TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN LANGKAWI, MALAYSIA
Get inspired with our 10 Things to do in Langkawi
Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah, impresses with beautiful white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, palm trees, rice paddies, bizarre rock formations and endless lush vegetation.
The archipelago of Langkawi counts 99 islands on Malaysia’s west coast. As far as your eyes can see, you are surrounded by turquoise waters and tropical rainforest. The island is home to Malaysia’s first Geopark and is a great destination for peace-seeking tourists and adrenaline junkies alike.
We spent one week on beautiful Langkawi and checked out for you the best beaches and activities that you should not miss.
Before we get started with our 10 Things to do in Langkawi, lean back, click on our video and enjoy this beautiful jewel!
And now let’s explore the island with our TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN LANGKAWI!
1. Langkawi SkyCab and SkyBridge
Incredible views from the SkyCab
You want to enjoy a 360° view of Langkawi? No problem! The island offers one of the most exciting cable car rides we have ever experienced. Within 20 minutes your gondola takes you up the second highest peak of the island. And believe me; this ride is not like any other cable car ride. It is not only the world’s longest free span for a mono-cable car (950m!!), also the slope between the Base Station and the Middle Station is said to be the steepest in the world.
My hands were sweaty when our gondola got higher and higher. It’s such an exciting feeling when you realize that your gondola will take you all the way up to the top of this giant and steep cliff in front of you.
At the Middle Station is the first stop. From there you have some stunning views of the island. But don’t skip the ride to the third and highest station. At 709 meters above sea level you enjoy a 360° view of whole Langkawi. In good weather conditions one can even see as far as Thailand’s mainland and Ko Li Pe.
For all adrenaline junkies Langkawi’s SkyCab offers something special: Glass Bottom Gondolas. Crrazzyy!!
Lars, BoB and I on Langkawi’s exciting SkyBridge
When on the Top Station you have the option to visit the incredible SkyBridge for an extra RM5 per person. Don’t miss to walk on this incredible free span bridge. At some places on the bridge you find glass bottoms that will make your heart beat faster. By the way, the Langkawi SkyBridge is said to be the longest free span and curved bridge in the world!
Ticket prices Langkawi SkyCab: RM35 per person return ticket + RM5 per person for the SkyBridge
2. It’s beach time!
The perfect beach: Tanjung Rhu Beach
To me beautiful beaches are the most important element of a perfect island and Langkawi has it all; small hidden bays, endless white sandy beaches, beaches for water sports lovers and even a black beach.
Find your favorite beach:
Tanjung Rhu Beach
Tanjung Rhu Beach
This beach is heaven. Located at the northern tip of Langkawi it spoils you with white sand, clear turquoise waters and limestone. And the best of all, it is sooo relaxed and quiet. There is just one resort with a few sun beds on the beach but that’s all. With the surrounding limestone this is a perfect beach.
On your way to the beach you pass a checkpoint where you have to sign a paper. As they want to protect this beautiful piece of nature only a limited number of visitors is allowed in this area. The paper contains rules about the correct behavior. This gate will be closed at 5pm and is only accessible by hotel guests of the Tanjung Rhu resort. So makes sure to be there during the day.
Black Sand Beach
The black sand of Black Sand beach 🙂
As the name promises this beach has black sand. But do not expect a pitch-black beach; it is more a mixture of bright and dark sand. This beach is also located in the north of Langkawi and pretty close to Tanjung Rhu Beach. Black Sand Beach is not a place for spending some relaxing hours, it is more a nice spot for a quick stop and some pictures.
But why is the sand black? Langkawi’s highest mountain, Gunung Raya, consists of granites and the rain washes out the minerals Tourmaline and Ilmenite. Streams carry those minerals down to the coast and give the beach its dark color. However, this phenomenon is unique on our planet as those minerals usually do not create shapes of black. Until today, nobody can really tell why this beach is black.
