During the month of August 2011 my family and I were fortunate enough to return to the beautiful, tranquil island of Langkawi for a week of rest and relaxation.
As part of our visit we had decided to treat ourselves to a tour of the Mangrove swamps on the east coast of the Island. We were keen to use an environmentally friendly tour guide who would show us the mangroves and their natural habitat, and not one who would coerce wildlife for the benefit of tourists, which we had heard can occur with some tours.
On the day of our trip the weather was kind to us – it was dry, slightly overcast and somewhat cooler than of late which was perfect for our 3 hour tour. Our guide, Wendy Chin, looked after us for the duration of the tour and this she did with great enthusiasm and passion, both for the habitat and the wildlife she was to introduce us to and for our enjoyment and safety throughout.
The mangrove is an incredibly diverse and wondrous place. At the beginning of our tour the waterways were wide and flanked by trees, lush vegetation and steep rock formations which had evolved over many thousands of years. Wendy was keen to inform us of the evolution of the land which has lead to such a dramatic landscape.
Accompanying Wendy was our expert boatman who skilfully navigated our journey in a considerate and appropriately timely manner through the waterways to allow us to see the incredible wildlife which Wendy expertly explained and described to us.
We were delighted to see so many fascinating and beautiful creatures including an incredibly fortunate sighting of a family of 4 otters, a monitor lizard emerging from the water (so expertly camouflaged with its rocky habitat), fiddler crabs, Brahminy kites, monkeys and mudskippers to name a few. As the tour progressed, we were amazed to pass through a cave which housed at least 2 varieties of bats, all nestling in the higher vaults of the rock, oblivious to our passing through below.
What struck me personally about the tour was not only the incredible beauty and tranquillity of the environment itself but the fortunate realisation that we had an amazing tour guide Wendy, whose passion and enthusiasm for this incredibly fragile ecosystem was evident throughout her explanations and descriptions of everything we saw. Wendy has an immense knowledge of the mangroves and the life within them. We asked many questions which Wendy was able to answer effortlessly, drawing upon both her in depth knowledge and her personal experience of life on the island.
Our tour finished with an exhilarating boat trip along the coastline and back to our embarkation point.
If you want to see the beauty and tranquillity of the island, I would highly recommend a tour of these amazing mangroves. Be warned however, to get the best out of your tour please check that your tour guide is one who really appreciates this amazing ecosystem and has the passion and knowledge about this place to be able to pass that on to you. We were incredibly fortunate to have Wendy as our guide who ensured we had the most amazing experience in this remarkably beautiful place.
Note: OffdCouch would like to thank Mr Leong King Sun and his family for taking the time to contribute this write-up. If you would like to find out more about this Mangrove tour in Langkawi by Ms Wendy Chin, please feel free to write to us on our Contact Us page.