IN MALAYSIA, FOLLOWING THE SQUID

Habited women walks at Setiu shore.‬..


More than 120 journalists and bloggers from 30 countries were recently invited to Malaysia for a special squid-jigging trip, but they also had the chance to tour a number of other natural sites. One of these special sites was the Kenyir Elephant Village, a large park where people can see these impressive animals in a natural environment. Located in the Hulu Terengganu district of Malaysia, the park allows visitors to watch the training and care of the elephants, as well as an opportunity to feed and try to communicate with them.

Redang Island is where you can observe the underwater beauty with snorkelling. Photos: Akif Talha Serttürk

Another great pleasure in this region is to snorkel around one of the largest islands on the eastern side of Malaysia, Redang Island. It is also wonderful just to swim in these crystal clear waters, though most people can’t pass up the chance to look at the underwater world in the clear, beckoning waters. Of course, snorkeling is just looking down into the underwater world from the top level of the water; there are those who find this insufficient and put on their wetsuits to head down further into the watery world below them.

Captains. Photos: Akif Talha Serttürk

But the real reason for this trip was the squid-jigging expeditions. The first such expedition we participated in, a visit to the Laguna Islands, was a bit tiring and, in the end, unproductive for most. The waves were very high that day, making the actual catching of any squid very tricky. Using some fake bait on a reel strung with fishing line is the usual method to try and catch squid. You drop it to the bottom of the sea and wait for around 30 seconds. When you feel that the bait has fallen all the way down, you pull up a meter or two on the line, pulling your bait up into the air around every 10 seconds. If you’re as lucky as I was, you might even catch a squid on your first try! Whether you are just a spectator on the boat, or one of those actually trying to catch a squid, you’ll find the entire adventure quite thrilling.

Malaysia gets a large part of its national income from oil and natural gas; these days, though, the country’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism is putting a great effort into boosting the role that tourism might play in the economy. Another Malaysian spot attracting a lot of interest lately is Kuala Terengganu, around 500 kilometers northeast of the capital Kuala Lumpur, which boasts lots of fishing and unspoiled beaches.