The name Langkawi is believed to have originated from the abundance of eagles on the island: helang (eagle in Malay) and kawi (marble in Sanskrit), begets the moniker helang-kawi which was eventually toned down to Langkawi. The main settlement of locals is in Kuah, a dusty town noticeably beloved for its array of duty-free stores and Chinese seafood restaurants. Other popular areas include the Pantai Cenang and Pantai Tengah stretch, the quite strips of Pantai Kok.
There are no known definitive facts about how or when Langkawi got its name, but there are some theories behind it. According to one theory, the name is derived from the abundance of eagles on the island. A Malay proverb goes that “Every place has its own song, and so does every island“. The Malay word for eagle is helang, thus Langkawi. Another theory states that the name Langkawi was derived from the Sanskrit word Kavi (meaning poet). This is because there are many ancient writings on rocks in this island. The word ‘Kawi’ in Sanskrit means ‘poet’. This is a reference to the many ancient writings found on rocks in Langkawi.