Things to do in Langkawi: A summer getaway
Langkawi Island in Malaysia was our second stop of our South-East Asia trip. Langkawi is an archipelago of 99 islands in the Andaman Sea, from which Langkawi Island is the largest island. We stayed two weeks on the island and will tell you about all the things to do in Langkawi!
The main reason for a trip to Langkawi is the beach. Langkawi is the perfect destination for a summer getaway or summer holiday. Langkawi has many beaches to choose from and its most popular beach is Cenang Beach. All of Langkawi’s beaches feature white sand, crystal clear water and a rainforest backdrop to look at. We stayed at a hotel near Pantai Tengah Beach, which is close to Cenang Beach, but less crowded. For us, Pentai Tengah Beach was the perfect beach for a beach day in Langkawi.
Sunsets in Langkawi are stunning and you should absolutely make time to watch them every day. From Pantai Tenga Beach and Cenang Beach, you can see the sun set into the sea. After the sun is gone, the sky will turn in the most beautiful colors.
Langkawi Sky Bridge
Langkawi’s main tourist attraction is the Langkawi Sky Bridge. The Sky Bridge deck is located 660 meters above sea level and offers beautiful views over Langkawi and its surroundings. To get to the Sky Bridge, you have to take two cable car rides (Sky Cab) which offers amazingly scenic views along the ride. Once at the cable car’s top station, you have to buy a separate ticket to get access to the Sky Bridge. You can choose between the Sky Glide or the Nature Walk to get to the Sky Bridge. A Sky Glide cabin can accommodate 12 people and it’s a 2-minute ride to the Sky Bridge. The Nature Walk is a cheaper alternative and the walk takes 10-20 minutes to reach the Sky Bridge. As we don’t like queues, we opted for the Nature Walk.
The Nature Walk is somewhat challenging with a lot of steep stairs going up and down. After a walk of almost 1 km, we arrived at the Sky Bridge. The view from the Sky Bridge was truly amazing, we could see the entire island! Make sure to visit the Sky Bridge on a clear day, or you won’t be able to see anything but clouds. If you want to beat the crowds, it’s best to go in the afternoon. We went in the morning (around 10 o’ clock) and it was pretty crowded. The queues for the cable car were pretty long at all stations. When we got back down in the afternoon, all queues had disappeared. Probably everyone goes in the morning to beat the afternoon heat. Since you’re high up in the sky and there’s a lot of wind, it doesn’t get too hot on the Sky Bridge. Therefore, we would recommend going there in the afternoon!
Sky Cab: RM 85 (adult)
Sky Bridge entrance: RM 6 (adult)
Sky Glide: RM 10 (adult)
Duty Free shopping in Langkawi
Since 1987, Langkawi is a duty-free island. At designated stores on the island, you can buy goods at duty free prices. Most of the duty-free stores are located in the island’s capital Kuah, so if you’re into duty-free shopping, you should plan a shopping trip to Kuah. If you’re going to Kuah, make sure to check out the famous Langkawi Eagle at Dataran Lang.
If you’re staying in the area of Pantai Cenang, you don’t need to leave the town to shop for duty-free goods. There are a few duty-free stores located on the south end of the town. At The Zon and Coco Valley, you can find chocolate, sweets, suitcases, bags, tobacco and alcoholic beverages. At Duty Free Sport City across the street, you can find duty-free sports gear from major brands like Adidas, Nike and Puma. We thought the chocolate and sweets prices were still very high when we were there, but we did find some nice (and cheap!) t-shirts at Duty Free Sport City.
Other things to do in Langkawi
We spent most of our time in Langkawi chilling and relaxing, but there are way more things to do and see. You can visit rice fields at Laman Padi Langkawi, where you can also learn more about the history of rice in its museum. One of Langkawi’s main attractions is the mangrove tour in the Kilim Karst Geoforest Park. The Kilim Karst Geoforest Park is known for its mangrove swamps, pristine beaches and vertical karstic hills. The mangrove tour will take you along the Kilim river on a boat, from which you’ll see many animal species and beautiful nature.
As Langkawi is home to 10-million-year-old rainforests, there are numerous possibilities to go hiking on the island. For instance, you could hike to the Telaga Tujuh Waterfall (Seven Wells Waterfall), hike through the rainforest of the Gunung Raya mountain or hike through the jungle of Mount Mat Cincang. We’ll make sure to do some hikes during our next visit to Langkawi; the nature looks beautiful!
