Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Langkawi - Dataran Helang @ Eagle Square

Date of visit: 22nd January 2016

My family and I were travelling to Langkawi Island on 21st January this year, 2016 accompanying hubby who had a yearly tennis tournament there at the island. We booked a stay in Aseania Resort and Spa Hotel for 3 nights until our departure on 24th January 2016. Remarks: will write a hotel review in separate entry later on. Though hubby and his group did not win any trophies, we had a lovely family vacation even without Nazhif. Another reason was due to Naim, who are in a relationship for an Island girl, Hanum. She’s a local who volunteered to be our free tour guide during taht short trip. Naim is most happiest to reunite with his girlfriend and having another 3 of his best friends following a day later.

A 12 meter tall Eagle

First and foremost, Langkawi is the Jewel of Kedah, an archipelago of 104 islands in the Andaman Sea. It is located about 30 km off the mainland coast of north-western Malaysia. The islands are a part of the state of Kedah, which is adjacent to the Thai border. The eponymous Langkawi Island is by far the largest of the islands with a population of some 64,792, the only other inhabited island being nearby Tuba Island. Langkawi, a duty free island is also an administrative district with the town of Kuah as largest town. The name Langkawi is thought to have existed by the early 15th century, although in the 16th century the island of Langkawi was also marked on maps variously as Langa, Langka, Lansura, and Langapura. According to one interpretation, Langkawi means island of the reddish-brown eagle in colloquial Malay. The Malay word for eagle is helang, which is shortened to "lang", while "kawi" is the name of a red stone used as a chalk to mark goods. This interpretation was used to create the landmark sculpture of an eagle as the symbol of Langkawi at Dataran Helang (Eagle Square) in Kuah. And, we visited the Eagle Square as our first destination on day 2.

Clearly a lovely sunny day for photos

Langkawi is very hot, hence wear a comfortable clothing to avoid being stuffy while wandering around

Eagle Square is Dataran Lang in Malay spoken words. It is one of Langkawi’s best known manmade attractions, with a large sculpture of an eagle poised to take flight. A sight that greets visitors to the island via ferry, the 12 metre-tall statue is one of the island’s most instantly recognizable monuments. Located at the southeast corner of Pulau Langkawi, besides offering beautiful views of Kuah Bay, Dataran Lang has beautiful miniature fountains, terraces and bridges, making it the ideal place for those postcard-perfect holiday photos. The square is also a good place to watch ferries ply across the harbour. We arrived close to noon time which is the hottest time in a day. My advised to all is to plan a trip here either early in the morning or late in the evening when the sun is at its least intense. You may get much more beautiful photos of the sunrise and/or the sunset.

Some views at the Jetty Point Mall

The reddish-brown eagle at Dataran Lang was built as a motif, an emblem of the island. It is located adjacent to the CHOGM Park and Taman Lagenda Dalam Langkawi. The monument is also within walking distance of some of the best duty-free shops in Langkawi and the Jetty Point Mall where chocolates and alcohol are especially a good buys here. We chose not to explore the jetty point mall as we were all hungry by the time we’re done with exploring the monument, the bridges around it and the small bazaar inside.

In recent months, there's some foolish debate about the monument which were claimed by some as breaching the Islam teaching. This is what the previous Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir has said in his blog "So far no Muslims have ever prayed before or worshipped the Eagle of Langkawi. Destroying it would not make the Malays more Muslim." You may read further in the link that I provided herewith, "What Islam Forbid". Till then, hope you find your visit to Langkawi a worthy one!