Pasir Tengkorak Beach
Our absolute favorite: Pasir Tengkorak Beach
This little gem in the north of Langkawi was our absolute favorite! It is just a small bay but when we were there we just shared it with five other people; it almost felt like a private beach. The water was incredibly clear and the surrounding trees along the coast created great scenery.
There is a parking lot at the main road and from there you can enter the beach. The facilities of the parking lot are old and run-down and do not look very inviting. Just ignore it and make your way to the beach. I wish we could have spend some more time there.
Cennag beach is THE beach of Langkawi. Located at the south-western tip of Langkawi along the tourist hot spot of Pantai Cenang this beach is the most popular beach on the island. You are a water sports lover? Come here and you will find everything your heart is longing for: jet skiing, parasailing, paramotoring, banana boat, water skiing and many more. If you prefer quieter surroundings where you can relax and listen to the sound of the waves, the northern end of Cenang Beach is predestined. We enjoyed the tranquil atmosphere in front of the Meritus Pelangi Resort with its shady palm trees.
3. A Mangrove Tour through Langkawi’s Geopark
It gets windy on a boat tour through Langkawi’s Geopark
Langkawi Geopark is 550 million years old and therefore the oldest land of Malaysia. It comprises all 99 islands of the Langkawi archipelago. Parts of this Geopark can be explored by boat during a guided tour. The Kilim Karst Geoforest Park is famous for its Mangrove Tours with breathtaking landscapes of nearly vertical karstic hills.
Depending on the length of your tour you get to see different things. We shared a boat with another couple and did a 2-hour tour which we enjoyed a lot. Our first stop was the bat cave with a ceiling that’s completely covered with sleeping bats. Bring a torch to better spot the bats. Afterwards we our driver brought us to a floating fish farm which was pretty interesting; much better than expected. A young guy showed us around and we could feed rays, tuna and other fish.
Lars found a new travel buddy on the fish farm
Following the water routes of the Geopark we passed the endless landscape of mangroves and rock formations. Before we entered the open water of the Andaman Sea we stopped in the Crocodile Cave. However our guide explained to us that there are no crocodiles anymore. The noise of the boats ousted them from the cave. At one point different boats met and fed the typical brown eagles of Langkawi. Did you know that according to folklore Langkawi’s name came from two Malay words – ‘helang’ (eagle) and ‘kawi’ (reddish brown): hence lang-kawi?
When our boat reached the Andaman Sea and left the island’s coast behind we got a better impression of Langkawi’s lush vegetation and its natural beauty. We really hope that the Geopark will be kept protected like this forever. It is indeed a natural jewel.
You can either book your Mangrove Tour with your hotel (including transfer) or, like us, just go directly to the Kilim Jetty in the northeastern corner of Langkawi and take a boat. For all those of you who like to use their muscles a kayak tour through the Kilim Karst Geoforest Park might be the perfect alternative.
4. 3D Art Museum
It’s so funny to play with illusions at the 3D Art Museum
Langkawi does not only offer sunshine activities, there are also great options for rainy days. The 3D Museum is a place where you can spend two hours having a lot of fun. It is a world of illusions where you stand at the edge of high cliffs, fight against giant white sharks, sit in Albert Einstein’s test tubes, are a message in a bottle… Different halls feature different topics; you travel from an underwater world via Egypt’s Pyramids to the canals of Venetia. Everything is possible!
Don’t forget to take your camera! This is all about many many great funny pictures!
Ticket price 3D Art Museum: RM38 per person
PS: Visitors have to take off their shoes at the museum’s entrance to protect the paintings. If you don’t like to walk barefoot, bring socks.
5. Watch Tower on the Gunung Raya Mountain
The endless view from the Watch Tower
You are afraid of heights and scared to enter Langkawi’s Cable Car but you would love to see the island from above? I have great news for you! The Gunung Raya is the highest mountain in Langkawi with an altitude of 881 meters which top is easily accessible without sitting in a shaky gondola.
