Langkawi is an archipelago in the Andaman Sea that consists of more than a hundred islands that are blanketed in 10-million-year-old rainforests and smatterings of barren rock that poke through the vast tree canopy. The rock formations that can be found here consist mainly of hard granite that make up the spine of the main island and give rise to both Mount Raya (elevation : 881m) and Sawar Hill, as well as much older sandstone formations in the northwest of the main island. These sandstone formations give rise to the Machinchang mountain range and are the oldest rock formations in Southeast Asia, dating as far back as 550 million years. The Machinchang mountain range is also where, as one would expect, Mount Mat Chinchang (elevation : 701m) is located. The fringes of the islands, on the other hand, consist of mangrove forests and sandy beaches. Jagged limestone formations, from ridges to sea stacks and pinnacles, that have been weathered and dissolved by the elements over time, also decorate the coastlines of the islands.
There have been concerns in recent years, however, that have been significant enough to put Langkawi's Global Geopark status in serious jeopardy. There are numerous issues for this, such as bad waste management from the hotels that line the beach fronts to the use of jetskis and oil-emitting two-stroke boat engines in delicate mangrove ecosystems. None of these issues have garnered as much attention as eagle feeding has, however. Langkawi is a bird watchers' paradise, and is considered home to as many as twenty different species of birds of prey. The two most common ones are the white-bellied sea eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) and the brahminy kite (Haliastur indus), the latters' reddish colour being one of the leading explanations as to how Langkawi got its name--a combination of 'eagle' (Malay: Helang) and an ochre colour (Old Malay: Kawi). Boatloads of tourists head out frequently to watch these majestic birds being fed with unhealthy chicken skin and fat. This feeding not only leads to malnourished chicks, but also to a dependency on humans that, in the long run, may deprive younger birds of the knowledge to hunt.