Thursday, 3 November 2011

Malaysia Info - Langkawi Kedah


The main town located on the south-eastern tip of Pulau Langkawi. It is the take-off point to the neighboring islands. The name "Kuah" is a Malay word  meaning "gravy" and is associated with an ancient legend of two battling giants who overturned a gigantic pot of curry at the spot where the town now stands. Once was a rustic town with a few streets, present day, Kuah is a thriving center of modern hotels and shopping-cum-business complexes, but without the overcrowding and bustle of modern cities. Kuah is a duty free shopping haven with a wide variety of goods sold at attractive prices and its restaurants offer excellent culinary delights, especially fresh seafood.


With its fabled and historical past, Langkawi is a treasure trove for visitors. Among many significant sites on the island that have been preserved for posterity is Makam Mahsuri (Mahsuri's Mausoleum) about 12 kilometers from Kuah. This shine was erected in honor of Mahsuri, a beautiful maiden who was unjustly accused of adultery. According to legend, she bled white blood at her execution as a sign of her innocence. In her dying breath, she laid a curse on the island that it would remain barren for seven generations. Fact or fiction, seven generations have since passed and today, Langkawi is a flourishing tourist destination.
Opening hours: Daily, 7.30 am - 6 pm
The Air Hangat Village is sited on four acres of land about 14 kilometers northwest of Kuah. This modern complex includes a 3-tier hot spring fountain, an 18-meter long hand-carved river stone mural depicting the legends that enshroud this location and souvenir shops. Visitors can witness the making of local handicrafts and cultural performances. Opening hours: Daily, 9 am - 6 pm (Daily).
Tanjung Rhu lies on the northern cape of Pulau Langkawi. Aptly named for its abundance of casuarinas, its enchanting beach affords magnificent views of nearby islands which can be reached at low tide on foot, an experience that is not to be missed.
A short journey by boat from Tanjung Rhu brings you to the doorstep of Gua Cherita (Cave of Legends). As its name implies, the cave is steeped in a fabled tale of mystery and romance. On the walls of the cave can be seen ancient writing which has yet to be deciphered.
Idyllic beaches such as Pantai Kok, Pantai Cenang, Pantai Tengah, Datai and Burau Bay offer carefree sun-filled days and quiet evening strolls. First-class accommodation in modern hotels or captivating chalets is available. A wide range of exciting water-sports provides fun and thrills for the energetic. Restaurant outlets in the hotels and outdoors serve a variety of appetizing cuisine.
Nestled amidst lush forested hill on an island south of Pulau Langkawi is Tasik Dayang Bunting (Lake of the Pregnant Maiden), the largest lake in Langkawi. The outline of hills and rocky outcrops on one side of the lake resembles the shape of a pregnant maiden lying on her back. However, the name of both the island and lake is attributed to the legend of a lovely fairy princess who married an earthly prince. Her first child died shortly after birth. She was so sad and depressed that she buried the child in the crystal clear waters of the lake. Before she returned to her celestial abode, she blessed the waters so that any childless maiden who bathed in the lake would conceive thereafter.
Monkeys, deer, iguanas and peacocks roam about freely on Pulau Singa Besar, a wildlife sanctuary located southwest of Pulau Langkawi. Picnic on the pristine beaches and enjoy swimming in the surrounding waters. To preserve the island's natural surroundings, no hotels or chalets have been built. Instead, camping is encouraged. However, visitors will have to bring along their own tents and camping equipment if they wish to spend the night on the island. ISLAND CRUISES

