Lemon Shark in Bora Bora

Lemon Shark in Bora Bora

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Scuba Diving Kedah National Marine Park - Langkawi Malaysia

Palau Segantang- Kedah National Park Malaysia

Around 20 miles north of the port city Penang in the beautiful country of Malaysia is the Kedah National Marine Park. 

 The Malaysian Government has declared the park a protected area since 1985 and prohibits fishing.  The park consists of 5 Islands (Palau’s) with the main Island Langkawi hosting a Visitor Center, an underwater observatory some of the nicest beaches you will find in all of Malaysia.

  Palau Segantang has some bungalows that can be rented at a very low price.  The fact that the Island has no fresh water and all water is collected by park staff who use a series of tarps, and barrels to collect the rainwater may contribute to the low cost of accommodation.

  Something you can see here that I have never seen before is the Flying Fox.  It is sort of a cross between a bat and a dog.  They are actually part of the bat family and they are the largest bats in the world.  They can have a wingspan of up to 6 feet across and only weigh between 3-5 lbs.  They do not eat meat they eat fruit mostly.  However to see these large creatures fly around and land in a tree then use their hands to crawl and climb is just a little creepy.  They have been considered a delicacy by some cultures and are now on the endangered species list.  It has nothing to do with diving but I really enjoyed seeing them and felt it was worth mentioning.

  Back to diving.  Langkawi itself has no diving to speak of but there are several small islands within the park that have some magnificent dive sites. 

 One of the best known and frequently dived is Palau Segantang.  Located just west of the Island of Palau Payer, another popular dive destination Palau Segantang offers two corral pinnacles that rise from the seafloor from just less than 100’ of depth.  There is a slight current but the visibility is fantastic. 

 The Pinnacles attract a large variety of sea life such as Turtles, barracuda, eel, several varieties of jacks, large nurse sharks, seahorse, some pacific lobster, and many other varieties of fish.  It is also a great place to go to see many different types of soft corrals.

   When you leave the boat you descend to about 95’ to a sandy bottom.  Then you start to work your way back to the surface all the while admiring the many forms of life who call this formation home.  There are several swim throughs to enjoy while you work your way up.  It is an advanced level dive because of the depth and sometimes the visibility can be disturbed by the many ships that pass through the area on the Straits of Malacca. 

  However this site is an excellent 2 tank dive.  There are several day charters that make runs to the area as well as a few live boards that offer repetitive dives throughout the park.  Watch your air and time your dive properly so you don’t use your air at the beginning of the dive.  Beginner divers also frequent this site but they start the dive by descending to 60’ and working up from there.  Still a very enjoyable dive however the nurse sharks tend to stay closer to the bottom so they may well be missed. 

  Overall a very enjoyable dive that is sure to impress any diver of any level.  Bring your camera you are certain to get some great shots.


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