Payar Island

Pulau Payar, the largest of the islands in the marine park is reputed to support the most number of coral species in the country. Its calm and clear waters make it suitable for swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving.

Situated in the northern part of the Straits of Malacca, 19 nautical miles south of Langkawi, the 2 km long; 0.25 km wide Pulau Payar Marine Park comprises four islands, i.e. Pulau Payar, Pulau Lembu, Pulau Segantang and Pulau Kaca. All the islands are surrounded by well-protected coral reefs that promote the healthy existence of the marine environment. The calm and clear waters with an average visibility of between 30 to 50 feet, make the islands a very attractive destination for swimming, diving and snorkeling. For the diver, the marine park offers a variety of diving conditions; you can chose between the flat terrain to the east of Pulau Payar or plunge the steep slope to the west and around Pulau Segantang.

On the south western tip of the island there is an area known as the &quotCoral Garden&quot. It is entirely covered with brightly multi-coloured soft corals and is a sight to behold. Makes you wonder how such pristine beauty can exist with all the maritime traffic plying the waters of the Malacca Straits endlessly. It also puts to rest allegations that the waters off the west coast of the Peninsular are, but dead, due to all the ravages of modern times. There are also artificial reefs comprising three tyre reefs and a boat reef. Any of these areas will ensure the diver of an unforgettable experience. The artificial reefs are marked with yellow buoys with corresponding codes,Tyre Reefs (TR) and Boats Reefs (BR).

These are strictly marker buoys and must not be used for mooring purposes. There is a Visitor's Centre on Pulau Payar. The centre provides assistance and localised orientation before you plunge into the exciting world that is Pulau Payar. Brochures, slide/video shows and other exhibits are available to increase awareness of the environs.

Two hiking trails have been built to facilitate exploration of the jungle-clad island. There are also gazebos, picnic tables, barbeque pits and rest room facilities located at selected areas. Visitors are permitted to cook only at allocated areas. Open fires for cooking or camp fires are not allowed.

Chopping down of trees for firewood is also not prohibited. Mooring buoys are provided by the Department of Fisheries for mooring of boats in the waters of the Pulau Payar Marine Park. Visitors are required to moor their boats to the buoys and are not allowed to anchor directly over reefs to prevent destruction of the reefs.

As there is insufficient fresh water on Pulau Payar Marine Park, it is highly advisable to bring an adequate supply for your own use. Visitors are requested to help protect the island of Pulau Payar and its marine environment by taking their rubbish/waste back to the mainland.


Pulau Payar Marine Park is divided into 3 zones as follows:

  • Core Zone: The area of waters from low water mark up to 200 meters from the shore
  • Buffer Zone: The area of waters from 200 meters up to one nautical mile from the shore
  • Outer Zone: The area of waters from one nautical mile up to two nautical miles from the shore


The nearest point of departure is from Kuala Kedah. There are also travel agencies and hotels in Pulau Langkawi such as the Tiara Langkawi Hotel complete packaged providing day trips and diving excursions.


Pulau Payar Marine Park is open all year round but the best time is from February until November. Plan your arrival during high tide to make it easier disembarking.


Visitors are advised to apply for a permit to visit the Pulau Payar Marine Park. Permits can be obtained from:
Tel: 03-2982011 Fax: 03-2910305

Tel: 03-2982011 Fax: 03-2910305
Department of Fisheries Malaysia,

Ministry of Agriculture

8th & 9th Floor, Wisma Tani

Jalan Sultan Salahuddin

50682 Kuala Lumpur
Kedah/Perlis State Fisheries Office,

5th Floor, Wisma Persekutuan,

Jalan Kampung Baru, 05000 Alor Setar,

Kedah Darul Aman

Tel: 04-7342137/7342135

Fax: 04-7304623
Kuala Kedah Fisheries Office,

06600 Kuala Kedah

Kedah Darul Aman

Tel: 04-7621670
Kuah Fisheries Office

Pulau Langkawi

Kedah Darul Aman

Tel: 04-9666464
Penang State Fisheries Office,

Batu Maung, 11690 Bayan Lepas

Pulau Pinang

Tel: 04-6261002Fax: 04-6263918
Pulau Payar Marine Park Centre

Kedah Darul Aman

Tel: 011-412461


The role of the Park Management is to protect the resources and the fragile marine ecosystem so that the public can enjoy it in perpetuity. Management of visitor activities is one of the important aspects in managing the Marine Parks. Activities which does not harm or destroy marine resources such as snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming and underwater photography are permitted and encouraged. Activities that may cause a negative impact to the marine resources are controlled to protect the marine resources at the Marine Park.


  • Collecting, removing, destroying or having in possession of any marine resources such as shells, mollusks, corals and tropical fishes (aquarium fish) whether dead or alive.
  • Possession and use of spear guns or spear fishing equipment and harpoon.
  • Use of fish traps (bubu), poisons and electricity or other method to catch fish.
  • Anchoring of boats directly onto the reef (Please make use of the orange coloured mooring buoys found within the marine park for mooring of boats).
  • Littering and disposal of waste/rubbish.
  • Removing and/or destroying any structure such as buoys, notice boards etc.
  • Constructs or erects any building or other structure within the Marine Park Area.
  • Fishing within the Marine Park Area, that is 2 nautical miles from the shore of Pulau Payar, Pulau Kaca, Pulau Lembu and Pulau Segantang.

Note: The Rules & Regulations pertaining to activities at the Pulau Payar Marine Park may change from time to time to protect the habitats