Langkawi derives its name from the Malay words ‘helang’, meaning “eagle” and ‘kawi’, denoting “reddish-brown”. Hence, Langkawi can be interpreted as “Reddish-Brown Eagle”. This is reflected in the island’s emblem, with a statue of an eagle poised to take flight located at Dataran Lang (Eagle Square).
Langkawi is an archipelago consisting of 99 islands (and five more during low tide) situated in the Andaman Sea, about 30km off the mainland coast of northwestern Malaysia. The largest island is Pulau Langkawi, followed by Pulau Tuba and Pulau Dayang Bunting. Langkawi is part of the state of Kedah, situated adjacent to the Thai border.
Langkawi boasts a rich history replete with tales of piracy, wars, and romance. Legend speaks of a beautiful maiden named Mahsuri who was unjustly accused of adultery. Her execution led to her cursing Langkawi for seven generations. The island was relatively isolated from the outside world until the curse was believed to end in the late 20th century, after which Langkawi began developing as a major tourist destination.
Highlights of Things to Do
- Langkawi Cable Car and Sky Bridge: Offering breathtaking views, this is one of the island’s top attractions, taking visitors up Mount Mat Cincang.
- Underwater World Langkawi: Located at Pantai Cenang, it’s one of Southeast Asia’s largest marine and freshwater aquaria.
- Mangrove Tours: Explore the dense mangrove forests, unique limestone formations, and caves either by boat or kayak.
- Island Hopping: Visit some of the smaller islands around Langkawi, including Pulau Dayang Bunting with its freshwater lake and Pulau Beras Basah with its sandy beaches.
- Dataran Lang (Eagle Square): A prominent landmark with a huge eagle statue symbolizing Langkawi.
How to Get In and Out
- By Air: Langkawi International Airport serves both domestic and international flights, connecting the island to major cities in Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and beyond.
- By Sea: Langkawi is accessible by ferry from various places including Penang, Kuala Perlis, Kuala Kedah, and Satun in Thailand. The main ferry terminal is at Kuah.
Langkawi, often dubbed the “Jewel of Kedah”, is an enchanting paradise that promises a myriad of experiences, from adventurous water sports and mountain trekking to tranquil beaches and rejuvenating nature walks. Whether it’s for a romantic getaway or a family vacation, Langkawi is sure to create lasting memories.