Pulau Langkawi - Kedah Malaysia
The Langkawi archipelago is made up of a cluster of 99 islands, sprinkled just off the shores of the Northern Kedah State in Peninsular Malaysia. During low tide, the number of islands expands to 104. It's understandable that only a few islands are inhabited. Many of the islands are little more than rocky outcrops separated by narrow canals where only sampans(little boats) can travel through. Langkawi island (478.5 sq.km) is the largest of them all and is not much smaller than Singapore (646 sq.km) but has a much smaller island population of only 62,000.
Pulau Langkawi's landscape is painted with marbled mountains, vast paddy fields and rural villages, miles and miles of white sandy beaches, secret caves, and pockets of virgin rainforests dating back millions of years .
Although tourism is the main industry for the people of Langkawi and has been for the past decade or so, the sea remains a healthy source of income for local fishermen. In pockets of local fishing communities one can still find the age-old cottage industry of harvesting, drying and processing of sea cucumbers into a balsamic oil for all sorts of minor ailment.
Langkawi's Legends and Hotspots
Centuries ago skilled storytellers on the mainland made a living from spinning wondrous, spectacular tales of folklore, history, myths and legends of celestial beings, demons, warriors and wars, giants, beautiful maidens and gallant heroes. Langkawi was inaccessible to local folks in those days. The Langkawi islands were infested with pirates living and feasting on boats and travellers who chose to sail in their waters. Not many locals ventured to the islands and soon stories abound of these mysterious islands. The myths are still woven strongly into the lifestyle of the local people.
The family feud - Gunung Raya, Guning Mat Cincang & Kuah Town
The various peaks on the island such as Gunung Raya,(the highest mount on the island), Gunung Mat Cincang, Bukit Sewar, Belaga Pecah and Telaga Air Hangat, were named according to the incidents which transpired as a result of a family feud. These first three mountains were purported to be humans while Belaga Pecah(meaning broken pot) was believed to be the spot where a large pot containing gravy was spilt after the pot, used as a missile in the feud, broke there. A cauldron of boiling water was also used as a missile in the fight. The spot where it landed became a series of Hot Springs gushing into the air, giving rise to the name Telaga Air Hangat (meaning hot well water).Today, Gunung Raya is accessible by road - all the way to the top. Perched on top like the eagle's nest, is an impressive fortress-like building, which is strictly for government officials only and is out of bounds to public. However, the view from the peak is great for sunset photos. There is also a resort located at the peak for those seeking retreat.
Gunung Raya itself is home to the white-bellied sea eagle - circling high round the mountaintop. The hornbills also make their home in the forested area of Gunung Raya. When the road was built, much of the flora was disturbed thus reducing their feeding area. Perhaps due to this, it is far easier now to spot them as they have to fly a greater distance for food. (no good for the jungle inhabitants, although reported to be good for tourists!). If you're driving up the mountain, a charge of 50sen per car is collected at a makeshift toll located at the base of the mount.
Gunung Mat Cincang is open to the public and its peak can be reached via a Cable Car ride all the way up from its base at the Oriental Village. The rides are available from 9.30am till 7.00pm and the fare is RM45 for adults; RM32 for children. Any more information required, http://www.panoramalangkawi.com
From the cable car, visitors have a fine view of Langkawi island and beyond. The Telaga Tujuh Waterfall can be seen in full view on the way to the peak. A 7-tiered waterfall, the Telaga Tujuh is a favourite stop for tourists.
Oriental Village - Cable Car Station
The island has taken over Penang Island's duty free status providing shoppers with some pretty good deals on local and foreign products. Many visit Langkawi for its duty-free shopping : for local visitors; products worth purchasing are alcohol and cigarettes; for many foreign guests, electrical goods, handicraft and certain branded goods especially leathergoods and casual attire are well worth a look around. Oriental Village...a stone's
throw from the Burau Bay Resort at Pantai Kok, is also where the cable car station is located. One word of advise on duty free though... if you wish to cash in on duty free alcohol and spirits, it's best to purchase this prior to departure at shops in town or at the beaches and places like Oriental Village . The airport duty free shops may price the same items higher.
