Langkawi, the beautiful archipelago of Malaysia, is shrouded in mythological legends. Its actual history & origin has lost its course in the passage of times. According to the legends, the term ‘Langkawi’ is said to have connections with the kingdom of Langkasuka, which is centered in the present Kedah. The historical documentation is little; however, the Chinese Liang Dynasty record (500 AD) refers the kingdom of ‘Langgasu’ as being established in the 1st century AD.
Another reference of the island’s name has been made in the book The Legends of Langkawi by Tun Mohamed Zahir. It says that the term ‘Langkawi’ is a combination of two Sanskrit words, Langka (beauty) and Wi (innumerable). As per the book, Langkawi means the place of immense beauty. One more reference states that Langkawi means Eagles’ Island. According to it, the term Langkawi is a combination of two words Lang and Kawi. Where ‘Lang’ is a corrupt form of Malay word ‘helang’ which means eagle, ‘Kawi’ means marble.
Since both eagles and marble are found in abundance in Langkawi, probably the place was named after the fact. Indeed, the Eagle Square at the island was built to commemorate its name. About 200 years ago, according to the folklore, a young woman, name Mahsuri, was accused of adultery and was executed by the people in spite of her earnest innocence. Just before her death, Mahsuri laid a curse on the island that it will remain barren for seven generations. That’s about the mythological history of Langkawi.
As far as political history is concerned, the Sultanate of Kedah used to rule over the island. In 1921, when Kedah was conquered by Siam, Langkawi also passed in the ruling hands. The Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909 transferred the holding power to the British, who held the state until freedom, excluding a brief period of Thai rule under the Japanese occupation of Malaya during World War II. The Thai influence can be still seen in the culture and food of Langkawi. In fact, Thai language is also understood by many people on the island.
Langkawi is a picturesque archipelago that is known for its exceptional natural magnificence. Every year, thousands of tourists reach this spectacular place in order to fulfill their long-cherished vacation at Langkawi. In case you’re also wondering how to reach Langkawi, leave your worries aside as the island boasts of pretty good network of airways and waterways. Getting/ traveling to Langkawi from any part of the world is possible owing to the Langkawi International Airport. Beside, The langkawi Is connected nearby via ferries, boats and cruise Langkawi also can be reached:-
Langkawi International Airport, which is about 20 kms from Kuah, has direct connections with Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. It also operates international flights to and from some destinations in the peak season. The flights that frequently run to and from the airport are AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines, Silk Air, and Firefly.
People, traveling by road, have to head for Kuala Kedah or Kuala Perlis (sited on the north-western coast of Peninsular Malaysia), which are the main points from where ferries to Langkawi take-off. The drive from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Kedah takes about 6 hours while Kuala Perlis takes 7 hours. At both the points, car parking facilities are available.
The Malayan Railway offers comfortable and efficient rail services from Kuala Lumpur to Alor Setar and Arau, from where one can take a taxi or bus to Kuala Kedah or Kuala Perlis and from these places, one can take ferry in order to reach Langkawi
By ferries, By Boat and By Cruise
Boats and ferries can be taken from Kuala Perlis or Kuala Kedah to reach Langkawi. Some special ferry services to Langkawi are also available from Penang Island. Moreover, ferries also operate daily between Satun (Thailand) and Kuah. Another option to reach the island is cruise ship. From Port Klang and Singapore, cruises are available to arrive at Langkawi.
Langkawi is a beautiful archipelago of as many as 104 islands. For sure, many of these islands are accessible and boast of amazing natural beauty. Pulau Langkawi, which measures about 478.5 sq km, is the largest of these islands, while Pulau Dayang Bunting is the second largest one. When viewed from the air, many other islands appear to be sheer dots in the azure waters of the Andaman Sea. A majority of the islands comprises unique rock formations with impressive stalactites and stalagmites, limestone outcrops, lush forests, mesmerizing waterfalls and mystifying caves. These islands offer a range of water sports, recreation facilities and a delightful world of marine life to the visitors. Scroll down to know more about the islands of Langkawi, Malaysia.
