Located at the base of Gunung Raya Reserve Forest, Mardi Agro Technology Park is a fruit and vegetable farm spread over 35 hectares of park-like, well-manicured grounds. Initially begun in 1990 for agricultural research, the park has since become an attraction in its own right, showing people just what exactly a jackfruit or pineapple looks like in the cultivated wild.
While you can’t wander free-range style through the orchards, you can take a 30-minute basic tour, which is basically a Disney-like shuttle service through the park with a few stops along the way for some cheesy, but smile-inducing photo opportunities.
The tropical fruit section of the park covers nearly half of the acreage, and the landscape is covered with trees at different stages of fruiting. The shuttle stops along the way will give you a chance to get a closer look at some of the fruit trees such as rambutan, starfruit and mangoes.
First stop on the tour is a fresh fruit-tasting where a buffet of tropical fruits await. The park boasts over 20 different types of fruit trees, but your fruit plate sampling will depend on what’s in season.
The exact stops seem to depend on the tour guide’s preference or size of the group. We actually took the basic tour twice and although you might make more stops as the lone tourist, you’ll have more fun with a few extra people on board. The shuttle tour runs about every 30 minutes or so throughout the day.
The vegetable section embraces more of a high tech approach, with a few covered enclosures and nurseries growing herbs like basil. A vineyard is also located here. Don’t expect to get any scientific answers from your tour guide on the general tour, though the guides are friendly and well versed in light-hearted banter.
In theory camping is possible here, but it’s more aimed at Malaysian school and other local groups. We were told anyone could pitch a tent for around 10 to 15 ringgit, but you’d need your own equipment. There is a marked trail for trekking on your own, but we’d probably stick to the park.
You need your own wheels to get to the park, which is quite a way inland — nothing else of note is nearby other than Panorama Langkawi Country Resort.
How to get there
Located in the centre of the island on Jalan Padang Gaong, Mardi Agro Technology Park is about a 15-minute drive from the airport or Kuah town. To reach the park from the airport, travel north and turn left on Jalan Ulu Melaka (Hwy 112). Pass north through the village of Ulu Melaka and turn right on Jalan Padang Gaong (Hwy 152). From Kuah town, the main thoroughfare of Jalan Padang Matsirat intersects with Jalan Padang Gaong at the first traffic signal.
By Vanessa Workman
Last updated on 2nd March, 2015.