Langkawi in Pictures

on Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Langkawi is considered a mystical place. Amongst its islands are white sandy beaches while in some places it is dark volcanic sand. It is one of very few places in the world that has mangroves growing over limestone. It has a mysterious field that keeps coming up with burnt rice from the ground and an enchanted lake which legend claims will cure infertility for those that bath in it. It has some of the oldest rock formations in South East Asia and on its western side, evidence of massive tectonic uplifting is visible. For these reasons and more, it was recently declared a UNESCO Geo Park.

It has 99 magical islands and in another mystery, the authorities decided it wasn't enough and built two more for a small marina and for a small micro-light airport. This was done at some considerable degradation of the surrounding environment but at least we now have 101 islands!

Langkawi's name is also interesting. The tourism office has created this romantic notion which it tells visitors that the name consists of Lang and Kawi. Lang is a version of the name of the sea eagles that are abundant in the islands and Kawi refers to limestone which is also a strong characteristic of parts of the island, hence Langkawi. I actually prefer a more scholarly explanation which to me is equally romantic. This explanation dates the name to about the 13th century when there were already trade boats plying between India and China. Langkawi is likely the landmark for sailors to set off sailing along the latitudinal line which will lead them directly to Sri Lanka. Therefore Langkawi means "the way to Sri Lanka".

Anyway, here are photos of the beaches on my recent trip. All photos by LGS. Note the local attire worn by many local Muslim girls for the beach. Also the fishing catch has deteriorated due to destructive development in some places.


Janice Thomson said...

What a beautiful beach Lgs. I'd love to explore all the islands.
I always meant to ask if you speak both the Malay and the Manglish languages. I'm told Malay is a bit easier to learn as there are no past tense or past participles to learn. With this in mind how does one speak of a past event?
Interesting the two different origins of the word Langkawi. Excellent post Lgs.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it does look like a very beautiful place. Does it get a lot of storms?

Take Care,

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I do speak Malay and am conversant in Manglish too. Where in English you have e.g. cook, cooking, cooked; the Malay word is masak for all three situations but would be used in the following manner:- "masak", "sedang masak", sudah masak". The word sedang indicates present tense and means "is currently". The word sudah indicates past tense and can be translated as "has already". These words are used with any verb.

It is a very windy island and does get storms but it does not get typhoons or hurricanes but even so, there are times when it is dangerous for small boats and swimmers.

kimber the wolfgrrrl said...

What beautiful beaches! It's rainy, cold, with soggy snow covering the ground.... oh, how I long to be sitting on that stretch of white sand, gazing out over a turquoise sea!

evalinn said...

Wonderful pics!

Angelissima said...

wow LGS what beautiful photos. my brother loves Singapore and the surrounding areas...

He lived there for a time.

Open Grove Claudia said...

Oh my goodness. What a magical place! I can feel the magic just sitting here in Denver. You live in such a beautiful part of the world.

A lot of Muslim women wear that here in Denver. I've seen some women in full abajas but most wear what you have pictured.

leslie said...

It looks so inviting but I pity those Muslim women having to cover up so much. It must get hot! I like your explanation about the present & past tenses of your language - sounds quite simple once you get the vocabulary down.

Marja said...

Oh LGS what a paradise. I love islands. A long time ago I went to a gorgeous Island in your country. Tioman Island. It was in the wet monsoon and the taxi was
a fisherboat. For 4 hours we went into waves as high as houses. Never been so sick. But it was all worth it.

Cheryl said...

The pictures are stunning. I love when you travel and bring us along.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

yes, I've read about your current spell of bad weather. Perhaps the timing of this post was a little cruel on my part. Sorry.

Thanks. You're a beach person, I think?

Thanks for dropping in and visiting. Did you ever visit Singapore yourself? Singapore is very metropolitan whereas many parts of Malaysia is still sleepy and rural.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Thanks. I do love the countryside here but your Rocky Mountains is no small feature either!

The covering for the women actually originated in the deserts of the Middle East where it offers protection from sun, sand and wind and is actually cooler to wear it. However, Malaysia is hot and humid and it does get very sweaty and various skin and scalp ailments result.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I have not been to Tioman myself but i am familiar with these long open sea boat rides. I don't know when you were there but Tioman's corals are very badly damaged by ill placed development.


Odat said...

I wish I were there right now!
Thank you for sharing those pics!

Dave said...

There are so many beautiful spots throughout this world that are hidden from the average North American ... It's nice to be reminded that these places exist!

Have a great day LGS!

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