Langkawi, Malaysia

  Langkawi was once a reputed refuge for pirates. Langkawi has since become a modern hideout for the traveler seeking an escape. If your vacation wishes extend from uncrowded white sands and clear calm waters to lush green forests, you will find yourself content here. Datai Bay, located on Pulau Langkawi, is a heavenly retreat on the Andaman Sea.

  Langkawi is an archipelago made up of 99 islands on Malaysia's west coast. Surrounded by crystal clear sea, the interior of the main island is a mixture of picturesque paddy fields and hills. If you intend to buy duty-free alcohol, cigarettes and chocolate, then this is the place to be. Still, Nature-lovers will find the island just as agreeable as the shoreline is fringed by powder-fine sand and swaying coconut trees. Sheltered by the mountainous backbone of Peninsular Malaysia, Langkawi escapes the northeastern winter monsoon entirely and enjoys sunny skies in winter when the eastern provinces are flooded. Coupled with natural white sand beaches, lush jungle foliage and craggy mountain peaks - but hampered by inaccessibility - the island was at one time touted as Malaysias best-kept secret.