Langkawi, a cluster of 99 islands separated from mainland Malaysia by the Straits of Malacca, is a district of the state of Kedah in Northern Malaysia and lies approximately 51km west of Kedah. The total land mass of the islands is 47,848 hectares, while the main island of Langkawi itself has a total of 32,000 hectares. The main island spans about 25km from north to south and slightly more for east and west. The coastal areas consist of flat, alluvial plains punctuated with limestone ridges. Two-thirds of the island is dominated by forest-covered mountains, hills and natural vegetation.
Only four of the 99 islands are inhabited – Pulau Langkawi (the main island), Pulau Tuba, Pulau Rebak and Pulau Dayang Bunting. The population is an estimated 54,000 of which 90% are Malays. The other ethic groups consist mainly of Chinese, Indians and Thais.
A sunny, hot and humid, tropical climate with an average annual temperature of about 32 degrees Celsius. The rainy season is during August/September, although there are occasional showers throughout the year.
An agro-based economy of padi and rubber cultivation and fisheries is fast being overtaken by a tourism-driven economy, taking into consideration the natural, unspoiled, ecological beauty of the island and major governmental emphasis.