Langkawi Malaysia ~ An Island Destination for Peace and Beauty

We docked at Porto Malai on the Island of Langkawi in the country of Malaysia. Porto Malai was and continues to be a fishing village. Our guide shared a legend with us about a Princess wrongly accused and put to death, cursed the island for seven generations for the crime.

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For over a hundred years the island had not been prosperous and about 1987 the markets for their rice, rubber, and tin dried up. About the same time the marble quarry was shut down. The decision was made to make the island a duty free port and to capitalize on the island’s natural resources (beaches, waterfalls, hot springs, colored cliffs, historic caves, and the fishing grounds) by promoting tourism.

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The growth and development has been phenomenal and successful. A modern port has been designed for cruise ships; several beaches have been improved and expanded; hotels, resorts and restaurants built, roads constructed; and tourist attractions such as an aquarium, oriental village, fish farm, rubber plantation, rice garden, and cable car developed for domestic and foreign visitors. Rice remains an important crop and is raised along with vegetables, coconuts, herbs and spices.

The first stop on our tour was the Craft Cultural Complex and was an outstanding attraction showcasing Malaysian handicrafts. Not cheap trinkets but beautiful and quality products from forest-based products, batik fabrics, ceramics, metal artifacts, to beautiful art objects, wood products, baskets, rattan-based items, and costume jewelry.

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A heritage museum displayed handicrafts and musical instruments representing the various Malaysian ethnic groups and the wedding gallery displaying colorful traditional wedding costumes worn by the various communities of multi-ethnic Malaysia (British, Indian, Chinese, and Malay). Glass blowing and their hand-blown items were also a part of this complex. A great cultural experience!

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Traditional Malayan kite

Examples of handmade batik fabrics

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Below are the ethnic wedding costumes

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Wood Carving and Musical Instruments

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Glass Blowing

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Our second stop was in the island’s administrative center of Kuah, which also was a fishing village and resort area. We walked along the town jetty that lines the waterfront to see the 36 foot high brown eagle statue that graces the waterfront at the end of the ferry dock. The eagle is Langkawi’s unofficial mascot.

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Our last stop was Underwater World – a 32,700 square foot facility with more than 5,000 examples of colorful marine life and tropical fish in 100 specially designed tanks. We saw many exotic fish plus sharks, turtles, stingrays, eels, penguins, birds, and reptiles.

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We forecast within a few years this island will become a major tourist destination!

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One Response to “Langkawi Malaysia ~ An Island Destination for Peace and Beauty”

  1. Looks like there would be fantastic snorkeling here! Loved the golden bird!. Gorgeous as were the crafts and fabrics.

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