Photo: Down time at the beach.

Things to see and do

Use the quick links below to jump to a particular section of our sights and activities coverage for Langkawi.

Beaches


Beaches

Langkawi has its fair share of wonderful beaches. All of the following are easily reached independently — or take an island hopper boat to explore the smaller offshore island beaches scattered throughout the archipelago. Don’t forget that Langkawi is big, so if your planned day at the beach is interrupted by unfavourable weather or sea conditions, head across the island in the opposite ... Read more about Beaches .

Pantai Cenang

Thanks to development, the new part of Langkawi’s Pantai Cenang looks absolutely nothing like it did just five years ago. The plus side of this is that the place definitely looks alive and open for business, regardless of the season; but it also looks and feels a bit chaotic at times. The stretch of road that lies south of the island’s international airport and past a go-cart track leads into ... Read more about Pantai Cenang .

Pantai Tengah

Most people traveling to Langkawi have heard of Pantai Cenang, or Cenang beach — Malaysia’s version of Cancun, if you like. Pantai Cenang has a lot to offer: shops, restaurants, hotels across all budgets and a long stretch of beautiful beach. However, just past its rocky headland — which sports The Cliff Restaurant — lies the area known as Pantai Tengah, or Tengah beach. This area was ... Read more about Pantai Tengah .

Tanjung Rhu

Many a tourist has found themselves on the north side of Langkawi, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Depending on the time of day, the Tanjung Rhu area may often appear like a ghost town, with shops closed and perhaps even a few tumbleweeds rolling by. But don’t pass it by, because there’s a whole lot more going on here than meets the eye. Tanjung Rhu Beach is one of the best beaches in ... Read more about Tanjung Rhu .

Northwest Langkawi to Datai Bay

The north side of Gunung Mat Cincang falls to the sea to form this area on the northwest side of Langkawi. You’ll find two five-star resorts here, the Datai Resort which commands Datai Bay, and the Andaman Resort — and not much else. Both have exclusive use of their adjacent beaches, but this corner of the island is not one to be ignored, even if you’re a budget traveller. The land rising ... Read more about Northwest Langkawi to Datai Bay .

Pantai Pasir Hitam (Black Sand Beach)

In reality it is a geological phenomenon found only here, explained by a certain mix of black minerals belonging to the erosion of granite rock. The beach is very narrow at high tide. The market ‘village’ with shops restaurants and pavilions overlooking the beach and the sea make it a pleasant spot to stop and enjoy the view and do a little beach combing. This is not really a spot for ... Read more about Pantai Pasir Hitam (Black Sand Beach) .

Pantai Pasir Tengkorak  (Skull Sand Beach)

There is a park like setting with toilets shaded pavilions and tall trees that provide shade from the beach where the Andaman Sea meets the island. This is a popular beach outing for locals on weekends and holidays but is often deserted during the week. On most days there are food and beverage vendors that have small stands set up in the adjacent car park. A pleasant motorbike or car ride ... Read more about Pantai Pasir Tengkorak (Skull Sand Beach) .

Pantai Kok

On the west side of Langkawi stretching between Telaga Harbour and the Mutiara Burau Bay Resort is Panti Kok (Kok Beach). This area was originally home to a small fishing village with small seafood restaurants and simple accommodation for the adventurous traveller. However 20 years on and Telaga Harbour with its multitude of restaurants and shops has replaced the once sleepy village. It’s now a ... Read more about Pantai Kok .

Watersports in Langkawi

Tropical islands tend to embrace water sports and Langkawi is no different. The sailing is excellent and contrary to popular belief, clear water snorkelling and scuba diving are available as well. But the two most popular beaches in Langkawi, Pantai Cenang and Pantai Tengah primarily tout no licence-needed, fun-in-the-sun activities; you’ll find an abundance of water sports businesses and ... Read more about Watersports in Langkawi .

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Natural attractions


Panoramic Cable Car
Located off the road to The Berjaya Resort at Burau Bay
T: (04) 959 4225

Well-informed me didn’t even know Langkawi had a cable car till I started riding around the island and saw the signs for it — and with it climbing almost 700 metres, oh what a cable car it ... Read more about Panoramic Cable Car .

Gunung Mat Raya
(04) 966 7789

Thickly forested and dense with tropical overgrowths make it excellent for guided jungle trekking and bird watching. A drivable paved road leads up to the peak where a MEASAT Satellite Control Centre is stationed as well as The Peak Resort and Spa. Once to the top of Gunung Raya spectacular views of the surrounding rainforest await for your viewing pleasure. Keep an eye out for ... Read more about Gunung Mat Raya .

