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MALAYSIA

99 ISLANDS OF LANGKAWI

My Kedah

Isle of Langkawi

myMalaysiabooks shares our local knowledge of the many islands in the district of Langkawi, in the state of Kedah, Malaysia.

  

Islands in Langkawi

Pulau Dayang Bunting,Isle of the Pregnant Maiden, Kedah

Langkawi is one of the districts in the state of Kedah, Malaysia

There are a total of 104 islands in the Langkawi district, some of which are submerged during high tide. The bigger islands are: Pulau Langkawi (main island) Pulau Singa Besar, Pulau Payar Marine Park, Pulau Dayang Bunting (Isle of the Pregnant Maiden), Pulau Beras Basah (Isle of Wet Rice), Pulau Rebak, Pulau Bumbon, Pulau Tuba, etc. (see map of Langkawi).

    The largest island Pulau Langkawi is the main and most populated. On this island is the argest town on the island, Kuah. The ferry terminal and Langkawi International airport is located on this island.

Some of the islands can be visited by boat. Visitors can charter a boat or book a seat on one on the many island hopping tours offered by tour agents on Langkawi island.

 

Map of the Islands of Langkawi

Click map to enlarge or print... or go to my Malaysia maps

Map of 99 Islands of Langkawi, Langkawi District Malaysia

Langkawi Geopark and 99 Islands of Langkawi

The oldest geological formation in Malaysian is on Pulau Langkawi. The Machinchang formation, shaped some 550 to 505 million years ago, consists of sandstone with some mudstone and conglomerate. The name Machinchang (sometime referred to as Mat Cincang) is derived from the long serrated quartzite ridge of five peaks that makes up the formation – the word cincang in Malay means ‘chopped-up’.  You can have a clear view of Mount Machingcang and the surroundings if you travel by cable car up to the stations above the Oriental Village.

History of land formation has left Langkawi a legacy in the shape of her remarkably diverse land forms of spectacular mountains, caves, rivers, lakes and isles. The land is of various rock types created some 550 to 200 million years ago. The four major geological formations here are called the Machinchang formation, Setul formation, Singa formation and Chuping formation

(for more on the geology of Langkawi, go to LADA Kedah website)

 

Pulau Langkawi or Langkawi Island

Pulau Langkawi is the largest and main island. The Kedah Annals (Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa) tells the tale of the founding of the Kingdom of Kedah with mentioned of Langkawi island, as a hiding place of the Prince of Rum and Princess of China. Raja Merong Mahawangsa became the first ruler of Kedah.

 Legend of Merong Mahawangsa And The Geruda

The Kedah annals tell about Merong Mahawangsa, an ambassador of the Kingdom of Rum or Rome (believed to be part of the Byzantine empire). who escorted the Prince of Rum to China to be married to the Princess of China. The geruda (a demigod), who felt that the union should not take place, kidnapped the Chinese princess and her maid and hid them in a cave believed to Gua Cerita, in Langkawi. He then attacked the fleet carrying the prince. In the battle, the prince was swept ashore on Langkawi and united with the Chinese princess. Meanwhile, the Merong Mahawangsa landed with some surviving crew on the shores of Kedah. Believing that the prince had died, he decided to settle there and stared the settlement which grew to become the Kingdom of Kedah. Raja Merong Mahawangsa became the first ruler of Kedah.

 

Pulau Singa Besar      Nature lovers should not miss this wildlife sanctuary, located 3km off the southern tip of Pantai Tengah, on the west coast of Langkawi. This undeveloped island is designated a bird and animal sanctuary because of its diverse and abundant ecological environment. The island covers 636 hectares and the hilly island is still 75% forested, well protected with no hotels or even chalets. The sedimentary rock here dates back some 350 million years and of a landform called by geologist as the Singa formation – a formation named after this island. The place is a favourite with nature scientists and campers. There are wooden walkways and paths for visitors to trek around the island.