Pulau Dayang Bunting
The Pulau Dayang Bunting is known to be the second largest island of the Langkawi archipelago. The island, about 18 kms from Kuah Town, is located on the southwest of Langkawi Island, next to Pulau Tuba. It is easily accessible from Kuah Jetty or Pantai Cenang. The island owes its name to Tasik Dayang Bunting (literally means Lake of the Pregnant Maiden). More
Pulau Singa Besar
The Pulau Singa Besar, literally the Island of Big Lion, is a beautiful island and a constituent of the Langkawi archipelago. Located 17km north of Kuah, the island extends 6.5km from north to south and 2.5km from east to west. Pulau Singa Besar is to be found between Pulau Beras Basah to the west and Pulau Dayang Bunting to the east, in the southwest of Pulau Langkawi. More
Pulau Tuba is a strikingly beautiful island which is 5km south of Langkawi Island. It is one of the only two inhabited islands of Langkawi archipelago. Tuba Island owes it name to tuba roots, which are abundantly found on the island. In geographical terms, Pulau Tuba is a mountainous island with very little plains. It boasts of picturesque beaches and serene locale. More
Pulau Payar is a striking island that together with three other small islands makes a marine park, called Pulau Payar Marine Park. This park is operated by the Fisheries Department of Malaysia. Here, one can enjoy the fun activities like water sports, hiking and get pleasure from the breathtaking views of the surrounding sea.
Pulau Rebak Kecil
Pulau Rebak Kecil is another picturesque island equidistant of Pantai Cenang and Pulau Rebak Besar. Its sandy beaches and forested trails make the island popular amongst day trippers. On the island, there are a few chalets for travelers who wish to stay overnight. Like most of the other islands, this one too, is easily accessible from the Langkawi Island.
Pulau Rebak Besar
Resplendent with natural beauty, Pulau Rebak Besar is developed as a marina for the adventure-seekers. It, still, boasts of pristine natural state, and has several spectacular beaches with leafy foliage and turquoise waters. Being easily reachable from the Langkawi, the island is a preferred destination in the excursion itinerary of tourists.
Pulau Intan Besar
Pulau Intan Besar is a typical island where one would love to hideout. It is absolutely covered with forests and is totally inhabited. The central part of the island is cloaked in massive ancient trees, while coconut palms dot the beaches. This quiet and serene island is a lovely retreat for bird-loving naturalists and people looking for solace.
Pulau Tiloi, also called Pulau Bunga (Island of Flowers), is an island known for its tropical flowers. It is managed by the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI).
Langkawi’s hottest USP is its scintillating beaches; the beaches which are not only marked by warm sun, white sands and sparkling waters but also by serenity and tranquility. Certainly, the beaches of Pulau Langkawi are known worldwide for their pristine beauty and exotic vegetation. Some of them are also rated amongst the best and the most secluded beaches in the world. Truly, these beaches serve as a perfect hideaway to spend those picture-perfect holidays.
For beach-loving people, Langkawi is a treat as they can find many picturesque beaches over here. Where Pantai Cenang captures the limelight being the longest and liveliest beach on the island, beaches like Datai Bay and Tanjung Rhu are loved by people for their tranquility. So, whether you want to get into some adventurous water sports or have a liking for book reading, you will find numerous beaches to suit your taste. Check out a few of Langkawi Beaches.
Burau Bay Beach, called Pantai Teluk Burau in Malay, is one of the tranquil bay areas in Langkawi. It’s actually a narrow beach where the rocky Gunung Cincang descends abruptly to meet the sea. Sited on the west coast of the island, this beach formerly used to be the resort of the Piped Hornbill.
The Pantai Teluk Datai, literally Datai Bay Beach, is amongst the premier beaches of Langkawi Island. It is generally typified by boulders at its both ends and dense forest in the background. To be found on the north coast of Langkawi, Datai Bay is the area where some of the most luxurious resorts are sited.
Cenang Beach, known as Pantai Cenang in Malay, is the most happening beach of Langkawi. Located on the south-western tip of the island, the beach is about 18.4 km from Kuah. It features fine sands, crystal clear waters, elegant casuarinas and lofty coconut trees.
Pantai Kok is a tranquil beach on the beautiful island of Langkawi. This soothing beach is to be found about 24.8 km away from Kuah, on the western tip of Langkawi Island. Being located in a secluded area, it is the best site for honeymooners and solitude seekers.
Pantai Tengah, which literally means Middle Beach, is the next best beach after Pantai Cenang. This vibrant beach is sited about 550 mtrs south of Cenang in Langkawi. It is quieter than the latter one and that’s why, it makes the right place to lighten up.
Black Sand Beach
Pantai Pasir Hitam, which literally means Black Sand Beach, is a spectacular beach on the island of Langkawi. This short stretch of beach lies 2kms west of Tanjung Rhu Beach. The shoreline boasts of sand, which isn’t completely black but it’s actually like a mixture of black sand and normal sand.
Tanjung Rhu Beach
Tanjung Rhu Beach is a pleasing beach on the northernmost tip of Langkawi Island. This lengthy beach is tasseled by casuarina trees which actually bestowed name to the beach (since ‘Tanjung’ means cape and ‘Rhu’ means casuarina).
