Langkawi and its many places of
A great way to see Pulau Langkawi's many attractions
is to rent a car and drive from place to place at one's own leisure. Car
hire is reasonably priced and the island is linked by a network
of pleasant roads with ample signages.
A great place to start your sightseeing tour is to begin at Kuah town
itself, where the tourist information centre is based (next to the town's
mosque). Grab all the brochures and maps which you may need and you're
ready to go.
Within the vicinity of the jetty and the tourist information center is the
harbourside's parklands which houses the Dataran Lang and Lagenda Park
the former a landscaped square with a concrete statue of the Langkawi eagle
and the latter a 20-hectare park commemorating the island's legends in sculptural
Heading west from Kuah town will take you to the rural countryside surrounded
by paddy fields. Let the road signs lead you to Makam Mahsuri,
the grave of the island's legendary heroine. Being the island's most popular
legend, this tomb/shrine is to Langkawi what the Eiffel Tower is to
Going back to the main road will lead you to Pantai
Cenang, the island's longest stretch of beach with the most happening nightlife.
This beach houses the highest concentration of accommodation providers, ranging
from budget chalets to five-star resorts, and is therefore the liveliest
Laman Padi, a "rice museum" is also located at Pantai Cenang for those interested
in all aspects of rice farming. The Underwater World, a colossal aquarium
with a fascinating collection of freshwater and marine life is further down
the same road.
From Pantai Cenang, take the route to the airport. A go-cart racing
centre is situated along the way for those who are game to participate. Past
the airport is the small town of Padang Matsirat where the very disappointing
Beras Terbakar or "Field of Burnt Rice" is located. Legend has it burnt rice
still appear, the remnants of an 18th-century crop which was put to torch
by local villagers to prevent invading Siamese troops from taking it. At
the most, you will see a pitiful bowl of burnt rice in a plastic casing flanked
by a signage.
From the Padang Matsirat junction, follow the signage
to Pantai Kok, a picturesque stretch of beach which some say is the finest
in Langkawi. You will come across a red Thai-style structure along this road
which was actually a Hollywood prop for the film Anna and the King
starring Jodie Foster and Chow Yuen Fatt. Built as the Summer Palace for
the Siamese monarch in the story, the structure has since been "recycled"
as a tourist attraction. The admission charge is a bit steep but the place
itself is well maintained and worth a visit. Cultural performances also are
carried out at regular intervals here.
Beyond Pantai Kok is Burau Bay, the other contender for accolade of the island's
most beautiful beach. Burau Bay is actually a delightful cove flanked by
the mysterious peaks of Gunung Mat Cincang. Two resorts sit on both ends
of this cove: the Burau Bay Resort and the Berjaya Langkawi Beach Resort,
both built to blend with the surrounding environment.
Further up from Burau Bay is the waterfalls of Telaga Tujuh (Seven Wells),
a playground of fairies according to local folklore. Only the fit and
enthusiastic outdoor-type should attempt the thirty-minute hike up the
track from Telaga Tujuh and turn towards Datai Bay, where "250 million-year-old
rainforest meet the sea", or so the brochure claims. Two of the island's
most luxurious resorts The Datai and The Andaman are nestled among
trees in seclusion here. A breathtaking golf course and a spectacular waterfall
are also in the vicinity.
The coastal road along Datai will also lead you past the Ibrahim Hussein
Museum and Cultural Foundation, a showcase for Malaysia's most famous artist,
and a Crocodile Farm where the main attraction is a deformed croc.
up the north coast, you will find Pasir Hitam (The Beach of Black Sand) where
the sand is streaked in black, and Kompleks Budaya Kraf, a crafts' complex
of traditional craft products such as batik, silverware and pottery.
At Padang Lalang turn right for Tanjung Rhu (Rhu Cape), a beautiful beach
with shallow lagoons and vast sand flats during low tide. Visitors can also
hire boat rides here to mangrove forests and the legendary caves nearby.
Head west on the main road back to Kuah and you will past Air Hangat Village,
a cultural centre around a natural hot spring, and the Galeria Perdana, a
museum devoted to Prime Minister Dato' Seri Dr. Mahatir's collection of
attractions on Pulau Langkawi, one can go island hopping to the neighbouring
isles, each with their own coves of crystal-clear waters, snorkeling spots,
eerie caves and fascinating folklore. Top on the list of must-see islands
are Pulau Dayang Bunting, the archipelago's second largest island with a
freshwater lake in the center, Pulau Singa Besar which houses a wildlife
sanctuary, and the superb Pulau Payar, a designated marine park teeming with
corals, fishes and baby sharks.
Mysterious Caves of Langkawi, Malaysia
With over 99 islands and islets, Langkawi is home
to many caves which are at once mysterious and eerie the likes of
which include Gua Langsir (Caves of the Wailing Banshee) which is believed
to be haunted by the spirits of a woman who, like the vampire, lives on the
blood of humans.
This book is a first of its kind and the most
comprehensive to date, taking readers deep into the bowels of these caves
and unearthing some of its secrets.