Bat Cave and Kayaking
When we landed in Langkawi, we only arranged for one outing on Saturday - the third day we were there. We had a free Friday, and as we were going through the hotel when we arrived, we saw a brochure on a kayaking trip. Irfan was keen to go. So, we booked the outing through the hotel, organised by a local group, Dev’s Adventure Tours.
We really were not what we signed up for, to be honest. But we might as well just go along with it.
So, the day started early, quick buffet breakfast at the hotel before catching the boat ride to Pantai Cenang. From there, we had a van taking us across Langkawi to Kilim Karst Geoforest Park, where the activities were happening. On the day of our visit, UNESCO’s Observers were in town doing their inspections. So, the place was spick and span, plus a welcoming party was waiting for the observers. There was a family day organised there, so we got more than what we bargained for.
Our guide, Yan, was already waiting for us when we reached Kilim. He rounded us over for a quick briefing before we board a boat to a nearby bat cave - 10 minutes boat-ride away. Creatively named Gua Kelawar, we could actually see hundreds of bats clinging on the roof of the cave, just quietly going about their business. Yan then talked about the surrounding mangrove ecosystem as the exit of the cave was right in the middle of a swamp.
Next stop was a floating restaurant not far away. We were not there for the food yet - although we would later have our lunch there - to kit ourselves up for the kayak. Apparently, we visited the restaurant on our last Langkawi trip, and this place was actually near Tanjung Rhu, where we stayed then.
Now, the kayak bit was tiring. We spent a couple of hours in the water, and it was longer than expected as a member of our group was slow. Altogether, there were 5 pairs in our group. Anita was with Idlan while I rode with Irfan. Irfan was actually a pretty decent navigator, and we ended up being the most nimble in the group.
After 20 minutes in choppy water, we went into smaller streams leading deeper into the mangrove swamp. More stories from Yan. In the shades, kayaking was enjoyable. The hot sun, however, gave me some proper sunburn, with my skin peeling still two hours after the trip. On our way back, the slow pair actually took a tumble in the water, needing a bit of rescue work. By the time this was done, everybody was ready to head back to the floating restaurant for some food. And I was wet by the time we were on our way back.
Food was lousy, unfortunately, but the drinks really hit the spot. After half an hour or so, it was a quick boat ride back to Kilim jetty where our transport back to the hotel was waiting. We dropped off the others who stayed in Pekan Kuah first before the van took us to Cenang. Another boat ride to the hotel and the trip was over. The boys were really tired by then. But for Anita and I, we were ready for more adventures ... we decided to cycle around the resort ...