MalaysiaLangkawi Free All Year Outdoor
Island

Dayang Bunting (Lake of the Pregnant Maiden)

Jacinta Bender
By 14 days ago

The second-largest island in the Langkawi archipelago, Dayang Bunting is one of 3 distinct geoforest parks. Langkawi's UNESCO World Geopark status in this area is attributed to its extensive biodiversity and 290-million-year-old marble rock formations.

The island is best known for the 4,354-hectare natural lake in its southwest, known as Lake of the Pregnant Maiden. The mostly-freshwater lake is steeped in mystical legend and said to boost fertility in women who swim in or drink its waters.

Visitors must tackle a 15-minute walk up and down 289 steps stretching 300 meters to reach the oval-shaped lake, encircled by lofty mountain peaks. Those donning life jackets can swim in the cool 14-meter-deep waters or explore the surface in a kayak or paddleboat.

Most tourists visit the Lake of the Pregnant Maiden as part of an island-hopping tour, unaware there is more to explore in Dayang Bunting's populated north. Those who sail around to the island's northern jetty can spend a day exploring marble rock and terra rosa (red clay) formations, caves filled with stalactites and stalagmites, local villages, and unique flora and fauna including hornbills, kingfishers, and macaque monkeys.

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Price

International: Adult: RM6 (USD$1.44), Child: RM3 ($0.72), Malay: Adult: RM4 ($0.96), Child: RM1 ($0.24)

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Time Spent

1-2hours

Fitness level: Some effort

Hours

6am-8pm7 days

Look Around

Long jetty to ticket boothLong jetty to ticket booth
Arrival jettyArrival jetty
Monkeys on the jettyMonkeys on the jetty
Boats waiting for tourists to returnBoats waiting for tourists to return
Ticket officeTicket office
Arriving at Dayang Bunting
Narrow walkwayNarrow walkway
Signage about native wildlifeSignage about native wildlife
Marble rockMarble rock
Steep staircase leading to the lakeSteep staircase leading to the lake
Signage about geological landscapeSignage about geological landscape
Steep staircase on the way back to the jettySteep staircase on the way back to the jetty
Walking path to the lake
Approaching the lake platformApproaching the lake platform
Life jackets must be worn by all swimmersLife jackets must be worn by all swimmers
Lake of the Pregnant Maiden
Facing south towards the cave wall separating the lake from the seaFacing south towards the cave wall separating the lake from the sea
Facing west, with other islands in the backgroundFacing west, with other islands in the background
Facing northFacing north
Remnant of limestone cave wall between jetty and lakeRemnant of limestone cave wall between jetty and lake
Aerial view of the lake

Who Will Like Dayang Bunting

Nature Lover

Take an island-hopping tour to witness beautiful and geologically significant rock formations in the area, like towering islands, mustard-colored singa rock on Snake Island, and marble rock on Dayang Bunting. Walk down to the Lake of the Pregnant Maiden to admire the still waters that once formed the bottom of a massive cave.

Wellness Pursuer

Take a swim in the Lake of the Pregnant Maiden for improved wellbeing. Local legend accredits this to a celestial princess who lost a child, while scientists say overall health may be improved due to the lake's high alkaline content.

Bucketlist Bandit

Take an island-hopping-tour that includes Dayang Bunting to swim in the mystical lake.

Photography Whiz

Bring a wide-angle lens to capture the outline of a pregnant maiden lying down as you approach the island, then keep your camera handy to photograph playful monkeys and sections of marble rock along the walk to the lake. The lake itself will require a panorama to capture its size, equivalent to 2 football stadiums.

Culture Buff

Soak up the waters of the Lake of the Pregnant Maiden to live out a local legend. Next, take a boat around the island to see semi-developed Malay villages and buy handicrafts from local women.

Fun Expert

Slowly make your way down to the lake, watching cheeky macaque monkeys along the way. Hire life jackets for a quick swim in the lake then jump in a paddle boat to float along its vast surface with your family.

Insider Tips For Dayang Bunting

  • The Lake of the Pregnant Maiden is a freshwater natural lake with very low to no levels of saline. As such, there is no added buoyancy to help you float like in the sea or a swimming pool. It is mandatory for all swimmers to wear life jackets while in the water. Swimming is only allowed within the roped-off area near the floating platform.
  • Life jackets hire costs RM5 (USD$1.20) if you wish to swim.
  • Paddleboats and kayaks can be hired for RM10 (USD$2.41) including life jacket hire. These should be booked at the ticket counter before climbing down to the lake.
Ticket deskTicket desk
Life jackets for hireLife jackets for hire
Kayaks and paddle boats for hireKayaks and paddle boats for hire
Restrooms near ticket boothRestrooms near ticket booth
Ticket desk, life jackets, kayaks, and restroom facilities
  • Some small kiosks are located on a floating platform that sell drinks and offer foot massages.
  • Toilets are located near the ticket booth and cost RM1 (USD$0.24) per person per use.
  • Boat tours can be booked in advance or bought directly at Pekan Rabu Pier in Kuah. Pricing will depend on your negotiation skills.
  • The populated northern region of Dayang Bunting can be reached via boat at Jeti Kg Selat Bagan Nyior or via road bridge from Tuba Island. Popular attractions on the island's north include seafood restaurants, jungle trekking, and caves.
  • Dayang Bunting is a popular stop on island-hopping tours including a series of other islands, like Tuba Island and Snake Island.
Snake Island, a popular inclusion on island-hopping tours

Video

Where Is It

Pulau Dayang Bunting, Kedah, Malaysia

Open map...

