All 99 islands of Langkawi were
declared a Geopark* by UNESCO in 2007 ?
The film Anna and the King
(1999) was filmed in Langkawi ?
The north-eastern monsoon (Nov-Mar)
does not affect Langkawi ?
Langkawi has numerous events happening
throughout the year ? The biggest is the biennial
Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace exhibition
The whisper of legend can be heard
everywhere in Langkawi: in the majestic
trees of the 450-million year old rainforest;
in the misty caves and hilltops; in the lapping
waters of waterfalls, deep lakes and rivers; in
the villages of fishermen and rice farmers; and
in the turquoise ocean where it meets the white
sands of the many beaches. Be
captivated by Langkawi’s legends.
Pulau Langkawi (Langkawi Island) is the main
of the 99 islands that make up this enchanting
archipelago at the north-western tip of Malaysia
and just south of Thai waters. There is something
here for everyone, from the budget-conscious traveller
to those in search of the ultimate in luxury and
seclusion. Families or honeymooning couples will
feel just as welcome as business guests and meeting
accommodation to suit your needs.
Excellent infrastructure makes a visit to Langkawi
a breeze, without diminishing the laid-back rural
charm or the breathtaking natural wonders that
are its hallmark. There are countless things to
see and do on the island, but those in need of
a break could easily spend days here just soaking
up the sun and the natural beauty. What
do you want to do?
A Geopark is an area with a geological heritage
of significance, with a coherent and strong management
structure and where a sustainable economic development
strategy is in place.
A Geopark creates enhanced employment opportunities
for the people who live there bringing sustainable
and real economic benefit, usually through the development
of sustainable tourism. In the framework of a Geopark,
geological heritage and geological knowledge is
shared with the broad public and linked with broader
aspects of the natural and cultural environment,
which are often closely related or determined to
geology and landscape.
Many travellers come to Langkawi drawn by tales of its
beauty and charm. However as any visitor will soon learn,
the island is animated with tales of a different kind.
Legendary narratives, filled with heroic deeds and mystical
creatures, abound on the island. Some of these legends
are now as familiar as the crashing of the waves on the
shore, while others remain known to only a few. As they
were verbally passed down through the ages, the tales
picked up the spirit of their orators and twists along
the way, with the result that there are many different
versions of the most popular legends in existence today.
Some of the most famous legends are recounted below, and
you are bound to hear them told to you in more colour
when you visit these and the other mystical places on
the island yourself.
Mahsuri and the Curse of Langkawi
The most eminent legend of all is that of Mahsuri and
the curse of Langkawi: a tale that has been intertwined
with the fortune of the island till as recently as 1987.
Jealousy motivated the false accusations of adultery
that were levelled against the beautiful Mahsuri, who
lived on the island in the early 1800's. When she was
put to death for this alleged crime, white blood poured
from her wounds, proving her innocence. Her dying words
were a curse that the island would not see peace or
prosperity for seven generations. True enough, the island
of Langkawi suffered several battles and hardships in
the years to follow. In 1987, exactly seven generations
later, the shadow of the curse was lifted: The Island
was declared a duty-free port and with the steadily
increasing influx of tourists, began to flourish once
Mat Raya and Mat Cincang
Today, roads wind between places with names like Air Hangat
(Hot Water), Kuah (Gravy) and Belanga Pekah (Broken Crockery);
the majestic peaks of Mount Raya and Mount Mat Cincang
stand firm over the island, as if they have been here
for eternity. However, legend tells us that it was not
always so. Mat Raya and Mat Cincang were giants that lived
here years ago. Mat Raya's son was to be wed to Mat Cincang's
daughter and the wedding ceremony was in full swing. The
suspicious Mat Cincang saw his son-in-law flirt with some
of the other girls at the celebration and his fury at
this sight sparked a vigorous battle between the two families.
In the ensuing struggle, a cauldron of hot water (Air
Hangat) was tipped over where the village by that name
now stands and the engagement ring (Cincin) was flung
to the side, forming the present day Tanjung Cincin. A
giant pot of gravy (Kuah) was spilled where the island's
main town is today and seeped in (Kisap) to the ground
at a nearby village. Belanga Pekah village got its name
from the broken crockery that was surely the aftermath
of this clamorous fight. Mat Sawar, a friend of both giants,
finally intervened and succeeded to bring the two to remorse
for the damage they caused. In their regret, they chose
to be turned to mountains, where they stand, facing each
other over the tip of Mount Mat Sawar, to this day.
Garuda and Jentayu
There was also another marriage that set off a battle
between giants of a different kind. The prince of Rome
was to be married to a Chinese princess, and he set sail
with his fleet to meet her. Garuda, the fiery giant Phoenix,
got wind of this and feared that the powerful union would
threaten the smaller kingdoms. Aiming to prevent him from
reaching his bride, Garuda kidnapped the princess and
attacked the prince and his fleet. The prince's fleet
commander, himself of mythical origin, called upon the
help of Jentayu from the waters of the ocean. The mystical
bird of water fought fiercely against the flaming Garuda,
but was defeated. Garuda grabbed the prince from his ship
and dropped him into the sea. The waves, still enchanted
from the summoning of Jentayu, washed the unconscious
prince to the cave where Garuda had hidden the princess.
When the phoenix heard that the lovers had been reunited
despite all his efforts, he disappeared, never to be seen
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