Langkawi Geopark

Considered by many as the birthplace of Malaysia, Langkawi’s 99 islands are home to a particular set of geological formations that encompass the UNESCO-protected Langkawi Geopark. While most may envision something like a rock climbing wall when trying to conjure that moniker, this particular geopark comes with some serious bragging rights: three parks, geological monuments, and protected ... Read more about Langkawi Geopark .

Waterfalls

Although Langkawi is well known for its beaches and rainforests, the island’s four main waterfalls are also worthy of checking out — they’re picturesque, romantic and best of all ... Read more about Waterfalls .

Jungle Treks

It's highly recommended to go with a knowledgeable guide from a reputable company, not only for the educational factor but for safety as well. Jungle trekking can be a serious four-hour hike or shorter less strenuous trails, to embrace a wider clientele of varying fitness levels as well as ages. There is trekking up to the top of the 2287 ft high Gundung Raya or King of Mountians and night ... Read more about Jungle Treks .

Mangrove trips

Mangrove tours are big business in Langkawi due an abundance of estuary wildlife. A tour can be an enjoyable way to spend a day, spotting wildlife and immersing yourself in nature. Here’s what to expect on a day ... Read more about Mangrove trips .

Langkawi's Interior

Most visitors and travellers to Langkawi spend the majority of their time near one of the coastal areas or beaches, say Pantai Cenang or Pantai Tengah. For a different island experience, however, the interior of Langkawi is as active an encounter as the rest of Langkawi. The leisurely pace of the area’s back roads and villages has kept traditional lifestyles more intact and it’s well worth ... Read more about Langkawi's Interior .

Ayer Hangat Hot Springs
Located on Jalan Ayer Hangat north of Kuah
T: (04) 959 1357

Langkawi’s Ayer Hangat Village is home to therapeutic hot springs lying just north of Kuah on Jalan Ayer Hangat and makes for an interesting ... Read more about Ayer Hangat Hot Springs .

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Hiking, walking tours and itineraries


What to do on a rainy day

From April through November, some scattered showers can be expected on Langkawi, with the heaviest rains generally occurring in September and October. While one part of the island is getting a good soaking, however, another area may be enjoying a gorgeous sunny day. If you find yourself stuck with nothing to do on a rainy day, here are some suggestions for keeping you entertained and ... Read more about What to do on a rainy day .

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Boat trips


Island hopping around Pulau Tuba

Pulau Tuba, part of Langkawi’s Geopark, is located just a 10-minute boat ride from the main commercial district of Kuah Town. With roundtrip boat shuttles available from sun up to sun down, a visit to Tuba is an easy and affordable day-trip option. The quaint island is one of four inhabited islands in the 99-island archipelago and enjoys the laidback pace of yesteryear ... Read more about Island hopping around Pulau Tuba .

The 35 ringgit island-hopping tour

Island hopping advertisements are everywhere on Langkawi. It’s a cut-throat business and prices have slowly decreased in the past few years to the low price of 35 ringgit per person for a three-hour, three-island tour. This low across-the-board price doesn’t reflect on customer service, condition of the boats or licensed versus “freelance”. In addition to the serious bang for the ringgit ... Read more about The 35 ringgit island-hopping tour .

Other Langkawi boat tours

For island-hopping fans, it’s safe to say Langkawi might be a dream destination. With 99 to 104 islands, depending on the tide, comprising the archipelago of Langkawi, there are certainly plenty to choose from. But not all of the islands are accessible (or passable) due to sheer rock formations or dense jungle. And other than the main island of Langkawi itself, only three allow you to stay ... Read more about Other Langkawi boat tours .

Snorkelling and Dive Trips

This trip takes you to Pulau Payar Marine Park, some 19 km oabout a one-hour boat ride from Langkawi, set in the clear waters of the Andaman Sea. The coral reefs here are made up of soft and hard corals with an abundance of tropical fish. It offers snorkelling for the novice to challenging dives for the more experienced diver. The snorkel and dive trips depart from Kuah and include hotel pick ... Read more about Snorkelling and Dive Trips .

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Museums


Galeria Perdana
Jalan Ayer Hangat, Mukim Kilim, Langkawi
T: (04) 959 1498

Galleria Perdana may not be on any list of must-sees in Langkawi, but it plays host to a fascinating range of artefacts that anyone with an interest in politics and history won’t want to miss. The museum houses thousands of gifts that Malaysia’s famed Mahathir Mohamad received during his tenure as prime minister of Malaysia — from exquisite jewellery pieces to antique ... Read more about Galeria Perdana .

