Langkawi has been one of the popular tourist attraction island and dubbed as 99 Island in the sun. The island is one of the district in the state of Kedah
It is located just off the coast of North Western Malaysia, about 30 km from Kuala Perlis and 51 km from Kuala Kedah and close to Thailand. The archipelago of Langkawi contains 99 islands during high tide whereas during low tide, the number of islands can be as many as 104. Sanctuary of some of the most ancient rainforests in the world, they are teeming with exotic flora and fauna. Langkawi Island itself is the largest among the archipelago, measuring about 478.5 sq km, is the only one with any real settlement. It fringed by lovely beaches scattered along its coast. The island is still very much a rural landscape with villages and paddy fields.
Langkawi is accessible from Kuala Lumpur by road, air and land. Daily flights is available from KLIA to Langkawi International Airport which is also the venue of LIMA
. Both Malaysian Airlines
and budget airline Airasia
fly to the island.
One can also travel to Langkawi on land transport either drive, on express buses or rail. The last stop before connecting to the Kuala Perlis Jetty by bus or taxi is Arau in Perlis. KTM or Malayan Railway has its Langkawi Express for this purpose. There is also a jetty for ferries to Langkawi at Kuala Kedah. If you travel through Kuala Kedah, you take the express bus to Shahab Perdana in Alor Setar and then by taxi to the Kuala Kedah. Taxi fare is RM 15.00 and the ferry ride is RM 18.00.
If one travel from Thailand by land and enter throughr Bukit Kayu Hitam, you can take a taxi to Kuala Perlis Jetty before boarding the ferry to Kuah town, the main town of Langkawi. Ferry ticket from Kuala Perlis is RM 15.00 and the ride take about an hour.
I travel to Langkawi from Kuala Lumpur by express bus. Took the night bus from Puduraya in KL to Kuala Perlis and the fare is RM 36.00. The bus left Puduraya at 11.30 pm and I reach Kuala Perlis at 6.30 am the next morning. From the bus station just walk about a hundred metre away to the jetty.
Arrived Kuah Jetty at about 8.15 am and go straight to Langkasuka Hotel and it is also my second time staying there. The hotel is well kept and the room looks clean and tidy the moment you enter. But take the Superior Room onward because the standard room in on the old block.
I finf it convenient staying at the hotel because there’s a supermarket in the basement, one of the largest shopping mall on Langkawi Island and also a Cineplex. The taxi stand is just outside the hotel entrance and from there you have access to all parts of the island.
What do visitors buy?
Mostly locals from the mainland buy electronic good and kitchen wares which is considered cheap. For non Muslims they usually buy liquor which is duty free. However there is a need that one has to be on the island for at least 72 hours.
Local products includes handicraft and the popular gamat (seacucumber) product.
The eagle is the symbol of Langkawi Island. A monument depicting an eagle with its wing spread greets tourist entering the island by sea.
The sad thing is vandalism does not know any borders. This was done on the plaque below the statue of the eagle. What a shame.
I was always behind the camera, but this time I sneaked in front of it. LOL
Langkawi Cable Car is the latest addition a tourist must list out in their itenary. It is situated on the eastern side of the island. Nearby attractions is Pantai Kok, Datai and Oriental Village (where the base station is). The ride up to the top station is a thrill where you can see the lush green equatorial forest all the way up to the top station.
From the base station the cable ascends up past two towers and then up to the middle station. The incline is technically 42° according to the brochure, but the ride from the second tower up to the middle station feels almost like a vertical climb just a few feet away from the vertical rock face of the mountain.
On the way up to the middle station, you get a good view of the Telaga Tujuh (‘Seven Wells’) waterfall just north of the cable car line. The cable car was built without constructing any roads through the jungle. All the materials were lifted into place using helicopters.
At the middle station, having climbed 650 meters (about 2,150 feet) up from sea level, you can alight from the car to take in the view, or stay in the gondola while it makes a nearly 90° turn to head up to the top station. If you elect to step off, you can catch another gondola up to the top station on the other side of the control booth.
If you’ve managed to keep your lunch down on the way to the middle station, then the trip to the top station is easy. From the top you can see much of the island, its surrounding islands, and even Tarutao Island in Thailand to the north.
There is a small snack bar at the top station, which has a rather space-age look with its round viewing platforms.
Once at the top do not miss the opportunity to walk across the curved bridge suspended by a single truss. The bridge will give you another breathtaking view. To get to the bridge you have to walk about 500 metres down from the top station.