How To Get There

Boat

15-minute boat ride from Pekan Rabu Pier in Kuah to the Dyang Bunting jetty closest to the lake.

Map for boat...

Jet Ski

Island-hopping jet ski tours leave from Pantai Cenang and arrive at the Dyang Bunting jetty closest to the lake.

Dayang Bunting signageDayang Bunting signage
Jetty to boatsJetty to boats
Boat to Dayang BuntingBoat to Dayang Bunting
Pekan Rabu Pier, Kuah

What To Bring

Do:
  • Swimsuit and towel.
  • Sunscreen and hat.
  • Cash for entrance ticket and activities.
  • GoPro or similar action camera.
  • Spare bag for any rubbish.
  • Mosquito repellent.
  • Camera.
  • Water bottle.
Don't:
  • Food along the walking trail. Monkeys will try to steal it from you.

Tech & Photography

Wifi

Public wifi access: None

Photography

Photography allowed: Yesflash is ok

Tripod allowed: Not encouraged

Selfie sticks allowed: Yes

Best time to shoot: Late Morning

Tips: Use a telephoto zoom lens to capture close-ups of the macaque monkeys. You might be lucky enough to spot a native "red monkey" - one that has played with a tin of red paint and accidentally covered themselves!

Drones

Drones allowed: Yes (subject to national/regional rules)

Tips: Without a doubt, the best view of the lake is from above. Fly high and position the drone on the east side of the lake, facing west to capture the lake with more islands dotting the sea in the background. To avoid a "fly away", don't send your drone beyond the surrounding limestone mountains - the rock is 10 meters thick and the signal will drop out quickly.

Bags

Backpacks allowed: Yes

Secured bag lockers available: No

Food & Drink

  • Dayang Cafe - Simple café located near the main jetty, before the ticket booth, selling soft drink and light meals like burgers, french fries, and spring rolls. Be mindful of sneaky monkeys who try to steal food from the tables.
French fries & spring rollsFrench fries & spring rolls
Hungry monkeys watching diners from the treesHungry monkeys watching diners from the trees
Dayang Cafe

Backstory

Thousands of years ago, the Lake of the Pregnant Maiden was a large limestone cave until its roof collapsed due to the chamber's inability to carry the bedrock's weight. The collapse created a doline, or sinkhole, which over time filled with rainwater. Due to the cave's thick limestone walls, no seawater could leak into the lake leaving it completely fresh with high alkaline content.

According to local legend, the lake was the favorite bathing pool of celestial princess, Mambang Sari. When a prince fell in love with her, he tricked her into marrying him. They soon had a child who died of a mysterious illness at 7 days old. The grieving princess left the child's body in her beloved lake and returned to the skies. The legend says barren women who bathe in the lake are endowed with a child.

The lake has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Langkawi, receiving over 400,000 visitors each year.

Most of Dayang Bunting is made of metamorphic marble rock, which was transformed from limestone after being exposed to heat from magma underneath the earth. The process is said to have occurred 220 to 200 million years ago.

Dayang Bunting Marble is white in color and said to be of higher quality than highly-coveted Italian marble. The valuable rock was mined during the 1970s, but the quarry was closed in the early 2000s as part of Langkawi's UNESCO World Geopark accreditation.

Dayang Bunting is one of 4 inhabited islands in Langkawi's archipelago. Locals reside in the northern half of the island and are mainly fishermen, farmers, and craftswomen.

Etiquette

Do:
  • Watch your step as pathways are steep and can be slippery when it rains.
  • Watch your belongings to keep them safe from monkeys.
  • Stick to the established trails and paths.
  • Listen to instructions from staff at all times.
  • Take your time walking to the lake and don't push yourself to go all the way if you have low fitness levels.
  • Make room for other visitors to pass on the narrow pathways.
Don't:
  • Feed monkeys as it encourages them to steal.
  • Pick any plants or take rock fragments from the island.
  • Litter as the island is a protected geoforest park.
  • Harm or harass any animals.
  • Make loud noises that may frighten animals.
  • Eat on the walking trails.
  • Swim without a life jacket.
  • Start fires.
Monkeys along the walking pathMonkeys along the walking path
A cheeky monkey 'helped' maintenance workers with red paintA cheeky monkey 'helped' maintenance workers with red paint
Dayang Bunting monkeys

Scorecard

Best Parts:
  • Geological significant of the ancient marble rock formations.
  • Serene and peaceful atmosphere of the lake.
  • Exquisite nature to be seen around every corner.
  • Health benefits of swimming in the lake due to its high alkaline content.
Could Be Better:
  • Requirement to wear a life jacket when swimming even if you are a competent swimmer.
  • Most island-hopping tours don't include the populated northern region of the island.
My itinerary Save View

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