myMalaysiabooks shares our local
knowledge of the many islands in the district of Langkawi, in the state
of Kedah, Malaysia.
Islands in Langkawi
Langkawi is one of the districts in the state of
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.
Langkawi Geopark and 99 Islands
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
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
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
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
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
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.
(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.
Over a hundred islands make up Langkawi, some of
which are submerged during high tide. The bigger islands of Langkawi
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