave, you are sure to have the time of your life.
Langkawi Mangrove Forest packs a strong punch that is sure to leave you wanting more. Be sure to give this beautiful trip a try and find yourself falling deeper in love with the beauty of this Malaysian jewel island.