Kubang Badak is touted as a new bio-geosite in Langkawi that will boost its status as an UNESCO Global Geopark and a new discovery that holds the answer to pulling in high-end tourists.
Mangrove swamps, old charcoal kiln ruins, fossil finds, a bat cave and eagles – the White-Bellied Sea Eagle and Brahminy Kite – and undersea geysers are among the 13 geo-trails there.
The name of this geo-site is a misnomer – a watering hole for hippo where none is found anywhere near – and herein lies its allure.
This place has a unique cultural community – Siamese people who produced charcoal from the abundant supply of mangrove – and bio-geo features that set it apart from the other geo-sites within the larger Langkawi Global Geopark.
At its river mouth, visitors on a boat can take in the panoramic view of the 490-hectare Kubang Badak mangrove swamps and mudflats in front, the limestones karst of Kilim on the left and the captivating Mount Machinchang Cambrian Geoforest on the right.
On Jemuruk Island is found million years old trilobites, a fossilised extinct marine arthropods; Dangli Island with its rich marine life and corals; and Tanjung Buta with mudflats, white quartz and trails for nature-lovers.
Near the limestone karst is the Pinang Cave that stinks with guano from discharges from the thousands of fruit bats hanging inside and telltale signs of a 1.5-metre thick layer of seashells and clams that protested that it should not be resting 50 metres on high ground.
More on bio are the small Fiddler Crabs on the banks and abandoned charcoal kilns that held over 1,000 sticks each at one time.
With its bio-geo heritage value and attractions, Kubang Badak is perhaps the perfect choice as a high-end tourist destination that is being promoted by the government agency Langkawi Development Authority.
To visit the geosite, look out for the big arch on the roadside that leads into the Kubang Badak fishermen’s jetty off Jalan Teluk Yu. It is about 30 minutes from Kuah or Pantai Cenang on opposite direction.