Whenever a friend or anyone tells us they will be visiting Langkawi, we always..always tell them to visit the geoparks, especially the geosites. And as usual, the response we normally get is ‘what’s a geopark?’
Firstly,’geopark’ is not a short form for geological park, in fact it is a term used for a nationally protected area that has geological heritage sites of international significance. It doesn’t stop there. According to UNESCO, the geological heritage sites must also be part of the sustainable development of the local community who lives in the area, and that’s what differentiate a geopark from a national park.
Last we check, there are about 88 geoparks in the the world and Langkawi was the first geopark in Southeast Asia endorsed by UNESCO on 1st June 2007.
Basically, Langkawi Geopark can be divided to 3 main Geoparks. The Kilim Karst Geoforest Park, The Machincang Cambrian Geoforest Park and The Dayang Bunting Geoforest Park.
The Kilim Karst Geoforest Park
It is easy to identify which geoforest park you are in just by looking at the colour of the stones. For Kilim Karst, it is greyish limestone all over.
One of the best way to enjoy Kilim is to charter a boat. There are many interesting locations to visit and you can choose which locations you would like to go to.
One of our favourite geosites is at Anak Tikus Island. This dark grey coloured limestone island is rich with fossils, particularly the gastropod, ancestors to the snails family.
Actually, it is not that easy to spot a gastropod fossil, it took us a few minutes to find one. The fossil is about the size of an average thumb, and it can be found scattered over the small island. I guess this is as close as we can get to be a geologist.
Kilim is also rich with its mangrove forests. If you are up for it, you can hire a kayak and explore the small passages that only a Kayak can access to.
A normal tourist package will take about one whole day to sight seeing around Kilim Karst Geoforest Park, but if you have the time, we would suggest you to spend at least 2 days to explore the beauty and history behind Kilim Karst Geoforest Park.
Don’t worry… you don’t have to be a geologist to enjoy Langkawi Geopark
Visit www.naturallylangkawi.my, www.lada.gov.my