Pulau Payar (Payar Island) is located some 1-hour away from Langkawi's Kuah town by boat. Normally boat operators will depart from Kuah town around 9:00am and return back from Pulau Payar around 2:00pm.
You can hardly miss the massive pontoon floating off Damai Beach at on the island. To get here, take one of the many boat operators serving the island from either Penang or Langkawi. Boat trips from Langkawi (1 hour journey) costs anywhere between RM70 to RM150. From Penang (1 1/2 hours), it costs from RM115 to RM140.
Either packed picnic lunch or buffet will be provided by the boat operators.
The clear blue waters at the pontoon would entice you. A platform is provided for easy snorkeling. Plenty of healthy boulder corals, stony corals, knob corals (Lobophyllia hemprichi) as well as brain corals. Excellent visibility overall.
The amount of fish specie is also outstanding here. I spotted sea anemones with clownfish on it, chameleon parrotfish (Scarus chameleon), blue-barred parrotfish (Scarus ghobban), gold-saddle rabbitfish (Siganus guttatus), one of them actually bit my friend's finger), Moorish idols, eight-banded butterflyfish (Chaetodon octofasciatus), moon wrasse (Thalassoma lunare), a big school of red-tailed butterflyfish (Chaetodon collare), giant grouper (Epinephelus sp.), an unidentified bottom-dwelling blenny with unique dark spots, black-back butterflyfish (Chaetodon melannotus), etc.
The pontoon itself houses an underwater glass display that features an amazing array of marine life for those who do not intend to hit the water. The island is also famous for its high concentration of juvenile black-tip sharks which can be viewed at the beach at the marine park office.