The subsequent events surprised me a lot that it gave me an immediate feeling of fulfillment from my very first solo backpacking trip.
GOING TO KILIM GEOFOREST PARK
I booked a group tour with the inn I stayed at (something solo travelers would do to reduce fees) for MYR50 (Php644).
I woke up early feeling ecstatic that finally I have given myself a taste of the childhood travel dreams I have always wanted. After an hour of jogging and walking in Lagenda Park, I rushed myself to Cosy Inn to freshen up and wait for our service.
The van went to pick up my would-be companies on the boat and took us about 1 hour to complete and arrive in Jalan Ayer Hangat where the tour starts. A ticket station with vendors selling different merchandise awaits upfront.
STARTING THE BOAT RIDE
We patiently waited in this port they call Kilim Jetty until our tour guide called our group out to board. I was very happy to get the front seat.
Entering the first sections of this 100 sq. km. field of limestone rock formations with mangrove trees impressed me with plain sights. It was already good enough for me.
I know that at some point we will be seeing eagles standing high up in the mangrove trees. But I did not expect to see them all active!
It was a spectacular sight! Our boat stood by while one was feeding them from afar.
How many “WooOoow..” did I let out?
I was hypnotized by what I’m seeing when suddenly our driver started steering forward.
“So much for that,” is probably what our boat driver thought.
I’m not certain about Malaysia’s rules regarding this activity. But in my perspective, Malaysians are doing a great a job in maintaining the park and the animals inhabiting there.
THE MONKEY’S MANGROVE TERRITORIES
We reached a mangrove area with a narrow pathway where boats need to slow down. There were monkeys running towards the boats stopped on both sides. Some were resting on the tree branches watching travelers come and go.
As we move forward, I got my eyes locked into the boat on our front left where a boatman was giving a monkey a drink.
“A bottle of Mirinda!” I shouted in my head.
“Is that ok?” I asked. But no one answered as my company’s attention were fixed on the unusual sight.
Everyone on that boat were thrilled to experience it. Ours stopped and did the same. I started to have a mix of emotions. But look how excited they were to take a sip. They won’t let a drop go untasted.
And even after the boat has moved, they would drink it by themselves.
I was entertained but worried. “Will the monkeys be fine after drinking that?”
THE CROCODILE CAVE
Nothing but a hole (it seems) under a tall karst cliff that created an underground tunnel for boats. I was waiting for crocodiles to float out of the water to make this section thrilling. We didn’t even see one.
That sudden drop of excitement rose upon seeing the yachts ahead of us.
I shifted to defense mode in case any pirates start to show up and raid our boats.
That was my imagination activated.
“Ya hafta keep that kid inside of you to stay young! Ya got it, lady?!”
“Aye, aye, Captain!”
Stay young at heart, people.
THE FLOATING FISH FARM
I was curious what could this fish farm add on my travel journal. It did not disappoint me.
The people operating it gave me the splendid stop over when they invited us to meet different type of sea creatures they housed there.
Feed an archerfish. Carry that giant shelled…(Goodness, I forgot the name!) Tickle a friendly baby sting ray! And more! I volunteered all the time.
You’ll pay MYR1 (Php13) for the entrance fee and receive the flashlights they will provide. This is a quick 10 minute tour under a dark bat-filled cave and a walkway when you get out on the other end.
Be entertained by the monkeys too, who I’m not surprised this time, waiting for kids to share their chips. (Seriously!)
OUT IN THE OPEN SEA
At the end of the river trails is the well known rock formation with the huge sign of Kilim Geoforest Park.
“Hold a bit tighter on your seat,” the driver said.
Even though it was sunny, it was August in a rainy season. We’re riding the giant waves of the Andaman sea to go back to the port with the speed of the boat at its max.
My face glowed with excitement.
We got quite wet by the salty ocean water splashing into our bodies as our boat drops from the crest of the waves and throw us back up again. It was cycles of a five to ten-minute bumpy (and a little bit frightening for me) ride.
THE FLOATING RESTAURANT
They serve fish, chicken, seafood and fresh fruits. Everything was delicious. There’s no extra fee to be paid. It’s part of the tour package.
I’m recharged, super thankful and quite tired but my day isn’t over yet.
I hope that the eagles will grow well in health and in numbers, the monkeys to get a nutritionist, and the Malaysians to continue to preserve this wonderful northeastern tip of Langkawi.
Have you been to Kilim Geoforest Park? What’s your favorite part of the tour?