Langkawi Revisited! Part 1: Pulau Payar

Kelly wanted to go to the beach before she leaves for Japan, so I planned a short trip for us to get some sun, sand and sea!

Good to go in my new PUMA sports bikini

Trail of the Firefly

And it just so happened that we were able to get free Firefly airtickets and a cheap travel package from MATTA Fair, Penang.

- Airport tax = RM80 (round-trip)
- Family Room (1 night, 2 beds) at Best Star Resort, Pantai Cenang, inclusive of 1-day car rental = RM200

Beach on a drizzly morning

Personal driver

On Sunday, we took off for our main purpose of this trip - snorkelling at Pulau Payar Marine Park. Pulau Payar is 35km off Pulau Langkawi, and we paid for a snorkelling package of RM110 each to get there by boat. Here it was sand and sea, without the sun... because it was raining all the way through! Not a very good day for bikini-showing and snorkelling (I didn't really mind because I wouldn't get dark), but according to the Divemaster on board, it was perfect weather for a dive since underwater visibility would be good. He kept persuading us and showing us lovely underwater pictures... until in the end, we were so tempted and Leo, who's a certified diver, decided to take a dive, while Kelly and I took the intro dive which cost RM100 (inclusive of diving equipment minus diving suit).

Pulau Payar really looks like this

My First Dive

No pictures here because the camera was safely locked away...

The speedboat took us further away from the beach to the dive spot. On the boat were the 4 of us, another Malay couple, and the dive-team. Leonard and the malay guy went down first, whereas us first-time divers took a few tips from the Divemaster. We had to learn how to breathe using the mouthpiece, equalize air pressure, and hand signals.

Very soon, we got buckled up in our scuba equipment. The oxygen tank was very heavy! With the flippers on, I admit I felt like an awkward, heavy, walking codfish. With everything on, I took my first, cautious step down the rungs of the boat into the water... closed my eyes, and fell backwards into the water. The Divemaster caught hold of me, and soon I was treading water like normal. And no, the oxygen-tank doesn't feel heavy at all in the water because of the Archimedes Principle. At first, I was so scared because I kept imagining all the dreadful things that would happen to me once I was underwater, like water getting into my mouthpiece and I would drown to death! But once I flipped head-down into the pristine waters, the view of the deep sea took my breath away...

The feeling is addictive... as you feel a gust of fresh air sweep into your lungs and quell all your fears... and you open your eyes downwards to an amazing view of corals and fish that you've never seen before swimming all around you. It's like a whole, new, enchanting world down there... so much to explore, so much to see...

There are whole mountains of corals down there, and although they're not as colourful as photos turn out to be, it's simply amazing to see real corals, and flowers in blue pots opening up and swaying in front of you. Little fish darted in and out, while schools of bigger fish swam around in circles. I saw a lot of clownfish hiding shyly among the sea anemone. I reached out my hand to gently tease the Nemos out from the anemone, then hesitatingly remembered that anemone were poisonous. I saw plenty of grouper fish, black-and-yellow Benson Hedges angelfish, rainbow-coloured trouts smiling at me, big and small fish playing kissy-games, barracudas swimming on top near the surface, and big, black, prickly sea-urchins lying smugly on the seafloor. Sometimes I bobbed up and down and banged on the corals.

I motioned to my Divemaster that I wanted to walk on the seabed, and he gently let me down. Do astronauts feel the same way I do, walking weightless on the sandy seabed? The feeling was awesome, imagine walking in a world other than your own with corals as trees and fish as your normal passersby. I felt like I was in a giant fish-tank.

We swam underwater for around 45 minutes then came up to the surface. I had one bad impression which was the surface was covered with rubbish - water bottles, dirty plastic bags, rotten wood, you name it... I practically had to wave clear the rubbish for my head to come up.

Diving is, like I mentioned, simply addictive. I'm going to save up so that I can get a PADI license to go diving in all the world-famous dive spots together with my sweetheart. And I wasn't really scared of the cold, wet boat-ride and extended swimming after all my regular 5 laps in PISA!

After-lunch snorkelling

We ate out of a lunchbox consisting of sausages, kunyit fried chicken, a bun, an apple, and biscuits. Some people fed the fish with their lunch. Some of the keepers cut open small fish and used the blood to lure black-tip baby sharks up onto the shallow beach. So fun! You actually get to see baby sharks up close.

Snorkelling here feels even more like swimming in an aquarium cos you can just feel the fish brush against you in the shallow waters. Bring some bread along and you'll see fish swarming around you in droves.

However in contrast to the above paragraphs which heavily portrayed myself as a fish-lover, I would just like to shout at the damn fish which bit me when I was snorkelling! Damnit! I'm not plankton! Stupid, bad fish... they really chomped on me with their razor-sharp teeth! I think I must have yelled and leapt 5-feet high into Leonard's arms!

Proof of my fish-bites

Langkawi - shopping paradise!~

Duty free means we can buy many things! Wahahahaha ^_^ Here are some of the things I bought at Langkawi...

Cute beach bag for RM25... perfect for island shopping!

Finally, pink Adidas running shoes for RM181+ (duty free!) to replace my worn-out blue ones of >3 years... They match with Leo's new Adidases too!

Elegant Korean earrings... 1/2 price at RM14

More coming up! Stay tuned...


iplaywithheart said…
Too bad there isn't much sunshine during ur weekend in langkawi -_-'''

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