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Langkawi is synonymous with 'tropical paradise' and with good reason. Since 2008 the arhipelago's official title has been Langkawi Permata Kedah (Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah), no doubt inspired by the island's clear waters, relatively pristine beaches and intact jungle. 


The district's been duty free since 1986 and roping in tourists well before that. Yet despite their immense drawing power, these 99 islands, dominated by 478.5-sq-km Pulau Langkawi, have not been overdeveloped beyond recognition. Get just a little way off the main beaches and this is idyllic rural Malaysia, all kampungs (villages) and oil lamps. It's the kind of tropical island where there's no lack of spa's, seafood restaurant and beach bars, but where the local contine to go their ways just as they have for generations. 

Pulau Langkawi consists of a group of 99 islands located off the north west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The biggest island is called Langkawi Island, approximately 30 km from Kuala Perlis, perlis and 51 km from Kuala Kedah, Kedah. 


The island is a duty free island where goods such as perfumes, cigarattes, liquor, cosmetics, leather wear and confectionery are sold without duty imposed by the government. 

On Langkawi Island itself, the main town Kuah, provides the island's administrative needs, while on the western and northern shores, the beaches have been developed with resorts. The west-coast beaches of Pantai Chenang and Pantai Tengah are the most developed; however, the concept of 'development' here is quite low key. To the north, Datai Bay and Tanjung Rhu host the island's finest,and most secluded, resorts.