Don't be misled by the name, Oriental Village is not really a living, breathing traditional local village. The place seems to have been established more specifically to house speciality shops and food outlets rather than an expression of the true local village flavour.
Kuah, Langkawi's main town and port where ferries from the mainland and Penang anchor. Numerous duty free shops have sprouted and many new hotels and chalets with prices to suit everyone's budget have been constructed. The main Tourist Information Centre is located a distance away from the ferry jetty, heading towards town. The centre closes at about 4.30pm. However, if you're looking for quieter beaches to park yourself, then grab a taxi and head off to Pantai Cenang, Pantai Kok and the other more secluded areas in the Northern end. A well maintained road runs around the island. Although bus routes are limited on the island, taxis are aplenty and not too expensive. The more adventurous could try bicycles, motorbikes or car available for hire .
The most famous of Langkawi legends is the Curse of Mahsuri. Mahsuri was a beautiful maiden of Muslim Siamese descent. As with admiration in some, there will always be jealousy in others. Mahsuri's mother-in-law was insanely jealous of her beauty and popularity. She took the opportunity one day to rid Mahsuri as she accused her of adultery during the absence of her husband who had gone off to war. Adultery by local law was a sin punishable by death. Mahsuri was executed in public. As she pleaded her innocence, the executioner plunged a 'keris' or dagger into her. To his surprise, Mahsuri's blood trickled white which signified that she was innocent.
Upon death, Mahsuri placed a curse on Langkawi and its people. For 7 generations, there was to be much tragedy and misfortune. Over years of warring with the Siamese and other natural disasters that befell the island, Langkawi was left to its own. It was said that at one time, buffaloes even outnumbered villagers . It was not until the 80's that the 7th generation passed and the curse was finally lifted.
Mahsuri's tomb is now encased in white marble, quarried from the hills of Langkawi - white symbolising her innocence. Nearby is a well, which Mahsuri used to wash and bathe. Photographs of her descendants are displayed on the board next to her grave.
The Field of Burnt Rice
Soon after Mahsuri's premature death, the formidable Siamese army made an attack on the island. In desperation, the chief ordered the granary to be burnt down to prevent the storage of rice from falling into Siamese hands. The remnants of burnt rice can still be seen at this spot known as the Field of Burnt Rice especially after a heavy downfall that washes out the odd blackened grain or so. The curse is believed to have been the cause of the island's lack of development which lasted until the birth in 1980 of Aishah Nawawi, a direct descendant of Mahsuri, the eighth generation.
This beachfront is chock-full with hotels, resorts and a variety of restaurants. But the area is slightly less chaotic than pantai cenang and the flurry of construction at least has a little more sensibility.. not much but some. Pantai Tengah has spots where you may find some quiet spaces and quiet time where the sea and beach is the priority , not marred with lots of kitschy beach junk for sale to "hungry-for-junk" tourists. And hopefully not too many "hungry-for-junk" tourists too... but if you turn up on the island during some public holiday (of which we hardworking Malaysians have so many many - apparently because of our multi-ethnicity, we have to celebrate everyone , if possible - twice over) , and the holiday seasons which means when school's out and when civil servants get their bonuses (any which way they can).