On top of Gunung Raya is the D’Coconut Hill Resort that features a watch tower that is also accessible by public for only http://rtetracyclineuse.com RM10 per person. Take the elevator and after a few more steps you will enjoy an incredible 360° view of the whole island, Thailand’s mainland and Ko Li Pe if the weather conditions are good. You can even have a short rest in the tower’s café and drink a coffee while taking in the beautiful scenery. So, put the Watch Tower on your Things to do in Langkawi list as a great alternative for the SkyCab.
The mountain is located in the island’s center and a paved winding road through a dense forest brings you to the top. The drive is easy as the gradient is not too steep; you can either go by rental car, taxi or motorcycle. By car the trip up takes about 25 to 30 minutes. With our motorcycle we needed a bit longer.
6. Explore Langkawi by motorcycle
Langkawi is the perfect island for motorcycle tours. Look at this stunning scenery!
We love to explore islands by motorcycle and absolutely enjoyed it here in Langkawi. For about RM40 per day you can rent a motorcycle for 24 hours (including helmets) and do an individual trip through Langkawi’s beautiful scenery. The main roads are all paved and in good condition, just be careful with the monkeys that love to sit at the roadside. A full tank only costs around RM5 and is sufficient for a full circle of the island. Due to the low price for petrol you can always refill your tank and don’t need to worry about running out of petrol.
Also the monkeys loved our motorcycle
Personally we preferred the north coast of Langkawi where it’s less touristy and very peaceful. But everywhere on the island it was such a pleasure to drive to the different beaches, waterfalls, temples and other highlights while feeling the wind on our skin and breathing in the clean air. Everything on the island is accessible by motorcycle; even the steeper road up to the Watch Tower on Gunung Raya Mountain was a piece of cake for our motorcycle.
It takes around 45 to 60 minutes to get from the western part to the eastern part of Langkawi.
7. Swimming in waterfalls
The Seven Wells Waterfall
When you need a break from sunbathing you can visit one of Langkawi’s waterfalls. We visited three waterfalls; the Seven Wells Waterfall, the Durian Perangin Waterfall and the Temurun Waterfall. During the dry season (the time we went there) those waterfalls tend to be shallow and slow-moving during the rainy season, however, the waterfalls will begin bursting with life.
The Seven Wells Waterfall was our favorite one with its great rock formations and the different natural pools where you can swim or just sit and relax. Put this waterfall on your Things to do in Langkawi list!
The Durian Perangin Waterfall in the northeastern part of Langkawi was very well maintained. On the way from the parking lot to the waterfall you walk along cozy huts with BBQs. This is also a very nice place for a break and a picnic.
The Temurun Waterfall close to The Els Club Teluk Datai golf course must look great in the rainy season but when we were there the waterfall was absolutely dry. Stairs bring you up to the waterfall but unfortunately we had the feeling that nobody cared about this place anymore. The huts and benches that were once built had a somewhat run-down look and were partly destroyed.
8. Yummy Night Markets
Soooo many yummy things can be found on the night markets
Langkawi’s days are sunny and hot. That’s why the locals love their night markets. Starting at around 5pm the markets offer an incredible variety of super yummy food. It does not matter what your taste buds are looking for; you will definitely find something. Choose between freshly baked deserts, refreshing drinks, spicy chicken and noodles, fruits and fish. And if you want to get yourself a new necklace or t-shirt, the night markets won’t disappoint either.
And the best of all, Langkawi has night markets on every single day of the week. The most popular spots are:
Kuah (next to My Hotel): Wednesday & Saturday
Pantai Cenang (next to Chantique Hotel): Thursday
For all other locations ask your receptionist.
9. Underwater World Langkawi
A gorgeous Rockhooper Penguin
Langkawi’s Underwater world absolutely surprised us and is definitely one of the Top 10 Things to do in Langkawi. We did not expect too much when we entered the building but it turned out to be a great attraction. Underwater World is located at the southern end of Pantai Cenang and is home to over 4,000 animals. In more than 100 different tanks you can see over 500 different species of animals. During your walk along the tanks you pass different types of fish, birds and even marmosets.
