Langkawi is home to some of the most stunning beaches in Malaysia – its cluster of 99 islands which means there are ample shorelines to explore whilst yachting. There are so many little pockets of wonder throughout this region, you would be hard pressed to see it all – but we can help you try! The islands have become popular due to their tax free status, but also due to the mythical nature of the place and the legends and fairytales that enchant the locality.
Langkawi, officially known as Langkawi the Jewel of Kedah is an archipelago of 104 islands in the Andaman Sea, some 30 km off the mainland coast of northwestern Malaysia. The main island of Langkawi, with an international airport is an established base for yachts and 5 star resort destination. From Langkawi you can sail south, hopping between islands to visit another enchanting paradise.
Some of the mysticism of Langkawi lies in the legends of the kingdom of Kedah. These legends talk of a snake known as ular-besar, to which the King must sacrifice a virgin daughter upon ascension or also when a war was declared as a sacrifice to the gods. Such tales were recorded by Chinese travellers under the Ming Dynasty. The French were also recorded to have visited the region in the late 1600s.
Historically Langkawi was home to seafarers that originated from the southern part of the peninsula. There were also fisherman, and real life pirates right up until 1945 frequenting the spirited shores! There were rumours that the islands were cursed for a few centuries due to the wrongful death of a lady accused of adultery who placed the curse on the area. Just one example of the quirky stories locals can tell you which provide endless amusement and wonder!
There is also a dark history to the islands, such as the Siamese invasion of 1821 where the granary at Padang Matsirat was burnt to the ground to starve the local armies. They captured the island later in 1822 when they killed the leaders, and enslaved much of the population whilst others fleed. The same happened again in 1837, and the area only recovered after Sumatrans came and settled. In 1909 the British had their turn at an overthrow, but after World War 2 the area became a Japanese territory. Finally gaining its independence in 1957, the area we know and love today began to bloom.
Due to the waters calmness, there is plenty of opportunity to enjoy water sports too such as banana boating, parasailing, scuba diving, snorkelling, jet skiing and more! If the weather does take a turn for the worse there are always the numerous shopping malls, or well-known spas and pamper packages to enjoy.
In terms of islands and beaches there are two main locations – the southern islands which is a popular spot for tourists, and the north east area which is a little more secluded and so makes for the perfect quieter sunbathe. One island that is particularly popular due to its fresh, lake-like water is Lagun Island. Dendang just next door has a beautiful bay which is perfect for the yachtsman. Pantai Cenang is another great choice, the beach has the idyllic long white beaches that appear to stretch on for miles. This one is fabulous for dining too, and there you can also more often than not find an intriguing array of entertainment in the evening. There is nothing quite like watching the sun go down whilst listening to some local live music. Coconut trees line many of the beaches, and there is usually plenty of birds flying around for you to get your nature fix.
Another spectacular activity available on the islands is the cable car ride. The Langkawi cable car will take you up to the top of Gunung Mat Chinchang, and here you can find a second wonder – the Langkawi sky bridge! The sky bridge has just been updated and so is bound to get busy again soon, so get in there quick! Before you get on the cable car you can also visit many of the attractions around the oriental village which is awash with artistic and cultural delights.
So yachting in Langkawi can certainly tick all of your boxes for that special getaway. Whether it be shopping in one of the many malls, markets or fairs, sitting on the beach, exploring caves and mangroves, bird-watching, or hiking. Then of course there are all the water based activities too! The possibilities are truly endless in this magical cluster of Malaysian islands.