Langkawi

Photo Credit – P & C Krause

Langkawi, officially known as ‘Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah’ is an archipelago of 104 islands in the Andaman Sea, some 30 km off the mainland coast of northwestern Malaysia. The islands are a part of the state of Kedah, which is adjacent to the Thai border. On July 15, 2008, Sultan Abdul Halim of Kedah had consented to the change of name to Langkawi Permata Kedah in conjunction with his Golden Jubilee Celebration. By far the largest of the islands is the eponymous Pulau Langkawi with a population of some 64,792, the only other inhabited island being nearby Pulau Tuba. Langkawi is also an administrative district with the town of Kuah as largest town. Langkawi is a duty-free island.

Etymology

Langkawi means reddish brown eagle in colloquial Malay. The Malay word for eagle is helang – shortened is “lang”. Kawi means the colour reddish brown.

Geography

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 km west of Kedah. The total land mass of the islands is 47,848 hectares, while the main island of Langkawi itself has a total of 32,000 hectares. The main island spans about 25 km from north to south and slightly more for east and west. The coastal areas consist of flat, alluvial plains punctuated with limestone ridges. Two-thirds of the island is dominated by forest-covered mountains, hills and natural vegetation.

The island’s oldest geological formation, Gunung Matchincang, was the first part of South-East Asia to rise from the seabed in the Cambrian period more than half a billion years ago. The oldest part of the formation is observable at Teluk Datai to the north-west of the island, where the exposed outcrop consists of mainly sandstone (quartzite) in the upper parts and shale and mudstone in the lower parts of the sequence.

Climate and Weather

A sunny, hot and humid, tropical climate with an average annual temperature of about 32 degrees Celsius. The rainy season is during August/September, although there are occasional showers throughout the year.

Via Langkawi

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