Introducing Pulau Tiga National Park
The name Pulau Tiga means ‘Three Islands’, but only two of the original three remain in this 15-sq-km park north of Kuala Penyu. Pulau Tiga is the largest island; about 1km to the northeast lies tiny Pulau Kalampunian Damit; and in between are the remains of the third island, Pulau Kalampunian Besar, now only a sandbar eroded by wave action.
The islands themselves are recent creations, formed in 1897 by the eruption of mud volcanoes. Continuous volcanic activity has taken place over the last hundred years, and still continues in the form of bubbling mud and escaping methane gas. In 2001 the main island, Pulau Tiga, was the location for the first season of the US reality TV show Survivor, and is heavily marketed now as ‘Survivor Island’. Whatever your viewing preferences, it’s still a quiet and relaxing place to visit, blessed with fine sandy beaches, a network of walking trails and good snorkelling throughout the year.
Pulau Kalampunian Damit is little more than a large rock covered in dense vegetation but is famous for the sea snakes that come ashore in their hundreds to mate. On any one day up to 150 snakes can be present, curled up under boulders, among roots and in tree hollows. It’s a fascinating phenomenon, made doubly enigmatic by the fact that the snakes are never seen on nearby Pulau Tiga. Not surprisingly, the local name for this islet is Pulau Ular (Snake Island). If you do come out here, beware of the snakes – they are extremely poisonous.
Last updated: Jul 22, 2009