Langkawi, a cluster of 99 islands separated from mainland Malaysia by the Straits of Malacca, is a district of the state of Kedah in Northern Malaysia and lies approximately 51 Langkawi was traditionally thought to be cursed. However, in 1986 then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad decided to transform it into a tourist resort, helping to plan many of the islands buildings himself.
On June 1, 2007, Langkawi Island was given a World
Geopark status by UNESCO. Three of its main conservation areas in Langkawi Geopark are Machincang Cambrian Geoforest Park, Kilim Karst Geoforest Park and Dayang Bunting Marble Geoforest park (Island of the Pregnant Maiden Lake). These three parks are the most popular tourism area within Langkawi Geopark. In 2014 Unesco issued a 'yellow card' warning threatening the status of the Geopark.
The Kilim Karst Geoforest Park (The Kilim River)
This area actually consists of three river estuaries that stretch from the Kisap village approximately 10 km to Tanjung Rhu and they are all interconnected. They are rich in wildlife and tourists may see hairy nosed sea otters, brown winged kingfishers, monitor lizards and swimming macaque monkeys. Limestone, inherently porous, forms caves and there are several in the mangroves. One of Langkawi's natural beauty spots is the Pirate Lagoon just outside the river. Technically this is a collapsed cave (hong) consisting of a cave entrance from the sea emerging into a hidden lagoon with towering, limestone escarpments and smaller caves.
There are two island areas: the Southern Islands, with a heavy tourist population and the islands to the north east which are more secluded without tourist traffic. Langun Island has a fresh-water lake like Pregnant Maiden Lake only without the tourists and has Sand Spit Beach on its south-facing orientation. Dendang Island next to it forms a bay popular with Langkawi sailing yacht tour operators who favour the area for its natural beauty and peace.
Some of the most popular beaches are Pantai Cenang, Pantai Tengah, Burau Bay, Pantai Kok, and Datai Bay
. Pantai Cenang is a picturesque beach with seemingly unending stretches of fine white sand. It has numerous restaurants and bars for evening entertainment, several hosting live music and for watching the sun set. The beach is contoured by tall coconuts and casuarinas. Pantai Tengah is separated from Cenang by a small cape. It too faces the setting sun and is populated more by hotels than bars, making it less busy in the evening. Burau Bay, fringed by rocky outcrops, is the favorite place of migratory birds in Langkawi. Pantai Kok is a peaceful beach with the backdrop of limestone hills. Datai Bay has a combination of forests and sea. The milky beach is backed by lush forest.
The Langkawi Cable Car
takes visitors up to the peak of Gunung Mat Chinchang, where the Langkawi Sky Bridge is located. The Sky Bridge has been closed for 2 years and remains closed in 2014.
Tourists can enter the island via ferry from Kuala Perlis or by flight from Kuala Lumpur. AirAsia and Fireflyz provides budget connection to the island.