Monday, June 8, 2009

Dayang Bunting Island, Langkawi

These are about Pulau Dayang Bunting in Langkawi.

Pulau Dayang Bunting (Island Of The Pregnant Mermaid) is the second largest island of the Langkawi archipelago, second only to Pulau Langkawi itself. Located at a distance of about 17.6 km from Kuah Town, Pulau Dayang Bunting is accessible from Kuah Jetty or Pantai Cenang through a 15 minute boat ride.

The island derives its name from Tasik Dayang Bunting (Lake of the Pregnant Maiden), the largest lake on Langkawi. The lake and the island are shrouded in legend. Tales of Mambang Sari and Mat Teja's ill-fated love story loom over one's mind as one cools off in the scintillating waters of the lake. The story of Mat Teja's courtship of his beloved and their sweet romantic endeavors take the tourists back into the world of nymphs and genies. Their love child did not survive long and the anguished mother bid her son farewell. The child is believed to have assumed the form of a white crocodile as she placed him in his watery grave. This crocodile guards the lake till date, natives hold, and is said to appear only to the pure at heart. Mambang Sari, overflowing with maternal affection and distraught at such a fortuity, blessed the waters that took her son into their fold with magical qualities. Since then, the natives believe that a sip of the waters of Tasik Dayang Bunting endows fertility to any childless woman.

Gua Langsir (Cave of the Banshee), located on the western shore of the island, is another major attraction of the island. The natives superstitiously believe the existence of a banshee haunting the interiors of this dark cave. However the name may also be associated with the banshee like wail created by the howling of the wind. Many attribute this wail purely to the acoustics of the cave. Thousands of bats are known to inhabit this cave. The Gua Langsir is located stop a 91 m limestone hillock, about 8 km north of the only jetty. This jetty has been fashioned in a small cove to aid tourists alight their boats before proceeding to explore the Pulau Dayang Bunting.

Pulau Dayang Bunting is famed for the mangrove swamplands and the dense tropical rainforests it encompasses. A vast variety of birds such as the kite, woodpecker, hornbill, drongo and kingfisher nest here and Pulau Dayang Bunting the ornithologist's Eden.

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