Ok to get away from all that , pop into Sugar for a great meal, great vistas, and perhaps great live music to accompany a great evening. Find out if there are events on at https://www.facebook.com/sugarlangkawi/. Sugar is located where The Lighthouse was. Now that Chef Shuk and Johnny has retired into the comforts and serenity of their green sanctuary , sugar takes The Lighthouse to a different direction of seafood, tapas, mexican grub and all sorts of finger lickin' delights. As for Chef Shuk, he is still running his cooking classes but at a more sane pace for him, in his own home... a very beautiful hand crafted wooden Malay stilted home, and how not to love the kitchen-to-table cuisine. And...Chef Shuk is lovely!.. https://www.facebook.com/Cookwithshuk-Langkawi
The main attractions on the island are the long stretches of white sandy beaches. The most frequented beaches are in the south-western part of the island. Pantai Cenang, is the liveliest place to be and is about 18Km from Kuah town. Accommodation here are catered to suit all types of travel budgets from A-hut chalets to international resorts such as the Pelangi Beach Resort, an ever popular and well-established resort if not rather jaded and in need of refurbishments.
A variety of restaurants line the road serving all types of cuisine from local to Italian to fusion. The Red Tomato Garden Cafe is a good place to stop by for your English breakfast of toast and coffee or settle for fresh garden salad and pasta for a pretty reasonable price. Beats having the complimentary breakfast buffet provided by your hotel!
The A-huts lining parts of the 2km beach go for around RM45 per hut per night with fan and attached bathroom. The beach frontage along Pantai Cenang, Pantai Tengah and Teluk Baru is narrow. With such limited space, the A-huts are packed closely together and can get a little claustrophobic, especially the ones further back towards the road. In the past 2 years, many of the small budget chalet operators have had to make way for resorts so don't be too disappointed if you can't get a reasonably priced place to stay.
There are mid-range accommodations available along the beach. The beach on this northern side of Pantai Cenang is cleaner and the white sand is as fine as caster sugar. There's much more space to stretch out too!
Further up is BonTon. BonTon serves fusion food and is pricey for budget travellers. There is a wide selection of fine wines, which is ideal for a long, quiet evening to indulge in good food, good wine, good company and an appreciation for subtlety. Unlike the first BonTon outlet in KL which was housed in a colonial brick house, the BonTon here is set kampung style with a heavy lean towards the breezy, nothing to do but laze by the pool feel. There are also 6 old Kampung houses to stay . These old village houses are a collection from the age of 40 to 100years. Personalised touches are added to the decor to provide guests with a homey feel. The Temple Tree next door is a superb collection of period buildings including an old chinese wooden house, a colonial home, rubber plantation workers' kongsi etc. Superb conservation project. If you'd like to help out a little whilst staying on the island, the owners of BonTon and TempleTree also runs a shelter and sanctuary for abandoned, abused animals called LASSIE . Lots of things you can do to help.
perdana quay at night
Here sits the Perdana Quay, another attempt at reviving the Oriental Village concept (which failed miserably and now is home to souvenir shops, several restaurants and bistros - the branded shops have all gone and the speciality restaurants have closed except for a Japanese Restaurant, a Thai Restaurant, a Chinese Restaurant and a few other bistros). Here again is the same concept but with a little marina thrown in so that the sailing and yachting crowd can moor their boats whilst they shop and eat at the Quay area. Housing a variety of speciality food outlets and branded names such as the Mare Blu Italian Ristorante, The USSR restaurant , Bom Brazil Churrascaria (Brazillian Barbeque) and many more.. And there's even the Skytrex located in the area.http://www.skytrex-adventure.com/
Burau Bay Resort went under a new management some years back. Realising the importance of eco-tourism, Burau Bay is giving it a go at making Langkawi a naturalist's paradise. And rightly so, Langkawi has the oldest rainforest track in Malaysia and that is worth preserving. At Mutiara Burau Bay itself, there lives a lizard specie called the butterfly lizard ( Leiolepis belliana) which can be found basking on the lawn by the pool. It is found in the Mekong Basin of Indochina, and in coastal areas of Thailand, West Malaysia and Sumatra. Don't bother trying to trap them though as it is a protected specie and the resort is very strict on regulations regarding harming,trapping or destroying the wildlife habitat within their grounds.
