Tuesday 30 March 2021

Annual SandBar Walk At Tanjung Rhu, Langkawi


This is an event that I looked forward to every year and it is the famous sandbar walk at Tanjung Rhu, Langkawi. This sort of extreme low tide doesn't happen often and the season is during the peak of our dry season or North-East monsoon. The best period in my opinion, is during the spring tide from February till late-March. It is usually at the very early of the morning. Word of caution: Beware of the tide rising up quickly! Check the tide chart before heading out.


Dawn is breaking at Tanjung Rhu with Ms Gorilla Peak standing tall

During this time, it is fun to observe, photograph or even learn about our the marine diversity in that area. When the tide is low enough to walk to the island, you may find different varieties of corals on the fringe. Do not step on the corals!

It is common to see our locals heading out to find clams, crabs and shellfish for their own consumption. Each year, same spot and yet different wild marine species can be seen. For this year 2021, my friends spotted an octopus and Peacock sole fishes which were new sightings to me. 

A species of Peacock Sole Fish very well camouflaged and yet spotted by the Fiona and her friends!
Photo credit: Tisu Ying

Other sand dwellers :
I find this shot rather captivating. You know what sort of marine species this is. Lovely shot by Tisu Ying. Thanks for sharing this image.

You know what this is!

A rather bizarre creature which is a family of heart urchins call Lovenia Heart Urchin Lovenia elongata

I always like to do this walk at least once a year except for year 2019 after what I had seen that has put me off and pissed me off too. In year 2018, there were some tourists on that particular morning carrying plastic bags to the sandbar putting in whatever living marine creatures that they find fancy which includes any sizes of crabs, starfishes, sea urchins and even a sea horse! See photos below:
Flashback from 2018: A tourist with plastic bag

Flashback 2018: Tourists with plastic bag

I won't name where these tourists are from. There were individuals, groups of friends and families carrying plastic bags walking around. I love to see their keenness in exploring nature but I was furious with them taking mini crabs and starfishes. I was not enjoying my walk on that morning because I ended up going around to those that I can reach out to and attempted with my non-English language to let them know that they need to release those marine creatures back into the sea. Most of them didn't understand me and some ignored me because I am suck at their language. Those sea stars will eventually die after plucking them out of the water.
And so for this season and the previous one, these mini marine creatures had a higher chance of survival due to non-mass tourism. The Covid-19 situation is indeed doing a lot of good deeds for our nature and biodiversity, in a way. 
To all tourists visiting the sandbar. Please be reminded that even though the nature is here for us to enjoy, do respect them. Take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints!
Take nothing but photos! I guess the octopus didn't quite mind to be surrounded by the ladies - Tisu, Fiona and her friends.

Photo bomb by our shadows