The Pulau Payar Marine Park is a popular destination for snorkelling and diving. Deemed as Malaysia’s oldest marine park sanctuary, it is comprised of four islands – Pulau Kaca, Pulau Lembu, Pulau Segantang, and Pulau Payar, which is the biggest among the four. All the islands are uninhabited and none of them offer any accommodation to visitors.
The wide range of coral reef, including Tubastrea Micrantha and Semi-Precious Antipathes, represents the sanctuary’s uniqueness, with various species of exotic fishes roaming around the area, such as barracudas, clownfish, horse-eyed jacks and black-tipped reef sharks.
One of the top dive sites in Pulau Payar is the Coral Garden, a secluded section of the park that offers the best spot for diving enthusiasts to be in awe with the rich colourful corals and magnificent sea creatures. The park also provides an observation area in the floating platform for those who don’t want to get wet.
Apart from diving and snorkelling, swimming in the calm sheltered waters is also a popular activity. Other unique activity there includes baby shark feeding, which gives visitors a chance to get up close with the adorable creatures. Besides that, the park also offers hiking trails to those who want to enjoy a non-marine activity.
“…Although uninhabited, the marine park still provides a list of amenities such as picnic tables, barbecue pits, gazebos, and restrooms for the public – making it an ideal holiday destination for the whole family.”
As a marine conservation area, Pulau Payar Marine Park promotes ecotourism to ensure a long-standing ecological balance of marine life. Visitors should refrain from removing any corals, shells or any marine organisms from the ecosystem. Besides that, fishing is also prohibited; and during baby shark feeding, visitors must make sure to keep a distance and refrain from touching the baby sharks.