[WORLDKINGS] Exceptional places around the world (P.95) – Langkawi (Malaysia) : Beautiful island with the mighty name of the Lord of the sky


(WorldKings.org) The jade green mountain ranges and pearly sand beaches of Langkawi, once hidden treasures known mainly to coastal pirates, are now appreciated by a growing number of visitors.

An archipelago consisting of 99 islands off the northwest coast of Malaysia in the southern Andaman Sea, many of the smaller isles have retained the untamed landscape that once served as havens for buccaneers.

The district capital of the island group is the community of Kuah, also the location of the ferry landings for arrivals from the mainland. The town is known for its giant eagle monument with wings outstretched to greet visitors at Dataran Helang, or Eagle Square.

There are many suggestions for the origin of the name of Langkawi. According to one interpretation, Langkawi means island of the reddish-brown eagle, a Brahminy kite in colloquial Malay. The Malay word for eagle is helang (shortened to lang), and kawi is a red stone used as a chalk to mark goods. This interpretation was used to create the landmark sculpture of an eagle as the symbol of Langkawi at Dataran Helang (Eagle Square) in Kuah.

The natural attractions of Langkawi, from its bird-filled parks to its rainforests and beaches, helped the island achieve World Geopark status in 2007. Awarded by UNESCO, the status highlights not only the natural beauty of a region but also its sustainable socio-economic development.

With Langkawi surrounded by the sea, there are various water-based activities to indulge in. For those that love cruises, there are various cruises that can accommodate individuals that love the morning sun or individuals that would like to have dinner on a yacht.

Snorkeling is also a popular activity, with operators organizing daily tours to the nearby Payar Island. Tourists can also choose to go for island hopping tours with different options:

Slow: Travelling and spending time on selective private islands/beaches

Fast: Sitting on a speedboat for a quick spin around the various islands available in Langkawi

Dayang Bunting is the second largest island in Langawi's cluster of 99 islands. It's located offshore and south of the main island, and can easily be reached by boat. So why is this island so famous? The literal meaning of its name is 'Island of Pregnant Maiden'. And it has a wonderful large freshwater lake (known as Lake Guillemard) surrounded by hills having dense rain forests. The lake too is known as Lake of the Pregnant Maiden. 

The legend says that a man named Mat Teja met and fell in love with the princess Mambang Sari at the lake. They eventually married and the princess gave birth to a son. However, their son did not live long and soon died. Having reconciled with their misfortune, they decided to lay their son in the water of the lake and allow him to rest in peace. The gracious princess also blessed all women having difficulty conceiving a child. They would become fertile once they take a dip into the water of the lake.

According to globaltravelerusa.com and langkawi-insight.com

Mihan (Collect and edit) (World Records Union - WorldKings.org)


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