On Sunday, which was a free day, we organized a 3-hour trip to the Kilim Geoforest Park, a Unesco World Heritage site, in the northeastern part of the island.
Sungai Kilim jetty
Dating back to more than 400 million years, Gua Kelawar has spectacular limestone formations and ancient oyster shells attached to parts of the wall just above the sea level. This area was originally the sandy bottom of an ancient river that has been shoved upwards by powerful tectonic force millions of years ago.
Entrance of Gua Kelawar
Look up and you’d see hundreds and hundreds of bats clinging on to the cave ceiling.
Next stop was small fish farm where we saw how Archer Fish (spitting fishes) shoots down their food with a jet of water, pet some friendly stingrays, and got a brief biology lesson of the horse shoe crab (belangkas).
The dorsal and ventral view of the horse shoe crab
Yachts docked at the river mouth leading to the open Andaman sea
However, feeding the eagles isn’t an eco-friendly practice as the eagles may become dependent on tourist boats for food and unable to hunt for themselves. The steroids and hormones in the commercially farmed chicken may damage their hearts and lungs, and the eagles become susceptible to diseases such as avian flu and salmonella. Unfortunately, many boat operators still offer eagle feeding as an attraction.