Langkawi is one of the most celebrated island resorts in Malaysia, known by its name the ‘Jewel of Kedah’.
The destination is an archipelago of 99 islands located about 20 miles off the north-western coast of mainland Malaysia. By far the largest of these islands is Pulau Langkawi, with Pulau Tuba the only other island in the archipelago to be inhabited.
Today, the beautiful beaches and spectacular scenery are more than enough to keep tourists flocking to Langkawi, but only a couple of decades ago it was little more than a remote rural backwater.
All that changed in 1987 when the Malaysian government made the destination exempt from taxation, transforming it into a duty-free shopping resort.
Since then, the tourism scene has gone from strength to strength and shopping centres selling everything from clothes and accessories to food and wine have sprung up across the main island.
However, Langkawi isn’t just a great place for a spot of retail therapy. If you’re after a spectacular experience, it’s hard to beat the Langkawi Sky Bridge, a 125m pedestrian crossing that clings to a 700m high mountain ridge, offering incredible views of the Andaman Sea.
While all that sightseeing will be a dream come true for some travellers, others will no doubt prefer to do as little as possible. Fortunately, Langkawi’s numerous beaches – from Pantai Cenang to Datai Bay – are ideal spots to kick back and soak up the sun.