Kuah is 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
Air Hangat Village
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
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.
Legend of Gua Cherita
Pantai Kok, Pantai Cenang, Pantai Tengah, Datai and Burau Bay
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.
Summer Palace Langkawi
Situated amidst lush tropical greenery at Pantai Kok, the Summer Palace Langkawi is one of the island's latest attractions. In 1999, 20th Century Fox commissioned the construction of this magnificent and expensive movie set for the making of the film "Anna and the King".
Built almost entirely of local timbers by Malaysian and foreign artisans, the Summer Palace resembles a traditional Thai Palace. The palace encompasses an area of 675 sq meters and stands 16.6 meter high. A part from the original movie set, a restaurant, souvenir shops and pavilion have been added.
Opening hours: Daily, 9 am - 10 pm
Overlooking beautiful Burau Bay in Langkawi, the Oriental Village is one of the region's newest and most unique shopping, cultural and culinary destinations. Specially designed to provide a new concept in resort duty free shopping, the Oriental Village also houses fine themed restaurants, reflecting Asia's culinary delights.
With over 470 brands and 17,000 products, the village offers shopping buffs a bewildering range of international designer labels and local products. Bold displays of culture and fashion and fascinating handicraft demonstrations by skilled craftsmen add to the enjoyment of shopping here. A delightful Inn completes the village concept while cultural and theatre performances enhance the Oriental theme that encompasses the village. Indeed, a blend of the traditional and modern intertwine with the local culture will provide a unique experience for the visitor. Apart from excellent restaurants, a specially designed food court offers a variety of local fare. The Inn and the Club Bar provide an excellent rest stop for refreshments.
Opening hours: Daily, 10 am - 10 pm
Tasik Dayang Bunting
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.
Legend of Tasik Dayang Bunting
Pulau Payar Marine Park
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 2 km long and ¼ km wide, Pulau Payar is the most popular of the islands as its sheltered waters are ideal for snorkeling, 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 Visitor's Center 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 takes about 45 minutes to get to Pulau Payar while the speed boat takes an hour. It is advisable to book the catamaran service a day before trip.
Underwater World Langkawi
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 of fossils and shells add to the range of interesting sights.
Opening hours: Daily, 10 am - 6 pm