Going on island cruises is a great way to relax and take in the breathtaking scenery of Langkawi as your boat weaves through the watery passageways between the islands. A round trip, which takes about four hours, includes Pulau Dayang Bunting, Pulau Beras Basah and Pulau Singa Besar. Boats can be taken from Marble Beach and Pantai Cenang.
The Underwater World Langkawi, a marine showcase featuring both fresh and salt water fish and other forms of marine life, is a must-see attraction. Located at Pantai Cenang, a popular beach on the island, this aquarium features more than 5,000 types of marine life, exhibited in more than 100 tanks of different sizes.
The highlight is a giant tank housing large marine species such as sharks, stingrays, groupers and green turtles, with a 15-metre tunnel for visitors to walk through and enjoy a spectacular view of the exhibits. Underwater gardens of weeds and sea plants together with exotic fishes and exhibits or fossils and shells add to the range of interesting sights.
Open: 10:00am to 6:00pm (daily)
Admission: RM15.00 (adult) RM10.00 (child)
Tel: 04-955 6100
The Pulau Payar Marine Park is situated in the northern part of the Straits of Melaka, 19 nautical miles south of Langkawi and encompasses the islands of Pulau Payar, Pulau Lembu, Pulau Segantang and Pulau Kaca which are surrounded by coral reefs. The marine park teems with a fascinating diversity of marine life and vegetation.
Many endangered species of fishes and marine organisms live within the sanctuary. Measuring 2km long and 1/4km wide, Pulau Payar is the most popular of the islands as its sheltered waters are ideal are for snorkelling, diving and swimming. Among the enchanting dive spots is the "Coral Garden", an area covered with bright, multi-hued soft corals.
There are several sandy beaches on Pulau Payar island for picnics as well as hiking trails for those who wish to explore the island. Just off the beach, one can indulge in the thrilling experience of feeding baby sharks. Facilities include gazebos, picnic tables, barbeque pits and restrooms at selected areas. There is also a Visitors' Centre that provides information about the marine park.
Visitors can get to Pulau Payar from the Kuah jetty point by catamaran or speed boat. The catamaran services operated by Langkawi Coral, takes about 45minutes to get to Pulau Payar while the speed boat takes an hour. It is advisable to book the catamaran service a day before the trip.
Enquiries can be made with any travel agent in Kuah or at the jetty point for those intending to travel by speed boat. Apart from the fare, a levy of RM5.00 for adults and RM2.50 for children is charged for entry to the marine park.
For further information on the catamaran service, contact the Langkawi Coral booking counter:
Tel: 04-9667318
Located at Kubang Badak, some 32 km from Kuah, has more than 1000 crocodiles of various species. Here, one can witness and photograph crocodiles and alligators playing and feeding in a controlled environment that closely resembles their natural habitat. Open: 9.00a.m. - 6.00p.m. (Daily).
Located in the north-western corner of Pulau Langkawi, Telaga Jujuh (Seven Wells) is a geological marvel. The waterfall is so named because its cascading waters is broken by a series of seven natural pools. The lush green forest that surrounds the waterfall adds a mystical touch to the natural splendor. Legend has it that fairies used to come down to the waterfall to bathe and frolic.
Dataran Lang (Eagle Square) is Langkawi's most prominent landmark for visitors arriving by sea.
Situated near the Kuah jetty, the main attraction of the square is the magnificent statue of the reddish brown eagle majestically poised for flight. According to local folklore, Langkawi derived its name from the eagle or "helang". In old Malay, "kawi" denotes reddish brown, hence, Langkawi means reddish brown eagle!
The square is beautifully landscaped and features scenic ponds, bridges, covered terraces, restaurants and barrel vaults made of bricks. Its close proximity to the sea and the soft breezes make it an ideal spot for leisurely walks and a tranquil setting for dining in the cool evenings.
The square is beautifully illuminated at night and presents a dramatic scene as you approach the island by sea. Indeed, the majestic eagle is strategically positioned to welcome visitors to Langkawi.
Kampung Buku Malaysia in Langkawi is the first and only book village in South East Asia. It is part of the International Book Villages and Book Towns Movement.
