Pulau Payar Marine Park
Pulau Payar Marine Park
Reefs • Nature & Wildlife Areas
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Top ways to experience Pulau Payar Marine Park and nearby attractions

Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

842 reviews
Very good

Melbourne, Australia48 contributions
Jan 2020 • Couples
We did the more expensive platform trip and it was well worth it. When we arrived to organised chaos, the tide was out and snorkeling was only an option from the platform. Only after 1pm or so could the beach goers actually snorkel out far enough to see anything.
English information was scarce and food was disappointing, and the boat home left 10 minutes early, not sure what would happen if you were still enjoying the underwater viewing chamber since there were no English announcements!
Would recommend the platform over the beach option
Written January 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Liverpool, UK4 contributions
I did the trip to Pulau Payar from Penang in Sep 2006. It was the most memorable day of the holiday.

Picked up at our hotel by a coach for a short transfer to penang harbour. Quickly onto the ferry, which has to be said is in need of a bit of TLC. Word of advice, boat trip takes approx 1 hour and no refreshments are offered on board, take a bottle of water with you. You can sit on the top deck to feel the wind in your hair or on your bald spot and watch the beautifull scenery go by ( Small fishing boats and isolated islands )

You arrive at a pontoon moored some 100 metres from a white sandy beach. You're given a safety briefing from the 'Captain' of the pontoon. Facilities include all snorkelling equiptment, a below deck viewing area, glass bottom boat and scuba diving equipment ( additional cost 120 MR per 45mins ).

On board there is a bar area selling alcoholic and soft drinks and wash room and changing room facilities for the more bashfull

Your free to spend your time snorkelling or over on the beach sunbathing with the Monkey's. The reef that the pontoon is moored by is truely amazing. I've snorkelled on the Barrier reef, and it doesnt come close to matching Pular payar. The reef is only about 2ft below the surface, with an abundance of marine life. I saw a Black tipped reef shark (5ft) no danger to us humans. A baracuda, sea turtle, octopus and of course I finally found Nemo.

A buffet lunch is served, which offers a good selection of meats,noodles and rice. The bowls of lemon jelly went down particularly well with me. Then after our lunch its a hop on a small boat to a viewing pier where Capt Ahab feeds the sharks !!!

The rest of the afternoon is yours before the returtn ferry to the terminal and your coach transfer back to your hotel.

A really really good day, that I would recommend to anyone young, old or middle aged.
Written October 3, 2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Shanghai, China229 contributions
Jul 2014 • Solo
I ordered the beach package from Agency for only RM75, and platform is over RM120, the only difference is the location and the lunch..but we go for snorkeling, not for the lunch. And you can actually swim all the way from the beach to their platform. And even the agency told to book the cheap ones.

Normal water, not that crystal, a quite number of marine life, and even small sharks, just swim far away from the shore and crowd, you will find a lot of treasures under the water.

And this place is especially great for those first time snorkelers!
Written April 27, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia10 contributions
Feb 2020
Don't be fooled by the pictures, it's not as crystal clear as portrayed. The corals are dead, the toilets/changing rooms are dirty, the food provided is terrible. Simply put, the place is poorly maintained. Bring your own lunch pack as there's nothing at the island.

The snorkeling was okay, but not worth the price. I've been to other snorkeling site in Malaysia at a cheaper price, and Pulau Payar is by far the worst. The snorkel area is so small, it just wasn't worth exploring.

However, it's a good place to bring kids as you can see fish and baby sharks from the shore.

I spent most of time at the platform, enjoying the view from up there. The view is okay, but it's definitely not something that I'd recommend to others.
Written February 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Daniele A
45 contributions
Feb 2020 • Couples
Long journey, it takes mon than an hour from Langkawi Jetty Pier. The beach is small and dirty. In front of the beach there is a couple of big platforms. Crowd place difficult to achieve because there is a floating bridge. Few fish . Not worth the time you spent.
Written February 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Anna H
16 contributions
Jan 2020 • Couples
There’s renevation going on at the main place of marine park but no one tells you that when booking. So there’s only one small spot on the beach and about 100 japanese. All corals are dead. You can walk to the main place where guys doing reno, there’s more clean water and you can be almost alone
Written January 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sheng O
Dublin7 contributions
We went with East Marine Divers, which may have been slightly more expensive but offered a very safe and efficient service. I think they are the only operators that are mainly focused on diving and have a decent dive shop and divemasters. We had a very good impression of East Marine the moment we saw the shop and met the DM's.

