Savour a local Malay breakfast of Nasi Dagang before embarking on your visit to Langkawi’s Paddy Field and the famous Makam Mahsuri.
To start your day right, eat like a local by having a dish of Nasi Dagang with the options of having fish, chicken or beef in your savoury curry. Nasi Dagang is a dish made with rice cooked in steamed coconut milk, doused in a curry and accompanied by some pickled cucumbers and carrots. It is a popular breakfast dish for the locals here and is best eaten hot if you want to have a good start on your day. It is quite a filling breakfast and will warm you to your core pleasantly.
The Langkawi Paddy Field is a long stretch of paddy fields, spanning about an area of 8.6 acres. It serves to promote eco-tourism on the island and here, visitors can learn about the different specific species of paddy as the paddies are all named accordingly. The paddy field also goes by the name of the “Garden of Variety” because of all the species of paddies that can be found growing in that one field.
Just by the paddy field is the museum and Heritage Gallery where illustrations and valuable artefacts such as paddy planting and harvesting tools are put up to be showcased. At the museum, you can also learn about how different types of paddy require different planting techniques as well as various traditional paddy-planting ways. Fish traps made of rattan that are commonly used to catch fish in the paddy fields are also put on a show here.
After visiting the paddy field, head on over to Makam Mahsuri (Mahsuri’s Tomb). The legend of Mahsuri is one that the island’s locals believe in, and her story goes as follows: Mahsuri was a beautiful woman born to Thai parents who had given birth to her in Langkawi. When she was a woman, the chief of her village fell for her and wanted to marry her, but his wife disapproved. Mahsuri eventually fell in love with a warrior and married him.
However, her husband soon went off to war with the Siamese, and Mahsuri was left alone for a long time. One day, a storyteller came to the village and charmed everyone with the stories he told. Mahsuri enjoyed his stories and offered him a place to stay as he had none. The chief’s jealous wife then spread rumours about Mahsuri committing adultery, and she was sentenced to death by stabbing. After numerous attempts at stabbing her to death and Mahsuri not yet dying, she eventually offered up her father’s keris (ceremonial dagger) to be used.
The keris was what finally killed her, and she bled white blood as she lay dying. It is said that the white blood was proof of her innocence, so she was wrongfully accused and punished. In her final breath, she cursed Langkawi island to have bad luck for the seven generations to come. True enough, Langkawi suffered from being attacked and conquered by the Siamese and had its paddies burned down. Thankfully, the curse ended by the late 20th century, and Langkawi started to prosper and eventually became a world-famous destination.