Pulau Tuba

A 15-minute boat ride from Langkawi, Tuba Island belongs to a world of times gone by: mountainous rainforest ruled by monkeys, lizards and hornbills; rivers overgrown with wild hyacinths; deserted beaches with sea cucumbers in the shallow waters; otters basking on the rocky coastline, and colonies of fireflies twinkling in the darkness of the night.

Only a few narrow roads lead through the rubber plantations and paddy fields to sleepy Malay kampongs where fishermen live in simple driftwood shacks rising on stilts above the water.

Untouched by tourism, the people here spend their days fishing, rearing animals, mending their orchards, weaving coconut leaf mats, and collecting honey, medicinal herbs and the secret tuba root, whose milky fluid has been used for centuries by hunters to coat arrowheads with poison.

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