Introducing Pulau Langkawi

Langkawi is synonymous with ‘tropical paradise’ – and with good reason. Since 2008 the archipelago’s official title has been Langkawi Permata Kedah (Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah), no doubt inspired by the island’s clear waters, relatively pristine beaches and intact jungle. The district’s been duty free since 1986 and roping in tourists well before that. Yet despite their immense drawing power, these 99 islands, dominated by 478.5-sq-km Pulau Langkawi, have not been overdeveloped beyond recognition. Get just a little way off the main beaches and this is idyllic rural Malaysia, all kampungs (villages) and oil lamps. It’s the kind of tropical island where there’s no lack of spas, seafood restaurants and beach bars, but where the locals continue to go about their ways just as they have for generations.

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