More than just a popular tourist spot in Langkawi, Kedah, the Kilim Karst Geoforest Park also plays an important environmental role: It protects the karstic landscapes of three interconnected river estuaries which meander in the middle of a dense mangrove forest.
Nested between multi-faceted limestone hills and cliffs, this park is famous among nature lovers, photographers and naturalists.
Cruising the valleys of limestone rock formation along its rugged coastline on a motorised gondola is perhaps one of the best ways to travel here. You can also hike, of course, but that may be a bit of a challenge.
The ancient limestone formations provide a stunning backdrop for the clear blue waters of the Andaman sea. On the gondola ride, you might just encounter some exotic wildlife like hornbills, macaques, monitor lizards, sleeping vipers and colourful fiddle crabs.
There’s also the option of kayaking your way through the mangrove. The paddle will bring you to narrow and smaller water channels where you can be closer to nature.
Of course, a trip to Langkawi means looking out for eagles too.
During the mangrove river cruise, get your binoculars ready to spot these flying carnivores, which may be reddish brown or white, depending on which time of the year you go.
There are lots of birds at the Kilim Geopark, which is why it has always been a favourite spot for avid birdwatchers. They mostly visit between September and March to spot bird migrations from the north to south.
The mangrove tour will bring you to Gua Kelawar for a glimpse of cave structures including the stalactite, stalagmite, flowstone and rim pools. You can also learn more about bats from your guide.
Be sure to remain quiet and to not use a torch light while walking around the nocturnal creatures.
If you’re a big caving fan, do take the time to explore Gua Langsir, Gua Tanjung Dendang, Gua Buaya, Gua Dedap and Gua Cherita, which are nearby.
You can also head to Anak Tikus Island to check out some cool fossils. Cephalopod and gastropod fossils can be found on this island.
There’s a fish farm here too, where you can learn about aquatic vertebrates like stingray fish and horseshoes crab, commonly found in the Andaman sea.
Go hiking up one of the three Bukit Kilim hills. A panoramic view of the hilly terrains which extend far into the horizon is what you’ll find at the peak.
There are many activities available at the Unesco Global Geopark, and they are catered for solo travellers, groups and families, too.
Make your way to Langkawi – by air or road. The geopark is only a 30-minute drive from the airport; it would take about the same time if you’re coming from the town. If you’re not driving, don’t worry as you can just get a taxi or a ride-sharing service.
Get low air fare with Malaysia Airlines Promotion