The equipment they used was new, and they went to Langkawi on a fast boat with a section separated for divers so that snorkellers and divers were not mixed up. At the diver section there was a map of the island and the dive sites pinned to a wall and the DMs went through the briefing quite thoroughly. This section was given better masks and fins than the snorkellers. Divers were also allowed up to the sundeck to suntan, which snorkellers were not due to the limited capacity. While we suntanned, the DMs fitted and equipped all the equipment for us! The air was topped up to 3000psi and there were plenty of good masks. At lunchtime, we were given a simple but plentiful lunch consisting of fruit salad, chicken cutlet and gravy with a slice of lemon cake. All of us enjoyed it but I can see how some others would not (it was cold for a start).

Going to the drop off site, we transferred to a smaller dive boat (covered). We felt that East Marine were organised, professional and honest at all times. Even before the dive they told us the dive would be 'terrible' and 'the worst ever' which turned two or three divers away. We persisted and true enough the visibility was incredibly poor - maximum 5-7m and sometimes 3m. This was due to the red tide season. The water temperature was nice at 30oC and there was virtually no current or thermocline. There were so many DM's that out of 4 pairs of divers, each was assigned a DM. Ours was a guy called Ali, who was fantastic and had eagle eyes.

It must be said that diving in Langkawi cannot be recommended. Even if the vis were to clear to 20m, the disappointment of an extensively destroyed coral reef makes little point in diving. The reef was dead and monochrome at most places. However, we did see several pelagics, lionfish, large moray eels, stonefish and large queen triggerfish. Our second dive (at our request) brought us to a sunken fishing vessel. Again corals were demolished but the wreck was nice. The wreck itself was teaming with fish and there is a resident 40cm lionfish. We saw nudibranchs up to 8-10cm in length and all in all, it was a fair dive the second time round.

I can't say I'd recommend diving at Langkawi at all. I don't know about the snorkelling but people that enjoy snorkelling with black tip reef sharks can do so as they feed them. Some people went crazy over these but it didn't attract me at all. If I went to Langkawi again I would avoid diving at all costs but if I did go, I would undoubtedly go with East Marine again.
Written December 29, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kent, UK159 contributions
This was the worst trip we have ever been on and I won't recommend it to anyone.

We booked with East Marine through Tour East, which was about £40-£50 each.

A very small minibus picked us up from the Datai which then proceeded to pick up 9 more people so it was extremely cramped and quite a long journey to the jetty.

We were given refreshments and then a quick talk from one of the guys. On board the ferry we were given snorkelling gear and lifejackets and the trip took about an hour. Not very comfortable I must say.

Anyway Pulau Payer looked lovely from the sea, all green and clear until we landed. We were taken to a large shelter with concrete floors and benches right behind the "beach". This was very dirty. Right next to us construction work was going on which was extremely dangerous as we had to walk through it to get to the toilets. No health and safety here at all!!!! The loos were a disgrace and can only be described as "rank" - the worst I have ever seen and I have seen some bad ones. Only 2 loos between over 200 people. They didn't flush, no loo paper and they didn't lock, they also smelt terrible.

We decided to try the other beach near the floating platform. However we discovered that the walkway ended well before the beach with a rock climbing assault course. This was very dangerous especially when the tide came in later.

Back to the "main beach" which was basically a strip of sand 10-12 ft wide which completely disappeared after lunch when the tide came in. We then had to sit for hours under the shelter with the construction work and filth all around us. There was nowhere else to go at all. We were encouraged to take our rubbish with us, but a lot of tourists didn't bother and the sea was littered with plastic bottles, old lighters and plastic bags.

The sea was warm but very cloudy unless you went right out beyond the jetty where it was clear. Many people fed the fish which did bite so beware! The shark feeding was a frenzy and was quite dangerous as the guys feeding them basically tormented them encouraging them to come into the shallows where small kids were standing.

The packed lunch consisted of fish paste & tomato (disgusting), cold potato wedges and a very limp salad. Water accompanied this but there was no other food or drink available so if you didn't like this (who would?) you went hungry.

As I said before the Health & Safety was disgusting. The guys accompanying us only had basic training in putting plasters on. When a french guy got bitten by a fish they didn't know what to do. He was in a very bad way with his arm swelling up fast. There was no rush to take him off the island and no transport fast enough to get him to hospital in a hurry. He was still with us at the end of the day looking decidedly dodgy. They also informed us that they didn't have any lifeguards so if anyone got into trouble it was tough luck.

