Memorable moment: Swimming monkeys in Langkawi

‘Memorable moments’ are those travel memories of a time, a place or an experience that stick with you and bring a smile to your face years later. Here on the blog, the ‘Memorable Moments’ series is like a set of postcards on the fridge – each one a snapshot and the short story about what made that moment memorable.

Swimming monkeys in Langkawi

Swimming monkey, Langkawi:

Dateline: 17 July 2006

Although we had visited Langkawi several times previously, I don’t think we had done a mangrove boat tour before the trip in 2006.  There’s a quite a number of providers that offer boat tours of the Kilim Karst Geoforest Park, which is an area of mangrove ecosystem existing among spectacular limestone rock formations.

The usual mangrove tour itinerary includes a visit (on foot) through a bat cave, a sail through the crocodile cave by boat (named for its shape rather than any reptilian inhabitants), a visit to an aquaculture fish farm and a session of feeding Brahminy Kite eagles from the boat.

Along the way, visitors encounter the wide range of fauna that a mangrove ecosystem supports: mudskippers, crabs, dragonflies, monitor lizards, birds such as the rare brown wing stork-bill kingfisher and of course, the amazing eagles.  If you’re really lucky (and we have been on one occasion) you may even spy Asian otters. Plus, of course, the ubiquitous monkeys…

On this particular boat trip, our boat driver pulled into a small bay in the mangrove where there was a troop of monkeys lolling about. He had brought along a packer of crackers and he threw them into the water one by one. We watched in total amazement at the speed and dexterity with which those monkeys swam out to get them.  One monkey even climbed on board to help himself to a drink from a bottle of water.

I felt a little uncomfortable about monkeys clamouring aboard our vessel…and even less comfortable about them being fed such processed and unnatural food…but it certainly made for a memorable moment.  (And I’ve noted that this has never been repeated on any mangrove tour we’ve done since…so perhaps the boat tour operators are all now a little more respectful of the delicate balance of nature.)

Are you a fan of monkeys? Did you know they can swim?


The Memorable Moments series of posts is now open to guest bloggers of any genre. If you have a memorable travel moment you would like to share, shoot me an email or leave a comment below letting me know and I will add you to the schedule. You will need to provide one reasonably good quality photograph (can be watermarked), a story of 200-400 words which describes that moment, a short bio, link to your blog and social media handles .  


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