A diver feeding a sting ray in the giant tunnel tank
The variety of fish is just incredible. You will spot sharks, giant sting rays, turtles, sea horses, lion fish, giant clams, sea anemones, hermit crabs and Araipamas; the world’s largest freshwater fish; and many more species. Try not to miss the different feeding shows of the African Penguins, Rockhopper Penguins, Furseals and in the Tunnel Tank! These shows are not only very entertaining; they also give some interesting information about the animals and the feeding process. Have a look at the feeding times here.
The Tunnel Tank is definitely one of the highlights of the Underwater World. It is 15 meters long and home to some giant fish; really big fish. Especially the feeding show was stunning when a diver entered the tank and the fish could not wait to get some yummy food. The diver even fed sting rays and moraines.
Ticket Price Underwater World Langkawi: RM40 per person
10. Play a round of golf
Don’t you want to play golf with those amazing views, too?
You are a golfer? Great, Langkawi is the perfect island for you! It does not only feature three golf courses, it is also home to the World’s Best New Golf Course: The Els Club Teluk Datai.
Located in the northeastern corner of the island this par 72 championship course meanders its way through an over 10 million years old rainforest cascading down until it reaches the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea.
The Els Club Teluk Datai spoils its golfers with spectacular views, a unique design without any bunkers (yes, you read it correctly), and an outstanding service.
You have not found your favorite activity yet?
The Lucky Temple
Langkawi has so much more to offer. I am sure you will find something here:
- Eagle Square in Kuah with a large sculpture of an eagle; the symbol of Langkawi
- Langkawi Lucky Temple
- Mashsuri Tomb – is the crypt of the legendary Princess Mahsuri
- Jetskiing along Cenang Beach
- Guided Jetski tours to the surrounding islands
- Sunset Dinner Cruises
- Wildlife Park
- Field of Burnt Rice
- Crocodile Farm
- Buffalo Park
- Telaga Air Hangat – Hot Springs
- Telaga Harbor Park – Yachts and more
- Mardi Argo Park – Agro Technology Park with Tropical Fruit Farm etc.
How to get to Langkawi
Langkawi’s symbol: The giant eagle on Eagle Square
It is surprisingly easy to get to Langkawi; by air and by ferry.
Boasting an International Airport Langkawi offers direct air services from Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Singapore provided by Malaysia Airlines, Firefly, AirAsia, Silk Air and Berjaya Air. The flight from Penang to Langkawi takes only 35minutes, from Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi 1 hour and from Singapore to Langkawi 1.5 hours.
We arrived at Langkawi by ferry which was easier than expected. The ferries operate four routes to Langkawi from Kuala Kedah, Kuala Perlis, Penang and Satun; Thailand; around the clock – all onto the Kuah Jetty of Langkawi.
We took a bus from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Perlis (8 hours) and from there we caught the ferry to Langkawi. The ferry ride took 1,5 hours. When we left Langkawi we took a ferry to Satun in Thailand and from there a bus to Bangkok.
Check out ferry connections here and here. For bus connections check out www.12go.asia.
Accommodation in Langkawi
Langkawi offers something for every wallet. It does not matter if you want to spoil yourself in a luxury 5-star resort or if you are just looking for a bed in a hostel. Check out booking.com for hotels and hostelworld.com for hostels in Langkawi.
Langkawi just offers everything; for peace-seeking tourists, nature lovers and adrenaline junkies alike. BoB, Lars and I absolutely enjoyed our time in Langkawi, however there was one thing we unfortunately did not like about the island. We had the feeling that many years ago Malaysia invested a lot to make Langkawi a better tourist destination. However some buildings and places have a somewhat run-down look by now. Nobody seems to really care about it anymore. You can still see that people had some great ideas when they developed those places but it will need a lot more work and time to turn Langkawi into an internationally recognized tourist destination.
BUT despite this personal impression we recommend a trip to beautiful Langkawi and hope that we could give you some inspiration with our TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN LANGKAWI.
Have you ever been to Langkawi? For how long did you stay and how much did you like it there? What was your personal highlight? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!