Langkawi

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Langkawi Permata Kedah
(Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah)
Motto: Bandaraya Pelancongan (English: City of Tourism)
Langkawi Permata Kedah  (Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah) is located in Malaysia
Langkawi Permata Kedah  (Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah)
Langkawi Permata Kedah
(Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah)
Location of Langkawi
Coordinates: 6°21′N 99°48′E / 6.350°N 99.800°E / 6.350; 99.800
Country Malaysia
State Kedah
Establishment 1957
Granted
municipal status
2001
Government
 • Yang Di-Pertua
(Mayor)
En. Zabudin bin Hat
Area
 • City 478.5 km2 (184.7 sq mi)
Population
 • City 64,792
 • Density 140/km2 (350/sq mi)
 • Metro 64,792
Time zone MST (UTC+8)
 • Summer (DST) Not observed (UTC)
Postal code 07xxx
International dialling code prefix +6049 (landline only)
Website mplbp.gov.my

Langkawi, officially known as Langkawi the Jewel of Kedah (Malay: Langkawi Permata 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 15 July 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.[1]

Etymology[edit]

Dataran Helang (Eagle Square)

The name Langkawi is thought to have existed by the early 15th century, although in the 16th century the island of Langkawi was still marked on maps variously as Langa, Langka, Lansura, and Langapura.[2]

There are many suggestions for the origin of the name of Langkawi. According to one interpretation, Langkawi means island of the reddish-brown eagle in colloquial Malay.[3] The Malay word for eagle is helang - which is shortened to "lang", while kawi is the name of a red stone used as a chalk to mark goods.[2] This interpretation was used to create the landmark sculpture of an eagle as the symbol of Langkawi at Dataran Lang (Eagle Square) in Kuah.[4][5]

It is however widely believed that Langkawi is also the same as the Lanka or Langkapuri mentioned in Indian sources.[6] The name is thought to be related to Langkasuka, and old kingdom thought by some to have links with Kedah, and puri means a castle with a moat or a palace.[7] Some also thought that Langkawi means "many beautiful islands", langka being a Sanskrit word meaning "beautiful" while wi means "many".[2]

In 2008, it was given the title of Langkawi Permata Kedah meaning "Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah" in 2008 by Kedah's Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah as part of his golden jubilee to impress on tourists that Langkawi is part of Kedah.[8]

History[edit]

A panoramic view of Kuah town, the commercial center of Pulau Langkawi.

Langkawi had long been at the periphery of, but closely associated with, the domain of the old kingdom of Kedah. Legend tells of a great snake ular-besar, the custodian of the Langkawi Islands, to which a new king of Kedah must sacrifice a virgin daughter whenever he first ascended the throne, or when a war was declared with another state.[9]

The island of Langkawi was recorded in history by Chinese and other travellers. It was called Long-ya-pu-ti (龍牙菩提) by the Yuan Dynasty traveller Wang Dayuan , and when the Ming Dynasty admiral Zheng He visited the region he marked the island as Long-ya-jiao-yi (龍牙交椅). In the 15th century, it was known to Acehnese as Pulau Lada or Pepper Island as they came over to plant pepper. In 1691, the French general Augustin de Beaulieu recorded going to the island of "Lancahui" (Langkawi) to buy pepper,[7] and Beaulieu was required to obtain a license from Kedah's heir apparent then in Perlis before the penghulu or chief of Langkawi would sell pepper to him.[10]

Langkawi was historically home to seafarers, such as the Orang Laut (sea people) originally from the southern part of the Malay peninsula, as well as pirates and fishermen. It had long been thought to be cursed - according to local legend, in the late 18th century, a Princess Mahsuri, who was wrongfully accused of adultery and put to death, placed a curse on the island that would last for seven generations.[11] Not long after the princess' death, in 1821, the Siamese army invaded Kedah, and attacked Langkawi. In the first attack, the locals decided to burn down the granary at Padang Matsirat in order to starve and drive out the Siamese army. The Siamese nevertheless finally captured the island in May 1822, killed its leaders, and many of the isladers taken as slaves, while others were forced to flee.[12] Before the Siamese invasion, there was an estimated island population of 3,000-5,000, and only a small proportion was left after the invasion.[13]

