The archipelago of Langkawi, Malaysia is a paradise made up of 99 islands just a half hour boat ride from Thailand. Langkawi is so naturally beautiful, covered in mountainous jungle, limestone cliffs, caves, waterfalls, mangroves, gorgeous white sand beaches and swaying coconut trees and was awarded UNESCO World Geopark status in 2007. Read on to discover all the best things to see and do in Langkawi!
When to visit Langkawi:
Due to its location, the weather in Langkawi is better than the rest of the country and is good at any time of the year! I went in the wet season but had glorious sun every day so don’t let this put you off at all – going in off-peak seasons often can save you a lot of money.
How to get to Langkawi:
Grab yourself a cheap flight to Langkawi from Kuala Lumpur (personally I always use Air Asia for low cost travel within Asia – they always have AMAZING deals on tickets). My flights cost about £40return and I bought them just a couple of days before, but if you book in advance you can save a lot more! The flight is just one hour and flights usually depart from KLIA2 – KL’s airport for domestic flights, right next to KL International Airport. Alternatively you can take the boat but it actually works out cheaper and quicker to take a flight.
Langkawi has no public transport. So hire a scooter for the day (25 ringgits for 24hours – less than £5!) and explore the island this way – my favourite way to travel round Asia is on a scooter! If you don’t like the idea of scooters, use the ‘Grab’ app: it’s SE Asia’s Uber: super cheap and reliable.
🌟Langkawi top day trips: 🌟
Visiting the mangroves on the north-east of the island is a popular excursion. It picks you up from your hotel in the morning and lasts about 5 hours. There is lots of wildlife to see, including bats, monkeys and eagles – the symbol of Langkawi. You can see some weird and wonderful big fish and even feed the stingray before lunch, which is served on one of the floating villages.
Prices for the mangrove tours vary from 120ringgit to 250ringgit (£23-£48) depending on whether you want a group tour or private boat. For Asian prices, this did seem a little pricey in my opinion, but it was a fun day anyhow. There are many beautiful secluded beaches especially in the north of the island, and at the end of the tour they take you to this stunning deserted beach only accessible by boat – check out the picture below to see just how untouched these natural beaches are!
Island hopping boat trip:
This is a fun and cheap morning or afternoon excursion costing just 30ringgit (less than £6): much cheaper than the mangrove tour. You will ride past the beautiful islands – the boat goes pretty fast so hang on, my butt even came off the seat a few times it was that bumpy. Bring your swimwear as you will be swimming in a freshwater lake, or you can hire a pedalò if you don’t want to get wet. To finish, you will stay on the beautiful beach in the picture below for an hour or so to have a nice swim in the warm water. Perfect!
There are also sunset cruises available where you can have an all you can eat BBQ dinner with all drinks included as you sail past all the islands on a catamaran, although they are priced pretty high at 280ringgit (over £50). Again, this isn’t a lotttt of money, but when in Asia I tend to backpack on a budget as you can get so many things so cheap here, so for me it wasn’t worth to spend the money, but of course if you are on a romantic holiday or celebrating with friends it would be a great way to spend an evening as it looks really fun!
Langkawi Cable car and sky bridge:
Take the cable car up to the Langkawi skybridge and take in the view from the top: it is absolutely amazing and you can see for miles. It costs 55 ringgit for the cable car and 15 ringgit to access the skybridge when at the top. I’m not gona lie I was freaked out going up on the cable car (which is actually the steepest cable car in the world!) but that’s probably because I have a slight fear of cable cars (I don’t know why I always do this to myself! 🤣). The cable car makes a mid way stop but stay on until the top (the second stop).
The cable car and sky bridge are one of Langkawi’s most popular attractions and so therefore can get very busy. If you stay until closing time it is much quieter and you can usually catch a beautiful sunset. I arrived just before 6.30pm and it was good to be there in the evening when it was less busy, and to be one of the last people there. The last cable car down is at 7.30pm so I had enough time to stroll on the bridge, take some pictures and enjoy the view.
Seven Wells Waterfall
Just a few km from the Cable car is Langkawi’s best and most spectacular waterfall: Seven Wells waterfall (Air Terjun Telaga Tujuh in Malay). You can swim in the falls and jacuzzi-like pools and slide down the natural rockslides. It looks great fun, but unfortunately I just couldn’t fit it in: I was only in Langkawi for 2 days and so of course it wasn’t possible to do everything, gutted! But definitely head over there if you have the time!
Where to stay in Langkawi:
Pantai Cenang is the most popular place to stay as there is a gorgeous beach there and it isn’t too far from the airport. I was worried it would be too busy, but there are plenty of budget and reasonably priced guesthouses and hotels available only a stone’s throw from the beach in quiet side streets so you can escape from everything. It is definitely the area I would stay again if I came back.
Where to go for food in Pantai Cenang:
Watching the beautiful sunset from Pantai Cenang is a must, and even have dinner on the beach at one of the resorts one night. There are lots of shops on the main street (Jalan Pantai Cenang) and lots of Arabic restaurants as lots of Saudis come here on holiday, especially in the summer months to escape the intense heat of the Gulf. There are plenty of local restaurants though, as I only eat the local food when I am visiting somewhere, so I went to the cute Cafe Keladi, just off the main road: go here if you want the best local food on the island at a GREAT price – I had a super cheap but amazing dinner for less than £1.50! I actually ate here both nights because the staff were so friendly (and I was waiting for payday to arrive haha)!
There are plenty of duty free shops in Cenang and Kuah (another town in Langkawi) as Langkawi is a duty-free island so alcohol and cigarettes are cheap, so stock up if that’s what you’re into.
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