Muzium Laman Padi (rice museum)
Jalan Pantai Cenang, Pantai Cenang, Langkawi
T: (04) 955 4312

Rice museums may not be big on your list of things to do in Southeast Asia, but if you’re travelling through Langkawi, a visit to Museum Laman Padi (Rice Garden Museum) is worth it. The island of Langkawi is part of Kedah, a state known as the rice-bowl of Malaysia and the highest producer of rice in the country. In honouring its grand rice-bowl title, Langkawi opened the museum in 1998 as an ... Read more about Muzium Laman Padi (rice museum) .

Kompleks Kraf Langkawi
Teluk Yu, Mukim Bohor
T: (04) 959 1913

If you’re looking for a bit of Langkawi and Malaysian culture, Kompleks Kraf (Craft Complex) on the remote north side of Langkawi should fit the bill with its collection of small ... Read more about Kompleks Kraf Langkawi .

Mardi Agro Technology Park
Jalan Padang Gaong, Lubuk Semilang, Langkawi (north from the last traffic leaving Kuah towards the airport)
T: (04) 953 2551

Located at the base of Gunung Raya Reserve Forest, Mardi Agro Technology Park is a fruit and vegetable farm spread over 35 hectares of park-like, well-manicured grounds. Initially begun in 1990 for agricultural research, the park has since become an attraction in its own right, showing people just what exactly a jackfruit or pineapple looks like in the cultivated ... Read more about Mardi Agro Technology Park .

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Markets


Wet markets

Langkawi’s wet markets can be superb resources for the budget traveller. Sometimes guesthouses on the island come with kitchen availability or access, and while Langkawi does indeed have grocery stores and minimarts, shaving a few ringgit from your food budget by shopping at wet markets on the island is worth the effort. Anything from freshly squeezed coconut milk to local herbs and spices are ... Read more about Wet markets .

Night markets

Night markets are a regular occurrence across Langkawi, with these culinary venues being scheduled every night of the week in various parts of the island. They usually start hopping at 17:00 and continue late into the night or when vendors sell out. The vendors are consistent in their appearances, being in tune with what’s popular with which particular areas of the island. While few of the ... Read more about Night markets .

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General activities


Herbwalk Langkawi
Batu 8, Jalan Ayer Hangat Ayer Hangat, Langkawi
T: (012) 452 3404

At a glance Herbwalk Langkawi simply appears as a modest home surrounded by an eclectic assembly of potted plants and shrubbery. No garish signs with opening hours appear anywhere and if not for a small roadside sign, the location itself is easily missed. But for anyone fascinated by the medicinal uses of plants, it’s well worth stopping ... Read more about Herbwalk Langkawi .

Langkawi photo essay

After four action-packed days in Langkawi on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia I’ve had my assumptions about the island shattered — in a good way. I’d always written it off as a tourist trap, but what I found was far more interesting — and far less touristed — than I expected. Admittedly I visited across Ramadan, which is probably the slowest time of the year, but the island ... Read more about Langkawi photo essay .

Langkawi sunset spots

Watching the sun setting beyond Langkawi archipelago’s horizons is an evening holiday ritual for many a traveller, with a variety of locations to choose from. Here are a few great places to catch the end-of-the-day light show in ... Read more about Langkawi sunset spots .

Picnics in Langkawi

Picnicking in Malaysia is a common sight due to the popularity of take-away meals and plenty of places to set up and munch. Here are some popular options — so grab your meal bungkus and snare a ... Read more about Picnics in Langkawi .

Langkawi Animal Shelter and Sanctuary Foundation
Bon Ton Resort, Jalan Pantai Cenang, Langkawi
T: (04) 955 1688

Western animal lovers are often shocked and dismayed at the treatment of animals they might come across in Southeast Asia. It might be due to the high visibility of homeless strays in areas that lack the out-of-sight-out-of-mind shelters that they are familiar with “back home”. The Langkawi Animal Shelter and Sanctuary Foundation (LASSie) was set up by one such animal lover; it receives, ... Read more about Langkawi Animal Shelter and Sanctuary Foundation .

Sports in Langkawi

Langkawi’s activities include everything from paintball to yoga, making it possible to reconnect with an old favourite or try something new while visiting the ... Read more about Sports in Langkawi .

