Langkawi is a small island about 55 km off the northwestern coast of peninsular Malaysia and is a popular vacation destination. The island has been linked with the Sultanate of Kedah since ancient times and this link remains apparent today as Langkawi is still ruled by the royal family. The Royal Palace, which houses several museums, offers tourists an insight into Kedah’s rich history.
Langkawi is the name of the main island in a chain of islands that include Pemanggil, Payar, Redang (Dewi Island) and Tioman (Salang Island). Langkawi has an area of 468 square kilometres with a coastline that extends 123 km.
Langkawi is home to a variety of plant and animal species including tropical rainforest, flowers, mangrove swamps and beaches. The Langkawi National Park covers 170 km² and consists mainly of mangrove swamps, beaches and marine wildlife.
The climate is humid with no dry season. Temperatures range from 29°C to 32°C in the lower regions and peak at 30°C in the coastal plains and higher on the mountains. The mercury drops to 12⁰C in winter and April to May are known as the “cool months”. January, February, March and November are drier months. During summer, temperatures rise reaching 38°C at some locations.
Places that border Langkawi are Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Perak, Pahang and Kelantan. Langkawi is also linked with Thailand by a wide sandy beach which has earned it the nickname “the Pearl of Asia”.