Pulau Langkawi Local Customs

  • The portrait of Princess Mahsuri
    The portrait of Princess Mahsuri
    by yipsufen
  • Local Customs
    by Loubna
  • reflexology chairs
    reflexology chairs
    by call_me_rhia

Most Recent Local Customs in Pulau Langkawi

  • yipsufen's Profile Photo

    The Princess Mahsuri Legend

    by yipsufen Updated Jul 26, 2009
    The portrait of Princess Mahsuri

    Mahsuri was a beautiful Malay Princess unjustly put to death for committing adultery. Her innocence was proven when after being stabbed to death with her own dagger, white blood oozed from her body. It is believed that the shores of Langkawi are pure white because of her innocence.

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    • Arts and Culture
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

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  • batgirl1001's Profile Photo

    Squid Fest Everywhere

    by batgirl1001 Written Dec 9, 2007

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    This tidbit was shared by our driver while we visited the Underwater World in Langkawi. Apparent during the end year (around late December to perhaps early January), there would be a squid season where the fishermen would catch a huge amount of squids in the seas off Langkawi. Instead of selling all the squids, the fishermen would make what they called 'ketupat sotong' meaning squid rice cakes. They would scoop rice into the body of the squid and then boil the squid in a huge pot. The flavour of the squid would seep into the rice and they would eat it as they normally do during their meals.

    This is only done once a year during the season and only by the local fishermen. It is not a tourist thing nor can you buy it anywhere in Langkawi and you can only see it if you know someone local who can invite you to the occassion. Apparently the feasting on this treat can go on for days or weeks.

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  • Loubna's Profile Photo

    A little bit of respect for the hosting locals

    by Loubna Written Mar 10, 2007

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    Ladies, remember this is mainly a Muslim country so no top less on the beach. If you look closely you will see that even Indian Malaysians and Chinese Malaysians bathe clothed.

    When walking in the street back to your chalet etc dress decently and not in your swimming suit as a mark of respect to the locals :o)

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    • Backpacking
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    by call_me_rhia Updated Feb 6, 2007

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    reflexology chairs

    All over the island you can find a great number of smaller and larger spas, which do not cost a fortune. You can have:
    - all types of massages (swedish, thai, aromaterapy and so on)
    - chinese reflexology(painful but good)
    - body scrubs and wraps (try the chocolate-coffee scrub)
    - coconut milk and flower baths
    - manicure and pedicure...
    Definitely worth it, and pleasant... you'll come home renewed.

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  • Azri_Azmi's Profile Photo

    Keep Your Shoes / Boots Outside

    by Azri_Azmi Written Nov 4, 2006

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    Went entering a house, the custom here in Langkawi and all over Malaysia is to remove your shoes before entering the house. Entering a house with shoes on will be considered as a rude act and disrespect to the host. :-)

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

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  • fengshui's Profile Photo

    Ramadan Puasa Month

    by fengshui Written Nov 3, 2006

    During this fasting, most of the stalls and restaurants operated by Muslim will be closed.
    So the town will be kinda quiet.
    They will break fast in the evening around 7pm, so these stalls & restaurants will only start operating after 3pm.
    This does not applies to the fast food restaurant like KFC, McDonald & shopping centres.
    Do remember to bring along bottled drinking water.

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    • Family Travel

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    by Tattugran Updated Dec 24, 2005

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    It always help to know when you go to a different country when the public holidays are as it can effect your plans .I have listed the ones I knwo of for Langkawi here. Hope it helps
    Jan 01 - New Year's Day
    Jan 08 & 09 - Hari Raya Puasa
    Feb 05 & 06 - Chinese New Year
    Feb 01 - Federal Territory Day (Kuala Lumpur and Labuan only)
    Mar 16 - Hari Raya Haji
    Apr 06 - Awal Muharram
    May 01 - Workers' Day
    May 18 - Wesak Day
    Jun 03 - Birthday of Sri Paduka Baginda Yang di Pertuan Agong
    Jul 15 - Birthday of Prophet Muhammad SAW
    Aug 31 - National Day
    Oct 28 - Deepavali (except in Sarawak and Labuan)
    Dec 25 - Christmas
    Dec 27 & 28 - Hari Raya Puasa


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    by Tattugran Updated Nov 23, 2005

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    Remove shoes when enter a home or place of worship
    Dress neatly in suitable attire that covers arms and legs when entering places of worship
    Handle food with your right hand
    Do not point your foot at anyone
    Do not touch a locals head
    Do not put your feet on the table
    Give or receive money or gifts with your right hand
    Topless swimming is inapprorpiate here
    When greeting a muslim offer your right hand then bring it towards you ...lightly touching your heart.This is the traditional Salam ...or greeting of acceptance
    Hindus greet with a Namaste (in Hindi) or Vanakam (Tamil).Both palms are brought together as in prayer at midchest level.
    With a Chinese you may shake hands.
    If you are unsure of what greeting to use just smile and nod your head
    The official language is Bahasa Melayu however English is commonly used and spoken by all

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  • ahcoln's Profile Photo


    by ahcoln Updated Apr 27, 2005

    Many legends of langkawi and Mahsuri story is the most famous one. Click this link if you have the interests to know more http://langkawi-info.com/info/legends.htm

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    • Family Travel

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  • xxangelxx's Profile Photo

    Sorry, not really a custom, just advice

    by xxangelxx Written Dec 29, 2004

    If you are feeling hassled by hotel staff or locals asking where you are from etc just try walking around with a friend (preferably male if you are female - males, and women with children do not get hassled so much)

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    • Women's Travel

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  • bpacker's Profile Photo

    Of Curses and Legends

    by bpacker Written Jun 20, 2004

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    File picture of Mahsuri

    Many visitors to Langkawi would know that this sleepy little place has a storybook full of legends. The most noteworthy one of all is of course the sad story of a beautiful woman named Mahsuri.
    According to the locals, a beautiful noble woman named Mahsuri was given a heinous death sentence for a crime she was falsely accused of. This poor lady was apprently speared to death on account of adultery despite her pleas of innocence. Since her pleas went unheard, Mahsuri cursed Langkawi before she died , predicting that it would not prosper until seven generations had passed. Eerily enough, Langkawi suffered a series of woes after that – crops that failed, invasion by the Siamese and Achenese, bypassed in mainstream development of Malaysia. etc.
    Well the good news is, locals believe that seven generations have passed and concerted efforts to turn Langkawi into a tourist destination resulted in some economic growth...
    Well, the tomb of Mahsuri stands somewhere on this island and if you're keen, you can drive there to take a look.

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  • Imbi's Profile Photo

    Pisang Handicraft and Art Village

    by Imbi Written Jan 23, 2004

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    Pisang Handicraft and Art Village is another place to find some cultural stuff of Malaysia. Hand-drawn batik, accessories, pewter, marble, wood carving. Its all there. Yu can also experience people working there.

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  • kyoub's Profile Photo

    Protect the local wildlife

    by kyoub Written Jan 16, 2006

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    Watch out for monkeys

    There are signs along the roads stating that you should be on the lookout for wildlife in the area. Slow down for wildlife crossing the road.

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism

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Pulau Langkawi Local Customs

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