Map of Langkawi

The island was recaptured from Siamese rule in a campaign against the Siamese in 1837. In 1840-1841, the Sultan of Kedah, who went into exile after the Siamese attacks, was allowed to return by the Siamese, and the population of Langkawi islands recovered afterwards mainly due to settlement of immigrants from Sumatra. However, the Orang Laut who fled after the Siamese attacks did not returned.[14] In 1909, the islands came under British rule under the Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909. The middle of the channel between Tarutao and Langkawi would become the Siamese border, and Tarutao would be part of Siam while all the Langkawi islands to the south would come under British rule. During the Second World War, Siam took control briefly as Malaya fell to the Japanese.

Langkawi had been a haven for pirates which affected the northern part of the Malacca Strait. In a series of operations, between December 1945 and March 1946, the British cleared the pirates' land base in Langkawi and Tarutao.[15] The British continued to rule until Malaya gained its independence in 1957.

Langkawi remained as a quiet backwater until 1986, when the then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad decided to transform it into a major tourist resort, helping to plan many of the islands buildings himself.[16] The island rapidly grew as a tourist destination, and by 2012, it had received over 3 million tourists a year.[17]

Geography[edit]

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. 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.[18]

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.[19]

Climate[edit]

Langkawi receives more than 2,400 mm (94 in) of rain annually. Langkawi has a true dry season from December until February while March to November is a long raining season. August is the wettest month, when it normally receives more than 500 mm (20 in).

Langkawi average rainfall statistics can be found at Annual Mean Rainfall Locations In Malaysia 2014

Climate data for Langkawi Precipitation In 2014 (Mean Rainfall : 2002-2013)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average precipitation mm (inches) -
Average rainfall mm (inches) 18.3
(0.72)
45.4
(1.787)
227.7
(8.965)
198.3
(7.807)
201.1
(7.917)
212.5
(8.366)
248.9
(9.799)
487.4
(19.189)
318.4
(12.535)
280.3
(11.035)
238.3
(9.382)
68.4
(2.693)
2,545
(100.195)
Source: Malaysian Meteorological Department
Climate data for Langkawi Precipitation In 2013
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average precipitation mm (inches) 11.2
(0.441)
78
(3.07)
97
(3.82)
321.4
(12.654)
166.6
(6.559)
338.4
(13.323)
326.8
(12.866)
326
(12.83)
365.6
(14.394)
370.8
(14.598)
231.6
(9.118)
32
(1.26)
2,665.4
(104.933)
Source: Malaysian Meteorological Department
Principle Meteorological Station - Langkawi
Year Rainfall
2012
2,326.6 mm (91.60 in)
2011
2,577.8 mm (101.49 in)
2010
2,398.2 mm (94.42 in)
2009
2,801.4 mm (110.29 in)
2008
2,343.3 mm (92.26 in)
2007
2,643.8 mm (104.09 in)
2006
2,960.6 mm (116.56 in)
2005
2,697.6 mm (106.20 in)
2004
1,822.7 mm (71.76 in)
2003
3,166.7 mm (124.67 in)
2002
2,135.6 mm (84.08 in)
Source Department Of Statistics Malaysia

Demographics[edit]

Islam is practised primarily by ethnic Malays. Other major religions are Hinduism (mainly among Indians), Buddhism (mainly among Chinese and Thai) and Christianity (mostly Chinese).

Only four of the 99 islands are inhabited - Pulau Langkawi (the main island), Pulau Tuba, Pulau Rebak and Pulau Dayang Bunting. The population is approximately 99000 of which 90% are Malays. The other ethnic groups consist mainly of Chinese, Indians and Thais.

Politics[edit]

Federal parliament[edit]

Langkawi district representatives in the Federal Parliament of Malaysia (Dewan Rakyat):

Parliament Seat Name Member of Parliament Party
P4 Langkawi YB. Datuk IR. Nawawi Hj Ahmad Barisan Nasional (BN)

State assembly seats[edit]

List of Langkawi district representatives in the State Legislative Assembly (Dewan Undangan Negeri)

Parliament State Seat Name State Assemblyman Party
P4 N1 Ayer Hangat YB Mohd. Rawi Abdul Hamid Barisan Nasional (BN)
P4 N2 Kuah YB Nor Saidi Bin Nayan Barisan Nasional (BN)

Economy[edit]

An agro-based economy of padi and rubber cultivation and fisheries is fast being overtaken by a tourism-driven economy, taking into consideration the natural, unspoiled, ecological beauty of the island and major governmental emphasis.[citation needed]

The Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) development program is a Malaysia Government initiative to accelerate economic growth in the north of Peninsular Malaysia – encompassing the states of Perlis, Kedah, Penang and the north of Perak.