 

Pulau Dayang Bunting is an island just south of the main Langkawi island. Much of the island is still forested and it has a lake. There are some water sports available for visitors at the lake. Hikers can also explore the forests on the island. On the island is the well-known Gua Langsiar (Banshee Cave) 

 Legend of Pulau Dayang Bunting

There are many legends or tales that relates to this island but the most common is the romantic tragedy of Pulau Dayang Bunting tells the tale of a beautiful fairy princess or genie called Mambang Sari and a Prince. One day while she was swimming in the pool, the prince chanced upon her and soon fell in love with her. It was said that she was tricked into marrying him and they soon had a child from the union.  Unfortunately their child died soon after birth and is believed to be buried in the lake. Before she left, the celestial princess blessed the water so that any childless woman who bathed in the lake would conceive. Locals certainly believe that the lake has magical powers and that women who drink the waters of the lake can improve their fertility.  'Dayang' means maid and 'bunting' means pregnant in Malay. The silhouette of the island looks like a pregnant lady lying down - which is also believed to be the origin of its name. 

 

Pulau Payar, a beautiful and exotic marine park is located 19 nautical miles south of Pulau Langkawi and about 40 nautical miles north of Penang. The area around Pulau Payar is a protected marine park, which also encompasses Pulau Lembu, Pulau Segantang and Pulau Kaca and the surrounding coral reefs. The sheltered clear water of Pulau Payar is perfect for swimming, snorkelling, diving and coral viewing. The sea can be choppy during the rainy monsoon seasons (October to early January), as there are no bays or cove shelters. The stretches of sandy beaches are ideal for sunbathing. The best time to visit is from February to November.

      Pulau Payar can be reached by tour boats from Pulau Langkawi and Penang island. Booking is necessary if you wish to take the catamaran service. Boats arriving on the island anchor at the Langkawi Coral Pontoon. The pontoon moored at the island has an underwater observatory for visitors who prefer to watch from above water. Tours: Langkawi Coral, tel. 04-966 7318; East Marine Holidays, tel. 04-966 3966

 

Pulau Beras Basah (Isle of Wet Rice) is known for its sandy beaches and clear waters suitable for swimming and sunbathing. It is accessible by boat from Langkawi.

 

Pulau Rebak (south west of Pulau Langkawi) is so named because of it resembles a traditional Malay drum or ‘rebak’. It now houses a marina with facilities catering to Mega yachts.

Panaroma Bridge at Gunung Machinchang

Mount Machinchang

 

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Langkawi Island, Kedah, Malaysia

 

Pulau Dayang Bunting / Isle of the Pregnant Maiden (Landform that is shaped like a pregnant lady) 

 

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Pulau Beras Basah

Pulau Beras Basah

 

 

Over a hundred islands make up Langkawi, some of which are submerged during high tide. The bigger islands of Langkawi are:

North of Pulau Langkawi: Pulau Langgun, Pulau Dendang, Pulau Tanggok, Pulau Gasing, Pulau Dangli, Pulau Jemurok, Pulau Datai.

South of Pulau Langkawi: Pulau Singa Besar, Pulau Dayang Bunting, Pula Tuba, Pulau Payar, Pulau Singar Besar, Pulau Timun, Pulau Rebak Besar, Pulau Rebak Kecil, , Pulau Bumbon Besar, Pulau Tepur, Pulau Intan Besar, Pulau Lalang, Pulau Jerkom Kecil, Pulau Jerkom Besar, Pulau Kukus, Pulau Gubang Laut, Pulau Gubang Darat, Pulau Tajai, Pulau Balar, Pulau Enggang, Pulau Nyior Setali, Pulau Bumbon Kecil, Pulau Buyong, Pulau Chorong, Pulau Paku, Pulau Chupak, Pulau Lima, Pulau Sipak, Pulau Pasir, Pulau Lembu, Pulau Segantang.

 

Nearby Island - Penang Island is located south of Langkawi and you can reach there by ferry from Kuah – see also details in My Penang (ISBN 983-41999-0-2)

 

Tourist Information Centres

- Main Office: Kompleks Pelancongan Negeri Kedah, Seksyen 20, Jalan Raja, Alor Setar, Kedah; Tel: 04-731 2322Fax: 04-734 0322

- Langkawi International Airport, Langkawi; Tel: 04-955 7155

- Langkawi Tourist Information Centre, Jalan Persiaran Putra, Kuah, Langkawi; Tel: 04-966 7789 / 9416  

- Bukit Kayu Hitam Tourist Information Centre, Bukit Kayu Hitam; Tel: 04-922 2078

 

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