The favourite bathing pool of a celestial princess named Mambang Sari was said to be Tasik Dayang Bunting (lake of the pregnant maiden). A prince, Mat Teja, fell madly in love with her and tricked her into marrying him. It did not take her long to reciprocate his love but she also could not bear to be away from her celestial home. Sadly, their child died from a mysterious illness at the age of seven days. Distraught, the grieving Mambang Sari left the child's body in the lake and returned to her heavenly abode. Today, some believe barren women who bathe in this lake will be endowed with a child. Many have claimed to be successful.
Although other legends have faded over the years, many attractions on the island serve to remind us of them. These include Gua Langsiar (cave of the banshee), Telaga Tujuh (seven wells) waterfall, Pantai Pasir Tengkorak (skull beach) and Pulau Beras Basah (island of wet rice grains).
Langkawi's development was slow up to the 1970s, when the population was still fewer than 2,000. In the mid-1980s, (and at the end of the seven generations!) the islands began to flourish with government plans to promote the archipelago as a tourist destination. Langkawi International Airport was built and more ferry services from Peninsular Malaysia were offered to cater to the escalating number of tourists. The duty-free status given in 1987 further boosted the popularity of the islands. In 1990, the Langkawi Development Authority (LADA), which is housed in the LADA Complex, was created with a mission to further develop Langkawi as a tourist hotspot and to improve the socio-economic conditions of the local people.
Today, with a population of more than 50,000, Langkawi is on the world map and has become a venue for various international events such as the Tour de Langkawi, Langkawi International Maritime & Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA), Langkawi International Motor Show and the Langkawi International Dialogue.
Mahsuri's curse has been lifted. The legends will be told, retold and continue to live in almost every place you visit on this fabled island.