Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Kukup Island National Park

Kukup Island is a mangrove island located about 1 km from the fishing village of Kukup in Pontian, Johor.
It's a small town. One of those places where u will see bicycle as one of the main modes of transportation.
There is an international jetty terminal in Kukup. Hop on a boat and u will reach Indonesia in 50 minutes.
Some interesting stats. Kukup Island is the 2nd largest uninhabited mangrove island in the world.

And Kukup is very near to Tanjung Piai, which is the “Southernmost Tip of Mainland Asia”. Cool huh?? ;)
We took the boat to tour the Kukup Island. Thank God it was a short ride. I was quite hesitant coz Luqman was not well. But the kids insisted to go on with the trip. So we did.
Quite a lot of tourists. Maybe bcoz it was a weekend and school holiday. The boat ride costs $5 for adult and $3 for kids.

Nice view en route to the island. Houses on stilt.
 Fishermen with their catch.
The main jetty. And ticketing counter. Entrance fee is $5 for adult and $3 for kids.
The map. Things u can do in the park.
Somebody was pretty excited to start the exploration. 
 And the exploration began.
The mangrove trees.
The root systems are designed to trap silt - the more silt builds up, the more mangroves can grow, and trap more silt and make more muddy areas for more mangroves.
Their roots grow up out of the mud so that oxygen is accessed straight from the air.
Mangroves are a living buffer between the land and the sea. The dense silt amassed by their root systems prevents erosion from their landward side while it also minimises erosion from wave activity on the seaward side. The forest itself bears the brunt of storm activity, allowing the coast behind it to remain protected. More info from here.
Observatory tower. Can u see my young man? Obviously getting better. At least well enough to climb the tower and get the bird eye view of the island.
 And well enough to go on the suspension bridge. Joined by Hajar. 
The rest of us gave it a pass. Definitely not my cup of tea :P
And he was wondering whether his famous name means api-api or bulu. He would like to think it's the former :P
Mangrove forests maintain the biodiversity by providing shelter to the animals too. Some animals u can find in the park.
  Footsteps in the mud. Who's footstep is that?
  During low tide, u can see some wild boar. Busy looking for food.
We didn't see any birds. The tourists were really noisy. Luqman was pretty upset. Kids think we were not seeing many animals coz most of them have retreated from the bridge area due to the noise. They obviously didn't read this ;(
After a while, somebody needed a lift. The advantage of being a 4yo.
The girls doing some limbo while waiting for the boat pick up. How low can u go?? ;-)
On the way back, we stopped by a kelong (fish farm).
Medina finally got to see a live horseshoe crab.
The horseshoe crab has existed since the era of the dinosaur. About 300 million years ago. Hence, it's also known as the living fossil. One of the interesting facts about this creature that I learned is their blood is blue and it can be used as medicine.
There is a funny story about horseshoe crab in our house. When we were in Cherating beach, Mr O found the shell and asked the kids what it was.
None of them knew. Except Little Missy. So Mr O was pretty impressed. And ummi was impressed too. So obviously, she was quite proud of her achievement beating her elder siblings. Then the story reached Tok Ayah. And my dad, who was very fond of her, was of course was beyond impressed with her knowledge. And started heaping praise on her. So I think her head got quite big after a while ;-) So she started retelling the stories. Again and again. And it annoys big sister (READ: Hajar) big time...hahaha :-) And it annoys the hell out of Hajar when Luqman keep teasing her...what is this Hajar??? What is thiiiiisss??? Adoilahhhh!!

And it gets worse when she told us how she knew. 
"I knew it coz I read it in Kakak Hajar's Science book".....wakakaka ;-)
But seriously she's not kidding. Tonight, she actually showed me the exact page where she found the info from. Well...for now we just have to let her savour her glory for a while. Then I will slowly bring her back to earth. She can get quite carried away.

One day she told me;
"Ummi, I am a genius. I think I am a legend"

I am pretty sure that line comes from one of the cartoon shows. But she told me in a freaking dead serious "matter of fact" tone that I found it quite funny. And of course, the big sister doesn't find it funny....hahaha. Talk about fierce sibling rivalry ;-)

The "legend". Who always found her elder siblings stuffs are more interesting.
Anyway, back to the story of the fish farm ;-) There are fishes and other marine animals too. I don't quite like the fish farm. At least the one we visited. There are dead fishes floating and it's quite dirty. And I thought the young boy who handled the tourists was really rough with the baby shark and horseshoe crab.
 There were some dried food products for sale too.
It took us about 2 hours to complete the whole tour. There are plenty of homestays in the island too. If u r looking for a cheap weekend getaway with great seafood, maybe this is not a bad idea. I just feel we are so lucky that there are many interesting stuffs in Malaysia. Which many of us take it for granted. Need to teach the kids to learn to appreciate the green grass in our own country ;-)


  1. I last visited Kukup some 20 years ago!!! Back then it was lovely. It was there that I held a puffer fish and found out that when it bites it doesn't let go! I had to yank it out, leaving a hole in my flesh! ouch! Was thinking bout taking my kids there...but I hear crowd! yikes. I love the mangroves in Kuala Gula. (somewhere in my blog if you're keen) that place is serene and lovely. :)

  2. Martha, yes. There were crowds. Which I'm ok if they were not noisy. But i guess if u go there on weekdays it shdn't be a problem. We went on sunday + school holiday. Double yikes :p

  3. Oh yes. Will check out your post on Kuala Gula . I read it's a place where u can see the birds too right? Migrating birds like Tg Tuan? It's in my list of places to check out :)