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While in Langkawi, the last stop of our Malaysian trip, we wanted to see a bit of nature (after KL and Penang). So we just signed up for a boat tour of the mangroves around the island. It was all very touristy but convenient.

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As expected, we were picked up by the tour operator at the hotel in a mini van, delivered to a pier where the boat operators received us (and guests from other hotels and resorts).

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The tourism industry has organized itself into efficient segments, the tour operators who sell the tour and transport the tourists to the boat operators who provide the tour guide and the boat, and deliver us to the fisherman (part time cook) who provided us with lunch.

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The tour started with our boat speeding through open water in the Anderman sea, very reminiscent of our trip to the islands from Ko Samui in the Gulf of Thailand. See our earlier post here.

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Many hidden beaches and odd-looking rocky islets with dramatic cliffs.

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This park is made of several elongated hills and islands with narrow limestone karst valleys in between, and these valleys are home to a unique mangrove forest.

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We entered a river mouth where the mangroves are located.

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Our boat went through some narrow gaps including the one below with an unbelievably low ceiling.

kilim-8One-way traffic only.

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We studied mangroves in geography class but never saw one until now. The word “mangroves” refers to the trees and shrubs that grow in intertidal saline water and evolved roots systems to deal with the salt and wave action.

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The mangroove forest is considered a distinct biome as we saw here.

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We made several stops including a couple at aquaculture stations. These are floating platforms under which where fishes are kept and sold to passing tourists.

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These are mom-n-pop operations catering to tourists. But aquaculture is a major industry in this part of Asia, providing the world with affordable and sustainable shrimp and tilapia (for example). But we did not see any commercial fish farm here.

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We saw various kinds of fishes, including tuna and eel. They are all on the menu.

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The tuna was swimming fast in circles. It could put up quite a fight when a net is lowered … however we did not get to see it.

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More photos of the wild life in our next post …

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