Dev’s Adventure Tours Triathlon (PART III):  Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

Dev’s Adventure Tours Triathlon (PART III): Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

Continued from PART II: Jungle Trekking

PART III: Mangrove Kayak Trip

You’d think that after two near misses with my camera, I’d finally learned my lesson and left it in the room. Of course not. I’m a blogger, and I’m getting that shot no matter what. Here we are about to embark on the final, most exciting leg of our Dev’s Adventure Triathlon – kayaking through the mangroves – with my very un-waterproof DSLR sitting shotgun in the kayak. And yes, it was raining again today. #idiotsneverlearn #thirdtimestheharm? ๐Ÿ˜ˆ
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

Located at the northeastern tip of Langkawi, Kilim Nature Park is a 100 sq km protected swamp with mangrove forests, beaches, and blue lagoons. Consisting of three interconnected river estuaries, the area is home to a diverse variety of flora and fauna, from overhanging Bogak trees, to eagles, monitors, otters, macaques, and tree crabs.

Dev’s Adventure Tours offers two types of mangrove tours – by boat or by kayak. Each around five hours long, we chose the latter because it allowed you to actually enter and become completely immersed in the mangrove forest. The mangrove kayak tour goes for RM220 per adult and RM140 per child ages 5-12, while the mangrove boat trip can be arranged for RM160 and RM100 respectively. As with the jungle trek, we each received a RM20 discount because we booked multiple tours.
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

The first leg of the tour took us to the Hole in the Wall restaurant, a fish farm / restaurant accessible only by boat. That’s where we received our briefing and hopped onto the two-man kayaks. Pictured below are all the yachts docked out front.
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

Aside from our awesome guide Wendy, there were three couples in today’s group – Team Australia, Team Japan, and my favorite of course, Team Philippines. Here we are observing the eagle and kite feeding, a popular but controversial activity in Langkawi.
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

Similar to the whale sharks in Oslob, Cebu, the large birds of prey here have become accustomed to being fed a steady diet of chicken skin for the sake of tourism. Buckets of the stuff are thrown into the water everyday, which they swoop down on from the skies to eat. Admittedly, it’s a spectacular sight, but unnatural with perhaps some adverse long-term effects to the birds’ well-being. Being the responsible tourist agency that they are, Dev’s Adventure Tours frowns upon the practice and does not participate.
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

Circling, getting ready to dive
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

It’s a bird! It’s a plane!
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

There’s Wendy telling us to flex our muscles as we get ready to push our way through the mangroves.
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

Entering a mystical world. Though Langkawi was one of the first islands to be hit by the tsunami in 2004, they suffered minimal damage with just one casualty, all because of these mangrove trees that absorbed the brunt of the wave’s impact. Nature is boss.
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

Surreal and enchanting, it was like paddling through another world. With me manning our vessel, Ren was in charge of taking all the pictures. It’s important to note that they provide each group with a 20 L waterproof bag, without which I would never have brought my camera. Even I’m not that stupid. ๐Ÿ˜†
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

We’ve been through a mangrove forest before, in Palawan, but it was nothing like this. Today felt like we were completely immersed in the forest, rather than just skirting through it on an amusement park ride. Pictured here are the wider, easier pathways, but there were some very tight corridors that we had to fight our way through, pushing ourselves off roots and doing the limbo through some low hanging lianas. Tiring, but super fun!
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

Wendy half-joked that if you grab a branch and it’s hard, then you’re fine. But if you grab one and it’s soft, then let go and slowly float away. Mangrove forests are home to many snakes, including some poisonous species like mangrove pit vipers. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

Team Japan and Team Australia taking a much deserved breather
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

We all got stuck in the roots at one point or another, with Team Japan getting stymied the most often. ๐Ÿ˜†
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

Captain Wendy leading our way out of the mangroves
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia


After finally making our way to the exit, there’s Team Japan looking utterly spent. ๐Ÿ˜† In all seriousness, it wasn’t easy.
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

Feeding Time at Hole in the Wall Restaurant

After around two hours of fighting the current and kayaking through the mangroves, we were all tired and very hungry. Lunch, which was included in the package, would soon be served here at Hole in the Wall restaurant / fish farm. But first, let’s go feed some fishies. ๐Ÿ™‚
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

A small fish farm, Hole in the Wall caters more to tourists. In those black crates were crabs.
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

