Langkawi is now a well-known tourist attraction after being introduced to the world only in 1987. That’s relatively very young compared to the other island-resorts in nearby countries. What’s unique and intriguing about this Asian tropical destination is that it is actually an archipelago of 104 islands. That’s potentially a lot of islands to explore as one goes island hopping in Langkawi, Malaysia.
The largest and most important of the islands is Langkawi Island. In fact, it is one of just two inhabited islands (the other one is Pulau Tuba). The rest are reserved for tourism, ecology, and mythology, but there are tiny islets that are not bigger than a regular house. Also, five of these islands disappear from sight whenever the tides rise.
To see the smaller islands, several operators offer tour packages that typically take about 3 to 5 hours. The ride may not be that expensive but that much time will take you away from any other activities you could think of. So why go island hopping and spend almost the entire morning or afternoon doing it? Here are the top reasons why you should go.
The first reason is quite obvious. Go island hopping to see the islands. They are there to be seen and enjoyed by tourists, otherwise they are just worthless pieces of land in the middle of the Andaman Sea, unless they are natural reserves. One of the most popular reserves that is always included in any island hopping package is Pulau Singa Besar, which is “Big Lion Island” in English. The boats will stop just shy of the shores as guests are treated to an amazing natural show that could not be seen anywhere else. Above the waters are eagles soaring majestically. Typically, the boat driver will throw bits of chicken meat into the water and pretty quickly an eagle would spot its “prey” and dive to it with deadly precision. This is definitely a unique and exhilarating experience.
The second reason is Langkawi’s myths and legends. The next stop in the tour is the mythical Pulau Dayang Bunting or the Lake of the Pregnant Woman. Folk belief said dipping into this lake improves one’s chances of getting pregnant, thus the name of the lake. The lake is just a part of the Dayang Bunting Marble Geoforest Park, which is made up of intriguing marble and limestone formations. The scene is truly breathtaking. Langkawi has many legends that the locals take to heart as almost facts. There’s no other place to have a sense of the island’s mystic folk tales than in this geoforest park.
And finally, go island hopping to experience local culture. The last stop is usually Beras Basah Island or Wet Rice Island, a pristine Langkawi beach. There are no rice paddies here, but the mere mention of this island would remind a tourist of the popular Laman Padi Rice Garden at Pantai Cenang. This garden was established to show the importance of rice in the lives of the Malaysian people.
Some operators may visit other islands. Island hopping in Langkawi is definitely an important activity that must not be missed. Tours usually take off at the Kuah jetty or Cenang Beach.