Located in Andaman Sea, Langkawi is an archipelagic region consisting of 99 islands, with Langkawi Island as the main island. Langkawi is part of Kedah state and known as “The Jewel of Kedah”. The name came from its beautiful archipelago’s scenery.
Only 4 islands are inhabited. Kuah is the capital city and the largest town. Malay is the main ethnic group in Langkawi. The rest are Indian, Chinese and Thai. Islam is the predominat religion, followed by Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity.
Way before tourism became the main supporting industry, agriculture and rubber cultivation were the biggest supporting industries of Langkawi’s economy. The most popular tourist attractions in Langkawi are Kuah town, Cenang Beach and The Killim Karst Geoforest Park.
To promote tourism, Langkawi host several international tournaments like the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Show (LIMA) and Tour de Langkawi. Langkawi was ruled by Kedah’s Sultanate before British took over. Thai monarchy took control of the islands after the British. Thai influence can be seen in Langkawi’s culture and building architecture.
After the World War II, Langkawi became the pirate’s nest. The dense jungles on the islands were the perfect place for pirates to hide. Meanwhile, the natives lived peacefully and did some agricultural activities for living.
Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohammad, the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia, worked with Kedah authorities to develop Langkawi. Nowadays, Langkawi is a modern archipelago and the second busiest islands in Malaysia after Penang.
Langkawi International Airport (LGK) in Padang Matsirat is the only airport on the islands. The airport serves both domestic and international flight from and to Langkawi.
If you use ferry, you will arrive at Kuah Jetty, the main ferry terminal in Langkawi.
Langkawi has lots of wonderful places to visit, here are some of them:
With great water and white sand, Cenang Beach or Pantai Cenang is one of the most favourite beaches in Langkawi. What are the best things to do here? There are so many joyful activities you can do here like swimming, sunbathing and snorkeling.
As the most visited beach in Langkawi, it has lots of hotels, restaurants and shops. For party-goers, there are bars open till late and offer you great entertainment.
On weekdays, Kok Beach is not as crowded as Cenang Beach and makes it a perfect place to relax. With a beautiful panorama of lush greenery and clean water, Kok Beach looks like a masterpiece.
On weekends, Kok Beach gets a little bit crowded with so many families picnicking. But it does not make the beach less attractive. You can buy souvenirs in Oriental Village which is not far from the beach. It has lots of things to offer such as accessories and shirts
Dataran Lang or Eagle Square is another best manmade attraction in Langkawi. The main attraction is a 12-meter eagle statue. If you come to Langkawi by boat, this eagle is the first thing you will see. Eagle is believed as the origin of Langkawi’s name, ‘Helang’ means eagle and ‘Kawi’ means reddish brown.
In the morning and afternoon, local families and tourists come to Dataran Lang. The square is a perfect place to see the beautiful view of Kuah bay. From here, you can see many ferries sail in and out from the port.
Do not forget to take a ride of cable car in Langkawi. The cable car will offer you a breathtaking view from the height of 708 meters above the sea level. For 15 minutes, you will see the Andaman Sea surrounded by mountains and islands.
If there is no queue, you can ride cable car all by yourself. But on the weekend and holiday which are the queue is long enough, you need to share the cable car with 3-5 more passengers.
Al Hana Mosque or known as Masjid Al Hana is the largest and most famous mosque in Langkawi. The mosque is built with Moorish style architecture. It has so many big windows, beautiful mozaics and calligraphies on the walls. The most eye catching thing is the gold onion shaped domes.
Located in Kuah town, the mosque is open for public. But just like other mosques around the world, you have to take your shoes off before entering.
Langkawi Craft Complex is the most favourite place for tourists to buy authentic souvenirs of Langkawi. The place does not only sell Malay handicrafts, it also offers craft making demonstration.
What can you buy here? To please people at home, buy them batik, rattan basket and bags made from pandan leaves.