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Tuba Bike Ride
Besides Pulau Dayang Bunting, the only other inhabited island situated 5km south of Langkawi Island is Pulau Tuba. This hilly island covers around 20 sqkm of fertile lands and unsullied beaches. Populated by 3,000 of friendly folks living in small traditional fishing villages, Pulau Tuba is also a natural habitat to wild creatures, and a quaint destination for travellers who want to be free from the urban spell.
Jeti Pelancongan Pekan Rabu
Fifteen minutes was all it took us to travel across the sea from the 1. Jeti Pelancongan Pekan Rabu at the busy town of Kuah. Yes, our bicycles were in for the longboat ride, too! And funny how throughout the ride, some of us sought refuge, not in safety vests, but under our securely fitted and fastened cycling helmets.
As soon as we set foot on land, we hopped on our bicycles right away, cruised along, and got reminded of the old days in 1970s Malaysia before the industrial boom when people lived in kampung-style (village) houses with farms surrounding their homes.
The locals here subsist with a simple, traditional, self-sufficient lifestyle. Apart from fishing, they do farming, animal rearing and cultivation, living in harmony with nature. In the jungle, they collect herbs, medicinal roots, plants and fruits. They take; they give back.
There’s also handicraft which is popular among women to earn income from to support their families. They weave pandan mat, among others. Along the way, aside from ditching cow dung on the road, we just took pleasure from the seemingly endless line-up of trees that kept our sight busy. Among the coconut and mango trees were Tuba trees which grow in abundance in the island—the tree where the island derived its name from.
There are many uses for the tree, primarily the roots. For decades, locals have been using the roots as pesticide by boiling them, and they can also be used to drowse the fish so they are easier to catch.
One of the many other things you can put in your to-do list when you’re in Pulau Tuba is Exploring Gua Kelawar (Bat Cave), a popular jungle-trekking activity in the island. Or you might instead watch the spectacular colonies of flickering fireflies at night time. In fact, Pulau Tuba is one of the very few places in Malaysia where you can witness this natural phenomenon.
Faridzuan Motel Che Hamid
We continued to cycle along, through the shore, in this sleepy island town with only a few cars frequenting our sight, and made our way to 2. Faridzuan Motel Che Hamid, which has 20 rooms available for lodging. Rates start from RM80 to RM90 per room. This motel is built right in front of the beach, and we appreciated not only the smell of the sea air and the sound of the overlapping waves, but also the scenic seaside view jazzed up with the coconut trees lined horizontally close by, as if inviting us out to see them up close amidst the blue expanse.
From the motel, we saw boats parked, flipped upside down, and there’s a sandy space in between the motel and the sea, big enough for some beach games.
And of course, the fun would not be complete without food to feast on. So, remember that guests can also request for a BBQ dinner from the motel staff. Also, there’s a canteen located right beside the motel that serves local food to satisfy your cravings. A seaside dinner is one option you dare not miss!
Before we continued our trip, we saw a big tree with hammocks hanging between branches, swinging easily, and tempting us to surrender to some deep slumber, but wearing our tough faces and hard hats, we hopped on our bicycles before we quickly changed our minds, and cycled 4km ahead along a rough jungle trail, passing by shops and houses.
Flat Rock Formation
The rocky road was narrow and there was a lot of steep elevation along the trail, posing some real challenge for us. However, we reaped the rewards from this difficult trek when we arrived at 3. Scenic View. We stood there, savouring the moment on top of a stunning 3. Flat Rock Formation, overlooking the magnitude and feeling the quiet of the deep sea. Thanks to the big trees poised firmly on the ground, as if they were planted their purposely to offer beat riders a comforting shade.
Teluk Puyuh Jetty
After taking a brief rest beneath the shade, we cycled further, passing by 4. Teluk Puyuh Jetty, where we saw fishermen at work. We saw them unloading large amounts of 5. Kerang (cockles). Kerang is one of the cheapest and common seafood in Malaysian cuisine. Here, it was even cheaper, bigger and fresher than the ones you can find in the mainland. We bought quite a lot of their catch at such a low cost. But aside from that, we also watched the way they catch the kerang, which, by the way, live under the seabed. Using a wire net with claws, they dug below the sandy seabed and scooped the burrowed species up.
Pulau Tuba is known for fishing—the island boasts of exciting opportunities for visitors to try their hands on like catching some fresh seafood for dinner. Aside from catching kerang, squid scooping is a must-try. The locals are more than happy to show you how you can catch your own squid (locally called sotong) with a hand net. Abseiling and island hopping are also among your other choices to maximize your stay in the island.
Seeing large amounts of kerang didn’t help to pacify our stomachs which were beginning to growl in hunger, plus the thirst which began to take over us from the heat and the ride. Thus, we ended our cycling tour savouring our lunch at a restaurant nearby. There were big delicious crab, local fish and other seafood. Also, we had the kerang from earlier cooked at the restaurant. What a yummy way to end the trip!
Our trip covered a distance of 16.4km over three hours. Although it was hot, the sea breeze and the green forest were comforting enough to relieve us from the sweaty bike ride. We left feeling re-energized by the natural and peaceful surroundings of Pulau Tuba.
Cycling Route - Tuba Bike Ride
This cycling tour package is provided by: Honeyzone Travel & Tours Sdn Bhd
No. 2 Melati Tanjung Walk, Pantai Cenang, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia. Tel: +60 (4) 955-7732