Forested hills, romantic white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters greet visitors to tropical Palau Langkawi, the largest of the 99 islands in Langkawi archipelago. Known mysteriously as “Legendary Island” because of myths associated with its ancient geological formations, it drifts serenely alongside Malaysia in the azure Andaman Sea. Sample local cuisine at the night markets, hike to dramatic waterfalls or dive into an underwater marine park to take a guided glimpse at life beneath the sea.
HERE ARE SOME PHOTOS
The islands are a part of the state of Kedah, which is adjacent to the Thai border. On 15 Jul 2008, Sultan Abdul Halim of Kedah 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.
The name “Langkawi” has two possible origins. First, it is believed to be related to the kingdom of Langkasuka, itself a version of theMalay negari alang-kah suka (“the land of all one’s wishes”), centered in modern-dayKedah. The historical record is sparse, but a Chinese Liang Dynasty record (c. 500 AD) refers to the kingdom of “Langgasu” as being founded in the 1st century AD. Second, it could be a combination of the Malay words ‘helang’, meaning “eagle” and ‘kawi’, meaning “reddish-brown” or “strong”, in old Malay.
Langkawi eventually came under the influence of the Sultanate of Kedah, but Kedah was conquered in 1821 by Siam and Langkawi along with it. The Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909 transferred power to the British, which held the state until independence, except for a brief period of Thai rule under the Japanese occupation of Malaya during World War II. Thai influences remain visible in the culture and food of Langkawi.
Langkawi remained a sleepy backwater until 1987, when the island was granted tax-free status with the intention of promoting tourism and improve the lives of the islanders.
This spectacular boom also coincided with the end of “Mahsuri’s Curse,” which was lifted with the birth of her 7th generation descendant. I hope I have given sufficient details and hope you can make plan to Langkawi.