Langkawi Island is known as Langkawi Permata Kedah which means ‘The Jewel of Kedah’. Being one of the top tourist destinations in Malaysia and the world, it has a motto of Bandaraya Pelancongan which means ‘City of Tourism’.
Located within the state of Kedah, Langkawi Island is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world with a population of about 100,000 people.
Naturally, Langkawi Island is actually made up of an archipelago of 104 islands which are all located in the beautiful Andaman Sea. It is situated about 30kilometers from the mainland of Peninsular Malaysia and is popularly known for its duty-free status.
Province : Kedah State
Country : Malaysia
Latitude : 06 19 N
Longitude : 99 50 E
The Island is located just off the coast of North Western Malaysia, about 30 km from Kuala Perlis and 51 km from Kuala Kedah and close to Thailand.
The archipelago of the island contains 99 islands during high tide whereas during low tide, the number of islands can be as many as 104.
Sanctuary of some of the most ancient rainforests in the world, they are teeming with exotic flora and fauna. the island itself is the largest among the archipelago, measuring about 478.5 sq km, is the only one with any real settlement.
It fringed by lovely beaches scattered along its coast. The island is still very much a rural landscape with villages and paddy fields.
The name Langkawi is said to have been derived from the name of the reddish-brown eagle which is locally known as ‘helang’ which is found in abundance here. The most common species here is the ‘Lang Merah’ or Brahminy Kite. Meanwhile, ‘Kawi’ is the Sanskrit word for marble and is very unique here as well.
History of Pulau Langkawi
Mention Langkawi to any Malaysians and you will be told of the rich folklore and legends of the island. Within the archipelago, almost every cave, lake and forest is linked to a certain legendary story.
Among the most popular here is the story of Mahsuri who was falsely accused of adultery and sentenced to death. She cursed the island for seven generations before her death where many problems sufficed after that.
Geography of Pulau Langkawi
The island comes under the jurisdiction of the Kedah state which has a total land mass of nearly 48,000 acres. The main island is the most popular place here where hundreds of thousands of visitors and tourists come by every year. The oldest geological formation here is the Gunung Matchincang.
Langkawi Population & Economy
Most of the locals here are of Malay origin which makes up about 90% of the total. Malays here are Muslims while the Chinese people are primarily Buddhists and Christians. Hinduism is practiced by the Indian people here while there are a small group of Thais as well.
Economy of the Island
The Island is a renowned tourist destination which means that tourism remains as one of its main economy. The agro-based industry here has been practised for generations before tourism became popular.
The locals are known to be involved in padi and rubber planting and fisheries as well. It is part of the NCER or Northern Corridor Economic Region development programme.
Through NCER, government is working hard to drive more developers to operate world-class hotels and holiday resorts on the island to accommodate the growing number of tourists every year.
In addition to that, more attractions such as adventure tourism, exhibition centres, day cruises, zoo and factory shopping outlet would also be introduced to diversify the tourism attractions to appeal to travelers from abroad. Based on statistics, it is believed that the island is the busiest island in Peninsular second to Penang.