LANGWAKI ISLAND: THE BORDERS OF MALYSIA

As in Italy is winter and I wanted to have rest on a white beach in front of a blue sea I decided to go to Langkawi Island after Pangkor island on Malysia west coast.

I just looked some pictures of the place and after that I tell myself: “ok, you have to go there!”

So I took a bus from Lumut to Kuala Perlis (6 hours) for 38RM (around 7,5 Euros). After the bus, I have to catch a ferry (1, 5 hours) for 18 RM.

At the end I arrived on the island. Off the coast of Kedah, Langwaki is not a single island. It is a cluster of 99 small islands offering different worlds: beautiful beaches, mangroves rich in flora and fauna, ultra-cheap duty-free shopping and fascinating legends.

 

  • ISLAND LEGENDS

If you go around asking to local people the history of the name they will tell you the tragic story of a beautiful young lady named Mahsuri. It is a tale of love, jealousy and a curse that was placed upon the island by her for seven generations.

Today, people still believe that the prosperity and blessings is not a simple coincidence. The mysticism of this legend can be felt in many parts of this island, especially at Makam Mahsuri (Mahsuri's Mausoleum), where Mahsuri is said to be buried.

Her parents, Pandak Mayah and Mak Andak, originally migrated from a small Muslim village called Prabang, near Phuket, Thailand. Mahsuri was born and raised in Langkawi, in the early 1800s, and later married a local warrior named Wan Darus. Her husband soon left to join the fight against the invading Siamese.

While he was away, Mahsuri innocently befriended a young man who just happened to be traveling through the area (and obviously not a warrior). The village chief’s wife, who was jealous of Mahsuri’s beauty, then spread rumors of Mahsuri being unfaithful to her husband and the rest is history (or legend if you will). She was falsely accused of adultery and sentenced to death. Mahsuri was executed by knife in 1819.

The Legend recorded in the island history tell that the Siamese invaded Langkawi not long after Mahsuri’s death and razed the island to the ground with a scorched earth policy. And coincidentally, Langkawi did not become a major tourist hotspot until the birth of Wan Aishah bt Wan Nawawi, the seventh generation descendant of Mahsuri.

  • ISLAND TREASURIES

Tourism is one of the most important activities but many of the islanders are still farmers and fishermen. For this the food you will eat is really good and fresh!

 

One of the beauty of this island is the countryside and peaceful landscape of paddy fields you will enjoy by renting a moto bike and taking a leisurely drive around the island. Some of Langkawi's most rustic and memorable views are along the road that circles the island far from the most touristic places.

You'll experience small villages with wooden houses framed by palm trees, and children pedaling their old bicycles on errands.

But if you like to hike you can also do that in the island small mountains. They are for free, so you need only the willing to start and go to the top!

If you are too lazy there is another possibility: there is a new cable car that can bring you to the summit of Mount Mat Cincang - Langkawi's second highest mountain - for an unrivalled view of the entire main island and beyond.

Other popular destinations are the Field of Burnt Rice, Hot Springs, Telaga Tujuh (The Seven Wells) and the Beach of Black Sand.

You can also enjoy a Boat tour to Tasik Dayang Bunting (Lake of the Pregnant Maiden), Gua Cerita (Cave of Stories) and Gua Langsir (Curtain Cave) if you will have the time!

What I wrote is not exhaustive; it is possible to do much more in this beatiful island.

So going back to my trip, I passed 2 lovely days in the island before going to Koh Lipe in Thailand.

I stayed in a hostel in Cenang, a good location to start your day and decided where to go!

The first day I was walking all around the main beaches enjoying the sun and the music. There was a blues festival on the island in those days so in the afternoon I passed my time listen good live music and drinking some beers.

The second day in change I took a moto bike and I was all around the island pausing to visit the waterfalls and the 7 wells. From there you can start to hike to the top of the Mount Mat Cincang. It takes around 2 hours to arrive to the top. Before leaving th island the 3rd day I decided to go before the time of departure to Kuah to walk a bit around the village and enjoy the Legend Park and the view from the eagle square.

See you in Koh Lipe!!

 

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