Langkawi islands are well-known for its lush vegetation, fascinating waterfalls, stunning stalactites and stalagmites, limestone outcrops and mysterious caves. The crystal clear water around the islands provides a host of water sports and recreation, as well as a magical world of marine life.
Langkawi is made up of 99 islands (pulau) when the tide is high and 104 islands when the tide is low. The largest of which is Pulau Langkawi measuring about 478.5 sq.km., while some of the others appear to be mere dots in the blue ocean. On July 15, 2008, Sultan Abdul Halim of Kedah had consented to the change of name to Langkawi Permata Kedah in conjunction with his Golden Jubilee Celebration. By far the largest of the islands is the eponymous Pulau Langkawi with a population of some 64,792, the only other inhabited island being nearby Pulau Tuba. Langkawi is also an administrative district with the town of Kuah as the capital and largest town. Langkawi is a duty-free island.
POPULAR TOURIST SPOT IN LANGKAWI ISLAND
Makam Mahsuri (Mahsuri Tomb or Mausoleum) lies in a village about 12 kilometers from Kuah. This shrine is in honour of a fair maiden who lived on Pulau Langkawi more than two hundreds years ago. Accused unjustly of adultery, she was executed with a special kris. According to legend, she bled white blood and in her dying breath, she laid a curse on the island that it would henceforth not , prosper for seven generations.
Fact or fiction, the seven generations have come to an end and Langkawi today enjoys the prosperity of accelerated development and ever increasing tourist arrivals.
Kuah, the main town, is located on the southeastern side of Pulau Langkawi. It is the take off point to the neighbouring islands by ferry. The name “Kuah” is a Malay word meaning “gravy” and involves an old legend of two battling giants who overturned a gigantic pot of curry at the spot where the town now stands. Once a rustic town with a few streets, Kuah today is a thriving centre of modern hotels and shopping-cum-business complexes, but without the over-crowding and bustle of modern cities. Kuah is a duty free shopping haven with a wide variety of goods sold attractive prices. The multi-racial population produces excellent culinary delights, specially fresh seafood.
Air Hangat Village
Located on four acres of land around Telaga Air Hangat (Hot Springs), this modern complex includes a 3-tier hot spring fountain, an 18-metre long handcarved riverstone mural depicting the legends that enshroud this location, daily demonstrations of local crafts and cultural dances and shops selling traditional handicrafts. Food and beverage facilities are available here. The village complex is only about 14 km from Kuah.
The islands of Langkawi are world-renowned for their fire beaches and stretches of clear shallow waters for swimming. Tanjung Rhu (Casuarina Bay) lies on the northern cape of Pulau Langkawi. Aptly named for is abundance of casuarinas, the beach is enchanting with magnificent views of nearby islands which can be missed. Idyllic beaches, such as Patai Kok, Pantai Cenang, Pantai Tengah, Datai and Burau Bay, offer carefree sun-filled days and quiet evening strolls. First-class accommodation in modern hotels or captivating chalets is available. A wide range of exciting water sports provides fun, enjoyment and thrills for the outdoor enthusiast. For gourmet lovers, a variety of spicy cuisine awaits to be relished.
Telagah Tujuh (Seven Wells)
Located in the northwest corner of Pulau Langkawi, Telaga Tejuh (Seven Wells) is a geological marvel. The waterfall is so named because the cascading water is broken by a series of seven natural pools. The lush green forest that surrounds the waterfall adds a mystical touch to the splendor. Legend has it that fairies used to come down to the waterfall to bathe and frolic.
Pantai Pasir Hitam
A few km. west of Rhu Beach, this beach is noted for the streak of black on its sands. Until now, nobody could unravel this mysterious phenomenon.
Underwater World Langkawi
The underwater World Langkawi, a marine showcase featuring both fresh and seawater fish and marine life, is the latest attraction in the legendary island Langkawi. Located at the popular beach of Pantai Cenang, this newest draw card features more than 100 tanks of different sizes. The highlights is a giant tank housing large species such as sharks, stingrays, groupers and green turtles, with 15-metre tunnel for visitors to walk through and have a spectacular view of the exhibits. Underwater gardens of weeds and sea plants together with exotic fishes and exhibits of fossils and shells add to the range of interesting sights to look for. Housed within the complex are a fast food outlet, a duty free shopping arcade and a shop-selling dried seafood such as shark fins, birds nest, scallops and oysters.
Summer Palace, (Pantai Kok)
The building was the set of the Hollywood film “Anna and the King”. The building has now been closed off as it is in a state of disrepair and disintegration and is thus a danger to visitors. Adults RM5, Children RM3.50.
Dataran Lang or “Eagle Square,” is the latest addition to Langkawi’s famous landmarks. Situated near the Kuah Jetty, it features scenic ponds bridges, covered terraces, two restaurants, two jetties and barrel vaults soft breezes makes it an ideal spot for leisurely walks and a tranquil setting for dinning in the cool evenings. Spectacular cultural shows provide the perfect finishing touch. The main attraction of the square is the magnificent statue of the reddish brown eagle majestically poised for flight. According to local folklore, Langkawi derived its name from the eagle or “lang” short for “healing”. In old Malay “kawi” denotes reddish brown – hence Langkawi means reddish brown eagle! The square is beautifully illuminated at night and presents a dramatic scene as you approach the island by sea. Indeed the majestic eagle is strategically positioned to welcome visitors to Langkawi.
Pulau Dayang Bunting
Nestled in the midst of lushly forested hills on this island south of Pulau Langkawi is Tasik Dayang Bunting (Lake of the Pregnant Maiden), the largest lake in all the islands of Langkawi. The outline of hills and rocky outcrops on one side of the lake takes the shape of a pregnant maiden lying on her back. But the name of both the island and the lake is attributed to a legend of a lovely fairy princess who married an earthly prince. Her first child died shortly after birth. So sad and depressed was she that she buried the child in the crystal clear waters of the lake. Before she returned to her fairy adobe, she blessed the waters so that henceforth any childless maiden who bathed in the lake would conceive thereafter.
Pulau Singa Besar Wildlife Sanctuary
Monkeys, deer, iguanas and peacocks roam about freely on Pulau Singa Besar which is being develop as a wildlife sanctuary. Picnic on the idyllic beaches and enjoy swimming and snorkelling in the surrounding waters. To conserves the island’s natural habitat, no hotels or chalets have been built. Instead, camping is encouraged. Camping equipment is available for rent at reasonable rates while showers and toilets are for the use of campers and daytrippers alike. This back to nature experience is enjoyable and educational.
The Crocodile farm at Kubang Badak, some 32 km from Kuah, covers about 20 acres and holds more than 1,000 crocodiles of various species. Here, one can witness and photograph crocodiles and alligators play and feed in a controlled environment that closely resembles their natural habitat.
This is the country’s first indoor water theme park. It cover’s four hectares and is located next to the Langkasuka Beach Resort at Kuala Muda. Its wide range of waterbased activities feature action packed rides designed for the more adventurous, in search of thrills and spills. For those who can’t swim but do not want to be left out, there’s the outdoor jacuzzis to relax in and soothe those tired muscles.
Ice cream parlours, a restaurants and a fast-food outlet help the hunger pangs at bay. Other facilities include a retail shop and a magazine store. There are separate rooms for changing, showers and toilets. Lockers are also provided for your belongings.
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