Towering over all other features and formations of the Pulau Langkawi archipelago stands Gunung Raya, majestic and awe-inspiring.

 

Like most other aspects of Langkawi, this 881 metre high elevation is shrouded in myths and legends. The locals believe that Gunung Raya is indeed the petrified form of a giant called Mat Raya. They hold that Mat Raya was involved in a scuffle with another giant, Mat Cincang over the marriage of Mat Raya’s son with Mat Cincang’s daughter.

Utensils and vessels were hurled at each other and caused a natural depression on the island called Kuah. Mat Sawar, a peaceable neighbour decided to intervene when the disagreement went on for days without solution. It was in the midst of this combat that all three turned into mountain formations and are aptly named Gunung Raya, Gunung Cincang and Bukit Sawar. Gunung Raya is thickly forested and the dense tropical overgrowths make for excellent adventures. The forest also plays home to a variety of exotic birds and beasts such as the white-bellied sea eagle and hornbill.

Today, Gunung Raya is accessible by road – all the way to the top. The view from the peak is great for sunset – or even sunrise – photos.