I would not recommend this trip to anyone, it would be much better to save your money and go to one of the lovely beaches around the island that are free and very clean and have safety facilities around them!
Written August 27, 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Hong Kong57 contributions
Payar Marine Park is actually a part of an island named Payar, which consists of a stunning sea + small clean beach, and numerous colorful fishes swimming around you when you snorkel/dive - these are the reasons I gave 4 stars here, for the location. There’re also sharks feeding performance if you’re interested. Took you a day from 8.30am - 4.30pm incl. 2hrs round-trips sailing.

Seems that there are 3 main tour companies which offer boat trips from Langkawi to Payar Island’s Marine Park: East Marine Divers, Coral Island, and Langkawi Coral. We joined the last one Langkawi Coral as they're the only one which got it’s own floating sea platform beside the Payar beach. It's the services of Langkawi Coral that makes me deducted a star. Tips on this experience are:

No need to book neither of these tours from a mid-agent. Just directly call them on the first day you arrive Langkawi, they will just charge you a foreigner rate without agent fees (they will ask for your nationality first cos they charge locals cheaper), which should be RM 240/person that includes round-trip hotel to island taxi+boat pickups, a buffet lunch on the sea platform, and all snorkeling equipments. Note that diving needs to pay extra, but that will be settled on platform so bring some cash for drinks + diving just in case.

From what we saw, Langkawi Coral is famous among Asian tours, esp. HKese, Singaporean, Chinese, Japanese and Taiwanese. So if you’re not used to fighting for food, toilets, snorkeling equipments, and eating crappy food, don’t join it.

Heard from the Japanese couple that they were satisfied with East Marine, only that it should charge more while it doesn’t have its own sea platform, so I guess can’t do diving (?).

There’s no security at all on the sea platform, while you’re expected to leave all your belongings in an opened basket on the platform in order to swim to the Payar beach. I did pass our passports and wallets to one of the staff there though, as he claimed that he would keep tight to himself. We ended up safely brought all our belongings back home too.

Bring waterproof + fragrance free sun-block. Make sure you apply real thick sun-block on your face + neck + shoulder once you arrive the platform, cos truth is you will have to swim/snorkel to the beach once arrived the platform. And fragrance free is bcos heard that the starving fishes (and sharks) love to bite tasty sun-block flesh....

Last but not the least, remember to get the staff’s name when you do phone booking. Our bad experience was we called them to book a night in advance and were confirmed with a pickup time next morning. They turned up forgetting us and denied we’ve confirmed them, even though we could exactly quote back their promised pickup time. We ended up took taxi (RM 35) to their pier and quarreled to have them deduct the taxi fare back as this should be included in the package. Panic and anger caused however which ruined the day.
Written September 1, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Singapore126 contributions
Jun 2018 • Couples
It's supposed to be a marine sanctuary, but I have doubts about its management. Too many tourists being allowed to visit, there's plastic in the sea which none of the crew/staff seem bothered about, and safety hazards. Barely any information provided about reefs, conservation, etc - it's all commercially oriented.. Three tour companies run the snorkeling trips, everyone goes on the same ferry. There's a choice of snorkeling from the floating platform or the beach - we opted for the beach. The day we went, the seas were rough and several people were sick on the boat. (Seasick pills are offered for sale by the tour companies before the boat leaves - hmm.) It took around 1.5 hours to get there. The floating platform was pitching about quite severely and I wondered how people on it managed to eat lunch ...To get to the island, we had to transfer to smaller boats, then walk on a crazy floating pontoon bridge (about 30 m) to the beach, yes it was pitching about quite a bit too.in rough waters and if you have balance problems it'll be a problem. Getting off the bridge to the beach looked like an evacuation: children were being lifted from the bridge by the crew and I helped retrieve a kid's slippers. Couldn't see any live corals while snorkeling though there were quite a few fish and the water is clear. The beach was crowded but it is pretty safe for kids to swim there. There's no fresh water supply on the island, so of course the flushes in the rudimentary toilet facilities don't work ... and there aren't enough facilities for all the visitors, so after a few hours conditions were pretty dire. Long queue for the toilets about half an hour before the ferry departure. The only cubicle with a sitting toilet didn't have a door - I'm sure there was one before, but probably when it broke nobody bothered to replace it. Getting back on the ferry was a joke and an accident waiting to happen as everyone had to cross the floating pontoon bridge again, climb into the small boats, and transferred to the ferry. A huge wave slammed one of the small boats against the pontoon, one of the crew fell off - he or any passenger who lost his footing could've been pinned between the boat and pontoon ... scary. It took nearly 45 minutes to get everyone back on the ferry. Would advise tourists to Langkawi to avoid this. it's neither ecological or entirely safe.
Written July 25, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Pulau Payar Marine Park (Langkawi) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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