What lies beneath? Let’s find out…
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

Some very big fish! I don’t remember what these were, but they were voracious eaters.
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

A sea of faces. Can you make out what those are?
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

Groupers-a-plenty, waiting to be fed. ๐Ÿ™‚
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

The highlight of the fish feeding tour, hand-feeding stingrays! Here’s Wendy showing us how to do it. You trap the fish between two fingers before making a fist, then lower it for them to reach. Barb-less and accustomed to being fed, there’s the stingray waiting for its meal.
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

Whadooosh!! Launching itself out of the water, you can see its mouth in this picture.
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

Badoooosh!!
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

Nomnomnomnomnom (FYI, it wasn’t really making these sounds. These were just the sounds I was imagining in my head. ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

Now my turn. After feeding it several chunks of fish, I got to pet the little guy, whose skin felt like fuzzy leather. So cool!
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

Lunch is served, beginning with a bowl of spicy Tom Yam soup with prawns.
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

Fried rice with prawns and shrimp crackers. There was a chicken option as well.
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

To the Batcave Alfred!

Re-energized by lunch, we took a short boat ride to the final leg of our tour, the bat caves.
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

Greeting us as we hopped off the boat was this little macaque.
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

It was pitch black in there, and you weren’t allowed to use a flash, so this was the sharpest picture I could muster. The light you see here was being generated by Wendy’s flashlight.
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

While Wendy was talking about stalactites and stalagmites, I was making trippy light trails with my camera. Whooooooooo!
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

Here’s one for the ghost hunters.
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

Notice how these stalactites are bending outwards? They’re apparently being shaped by the algae, that manipulates them to bend towards the light. Pretty cool eh?
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

Gnarly dude!
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

To cross this part of the cave, you had to do the limbo.
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

Scenic walkway around the limestone cliff
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

Why am I taking a picture of mud?
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

Because of this colorful pair of fiddler crabs of course. Note the one huge claw on that male. He was waving it about, as if to say “Thanks for visiting the mangroves my friend! Come back real soon lah?” Either that, or “Fuck off with that camera dude, I’m trying to get laid here.” ๐Ÿ™‚
Dev's Adventure Tours:  Nature Cycling, Jungle Trekking, & Mangrove Kayaking in Langkawi, Malaysia

And that’s our trip folks! If you’ve made it this far, then I hope you enjoyed my pictures and silly write-up. ๐Ÿ™‚

Needless to say, our trip would not have been the same if it weren’t for Dev’s Adventure Tours. They gave us three amazing experiences to remember and laugh about forever. Not only were our guides passionate and extremely knowledgeable, but they cared very much for the environment as well, which was a massive plus for me. In fact, I’m not even big on birds, but had I known that these trips would be as awesome as they were, then I would have booked the bird watching tour as well, just for the experience and knowledge imparted. If you ever visit Langkawi, then I suggest you arrange all your nature tours with them. You won’t regret it.

A big thank you to Jerome, Wendy, Anne-Marie and everyone else at Dev’s Adventure Tours for making our trip truly extraordinary. We’ll never forget it. ๐Ÿ˜€

More on Dev’s Adventure Tours

PART I: Nature Cycling
PART II: Jungle Trekking

Dev’s Adventure Tours, Langkawi, Malaysia

Rumah Kedai No. 1, Tingkat 3, Lot 1556, Tanjung Mali, Pantai Cenang, Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
Tel: +6019-494-9193
Fax: +604-955-4892
Email: info@langkawi-nature.com
Website: langkawi-nature.com
Facebook: DevsAdventureTours

For more Langkawi travel tips, check out our First-Timerโ€™s Travel Guide to Langkawi, Malaysia

 The First-Timerโ€™s Travel Guide to Langkawi, Malaysia

JB Macatulad

JB Macatulad

JB is one half of Will Fly for Food and its chief itinerary maker.ย ย He's the one to blame for all the crappy photos and verbal diarrhea on this blog.ย ย Don't listen to him.
JB Macatulad


There are 4 comments for this article
  1. Chris at 8:54 pm

    We are going to Langkawi for Christmas/ New Year. We are going to do this tour. Thanks for sharing.

  2. vivin geevarghese at 1:11 pm

    This is awesome!!! The sting ray feeding is included in the mangrove kayaking package???

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