The target for NCER is to achieve increased tourism receipts per visitor from MYR1,890 (US$600) in 2005 to MYR3,034 (US$963) by 2012.

Annual tourist expenditure is targeted to increase from MYR9.0 billion (US$2.86 billion) in 2005 to MYR21.8 billion (US$6.9 billion) in 2012 and MYR64.5 billion (US$20.4 billion) in 2020.[20]

Tourism[edit]

The Langkawi Sky Bridge above the rainforest canopy

On 1 June 2007, Langkawi Island was given a World Geopark status by UNESCO.[21] Three of its main conservation areas in Langkawi Geopark are Machincang Cambrian Geoforest Park, Kilim Karst Geoforest Park and Dayang Bunting Marble Geoforest park (Island of the Pregnant Maiden Lake). These three parks are the most popular tourism area within Langkawi Geopark. In 2014 Unesco issued a 'yellow card' warning threatening the status of the Geopark.[22]

The Kilim Karst Geoforest Park (The Kilim River)

This area actually consists of three river estuaries that stretch from the Kisap village approximately 10 km to Tanjung Rhu and they are all interconnected. They are rich in wildlife and tourists may see hairy nosed sea otters, brown winged kingfishers, monitor lizards and swimming macaque monkeys. Limestone, inherently porous, forms caves and there are several in the mangroves. One of Langkawi's natural beauty spots is the Pirate Lagoon just outside the river. Technically this is a collapsed cave (hong) consisting of a cave entrance from the sea emerging into a hidden lagoon with towering, limestone escarpments and smaller caves.[citation needed]

Langkawi Islands

There are two island areas: the Southern Islands, with a heavy tourist population and the islands to the north east which are more secluded without tourist traffic. Langun Island has a fresh-water lake like Pregnant Maiden Lake only without the tourists and has Sand Spit Beach on its south-facing orientation. Dendang Island next to it forms a bay popular with Langkawi sailing yacht tour operators who favour the area for its natural beauty and peace.[citation needed]

Some of the most popular beaches are Pantai Cenang, Pantai Tengah, Burau Bay, Pantai Kok, and Datai Bay. Pantai Cenang is a picturesque beach with seemingly unending stretches of fine white sand. It has numerous restaurants and bars for evening entertainment, several hosting live music and for watching the sun set. The beach is contoured by tall coconuts and casuarinas. Pantai Tengah is separated from Cenang by a small cape. It too faces the setting sun and is populated more by hotels than bars, making it less busy in the evening. Burau Bay, fringed by rocky outcrops, is the favourite place of migratory birds in Langkawi. Pantai Kok is a peaceful beach with the backdrop of limestone hills. Datai Bay has a combination of forests and sea. The milky beach is backed by lush forest.

The Langkawi Cable Car takes visitors up to the peak of Gunung Mat Chinchang, where the Langkawi Sky Bridge is located. The Sky Bridge was closed in 2012 for maintenance and upgrading, but reopened in February 2015, although work on the bridge is still ongoing as of April 2015.

Tourists can enter the island via ferry from Kuala Perlis and Penang, or by flight from Kuala Lumpur. AirAsia and Fireflyz provides budget connection to the island.

Transportation[edit]

A Nissan Sylphy taxi in Langkawi.

The island of Langkawi can be reached by sea and air. The Langkawi Jetty Point connects the island to main destinations like Kuala Perlis, Kuala Kedah, Penang and Tamalang. There's also ferry service to Satun town and to Ko Lipe island in Thailand. The Langkawi International Airport is one of 7 international airports in Malaysia and connects the island to Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Penang and also Subang. On the island, a main road runs through the whole island.

