Langkawi, the jewel of Kedah, is an archipelago of 99 islands located 30 km west of mainland of Malaysia. The largest island in the archipelago, Palau Langkawi, is the most sought-after holiday destination of South East Asia. The perfect harmony of transparent sea, sandy shores, green mountains, and dense rainforests makes it an ideal destination for everyone. Langkawi was not always a famous tourist attraction and has an unsteady history. It was invaded multiple times by the Siamese in the 18th century before finally coming under the British rule in 1909. The Malaya gained independence from the British creating the state of Langkawi in its current form. The fortunes of this sleepy fishing town took a turn in the 1980’s, when the then prime minister Dr. Mahathir Bin Mohammad decided to make it a tourist destination with duty free status.
The best time to be in Langkawi is the dry season from December to February, when the average temperature can reach up to 30°C. The tropical climate sometimes brings poisonous jelly fish from January to July, and it is best to check with locals before entering the waters. Insect repellents are also advised especially when hiking in the forest or visiting the mangroves. Just like the other parts of Malaysia, Islam is widely practised on the island. Hence it is advised to dress appropriately if you plan to visit any of the religious sites.
Getting to Pulau Langkawi, the main island in the archipelago is quiet easy. Regular flights operate from Kuala Lumpur and Penang in Malaysia. International flights from Singapore and Thailand also arrive at the Langkawi airport. Catching a boat ride from the mainland of Malaysia to Kuah Jetty in Langkawi is another way to arrive. It is best to use a taxi or to rent a vehicle to travel inside the island. English is widely spoken on the island and conversing with the local taxi driver or the hotel staff is not complicated by the language barrier.