For others who prefer a more adventurous introduction to the islands, a 3-hour boat trip around the mangrove swamps and nearby islands is a good start. Not too strenuous and not too commercial..at least not for now anyway. We begin our trip at Tanjung Rhu, a beautiful secluded bay of white sand on the northeastern tip of the island. Casuarina trees line the beach, caressed by the gentle breeze blowing in from the vast Indian Ocean. The exclusive Tanjung Rhu Resort, set on its edge is ideal for some time away to relax and be thoroughly pampered. For more on the mangrove swamp trip, click here.
The latest edition to an expanding list of exclusive resorts in Langkawi is the Four Seasons Hotel. On the same stretch of beach as the Tanjung Rhu Resort , the Four Seasons has a beautiful view of the Tanjung Rhu Bay.
The Datai Bay sits on the Northern tip of Langkawi and is seemingly, the most secluded area in Langkawi. The drive into the bay is long and in some areas, a little winding. But once there, it's peace, serenity and privacy. The exclusive hotel, The Datai and its more affordable,
Andaman sits along the private beach of Datai. The Datai itself is worth a visit, just for a drink or a meal at its unobtrusive restaurants or even just to browse around at their resident shops. The most fun is a trip out into the jungle with Irshad, the resident Naturalist. It's worth all that and multiplied by 10. For more on the trek at Datai, click here.
An 18-hole golf course is another carrot on the stick at the Datai. The golf course is built within the forest itself.
Pantai Pasir Tengkorak (Beach of Sandy Skulls)
Tucked away from the usual mainland holidaymakers is the Beach of Sandy Skulls. This is a favourite with the islanders for a spot of picnic during the weekends. But during weekdays, it is a nice stretch of public beach to indulge in a bit of quiet time. Not far from the beach is the Ibrahim Hussein Art Gallery (entrance fee: RM12 for adults, kids admittance is free) set on the edge of a cliff overlooking the sea.
Ibrahim Hussein is one of Malaysia's finest contemporary artist and is a household name amongst local and foreign art collectors. The studio is also open to artists interested in showcasing their work and aspiring artists are enthusiastically encouraged to utilise the gallery to participate in any related fields of art and music. In the grounds of the gallery is a nature walk trail that winds into the Pasir Tengkorak Forest Reserve.
Islands around Pulau Langkawi
Pulau Dayang Bunting (The Island of the Pregnant Maiden)
Pulau Dayang Bunting is the 2nd largest island in the archipelago. This island is special, as nestled within its core is a freshwater lake. For years, the lake with its legend has brought many a-barren women to the lake in the hope that drinking the cool water will make them fertile. This is a good example of a folklore that is still very much believed by the locals. The story goes like this....
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful celestial princess called Puteri Dayang Sari who frequented the lake to bathe in the shallow waters. One day, an earth prince, Putera Teja spotted her bathing and was completely smitten. His attempts to woo her fell on deaf ears. In desperation the Prince turned to a wise old man for help. The old man told him that the way to en-trance the princess was to catch the tears of a mermaid and wipe his face with them. So the prince went in search of a mermaid, found one and did as the old man advised. As predicted, upon meeting the prince again, the princess with one look, fell completely in love with him. A happy ending? No!..it doesn't end there.
The princess returned to the lake to have her first born but was devastated that her baby boy died within a week of birth. In her moment of frailty and need, the princess found out that she had been deceived by her prince. In her anguish and pain, the princess tossed her baby into the lake. It is said the baby was transformed into a white crocodile that continues to guard the lake to this day. Despite all that she had been through, she brought herself to bless the lake with magical fertility powers. That was her last deed on earth and she returned to the heavens, never to be seen again. Now the lake is a place for day-trippers to cool themselves in the clean, emerald water. It is said that the magical powers of the water at the lake can help childless couples conceive! Many come to the lake for such a reason.
