Come with me to Malaysia’s own Special Paradise, Langkawi Island
Come with Maxine, as she visits Malaysia’s own Special Paradise, Langkawi Island.Via Magic Carpet Journals. Article and Pictures by M. Maxine George.
If you’ve found an island paradise, chances are it has also been discovered by hordes of other tourists from throughout the world. At the end of a very busy working trip to Malaysia, we had the opportunity to spend some R & R time in Langkawi before heading home. There we found Malaysians have been keeping a secret for themselves. The beauty and serenity of this enchanted island retreat appears to have remained relatively undiscovered by the world at large – until now. I may be letting the secret out.
A short one hour flight from the coastal city of Penang took us to Langkawi Island. Palm trees and lush greenery greeted us as we traveled to the Langkawi Lagoon Resort, only a five minute drive from the airport. We soon learned there were plenty of activities to keep us occupied there. The food alone was worth the trip. Two restaurants in particular warranted return visits.
Kota Mahsuri, or Mahsuri’s Town was our introduction to the Legend of Mahsuri, a sad tale of a beautiful maiden who died tragically. Her tomb and the small cultural village built around it, is considered to be the main tourist attraction in Langkawi. Two hundred years ago, Mahsuri was falsely accused of the crime of adultery by those jealous of her beauty and magnetic personality. The conspirators chose a time when her husband was out of town to accuse her. Strangely enough she was sentenced to death by her own father-in-law, who was then Chief of Langkawi. Mahsuri maintained her innocence throughout her trial. With her dying breath she cursed those who convicted her, saying that because of this act of injustice, Langkawi would not prosper for seven generations. Legend has it that white blood was seen to pour from her wound during the execution. Others say that a white mist appeared at the spot where she was executed. These were considered to be signs of her innocence. For decades after her death, Lankowi failed to prosper. The curse of Mahsuri was blamed for a series of misfortunes that occurred in the area. The population dwindled in size. As a result the area has remained a secluded treasure until the 21st century.
A day of Island hopping had been arranged for us. Langkawi Island is one of a group of 99 spectacularly beautiful, green islands situated on the Adaman Sea off the northwestern coast of Peninsula Malaysia. A sunny day, with a gentle breeze and calm sea made our boat trip a delight. We investigated coves, ogled the tree-shrouded limestone hills that constitute the many islands that dot this sea. We absorbed the solitude and tranquility of this rare jewel in our world. We docked on one of the larger islands, and walked through the park to an interior lake, Tasik Dayang Bunting or Lake of the Pregnant Maiden. Monkeys watched our progress, but seemed unperturbed by our presence. Returning to the boat we stopped for lunch and a swim on a quiet, island covered with palm trees and white sand. It was inhabited by a band of monkeys who were emboldened to come near by the smell of hot food. Although they were chased away by the attendants, one managed to sneak up and jump onto the table to get a piece of fried chicken from the platter right in front of me. I don’t know who scared who the most. When I’m startled I scream, which in turn startled the monkey who ran off leaving a trail of fried chicken behind him. Before our day was complete, we were taken to an area where many huge eagles, with their large wingspan and majestic, white heads, were either flying above the cove or perching high in the trees that bordered the water. Approaching the centre of the cove, the boat operator threw the contents of a bucket out into the water. Within moments the eagles were swooping down to retrieve choice snacks from the water around us.
One of our Canadian companions was an avid scuba diver. Arrangements were made for her to spend a day out diving in the waters off this coast. She came back smiling broadly, proclaiming she had a wonderful day. In the meantime the rest of us discovered SHOPPING.
The Langkawi Island Tour included Langkawi Crystal, Galleria Perdana, where marvelous Batik pictures were displayed and a Handicraft centre with a great variety of interesting shops. Here, we discovered wonderful, colourful batik clothing designed for casual elegance. Needless to say this set us to buying. (I’ve since attended receptions in Vancouver where I have seen those same outfits looking fabulous!) Our guide took us to other areas where shopping was also great fun. The prices were right! By the time we were ready to board the plane heading for home, several people had to buy more suitcases to contain their purchases. May I add that the prices were also right for the suitcases!
Our final afternoon was spent traveling up Mount Mat Cincang by the cable car, traveling to the height of 709 metres above sea level. As the little glass car climbed higher and higher a fabulous vista opened out before our gaze. Picturesque Lankowi , the Oriental Village and many of the islands spread out before us. From the moment we left the ground the view was breathtaking!
In Lankowi, people were pleased to tell us that Mahsuri’s Curse may have come to an end. The condition of the seventh generation has been met. The island is beginning to prosper with numerous development projects now being undertaken there. Four Seasons Resort Langkawi, a fabulous Six Star complex, has recently opened in Langkawi. The changes are beginning. The secret may be out and this island paradise may soon draw many more visitors looking for a tranquil island paradise.
Article and pictures by M. Maxine George
Last Updated on November 22, 2020 by Matthew George – Webmaster
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