Langkawi Travel Guide

You’ll find pristine beaches and superb bays on this gorgeous tropical island. A honeymooners’ paradise, 70% of it is covered in lush mountainous rain forests, it’s also home to hundreds of species of rare wildlife and vegetation.

You’ll love the scenery and if you explore the palm tree-lined northern coast you’ll find some of the world’s most luxurious resorts.

Getting there/around Langkawi

Langkawi’s Padang Matsirat Airport is international but travelling from the UK, you’ll have to connect in Kuala Lumpur. There are several options when it comes to getting around the island. You’ll find many car rental agencies and even the most expensive vehicle shouldn’t set you back more than £15-20 a day.

At a rental cost of £5 a day, mopeds or motorbikes are a more popular means of exploring, but the risks are greater as you’re unlikely to be provided with a crash helmet. There are lots of taxis too and the fares are Government set depending on the distance of your journey. It’s still a good idea to agree a price before you leave though.

Beaches around Langkawi

Beach-lovers will be in heaven as there are miles and miles of untouched and stunningly beautiful stretches. One of the best is Pantai Kok, which lies on to the west of the island, close to the spectacular Telaga Tujuh Falls.

Tanjung Rhu is a secluded white sand bay on the north-eastern tip of the island. The sea’s sheltered by the bay and the waters are so calm it’s almost like paddling in a shallow lagoon. It’s a perfect spot for peace and tranquility. Or try Pantai Batu Hampar beach, part of the Sheraton Langkawi Resort, which is bordered by rocky outcrops on each end and shaded by coconut and mangrove groves.

Sightseeing around Langkawi

Away from the stunning beaches, which are the main sights on a Langkawi stay, there’s isn’t a whole lot to grab your attention. It’s definitely worth taking the cable car up to the top of Mt Mat Chinchang for panoramic views of the whole island.

Mahsuri’s tomb is a place of pilgrimage for Malaysians and worth a look. Mahsuri was supposedly wrongly accused of adultery in the 18th century and put to death. The Telaga Tujuh Falls near Pantai Kok are also worth trip away from the beach.

Family attractions in Langkawi

The Underwater World Aquarium is always a family hit, with its diverse collection of more than 5,000 freshwater and marine species in more than 100 tanks. Cast your eyes over giant arapaimas, many species of shark, rays, giant groupers and stunningly colourful corals.

If your kids are a bit older, then several companies run tree top cable adventures, so you can get an entirely new perspective on the rainforest.

Day trips from Langkawi

Divers should take the one-hour boat trip to the marine paradise of Pulau Payar where you’ll discover coral reef similar to the Indian Ocean, and some rare tropical fish including horse-eyed jack, moray eel, clown fish, 2m-long groupers, black-tipped reef shark and black-spotted puffer.

For less watery wildlife visit, Pulau Dayang Bunting. Here you’ll see dozens of unusual beasts, among them lizards, mousedeer, macaque eagles and hornbills plus an abundance of flora and fauna including kelubi and cycas.

Restaurants in Langkawi

The cuisine is a combination of Malaysian, Indian and Chinese and rendang coconut curries are particularly popular. As you’d expect of a group of tropical islands, the seafood is to die for. Try giant prawns, soft shell crabs, succelent mussels and even shark.

While you may not find you favourite fast-food brands (McDonalds, KFC etc), there are American and Japanese-style restaurants in Kuah and all the hotels cater for international tastes.

Nightlife in Langkawi

A favourite with honeymooners, you find most holidaymakers enjoying little more than a romantic meal and a quiet drink in the evenings. That’s not to say there isn’t nightlife though. You’ll find bars, cafes, cocktail lounges, live music, karaoke and nightclubs in Langkawi, but it’s almost entirely centered around the hotel resorts.

This is not the place to go if you’re after a few wild nights, but if you like a cold beer at a laid-back beach bar with the sound of the ocean in the background, Langkawi is blissful.

Shopping in Langkawi

Kuala Lumpar’s a better there but is some good shopping to be had in Langkawi. The Langkawi Fair Shopping Mall, in Kuah, is a huge building with over 100 different stores where you’ll find lots of great deals on typical duty-free goods like liquor, tobacco, perfume, leather goods, sports gear and more.

At local markets, goods worth snapping up include crystal glassware and marble souvenirs and the night market at Bohol is worth a visit.

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