Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah.
Almost surreal, Langkawi is a cluster of 104 islands with powder white beaches, clear turquoise waters as well as lush ancient rainforest, providing a serene environment while exuding magical charms and spellbinding adventures for guests who traverse here.
Dubbed as the ‘Isles of Legends’, Langkawi’s heritage includes the oral storytelling passed down by the first settlers centuries ago, and this resulted in having hundreds of legends attached to almost every cave, forest, islet, rock and lake within the archipelago. Legend has it that the beautiful Mahsuri was sentenced to death for adultery, a crime she was falsely accused of, and with her dying breath, she cursed the island, predicting that the island would not prosper for seven generations. Strangely enough, Langkawi suffered a series of woes after the curse as crops failed for a very long time.
There are many accounts on Langkawi’s origin, including those from legends and folklore, but according to history, one can ascertain that the island was under the rule of the Sultanate of Kedah for a long time. Eventually, it came under British rule during the colonial century and then, for a brief period during World War II, it was controlled by the Thai monarchy. Langkawi has seen many changes, but the most profound impact on the islands‘ fortunes was when it was bestowed duty-free status by the Malaysian Government in 1987.
Today, Langkawi has changed dramatically. Yes, it was the duty-free status that made the island a popular destination, but many local folks still believe that it was due to something less tangible - that the seven-generation curse cast on the island by Mahsuri had finally ended.