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Langkawi: Culture

The culture of Langkawi in greatly influenced by the large number of eagles inhabiting the island. This can be seen in both the name (whose root word is “helang”, meaning eagle) and the large statue of an eagle in the city center.

Thailand was for a brief period during the early 20th century in control of Langkawi. Even though this was only for a short while, the Thai culture is still very prevalent in the area. There are many Thai restaurants and loads of architectural sights influenced by the Siamese culture.

For most of Langkawi’s history, the area was very laid back and life flowed at a slow pace. Although the island has succumb to modernization, this easy going vibe can still be sensed in the local atmosphere. In fact, many of the local families living on the island still survive on traditional means, fishing and farming.

The tourist scene can be very different than the local cultural scene. Many resorts on the island now cater to the wealthiest of the world’s tourists, offering luxuries unimaginable to many of the islands inhabitants.

The landscape of the island is very beautiful, with lush green jungles and beautiful sand beaches. Perhaps the perfect visit to Langkawi includes both the new (resort living) and the old (local culture and attitudes).

Updated October 18th, 2009.
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