Langkawi Duty Free

One of the first things that you’ll likely notice when you arrive in Langkawi is the inexpensive beer and beachside cocktails compared to elsewhere in Malaysia. The island was a relatively unknown tourist destination in Malaysia before the government awarded it duty-free status in 1987; this was initially initiated to make tourism more affordable for Malaysians, but there’s since been a ... Read more about Langkawi Duty Free .

Hair Salons in Langkawi

Been on the road for a while before your arrival in Langkawi and feeling the after-affects of dusty trails in Laos or beach swimming in Bali? Although wearing your scruffiness is often a badge of honour for the backpacking explorer, sometimes even the hardiest of travellers needs a haircut. Langkawi’s Kuah offers two salons — they’re about a five-ringgit taxi ride from the ferry building ... Read more about Hair Salons in Langkawi .

Kuah

Kuah is the largest town in Langkawi and the hub of the island’s commerce and politics. It’s in transition, as is most of the island, away from an island-based economy towards one focused heavily on tourism, meaning you’ll see plenty of old and new juxtapositions. Kuah is a town with a vision for the future; a vision that includes ferryloads of mainlanders popping over for a holiday or just ... Read more about Kuah .

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Cooking classes


Ambong Ambong
Pantai Tengah
T: (04) 9558428

Cooking classes in Langkawi are generally limited to the occasional resort and hotel recreational activity and non-guests are often allowed to participate for a not-so-small fee. But with the influx of new tourist traffic this may soon change, as local cuisine is once again embraced as part of the ‘cultural’ experience tourism package that is growing in popularity throughout ... Read more about Ambong Ambong .

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Festivals and events


Christmas in Langkawi

Christmas in Langkawi is usually marked by the annual Pondok Keladi Christmas Charity Bazaar, an event that initially emerged in the season of giving to become these days the local ringer-in of the holiday season. But other big signs of Christmas are usually isolated to hotels and the local malls. It may have been that early Western arrivals to Langkawi were doing their best to escape their ... Read more about Christmas in Langkawi .

Ramadan in Langkawi

For the casual traveller to Langkawi during Ramadan, daily life continues much as usual and the month-long ritual has minimal impact on non-Muslim visitors. Ramadan on Langkawi in 2014 begins at sunrise on June 28 or 29 and ends at sunset July 27, with the two-day celebration of Hari Raya running July 28 and 29. (Actual start dates become official depending on location and the sighting of the new ... Read more about Ramadan in Langkawi .

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Zoos


Langkawi Wildlife Park (formerly Langkawi Bird Paradise)
Lot 1485, Jalan Ayer Hangat (about 10 minutes from Kuah)

If you like animals and especially birds, then a trip to Langkawi Wildlife Park is worth the effort. If you have kids in tow, it’s a good opportunity to embrace a little animal education, with fun and educational kid-friendly signs throughout the park and a chance for a hands-on look at the effort it takes to care for pets ... Read more about Langkawi Wildlife Park (formerly Langkawi Bird Paradise) .

Buffalo Park
Jalan Nyior Chabang, Padang Matsirat (this road is near Matsirat wet market)
T: (04) 966 7226

Buffalo Park allows visitors the opportunity to witness the business of raising water buffalo. With more than 100 murrah and swamp buffalo calling the park home, everything you could possibly want to know about water buffalo is yours for the bargain basement entry price of just five ringgit per adult and three ringgit per ... Read more about Buffalo Park .

Underwater World Langkawi
Jalan Pantai Cenang, Zon Pantai Cenang
T: (04) 955 6100

Underwater World Langkawi is one of the largest aquariums in Southeast Asia and is worth a visit to see a range of marine life, but particularly its penguins — behind the tanks also lies a world-class marine research facility. This is a great place to head to on a rainy or super hot day, especially if you have kids in ... Read more about Underwater World Langkawi .

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Day trips


Langkawi for nature lovers

Langkawi offers a wide array of fantastic activities for nature lovers. Here are a few of the best ways to indulge your inner eco-tourist on the ... Read more about Langkawi for nature lovers .

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Art galleries or venues


Art in Paradise
Oriental Village, Burau Bay, Langkawi
T: (013) 491 1124, (016) 557 6096

Smack dab in the middle of the Machincang Cambrian Geoforest Park, against a backdrop of lush rainforest, the last thing one would expect to see would be a 3D museum. But within the amusement park-inspired compound of Oriental Village, Art in Paradise Langkawi Interactive 3D museum awaits — and it’s not quite the cheesy tourist trap one might ... Read more about Art in Paradise .

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Langkawi? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Malaysia.


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