Langkawi Island is part of an archipelago consisting of a total of 104 islands in Andaman Sea, approx 30 km (20 ml) off mainland Malaysia (northwestern coast). The islands are part of Kedah state (adjacent to Thailand's border). The largest of the islands (Palau Langkawi Island) has population around 65,000 and is the only other inhabited isle - except Tuba. Langkawi is also the archipelago's largest town, and is a free port (duty-free zone).
Island's agro-based economy of rubber and paddy cultivation and fisheries is being overtaken by tourism, taking into consideration the unspoiled beauty and governmental emphasis. On June 1, 2007 Palau Langkawi was awarded a World Geopark status by UNESCO. 3 of its main conservation regions in Langkawi Geopark include Dayang Bunting Marble Geoforest park (Island of Pregnant Maiden Lake), Machincang Cambrian Geoforest Park and Kilim Karst Geoforest Park. These three parks are the major tourism area within Langkawi Geopark. UNESCO issued a 'yellow card' warning in 2014, threatening the Geopark's status. In 2015 the Langkawi UNESCO Global Geopark status had to be renewed, of which upon inspection by appointed Geopark Inspectors, Langkawi was issued a Certificate of Membership dubbed Green Card by Asia Pacific Geoparks Network, under auspices of Global Geopark Network (GGN).
Tourists can enter Pulau Langkawi Island via ferry from Penang, Kuala Kedah or Kuala Perlis. Or by domestic flight from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL), or Subang Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport (SZB). International connection is available from Singapore and Guangzhou-Nansha.
Langkawi Cable Car takes cruisers up to Gunung Mat Chinchang peak, where Langkawi Sky Bridge is situated. In 2012 the Sky Bridge was closed for maintenance and upgrading, but opened again in February 2015, even though work on it is still ongoing. The beginning of the cable car ride is located in Oriental Village where there are several attractions, including the Art in Paradise, a 3-Dimensional art museum.
In 2018, TUI Group (one of the world's largest tourism travel companies with 1600 travel agencies globally) homeported in Langkawi ships to promote Malaysia fly-cruise deals with packages inclusive of direct flights from 3 UK airports - Birmingham, Gatwick and Manchester. The arriving from UK flight cruise tourists spend a day in Langkawi prior to boarding on 14-day voyages with itineraries visiting ports Penang, Port Klang (Kuala Lumpur), Melaka, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand. The promo fly-cruise program was for the period December 20 (2018) through March 29 (2019). TUI brands with homeported in Langkawi ships are Hapag-Lloyd, Marella Cruises (UK) and TUI Cruises (Germany).
Pulau Langkawi Island cruise terminal
Cruise ships to Langkawi Island dock (anchor) at Kuah - port town located on the southeastern coast. The port is also utilized by most of the ferries from mainland Malaysia or Penang Island. The Langkawi Island is a duty-free zone.
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