The gentle waters framing Payar Island is an ideal location for divers of all levels to explore and enjoy the beautiful and abundant marine and coral life.
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Payar Island is located at the northern region of the Peninsular Malaysia along the Straits of Malacca. The island is approximately 19 miles south of the famous Langkawi Island and about 40 miles from Penang Island. A pristine island blessed with diverse coral and marine life, it is regularly visited by divers and snorkelers all year round as its waters are sheltered from the open sea. In efforts to preserve the fragile coral and marine life around the islands, the Kedah state government decided to gazette the island together with three other islands located nearby as a marine park in 1985. The other islands are Kaca Island, Lembu Island and Segantang Island.
A trip to Payar Island Marine Park is bound to be an unforgettable trip. Where else can a person get to be so close to these intriguing sea creatures and feed them as well? As the fish here are protected under the marine park regulations, they have grown used to the presence of humans over the years. They are so comfortable that whenever people are near, the fish swim towards them instead of the other way round. It is also this same fact that makes snorkeling here so special: seeing the fish swimming alongside as one explores the underwater gardens. The Coral Garden, located at the western point of the island, is one of the best diving spots of Payar Island. Here, soft corals in a rainbow of hues cover the rocky underwater terrain. An abundance of fish thrives in this area and damsels, fusiliers, lionfish and black tip sharks have been spotted around this area. Wreck diving enthusiasts will be pleased to know that there is one such spot in the marine park. Kaca Island, located on the eastern side, has dozens of sunken fishing trawlers dotting the island. These artificial reefs are home to smaller reef fishes and nudibranches.
Visitors who would like to enjoy marine life without diving to see it need not worry; they can while their time away on-board the Coral Langkawi. Neither a ship nor a small island but a floating platform anchored off Payar Island, it is equipped with a dining area, a snack bar as well as a sun deck for sunbathing. Non-divers and snorkelers can sit on the platform and mingle. The Coral Langkawi also has an Underwater Observation Chamber, located ten feet below the sea, which allows visitors to get up close and personal with the world below without even getting their toes wet! It also acts as a platform for introductory courses in scuba-diving as well as a wading deck for swimming and beginner snorkelers.
From Kuah jetty in Langkawi, the island can be reached via catamaran or speed boat. The journey via catamaran or speed boat will take approximately 45 minutes.
For visitors who are departing from Penang Island, the journey to Payar Island via ferry from Weld Quay will take approximately an hour and half.