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Kayaking through the Mangrove

The daughter of Indian chief Pocahontas is told that another Indian has asked for her hand. However, she herself does not like him. She asks Grandmother Willow, a talking tree, for advice. He tells Pocahontas to listen to her heart.
Shortly afterwards the British settlers arrive. Pocahontas gets curious and decides to take a look with her raccoon Meeko and the hummingbird Flit. The adventurer John Smith explores the area and Pocahontas follows him. When she is discovered by Smith, the two click immediately and they fall in love.

Nice weather calls for fun water sports. Because kayaking is not only a pleasant activity, it also has a cooling effect. kayaking is on the rise again. Would you like to try it out? That is possible on Langkawi. Langkawi is not only famous for its beautiful sandy beaches, but also for its mangroves. There is a kayak tour through the mangrove, which can take up to a few hours.
In the morning it is wonderfully nice in the mangrove. It's wonderful to sit in silence kayaking, before other tourists arrive and the motorboats make a lot of noise. Also, the sun is not so bright in the morning. It is wonderfully quiet to kayak through the mangrove forests in peace.

A mangrove forest is a forest with aerial roots (or breathing roots). You can find these forests on Langkawi along the coast in the north. They have roots in the air and are submerged at high tide. It is teeming with life between these roots. The mangroves are therefore extremely suitable as a breeding and nursery for colorful fish, crabs, etc. They seek protection between the roots, otherwise they would be prey for predatory fish and birds. It is difficult for them to get between the roots.

You make such a kayak trip led by a guide. He explains everything to you along the way. You will see monkeys, birds of prey or even snakes living in the branches of the trees. So stay close to the guide with your kayak. He will draw your attention to all kinds of animals, such as sea eagles, herons, lizards and mudfish. Such an organized tour includes a (local) lunch with a drink.
Boat trips through the mangrove are also organised. The engines of the boats make a lot of noise and cause pollution. It is absolutely recommended to go with a kayak.

The Mangrove Reserve has proven to be a natural barrier against violent storms. The mangrove forests are breakwaters and can reduce the strength of storms, so that little damage is done to villages with the inhabitants.
Undoubtedly, the mangrove is an important coastal site for migratory waterfowl and forest birds. As many as 43,000 to 85,000 birds make use of a mangrove forest during their migration period.
There are many places in Malaysia both in Borneo and on the peninsula, many places with mangroves along the coast. You can visit these by boat and on foot. On Langkawi it is Kilim Geoforest Park a good place. However, if you stay overnight near Ipoh/ Taiping, then Kuala Sepetang is an excellent place.

This is a town about 18 km from Taiping. It is a thriving fishing village on the estuary of the Kuala Sangga. It is a Chinese fishing community on this estuary that specializes in cage farming. You can visit the mangrove reserve if you get off the highway at Taiping and drive to the coast. It is very easy to find. An overnight stay in Taiping is recommended.
Kuala Sepetang also has a mangrove forest, which is not yet discovered by tourism. When we visited it, no one was visiting it. This mangrove reserve contains a rich and diverse fauna, which nature lovers can enjoy.
A long, wooden path winds through the mangrove forest. As you walk along the path, you will see all kinds of animals darting beneath you, such as crabs and mudfish. At high tide, the water flows over the roots and is a protected place for small fish and other animals. It is also considered the nursery for numerous crustaceans such as crabs, shrimps, lobsters, horseshoe crabs and shrimp. But also for fish.
It's an unusual sight to see how these trees defend themselves against the salt water and how their aerial roots settle in the swampy bottom. The mangrove roots filter the water during ebb and flow, removing the sediments before they enter the open seawater, otherwise coral reefs could die.

Path through the mangrove


We stayed at the Flemington Hotel *** in Taiping. A clean, nicely located hotel on Lake Gardens (Tasik Taman). Easy to find.
You can visit the following attractions when staying overnight in Taiping:

- Bukit Merah
- Taiping Night Zoo
- the Lake Gardens in Taiping
- Bukit Larut (2 km from the hotel)
- the mangrove forests in Kuala Sepetang
- take a boat tour in Kuala Sepetang to see the white dolphins
- visit a charcoal factory in Kuala Sepetang
- Kuala Gula (Bird Sanctuary)
- fireflies in Kampong Dew




  Ben van Wijnen



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