- Langkawi, officially known as Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah is an archipelago of 99 islands (an extra 5 temporary islands are revealed at low tide) in the Andaman Sea , some 30 km off the mainland coast of northwestern Malaysia . The islands are a part of the state of Kedah , which is adjacent to the Thai border.
- On July 15 ,2008 , Sultan Abdul Halim of Kedah had consented to the change of name to Langkawi Permata Kedah in conjunction with his Golden Jubilee Celebration. By far the largest of the islands is the eponymous Pulau Langkawi with a population of some 45,000, the only other inhabited island being nearby Pulau Tuba. Langkawi is also an administrative district with the town of Kuah as the capital and largest town. Langkawi is a duty-free island.
- Langkawi lies north of the straits of Malacca in the southern Andaman sea near the border between Malaysia and Thailand . A few kilometres to the north lies the neighbouring Thai island of Ko Taratuo . The island group's main town, on the main island, is Kuah .
- Langkawi's highest point is Gunung Raya, rising to 890 m above sea level in the main island's central-eastern area.
- The archipelago consists of 99 islands with a total land area of 528 km2 (204 sq mi).
- The name "Langkawi" is believed to be related to the
kingdomof Langkasuka, centred in modern-day Kedah. The historical record is sparse, but a Chinese Liang Dynasty record (c. 500 AD) refers to the kingdom of "Langgasu" as being founded in the 1st century AD. 'Langkawi' mean's , it may be noted, and indeed there is a great abundance of eagles in the area. In Kuah, there is an eagle monument in Eagle Island Eagle Squarewhich commemorates the origin of Langkawi's name.
- Langkawi is also the site of the Mahsuri Legend. The legend speaks of a young woman who was accused of adultery and was executed by the public despite her pleading innocence. Mahsuri, before her death, made a curse on the island for seven generations of bad luck. Langkawi eventually came under the influence of the Sultanate of Kedah, but Kedah was conquered in 1821 by Siam and Langkawi along with it. TheAnglo-Siamese Treaty og 1909 transferred power to the British, who held the state until independence, except for a brief period of Thai rule under the Japanese occupation of Malaya during World War 2. Thai influences remain visible in the culture and food of Langkawi.