Langkawi is an archipelago of 99 islands in the Andaman Sea, 30 km off the mainland coast of northwestern Malaysia. The largest island is the eponymous Palau Langkawi with a population of approx 64 800. Langkawi means reddish brown eagle in colloquial Malay. In 1986 the Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad decided to transform it into a tourist resort. Only 4 of the 99 islands are inhabited. In 2007, Langkawi island was given a World Geopark status by UNESCO. Langkawi can be reached by air and sea, and it has its own International Airport.