Education[edit]

Secondary[edit]

  • SMK Ayer Hangat
  • SMK Kedawang
  • SMK Kelibang
  • SMK Langkawi Pulau Tuba
  • SMK Mahsuri
  • SMK Tunku Putra
  • SM Teknik Langkawi
  • Maktab Mahmud Langkawi
  • Maktab Rendah Sains Mara Langkawi (owned by MARA, a development agency of the government of Malaysia)

Tertiary[edit]

  • Kolej Komuniti Langkawi

Media[edit]

The television and radio in Langkawi can be received from Gunung Raya, Gunung Jerai, Padang Pauh Satun, Thailand Yala Thailand Songkhla Thailand And Phatthalung Thailand

Television[edit]

  • TV1 (Ch35; from Gunung Raya)
  • TV2 (Ch39; from Gunung Raya)
  • TV3 (Ch33; from Gunung Raya)
  • NTV7 (Ch37; from Gunung Jerai)
  • 8TV (Ch44; from Gunung Jerai)
  • TV9 (Ch48; from Gunung Jerai)
  • TV-AlHijrah (Ch32; from Alor Setar Tower)
  • ARMY-5 (Ch7; from Satun, Thailand)
  • MCOT-9 (Ch9; from Satun, Thailand)
  • MCOT-3 (Ch11; from Satun, Thailand)
  • TPBS (Ch27; from Satun, Thailand)
  • PRD-11 (Ch31; from Satun, Thailand)
  • BBTV-7 (Ch51; from Satun, Thailand)

Radio[edit]

  • ERA FM (90.7 MHz; from Gunung Raya)
  • MY FM (100.1 MHz; from Gunung Raya)
  • hitz fm (92.4 MHz; from Gunung Raya)
  • Red FM (98.1 MHz; from Gunung Jerai)
  • Langkawi FM (104.8 MHz; from Gunung Raya)
  • Kedah FM (105.7 MHz; from Gunung Raya)
  • Radio Thailand Satun (95.5 MHz and 99.5 MHz; from Satun, Thailand)
  • SINAR FM (100.9 MHz; from Gunung Raya)
  • Perlis FM (102.9 MHz; from Padang Pauh)
  • Ai FM (101.3 MHz; from Gunung Jerai)
  • Traxx FM (98.7 MHz from Gunung Jerai)
  • 94PFM We Love Satun (94.0 MHz; from Satun, Thailand)
  • Life FM 93.75 (93.75 MHz; from Satun, Thailand)
  • MCOT Satun (93.25 MHz; from Satun Thailand)
  • Minnal FM (96.7 MHz; from Gunung Jerai)
  • One FM (87.8 MHz; from Gunung Jerai)
  • HOT FM (88.2 MHz; from Gunung Jerai)
  • 988 (96.1 MHz; from Gunung Jerai)
  • MIX FM (91.0 MHz; from Gunung Jerai)
  • LITE FM (104.4 MHz; from Gunung Jerai)
  • MELODY FM (106.5 MHz; from Gunung Jerai)
  • THR Raaga (101.9 MHz; from Gunung Raya)
  • IKIM.FM (89.0 MHz; from Gunung Jerai)
  • Easy FM (90.0 MHz; from Satun, Thailand)
  • Satun Radio (97.75 MHz; from Satun, Thailand)
  • Modern Wave (98.4 MHz; from Satun, Thailand)
  • Smile Radio (92.2 MHz; from Satun, Thailand)
  • FLY FM (99.1 MHz; from Alor Setar Tower)
  • Radio Klasik (94.9 MHz; from Gunung Jerai)
  • Nasional FM (100.5 MHz; from Gunung Jerai)
  • Green Radio (FM 89.5 MHz; from Manang District Satun Thailand)
  • 105.25 FM (from Satun, Thailand)
  • Idea Radio (99.0 MHz; from Satun)
  • Radio Thailand Yala (FM 92.0 MHz & FM 94.25 MHz; From Yala Thailand)
  • Radio Thailand Songkhla FM 90.5 MHz & FM 102.25 MHz; from Hat Yai District Songkhla Thailand)
  • MCOT Songkhla (FM 96.5 MHz ;from Hat Yai District Songkhla Thailand)
  • Sunshine Radio Songkhla (FM 94.5 MHz from Hat Yai District Songkhla Thailand)
  • Royal Thai Air Force Songkhla (FM 107.0 MHz from Hat Yai District Songkhla Thailand
  • R Radio Network Satun (FM 105.0 MHz From Khuan Don District, Satun Thailand)
  • MCOT Phatthalung (FM 95.75 MHz From Phatthalung Thailand
  • Tamruat Phuuthon Phaak Kao Satun (FM 91.75 MHz From Tha Phae District Satun Thailand)

