Malaysia is blessed with an abundance of mangrove forests. Its unique physique plays a vital role as an extremely strong barrier and protector against impacts from the sea, such as storms and tsunamis. The surroundings of a mangrove forest create a productive ecosystem, allowing a healthy food chain to take place and contributing to biodiversity for both land and marine species.  

While our mangrove forests are carefully preserved and are often visited for research and education purposes, they have also become some of the more unique tourist attractions. Locals and outsiders alike now have the opportunity to witness for themselves the one-of-a-kind scenery only mangrove forests can offer. This time around, I will be highlighting three of our mangrove forests that not only welcome visitors, but also provide different activities for visitors to partake.

Kilim Geoforest Park, Langkawi

You might go to Langkawi for the beaches and shopping sprees, but did you know that you can also go for a mangrove forest tour? Being one of Malaysia’s top tourist destinations, Langkawi’s Mangrove Forest that also goes by the name Kilim Geoforest Park, offers numerous activities for you to choose from, including kayaking around the forest!

Tour packages offered at Kilim Geoforest Park

There are many mangrove tour packages offered in Langkawi for you to choose from. Each will lead you to a complete journey, from discovering the magical forest in its splendour and its hidden wildlife, to eagle watching, and a flavoursome lunch of fresh seafood at a local fish farm restaurant. Not only that, you can also have a mini-exploration into Gua Kelawar; its literal translation: Bat Cave. Be sure to find the package that suits you (and your itinerary) best!

Mangrove forest boat tour at Langkawi’s Mangrove Forest, photo courtesy of chrisnsue.wordpress.com
Kayaking around Langkawi’s Mangrove forest, photo courtesy of xtremelangkawi.weebly.com

For further details and enquiries:
Website: https://kilimgeoforestpark.com/
Contact no.: +604 959 2323

Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve, Kuala Sepetang

Personally, this is a special place for me as it is only walking distance from my mother’s hometown! We almost never miss a visit whenever we spend our holidays in Taiping, Perak. At Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve, visitors can take a stroll inside the forest itself for free! This makes the refreshing environment the locals’ favourite sport for exercising, jogging, or just enjoying the morning breeze.

Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve’s Walkway

To amp up your trip, book a boat for RM 150.00 for a special river cruise and spend a night at one of their cute chalets! You can choose between non-air-conditioned and air-conditioned chalets, at RM 100.00 and RM150.00 respectively. A night in the middle of the mangrove forest? Not your typical holiday if you ask me!

Entrance fee:
MyKad holders: RM 5.00
MyKid holders: RM 2.00
Non-MyKad holders: RM 15.00
Parking: RM 2.00

Kuala Sepetang’s Charcoal Factory

Near the reserve, you can also find Kuala Sepetang’s Charcoal Factory. Often times, the factory is busy welcoming groups of tourists and students on a field trip to witness for themselves the production of mangrove charcoal. Apart from supplying charcoal, the factory has also expanded its products to charcoal soap and mangrove vinegar!

Kuala Sepetang’s Charcoal Factory’s products

You can walk in (free entrance!) to witness the production for yourselves and purchase their products, however, if you’d like a special tour and complete briefing of the whole process, ring them up in advance for an arrangement.

Here’s an extra travel tip: do not leave Kuala Sepetang without trying its signature dish; mi udang! A special noodle cooked with sweet and spicy broth with a generous amount of fresh prawns. Situated near the sea, the villagers You can find several stalls by the roadside, from Mi Udang Pak Hashim to Mi Udang Mak Jah, all prepared with love by the locals. It’s so delicious that it has boosted and increased the village’s economy by enticing locals and outsiders just for a bowl of the scrumptious dish!

Mi udang, photo courtesy of myperakawesome.blogspot.com

For further details and enquiries:
Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve
Website: Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve’s Facebook
Contact no.: +6012 514 5023 (Mr. Khairul)

Kuala Sepetang’s Charcoal Factory
Website: Kuala Sepetang’s Charcoal Factory’s Facebook
Contact no.: +6012 573 9563 (Mr. Michael Chuah)

Kina Benuwa Mangrove Ecology Park, Labuan

Kina Benuwa Wetland, photo courtesy of labuantourism.my

If you ever get the chance to visit Labuan, be sure to take some time to visit their Mangrove Ecology Park! The park offers three main attractions for its visitors: Kina Benuwa Mangrove Forest Reserve, Kina Benuwa Wetland, and the beautiful Kina Benuwa River. The reserve is not only home to 16 mangrove species from seven different families, but also home for some saltwater crocodiles! Although fishing is allowed at the Kina Benuwa River, anglers are advised to be cautious of the scaly friends! Did you know that the Kina Benuwa Wetland consists of 97,604 hectares of the majestic mangrove trees? Imagine that!

Kina Benuwa River, photo courtesy of emily2u.com

For further details and enquiries:
Website: https://www.labuantourism.my/
Contact no.: +608 740 8741

Of course, there are many more mangrove forests across the country for you to visit and explore. They’re definitely one of the less glamourous world’s wonders. Like an army of soldiers, they stand in front of the barriers, selflessly (and effortlessly) protecting the people from catastrophes, and keeping the earth’s harmony safe and sound. Let’s pay a visit and thank them!