Pulau Singa Besar (The Big Lion Island)
To the west of Pulau Dayang Bunting is Pulau Singa Besar. This island has been converted into a wildlife sanctuary for many creatures. Walking round the island takes 8 hours or so, but visitors may get a chance to see some of the local wildlife residing on the island such as monitor lizards, macaques, deer, the timid mousedeer. The dipterocarp trees, kelubi, cycads and the high humidity makes one feel as though walking through forests that dinosaurs have over 60million years ago. The ecosystem here may well have been the home of these giant reptiles, before the island broke away from the mainland, before the waters rose and the earth's templates ripped the landmass apart that shifted the continents away.
The dating of sedimentary rocks on the island have been recorded to go back as far as 500million years even before the era of dinosaurs. The island is still home to numerous species of birds . If you're a keen birdwatcher, bring a pair of binoculars, some insect repellent, drinking water and a sprinkle of patience. You won't regret it.
Pulau Beras Basah (Wet Rice Island)
This island close by is a favourite for those who would like to do a spot of swimming and sunbathing. However, just a word on sunbathing: this is a Muslim country, skimpily clothed women are frowned upon. So for women, don't go topless or nude on beaches especially on public beaches.
There are organised trips to the 3 island of Pulau Dayang Bunting, Pulau Singa Besar and Pulau Beras Basah. If you make your own way to Pantai Cenang, there are boats ready to take you out. The boats leave at 9.00am and at 2.30pm and the entire trip takes 3hours. The boat operators here charge RM35 per person for the tour but bring your own snacks, towel, a change of clothing and water. In hotels and other resorts, the trip costs more but includes the transfer to and from resorts.
This is the only other inhabited island in the archipelago. A traditional fishing village stands on the island and the fisherfolk here retain their old livelihood of fishing and processing catch. If you're interested. You can hop on to a boat heading for the island from the Kuah jetty, situated next to the Kuah Ferry Terminal. The boat costs RM30 per way.
best time to go
During the quieter months ie not during school holidays or public holidays. Also the rainy season for west coastal areas of Peninsula Malaysia is from around June til November. However, there are sporadic rainfalls and occasional storms all year round. December till February are crazy tourist months so please book way in advance for accommodation and flights.
There are a number of take-off points to Langkawi Island - Kuala Kedah jetty in the Kedah and Kuala Perlis jetty in Perlis. So head for any of these jetties depending on which is most convenient to you. There is a cargo ferry that operates from Kuala Kedah in Kedah to Tanjung Lumbung in Langkawi. The cargo ferry leaves around 11.00am and charges for transporting cars depend on the model e.g. Proton model RM180 per way and takes one day to arrive. Meantime you will have to get on a passenger ferry and pick up the car the day after it leaves K.Kedah. Don't forget to bring along the car registration. This may only be worth the trouble if you spend a week or more. Or Have a look at www.langkawiroro.com for updated info
Otherwise, you can park your car at the 24hour car parks close to the jetties and take the passenger ferries across. At Kuala Kedah, it costs between RM9 to RM11 per day to park at the 24hour car parks situated close to the jetty.
Please Note: Passengers can now book for ferry tickets for destinations with the Booking Search Box added below .
Perhatian: Penumpang boleh membuat tempahan untuk tiket feri pada destinasi yang bertanda Booking Search box di bawah.
Pickup Address :
Dropoff Address :Jetty Langkawi
This is a ferry ticket. Ticket is subject to best available timing, subjected to change of schedule. PLEASE PRINT OUT THE BOOKING CONFIRMATION EMAIL. Please contact Hoye Holidays Sdn Bhd @ +604-5403328 if you have any enquiry. No cancellation allowed. Change of booking is possible subjected to approval. Kindly email to firstname.lastname@example.org to raise the request.
Super Fast Ferry
Pickup Address :Ground Floor, PPC Building, Pesara King Edward, 10300 Penang, Malaysia.
