Popularly known as the ‘Jewel of Kedah, Langkawi is an archipelago of more than 100 islands. Nestled between Thailand and the mainland, Langkawi Malaysia is a heaven for tourists from all over the world. It has beautiful white sand beaches, jaw-dropping rock formations, awe-inspiring natural forestations, picturesque waterfalls and much more. If you enjoy outdoor activities, rest assured there’s something for you in this beautiful place. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to pack your bags!
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How to get to Langkawi
There are no direct international flights to Langkawi. If you’re planning on visiting the island by air, you’ll need to get a connecting flight from Kuala Lumpur. AirAsia, Tiger Air, Firefly and Malaysia Airlines are the preferred choices for travellers as they’re cheap and fly out to Langkawi daily.
The average price of air ticket is RM 120. You can also reach Langkawi through the inland route. Two bus terminals go to the holiday destination, namely Puduraya and Duta. The bus fare ranges from RM30 to RM 40.
You can also travel to Langkawi via train. For RM 34, you can avail a second-class sleeper berth. The train goes all the way to Thailand, but you need to get off at Arau, which is the third to last station on the journey. The train is called Senandung Langkawi and it leaves at 9.20 pm from Kuala Perlis. You will reach Langkawi at 8 in the morning the next day. You’ll have to take a cab to reach the ferry in order to go to Langkawi. The fare for the ferry is RM 18.
What to expect in Langkawi
Since Langkawi is a very popular spot for travellers, there’s no problem of communication. Almost all locals speak and understand basic English at the very least. There are signposts in English and there’s no danger of getting lost or not being able to ask for directions.
Although the weather mostly remains the same throughout the year, the best time to visit Langkawi is from December till February. There’s the threat of occasional rain during the summers which might dampen the spirits. Be sure to avoid the Chinese New Year which begins from the end of January. There’s usually a huge influx of tourists during this time which results in higher hotel prices.
As far as currency is concerned, Malaysian ringgit is preferred, although dollars are also accepted at most places. The island has plenty of ATMs spread around but there’s always the danger of them running out of cash or being out of order. There are plenty of foreign currency shops on the island and it’s recommended that you convert your money to the local currency to avoid any hassle.
Langkawi offers great prices on alcohol. Since it’s a duty-free heaven, the price for drinks is significantly lesser than in other parts of Malaysia. However, it’s advisable to buy your liquor from small shops on the island. Avoid the shops on the airport.
It’s best to refrain from drinking tap water. Bottled water should be preferred while in Langkawi as a precaution.
The Langkawi island has a lot of forestation and there are plenty of mosquitoes. The threat of dengue is real. Travellers are advised to take proper precautions in order to avoid dengue fever and malaria.
Things to do in Langkawi
Don’t be fooled by the duty-free tag or you will end up splurging all your budget. Most of the shops along the tourist-frequented beaches are pricey. If you’re looking for cheap shopping options, head on over to Kuah. Keep in mind that you’re exempted from paying tax on bought goods only if you stay in Langkawi for more than 2 days. For stays of less than 48 hours, tax is to be included.
Places to visit in Langkawi
For those coming to the tourist destination for the first time and wondering what to do in Langkawi, there are many interesting places to visit that’ll surely make your trip worthwhile. Here in no particular order, are the must-visit Langkawi attractions:
Cable Car ride and Sky Bridge
The Langkawi Cable car ride and the Sky Bridge must be the first thing on every traveller’s list when they visit this holiday resort. The Sky Bridge though is not for the faint of heart. This engineering marvel covers a distance of 125 metres while suspended in thin air. The view of the surrounding islets and the Telaja Tujuh are amongst the many highlights. The entrance fee is RM 25 for minors and RM 35 for adults. The cable car ride in itself is a memorable experience too. It is 2.2 km ride up the mountain that gives a breath-taking view of Gunung Mat Cinang.
Housing more than 500 species, the Langkawi Underwater world is a big tourist attraction. The underwater world is located along the Pantai Cenang beach and is easily accessible. The total area of the aquarium is six acres which makes it the biggest facility housing aquatic life in Malaysia. Some of the top draws include rockhopper penguins, harbour seals and even sharks. The Amazonian arapaima which is a freshwater fish, is also amongst the fishes on display. Visitors can get a feel of living with these exotic species by walking through the underwater tunnel.
Langkawi is the biggest island from amongst 103 other smaller islands. As such, one of the biggest draws for tourists and visitors is the chance to see the other smaller, uninhabited islands. The best way to do that is to sign up for an island hopping tour. Be sure not to miss out on visiting the mangrove forest which are very common around the islands.
In the process, you get to experience the beautiful scenery and the crystal-clear turquoise waters. Be sure not to miss the Pulau Dayang Bunting, home to a fresh water lake with mythical origins. You can enjoy various water activities on the lake such as kayaking, snorkelling etc. The Dayang Bunting falls within the Karst Geoforest park so you can experience trekking through the dense jungle. You get to enjoy trekking through the Kilim Karst Geoforest while on your way to the freshwater lake.