Shark Bay Beach
Pantai Teluk Yu literally means Shark Bay Beach in Malay. This beach is actually contiguous to Pantai Pasir Hitam but doesn’t have the black mineral deposits. Unlike what the name suggests, the beach has shark-free and absolutely tranquil waters.
Batu Hampar Beach
Pantai Batu Hampar is marked by rocky outcrop and boulders on its both ends. This composed beach presents a picturesque sight amidst its natural beauty, coconut and mangrove trees. This stretch of beach is almost hidden as it is enclosed by rocky outcrops.
New Bay Beach
New Bay Beach is called Pantai Teluk Baru in Malay. The small bay of this beach crafts a natural refuge for fishing boats. Here, if you wish, you can ask a fisherman to let you accompany him on a fishing trip. On the whole, this stretch of beach is pleasurable.
Sandy Skull Beach
Pantai Pasir Tengkorak, which literally means Sandy Skull Beach, is another tranquil beach on Pulau Langkawi. As per the folklores, the beach has been the witness to the bloody battle between the local and the invaders (Thais). Its waters are crystal clear and calm.
Pantai Beringin, literally Banyan Beach, is located near Kuah Town in Langkawi. It features mangrove stumps at its ends. This serene beach is tasseled by swaying coconut palms.
Langkawi is acclaimed to be the Duty Free Port, which provides enough grounds to the shoppers to throng the island. If to be stated in real terms, Pulau Langkawi is a haven for bargain hunters. It offers an impressive range of local and imported goods, and the best part is all this comes at great prices. The collection of items boasts of cameras, watches, electronic goods, handicrafts, crystal wares, clothes, liquor, cosmetics, perfumes, leather goods, confectionary, cigarettes, ladies accessories, etc.
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Being a duty-free island, Langkawi is perhaps the best place to grab some really good bargains. The majority of the shopping opportunities are found in the main commercial area-Kuah Town. Here, you will come across several stores and malls which provide an assortment of tax-free goods at affordable rates. If you’ve already browsed the malls of Kuala Lumpur, you’ll definitely feel dearth of brand names in Langkawi. But it’s for sure that all the shopping centres have a decent stock and collection of items.
To get brilliant souvenirs, Craft Cultural Complex is a best place to head for. In the variety of handicrafts, you can choose from batik, traditional Malay clothes, ornamental objects, crystals, traditional pottery, etc. Also you can look into the Zone Shopping Paradise Duty Free Centre at the Underwater World where numerous items can be fetched at decent price tags. Teow Soon Huat Departmental Store, which is sited just outside Kuah, is another shopping outlet worth exploring. Scroll down to get the list of major shopping places in Langkawi, Malaysia.
To catch the glimpse of beautiful places and sights is the prime concern of every soul coming to Langkawi. Getting around this striking island is possible through a good network of roads and means of transportation. To your hard-core relief, Langkawi boasts of a pretty good network of roads. Though local transport is available, people prefer driving themselves and exploring the island of legends. If you’re not comfortable in driving, you can hire taxis which are widely available on the island. Langkawi, being a major tourist destination of Malaysia, definitely has pricey fares when it comes to taxis. Other means to move around the island can be arranged by the resorts.
Cars are available on per day rental basis. Just after disembarking from the ferry, many car rental agents throng the Kuah jetty exit, offering their cars at various prices. During low season, price may start from RM30 per day for a compact car; but never expect less than RM80 for the same car in the peak season. Otherwise, you can make arrangements for a car in Kuala Kedah or Kuala Perlis with any of the car agents waiting around the ferry counters. And upon reaching the island, you can pick up your car. Moreover, cars are also available on hire from the booths at the airport.
Like cars, motorbikes (particularly scooters) and bicycles are also available for rent. During peak season, motorbikes can be fetched for up to RM25 per day. However, bicycles can be hired for RM12 per day and also serve as a great means to explore the island. Definitely, hiring motorbikes and bicycles is cheaper than renting a car. It is advised to wear helmet and more so because it is required by law. Usually agents are not strict about noticing a valid license.
Boarding buses could be another way to get around the island. However, there are a few buses that run to and from on few bus routes. Kuah and Pantai Cenang are the only two areas where regular buses can be found. In other areas, there are very few bus stations, which also have hardly any bus service. It takes long time to wait for buses and reach the destination. Usually, taking buses is not recommended to visit the island.
Public transport in Langkawi is mainly provided by taxis. Here, taxi fares are priced according to the destination and not by meters. It is most easy and convenient way of getting around, though it is bit expensive. A short trip can easily cost about RM15. You can also charter the taxi for a day or for few hours. Throughout the island, taxis can be easily found and chartered as per your convenience.