If you’ve walked through the streets of Langkawi, you’ve probably noticed the many stray cats and dogs that live there. Consider visiting Langkawi’s animal shelter LASSie during your stay in Langkawi and check out LASSie’s website to see how you can help these stray cats and dogs.
Where to stay in Langkawi
Pantai Cenang is the island’s main tourist town. Pantai Cenang has its own mall, there are many restaurants and, because it’s the main tourist hub, there are many hotels. Cenang Beach is huge and there are many cafes and restaurants on the beach, which makes it a perfect spot for a late-night drink. If you’re into water sports activities, Cenang Beach is the place to do them. The downside of Pantai Cenang is that the town and beach can get very crowded, especially during high season.
We were staying in Pantai Tengah, which is a town a little south of Pantai Cenang. Pantai Tengah is not as bustling as Pantai Cenang, but it has everything you need. There are more than enough restaurants to choose from, there’s a small supermarket and the nearby beach is quiet. Pantai Cenang is just a 30-minute walk away, so you’re never far from the bustling tourist heart of Langkawi. For us, Pantai Tengah was the perfect town to stay in Langkawi!
Where to eat in Langkawi
If you’re staying in Langkawi, make sure you check out YamYam Restaurant. We went there for breakfast almost every morning, as well as very often for lunch and dinner. They have amazing food and coffee, good Wi-Fi and great vibes overall. YamYam Restaurant is located in Pantai Tengah, but it’s absolutely worth the trip if you’re not staying in Pantai Tengah.
Burgersmith serves delicious burgers, salads and (sweet potato) fries. You can choose all kinds of toppings for your burger yourself, or just choose one from the menu. Burgersmith is located right in front of Cenang Mall. If you feel like eating (“healthy-ish”) burgers, this is the place to go!
How to get to Langkawi
Ferries to Langkawi are departing from Kuala Kedah, Kuala Perlis, Penang, Satun (Thailand) or Koh Lipe (Thailand). A popular ferry route is Penang – Langkawi, with a duration of approximately 3 hours, and Langkawi – Koh Lipe, with a duration of approximately 1,5 hours. We wouldn’t recommend taking the ferry from Penang to reach Langkawi, or the other way around, as there are multiple daily flights and it’s way easier (and faster) to get there by plane. If you’re planning to visit Koh Lipe, getting there from Langkawi is actually a very good idea. It can be difficult to reach Koh Lipe from other places in Thailand, and Langkawi has a good and fast ferry connection to the island.
There are many daily flights departing to Langkawi from, among others, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Penang. Most of these flights are not expensive at all, especially if you’re flying with AirAsia. We would definitely recommend getting to Langkawi by plane, as it’s the easiest and fastest way, and if you’re flexible with your dates, it’s not expensive at all!
Best time to visit Langkawi
Langkawi’s dry season is from January to March and the rainy or monsoon season in Langkawi is in September and October. The remaining months are considered mid-season, with a higher chance of mild rain. Temperatures are high all year round, with lows around 23° C and highs around 33° C. It’s also humid all year round, with peak humidity levels between April to October (mid- and rainy season).
While January to March sound like the best months to visit Langkawi, bear in mind that it’s high season and accommodation and flight prices are sky rocketing. If you want to save some money you should consider planning your stay in Langkawi during mid-season, when the weather is still generally good and prices are not too expensive.
We visited Langkawi in November and at that time it was very hot during the day (around 33° C). Obviously, the sea is very warm as well (around 29° C), so bear in mind that taking a swim isn’t as refreshing as you’d think when you first dive into the sea. The first week of our stay we had no rain at all, but the second week we experienced some rainy days. Sometimes the rain would last the entire morning. In general, November would be a perfect month for a stay in Langkawi, as the weather is generally good, the accommodation prices and flight prices are low and the island isn’t full of tourists yet.
How many days should you stay in Langkawi
We stayed in Langkawi for two weeks and hardly did anything else than relaxing and sunbathing on the beach. We have to say that we wouldn’t recommend staying such a long amount of time in Langkawi. See for yourself what you want to do in Langkawi and how many days that would take. Add a few extra days so you can be more flexible when it rains or to go to the beach. In seven days, you’re able to see every little bit of the island and it’s not worth staying any longer. Depending on how many things you would like to see on the island, we would recommend a stay in Langkawi between four to seven days.
Have you been to Langkawi or would you like to go? Let us know in the comment section below!
Be sure to check out more of our visual experiences on Instagram!
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