Pulau Payar Marine Park
For enthusiasts of water activities such as diving and snorkelling, the Pulau Payar Marine Park is another Langkawi interesting place which offers a wonderful opportunity to dive and explore sea life. The Park is only a small distance away from Kuah Jetty. Travellers can reach the park via a catamaran or a speedboat. The Marine Park is further broken up into four islands. Coral Garden – which is one of the four islands – is home to a wide variety of multi-coloured corals. For first-timers, it’s recommended to join a tour which would guide you and provide for the snorkelling equipment as well. Lunch and water are also included in the cost of the tour.
There’s nothing quite like parasailing if you’re not afraid of heights. Even for those who are, this is the perfect way for you to get over that phobia. There are many companies providing parasailing opportunities on the beautiful Tanjung Rhu beach. The duration of the whole experience is ten minutes. Make sure you make each minute count as you are suspended 95 metres in the air with the jaw-dropping view of the beach and surrounding areas beneath you. Bask in the serene Langkawi sky as you soar above the noise of the island and feel the wind against your face.
Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls
The Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls or the ‘Seven Wells Waterfalls’ as they are commonly known, are amongst the most popular Langkawi sights for tourists and nature-lovers. The name derives from the fact that there are seven pools that get water from seven different waterfalls. All seven of the pools are linked, thus making it one big connected cascading waterfall. It’s an invitation for people to dive into these natural pools after a day of trekking, enjoy the cool water and have a wonderful time in the woods. The Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls are located on the Gunung Mat Chincang mountain and can be viewed from the Cable Car ride as well.
Arts in Paradise 3D Museum
With around 200 artworks on offer, the 3D art museum is not only the largest museum housing three-dimensional art work under one roof, it’s also number two in the world in terms of size. The three-storeyed building houses different categories of art. Some of the categories include safari, castles, optical illusion, Malaysia, landscapes, Egypt, fantasy and safari. You can visit the museum on the way back from the Cable Car ride as it’s located in the Oriental village, which is close by.
Gunung Raya Mountain
According to local legend, the majestic Gunung Raya is named after a local giant by the name of Mat Raya who was cursed and turned into a mountain. At 881 meters, the mountain is a popular destination for hiking enthusiasts and climbers. It’s covered by a thick rainforest and is home to a wide variety of wildlife including monkeys, foxes and squirrels. The climb does require serious expertise though and it’s advised to get the help of a local guide.
Mangrove river cruise and jungle pool swimming
Take a leisurely tour of the Kubang Badak river as you get to visit the unique mangrove forests that are popular in Langkawi. The tour gives you a once in a lifetime opportunity to see such exotic creatures as the Brahminy Kites, Herons, white-bellied sea eagles, fiddler crabs, monitor lizards and mudskippers.
Where to stay in Langkawi
Tourism is the main source of revenue for the island. Due to this, the whole island has very affordable living arrangements for tourists. The hotels and resorts surrounding Pantai Cenang are popular with visitors and provide no shortage of things to do at Langkawi. But there are plenty of other options further away that are cheaper. The option of Airbnb is another luxury for budget travellers.Get a $40 in travel credit when you sign up, using this link (Only for new Airbnb guests).
Langkawi is home to a wide range of hotels, ranging from luxury resorts to extremely affordable guest houses offering various amenities as the price goes up. If you’re looking for privacy and exclusive access to private beaches, then expect to pay more.
Tours to do in Langkawi
There are so many activities and tours to choose from in Langkawi that sometimes it gets difficult to make up your mind. If you try to tick off everything on your bucket list, there’s the danger of wasting time running from one end of the island to another. Not to worry; there are many tour operators in Langkawi offering various packages for tourists. Ranging from low-budget group activities to expensive all-day private cruises, these tours bunch together various activities that you can participate in. Some of the popular and recommended tours are as follows:
- Half-day Langkawi island tour (includes Underwater World, Eagle Square, SkyBridge and Langkawi Cable Car).
- Private Cable Car and Oriental Village visit
- Pulau Payar Marine Park
- Island hopping tour (includes visits to Pulau Dayang Bunting, Pulau Singa Besar and Pulau Beras Basah)
- Langkawi mangrove safari (includes visit to Kilim Nature Park).
- Langkawi discovery tour (includes visit to Eagle Square, Mahsuri tomb and Underwater World).
- Grand island tour ( includes visit to Atma Alam Batik village, Black sand beach, Eagle Square, Kuah Town, Crocodile farm, Cable Car ride and SkyBridge).
- Sunset cocktail cruise
- Jungle Flight (includes visit to Geoforest).
Recommend budget tours in Langkawi
- Full Day Payar Island from Langkawi
- Shared Sunset Boat Ride
- Sunset Jet Ski Experience
- Full Day Langkawi Grand Tour
- Full Day Cruising Langkawi Geopark
- Halfday rebak island visit with Jetski and Biking Activity
- Gold Paradise Package
- Private Sunset Dinner Cruise from Kuah Jetty with F&B
- Langkawi Archipelago Jet Ski Tour Including Dayang Bunting Island
- 12 Flights: Zipline Eco Adventure in Langkawi
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