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Malaysia / Kedah / The Island

Map of Langkawi Island

Photo: Map of Langkawi Island

Langkawi comprises a group of 104 tropical islands lying off the northwestern coast of Peninsular Malaysia, about 30 kilometres from Kuala Perlis and 51 kilometres from Kuala Kedah.

The main islands are richly blessed with a heritage of fabulous myths and legends: of ogres and gigantic birds, warriors and fairy princesses, battles and romance. As a natural paradise, the island are perhaps unmatched anywhere else in Southeast Asia.

With a geological history dating back 500 million odd years, the islands contain unique rock formations that stir the imagination and baffle the mind. Numerous caves, with their stunning stalactites and stalagmites, taunt the adventurous to unravel their ancient secrets.

Fine beaches offer sun-filled days of complete relaxation. The clear, emerald waters around the islands provide a host of water sports and recreation, and a magical world of marine life. Nestling amidst the mist-covered hills, limestone outcrops and lush forest are fascinating waterfalls and mysterious caves.

The rich diversity of flora and fauna offers the nature lover amazing sights and sounds'. For those with a yen for adventure, jungle trekking and a boat trips up rivers and around the islands are most rewarding. The rustic beauty of the islands is in itself a compelling attraction.

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Malaysia / Kedah / Kuah

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.

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Malaysia / Kedah / Mahsuri's Tomb

Mahsuri's Tomb

Photo: Mahsuri's Tomb

Makam Mahsuri (Mahsuri Tomb or Mausoleum) lies in a village about 12 kilometres 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.

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Malaysia/ Kedah / Air Hangat Village

Air Hangat Village

Photo: 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.

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Malaysia/ Kedah / Telagah Tujuh (Seven Wells)

Telaga Tujuh
Photo: Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls

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 splendour.

Legend has it that fairies used to come down to the waterfall to bathe and frolic.

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Malaysia/ Kedah / 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 phenomenom.

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Malaysia/ Kedah / Padang Masirat

In this place, according to the legend, villages burnt their rice fields rather than leaving it to the Siam invaders.

Today, when there is a heavy rain, traces of the burnt rice still surface.

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Malaysia/ Kedah / Tanjung Rhu

Tanjung Rhu
Photo: Tanjung Rhu Beach

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.

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Malaysia/ Kedah / Pantai Kok, Pantai Cenang and other beaches

Water Sports
Photo: Water sports equipment are available for rent.

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.

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Malaysia/ Kedah / Underwater World Langkawi

Underwater World Langkawi
Photo: 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.

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Malaysia/ Kedah / Dataran Lang

Brown Eagle, Dataran Lang
Photo: The brown eagle statue in the Dataran Lang.

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.

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Malaysia/ Kedah / Pulau Dayang Bunting

Pulau Dayang Bunting
Photo: 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.

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Malaysia/ Kedah / Pulau Singa Besar Wildlife Sanctuary

Beach in Pulao Singa Besar.

Photo: Beach, Pulao Singa Besar

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.

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Malaysia/ Kedah / Crocodile Farm

Crocodile Farm
Photo: The inhabitants of the Crocodile Farm

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.

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Malaysia/ Kedah / Sangkar Ikan

Sangkar Ikan
Photo: The fish cages in Sangkar Ikan

Literally meaning "fish cage", this is in fact a floating wooden platform built by a local fisherman to breed fish in the sea. Various species of fish, including a colourful array of exotic coral fish and other fish, are bred here commercially for the local markets and restaurants.

The platform is a novel attraction for tourist as they can view first hand how fish are bred in their natural environment. It also offers the curious and enthusiastic visitors the opportunity to have some moments of fun by fishing from the platform themselves.

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Malaysia/ Kedah / Aquabeat

Aquabeat
Photo: The Aquabeat

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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Malaysia/ Kedah / Galleri Perdana

This gallery at Kilim houses an impressive collection of over 10,000 state gifts and awards presented to the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed Ali. The impressive collection of exhibits includes fine crystal ware, gifts fashioned out of wood, leather silver, copper, pewter, ceramics and glass. There are also instruments, Islamic art and craft, textiles and weapons. Outside the gallery, there is a display of various cars and four-wheel drive vehicles.

The gallery comprises of 2 double-storey buildings set within a beautiful landscaped garden.

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Malaysia/ Kedah / Pulau Payar

Beach, Pulao Payar
Photo: Beach, Pulao Payar

The first marine park to be established off the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, Pulau Payar is endowed with a diversity of marine flora and fauna and many endangered species of organism and fishes dwell within the sanctuary.

Pulau Payar Marine Park boasts of pristine sandy beaches and its crystal clear shallow water is so inviting that one would be thrilled to dive in and capture the view of multi-coloured marine life.