Kilim Geoforest park is an Unesco Global Geopark, a special protected area of geological significance and thus protected. It’s located in the north east corner of Langkawi and consists of more than 100 small islands and dense mangrove forest.
Exploring the park means you need to hop on a boat. You can do this either with a private or shared boat tour that lasts 2-4 hours depending also on whether you have lunch during the tour or not. The boats leave either from Tanjung Rhu or Kilim. We opted for Tanjung Rhu for two reasons: we were told the road there is of better quality, and because I wanted to visit the amazing beach at Tanjung Rhu which many claim is the best on the Langkawi. And I have to agree with this opinion!
We organized the boat tour through our hotel and paid 300 MYR for a two hour tour for three people. Joining a shared tour would have costed roughly the same (but also include lunch), but that would have meant spending up to 4 hours on the boat and having to wait for the group at each attraction which we didn’t want to do and were really happy with our choice.
For the first 15 minutes we were driving fast on the sea and I really loved feeling the wind in my hair and face. And of course enjoying the beautiful scenery.
The boat ride then continued into the inner canals inside the mangrove forest where we from time to time stopped to see different rock formations that represented for example a person, or a crocodile. Soon after those we stopped at the bat caves which cost an extra 2 MYR / person to enter but are worth it regardless of being crowded at times. Howeve, we actually liked it most for being able to walk inside the mangrove forest and meeting the monkeys.
After the bat caves we continued towards the crocodile cave which actually is a tunnel and doesn’t have crocodiles! The cave has been named after a rock formation at the entrance that looks like a crocodile’s head.
The boat tour continued slowly along the small canals and the next attraction were the monkeys. Our tour guide (along with all other tour guides) fed them which I felt a little uncomfortable. We also got to see monkeys swimming and diving (with only their tail visible on top of water) which was super cool!
Next stop was the feeding of eagles which I also had some conflicting feelings about.
The last stop before returning to Tanjung Rhu was visiting one of the floating restaurants which are also fish farms. Here we got to see plenty of different fish and even touch and feed some of them, like the ray in this pic.
All in all I really enjoyed the tour especially since I love just overall love being on a boat and a beautiful scenery. I didn’t fully get the excitement over the rock formations, and feeding the monkeys and eagles did bother me. However, after my trip I did a bit of studying about the feeding of the eagles: in general, it’s always bad. However they originally started feeding the eagles for a good reason: In 1980s the number of eagles reduced to some 20% of what it used to be due to lack of fish which they use for food. Many eagles also ended up trying to find food near the airport which wasn’t good either for the eagles or airplanes. So, it was started for a good reason, and now I really hope they manage it in a way that balances the positive and negative effects in the right way.