See also[edit]

Image gallery[edit]

Sister cities[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Shopping in Langkawi". ABC Langkawi. Retrieved 11 August 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c Mohamed Zahir Haji Ismail (2000). The Legends of Langkawi. Utusan Publications & Distributors. 
  3. ^ Holly Hughes; Sylvie Murphy; Alexis Lipsitz Flippin; Julie Duchaine (14 January 2010). Frommer's 500 Extraordinary Islands. John Wiley & Sons. p. 237. ISBN 978-0-470-59518-3. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  4. ^ Charles de Ledesma, Mark Lewis, Pauline Savage (2006). the Rough Guide to Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei (5th edition ed.). Rough Guides. p. 218. ISBN 978-1843536871. 
  5. ^ "Langkawi Eagle Square - Dataran Lang". Langkawi Insight. 
  6. ^ Maziar Mozaffari Falarti (2012). Malay Kingship in Kedah: Religion, Trade, and Society. Lexington Books. p. 94. ISBN 978-0739168424. 
  7. ^ a b Mohamed Zahir Haji Ismail (2000). The Legends of Langkawi. Utusan Publications & Distributors. 
  8. ^ Majid, Embun (16 July 2008). "It's Langkawi Permata Kedah now". The Star Online. Retrieved 20 July 2008. 
  9. ^ Maziar Mozaffari Falarti (2012). Malay Kingship in Kedah: Religion, Trade, and Society. Lexington Books. p. 55. ISBN 978-0739168424. 
  10. ^ Maziar Mozaffari Falarti (2012). Malay Kingship in Kedah: Religion, Trade, and Society. Lexington Books. p. 99. ISBN 978-0739168424. 
  11. ^ Ooi Giok Ling, Assoc Prof Rahil Ismail, Dr Brian J Shaw, ed. (2009). Southeast Asian Culture and Heritage in a Globalising World: Diverging Identities in a Dynamic Region. Ashgate Publishing Company. p. 50. ISBN 978-0754672616. 
  12. ^ Mohamed Zahir Haji Ismail (2000). The Legends of Langkawi. Utusan Publications & Distributors. pp. 132–133. 
  13. ^ Maziar Mozaffari Falarti (2012). Malay Kingship in Kedah: Religion, Trade, and Society. Lexington Books. p. 119. ISBN 978-0739168424. 
  14. ^ Maziar Mozaffari Falarti (2012). Malay Kingship in Kedah: Religion, Trade, and Society. Lexington Books. p. 121. ISBN 978-0739168424. 
  15. ^ Stefan Eklöf (2006). Pirates in Paradise: A Modern History of Southeast Asia's Maritime Marauders. Nordic Institute of Asian Studies. p. 51. ISBN 978-8791114373. 
  16. ^ Anthony Spaeth (9 December 1996). "Bound for Glory". Time magazine. Archived from the original on 17 March 2009. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  17. ^ "Langkawi targets 4m tourists by year-end". Free Malaysia Today. June 20, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Geography". Langkawi Online. 
  19. ^ "Langkawi History". July 7, 2009. 
  20. ^ [1][dead link]
  21. ^ "Langkawi given geopark status". The Star Online. 8 June 2007. Retrieved 24 December 2007. 
  22. ^ "Langkawi risks losing Geopark status after Unesco ‘Yellow Card’". Themalaysianinsider.com. Retrieved 18 December 2014. 
  23. ^ "Iran, Malaysian islands are 'twinned'". Presstv.com. Retrieved 18 December 2014. 
  24. ^ "Kish Homepage". Kish.ir. Retrieved 18 December 2014. 

External links[edit]

In Arabic جزيرة لنكاوي ماليزيا

Coordinates: 6°21′N 99°48′E / 6.350°N 99.800°E / 6.350; 99.800