It is located just 10 minutes from the Langkawi International Airport and 15 minutes from the Ferry Terminal. Situated amidst a lush green forest at the foot of Gunung Raya, the highest peak on the island, the book village provides book lovers a tranquil setting to indulge in their hobby.
The various houses in the village are stocked with a great variety of new books on numerous topics and languages as well as second-hand, rare and antiquarian books.
Opening hours: Daily, 9 am - 6 pm
The Galeria Perdana at Kilim, about 11 km from Kuah, houses an impressive collection of over 2,500 state gifts and awards presented to the Prime Minister of Malaysia, YAB Dato' Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and his wife, YBhg. Datin Seri Dr. Siti Hasmah bt. Mohd. Ali. The exhibits include fine crystal ware and gifts fashioned out of wood, leather, silver, copper, pewter, ceramics and glass. There are also musical instruments, Islamic art and craft, textiles and weapons. A part of the display includes various proto-type cars and 4 wheel drive vehicles.
   The Galerial Perdana comprises of 2 double-storey buildings set within a beautifully landscaped garden. Photography is not allowed inside the gallery. Pictures of exhibits are available for sale at the souvenir shop. Open: 10.00a.m. - 5.00p.m.ZDaily). 9.00a.m. - 6.00p.m. (Public/School Holidays), 10.00a.m. - 2.15p.m./3.00p.m. - 5.00p.m. (Friday).
Laman Padi Langkawi is Langkawi's latest attraction that should not be missed for the agro-tourism lovers. Located at Pantai Cenang, in the vicinity of the island's popular beach resorts and just 10 minutes from the airport, Laman Padi Langkawi showcases the history, heritage and development of the nation's rice growing industry. Among the attractions is a rice museum displaying artifacts, charts and photographs showing the significance of Padi cultivation to the country. Visitors have the opportunity to enjoy a bird's eye view of the fields from a roof-top garden. For the uninitiated, try your hand at Padi planting using both traditional as well as modern methods of cultivation. There is also restaurant offering popular traditional Malay recipes and local delicacies which are prepared using rice as the main ingredient.
Opening hours: Daily, 10 am - 6 pm. (Daily)
This scenic park with beautiful gardens of vivid local blooms, plants and fruit trees. It is a 50-acre park with 17 story-telling monuments, 4 artificial lakes and a man-made beach which provide a picturesque and fitting backdrop for buildings showcasing Malaysia's rich cultural heritage. Within the park, there are also some fine examples of traditional Malaysian handicraft and cultural objects.
Open: 8:00am to 11:00pm (Daily)
The Craft Cultural Complex is located on the northern coastline of Langkawi Island in the vicinity of Teluk Yu, about 30 minutes drive from the airport or 45 minutes from Kuah town. Nestled on a hillside overlooking the sea, this magnificent complex offers a wide range of Malaysian handicraft such as delicate hand painted batik and intricately carved silverware.
Opening hours: Daily, 9 am - 6 pm. (Daily)
Situated within walking distance from the Kuah Jetty Point, the Langkawi Yacht Club is an exclusive establishment with a beautiful clubhouse and a fully equipped marina, comprising 51 berths that can accommodate a variety of vessels including sailing keels, deep hull boats and even 60-meter mega-yachts.
Langkawi Yacht Club offers impressive facilities such as a waterfront swimming pool, Jacuzzi and sauna, deep-sea fishing, sailing, scuba diving, jet skiing and speedboats, and yacht chartering service. Your can hire the Club's luxury motor yacht, "Puteri Maimunah", for a discovery or sunset tour of the beautiful Langkawi islands.
For dinners, Langkawi yacht Club is the perfect place to enjoy a long cool drink and a delightful meal in relaxing surroundings. Breath taking views of Langkawi's beautiful islands and sunset can be enjoyed from its beachfront restaurant called "Charlie's Place" or from the "Captain's Deck", its fine dining restaurant. The above facilities are open to public. Tel: 04-9664078.
Located along Jalan Kisap, 5 km north of Kuah town and 20 km from the airport, Langkawii Crystal offers an attractive and exquisite range of glass products. Visitors will find a wide choice of skillfully crafted crystal items to suit every occasion. There are also special collections for those who demand exclusiveness.
At Langkawii Crystal you will be mesmerized by the extraordinary glass blowing skills of craftsmen dedicated to producing glassware of the highest standards and quality. Take the opportunity to test your glass blowing skills here.

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