Dropoff Address :Kompleks Jetty Point 07000 Langkawi Kedah Darul Aman
PLEASE SEND US ALL PASSENGER NAME ONCE YOU HAVE MADE THE BOOKINGS. Actual seat plan will be provided upon check in. Price includes port handling fee. Please note that you need to purchase the ticket for child & infant also. You will receive another email for the ferry ticket detail. Please collect your ticket at the counter before depart. No cancellation & no change of booking is allowed. (Penang Tel : 04-2620802/04-2620521/016-4160802) (Langkawi Tel : 04-9660521/016-4190521)
Langkawi Ferry Line Ventures
Pickup Address :
Kuala Perlis or Kuala Kedah
Dropoff Address :
Kompleks Jetty Point 07000 Langkawi Kedah Darul Aman
Please Note: journeymalaysia.com does not book for this ferry. The listing above is strictly for your information only. Please call the ferry company directly for up- to - date time schedule and booking. http://www.langkawiferryline.com/
Perhatian: journeymalaysia.com tidak menerima sebarang tempahan untuk feri ini. Senarai di atas adalah sekadar untuk maklumat anda sahaja.Sila hubungi secara terus kepada syarikat bas terbabit untuk maklumat lebih lanjut mengenai jadual perjalanan terkini dan tempahan
Take a coach to Butterworth , then take a ferry to Penang island or straight to Sg.Nibong Bus Terminal on Penang Island or Kuala Kedah or Kuala Perlis from KL or Alor Setar or from any entry point into Malaysia and get yourself to the Langkawi Ferry Terminal at any of the stated ports above
There are scheduled flights on both National carriers namely Malaysia Airlines or AirAsia or FireFly Check out their websites for updated schedules and special airfares. Direct flights from Europe and Asia land at the Langkawi International Airport. Check with your travel agent for rates and schedule.
The new ETS (Electric Train Service) from Kuala Lumpur or Padang Besar to Butterworth is a great way to get to Penang and from there catch a ferry to Langkawi.https://intranet.ktmb.com.my/e-ticket/login.aspx or for an easier way to make a booking, http://www.journeymalaysia.com/ktm-Butterworth_
Try to make some time to visit Penang. It's worth at least 2nights or more. There is so much to see and catch up on the local cultures of Malaysia here. From Butterworth, stroll over to the Penang ferry (this is the ferry routes that ply only the Butterworth - Penang Island route) http://penangport.com.my/Services/Ferry-Services
- Taxi from the Airport
for 4 persons
for 6 persons
Kg.Tok Senik/ Sheraton Langkawi Rst
Tanjung Santuary Resort
Mutiara Burau Bay / Berjaya Beach Rst /
Extra 50% charge after midnight
When someone mentions the word vacation, I always imagine the amazing experiences that I get from spending my time at beautiful beaches. During the second semester break, I decided to spend my joyful days at Pulau Langkawi, Kedah to escape from all the pressures from my studies. It was the best day of my life.
The first thing I noticed when arrived at the island was the
calmness derived from the sound of tender waves crashing onto the hard rocks. The never-ending body of blue-green water looked cool and inviting while the green palm trees were waving softly along with the refreshing wind. In my opinion, nothing in this world is more appealing than the spectacular view of the beach!</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Driven by the excitement, I held my chin up to the sky. The majestic beach was blessed with a bright and scorching sun. The massive blue sky was filled with a fluffy and huggable clouds while the silence was broken by a cheering sound of colourful birds that were happily chirping their melodious songs from above.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Forced by a sense of curiosity, I started to explore the island. By the time I walked along the white sandy beach with bare feet, I could feel the gentleness of the crunchy, golden sand that swept over my toes, while the breezy air was busy whispering into my ear and kissing my worries goodbye. My empty stomach was moved by the tempting aroma from the barbequed seafood from the vendors along the broad walk. My eyes were drown to a mouth-watering hamburger and a chilled coconut shake.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It was the happiest day of my life. As I was savouring my meal below the palms trees, I started wandering about life, my dreams and everything I could imagine. Being at the beach can make you a thoughtful person and at this point, I was relaxed and happy to see the perfect view of the beach.</p>