Langkawi is a tropical pearl located in north Malaysia just bordering with neighboring Thailand. It’s one of the finest tropical islands in Malaysia that attracts adventurers from around the globe. Did you know that Langkawi is officially called the Jewel of Kedah? Kedah is a northern Malaysian province that features a diverse archipelago of 99 islands with Langkawi being the biggest one.
No matter if you’re looking for a relaxing family vacation, memorable honeymoon or pure adventure, Langkawi has it all. Let’s check out what are the best things to do in Langkawi.
- 1 #1- Diving
- 2 #2- Eagle Square
- 3 #3- Take a ride to Gunung Raya
- 4 #4- Enjoy the sunset on Pantai Cenang
- 5 #5- Explore the Durian Pernangin waterfall
- 6 #6- Enjoy a secluded Tanjung Rhu beach
- 7 #7- Try delicious and diverse Malay cuisine
- 8 #8- Take a walk through Langkawi Sky Bridge
- 9 #9- Explore Temurun Waterfall
- 10 #10- Jump on a boat and explore surrounding islands
When I first arrived at Langkawi I didn’t know what to expect and it was probably the best way of traveling since I usually don’t get disappointed and always find a way to enjoy the place. I’ve stayed in a small backpacker’s hostel just a kilometer away from the touristic boardwalk and popular Cenang beach. All the people who were staying there were about one thing – diving.
There are many affordable diving tour options and different spots, but one of the main diving spots are Pulau Payar and Pulau Kaca. Also, many adventurers tend to go to Koh Lipe (Thailand) from Langkawi to experience the biodiversity of marine life and the pure beauty of coral reefs.
Pulau Payar, as the most attractive diving spot in Langkawi, features deep blue waters, colorful coral reefs, and diverse marine life. All tours are guided by experienced and certified divers who’ll teach you the basics of diving, in case you’re a first-timer. You can expect to encounter barracudas and snappers that can’t be found in shallow waters near the Langkawi coast.
Palau Kaca is the second-popular diving spot and it features green waters filled with plankton and a variety of fish species. The visibility reaches up to 15 meters, depending on the season, but you can encounter fish species such as blacktip sharks, barracuda, scorpionfish, and more. Also, you can explore the Kaca Wrecks that features a beautiful coral species grown all around the wrecks.
#2- Eagle Square
Eagle Square is probably one of the most touristic spots in Langkawi, but it looks spectacular. The square is located on the coast of Kuah, the main island’s town that connects Langkawi with the mainland through the port. An eagle statue with spread wings is about 12 m tall and it looks breathtaking when you see the surrounding limestone islands all around.
It’s definitely a cool place to relax a bit, take a few scenic photos and enjoy a cold drink.
#3- Take a ride to Gunung Raya
No matter where are you in Langkawi, chances are you’re going to see the highest peak rising 881 meters above the ground. Hiking to the top of Gunung Raya is a very popular activity among travelers since the trail is well-paved and only on some parts steep. If you decide on hiking, be sure to take enough water, snacks, and sunscreen since it can take up to 2 hours to reach the top.
Another popular and not less iconic way to reach the peak is by driving a bike. I’ve been driving a bike (40 RM/$10/day) to the top and it was one of the best drives in the whole of Malaysia. Be careful as the road gets slippery and at times foggy as you’re reaching the top. There are a few stops where you can enjoy the view and admire the beautiful green fields and surrounding limestone islands. My biggest fear was the monkeys who seemed to be extremely used to people and a bit aggressive, so stay on the guard, protect your belongings and don’t feed them.
#4- Enjoy the sunset on Pantai Cenang
Pantai Cenang is by far the most touristic beach in Langkawi. The beach features a long sandy strip, colorful beach bars playing reggae music and loads of water sport activities. If you’re in the mood to get your adrenaline levels checked, there are many water sport activities available on the beach including jet-skiing, paragliding, driving on a banana boat and snorkeling.
For people who are looking to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery and colors of the sunset, ordering a smoothie or a cocktail at one of the beach bars and simply admiring the view is pure satisfaction.
#5- Explore the Durian Pernangin waterfall
Langkawi is a well-known island by its beautiful waterfalls hidden around the jungle. Durian Pernangin is a very popular spot for tourists and locals, especially during the weekends when locals tend to gather with friends and family. The waterfall is located on the mountain, so you can drive a bike there, rent a car or simply hike. In front of the waterfall, there are a few vendors selling souvenirs and local food. The stream has a few layers and everything is well-furnished so you can relax on the way to the actual waterfall. Once you arrive at the waterfall, you can take a bath in extremely cold water that will energize you for the rest of the day.
Wondering why the waterfall is called after the smelly Durian? Well, on the way to the waterfall you’ll smell and see durian in abundance since the durian trees are all over. Durian is a very popular fruit in Langkawi and probably the tastiest one I’ve had a chance to try so far.
#6- Enjoy a secluded Tanjung Rhu beach
Pantai Cenang beach is too crowded for your taste and you’re looking for a more secluded beach? Take a motorbike and head to Tanjung Rhu beach which sits on the northern part of the island. The beach features white sand, turquoise water, stunning limestone islands, and a few local stores and restaurants. The beach is extremely steep once you come to the water so just after a few steps you’ll be swimming, so be careful.
From the beach, you can rent a local boat tour that wižll show you around the surrounding limestone islands. There is a popular spot called Gua Cerita that features a massive cave and biodiversity.
#7- Try delicious and diverse Malay cuisine
The best place to experience a diverse traditional cuisine is in the local markets. Langkawi has a few popular night markets where you can enjoy delicious Malay, Indian, Pakistani and Indonesian food. It’s interesting to know that the market changes the location every day, so you’ll have to jump on a bike to get your food. The amazing thing about it is that you’re going to explore the local parts of the islands as well as trying different types of food. There are a few nationalities and ethnic groups living in Langkawi, so the food differs in spices depending on the place.
For like 20 RM ($5) you can expect to eat a few street food dishes combined with all sorts of soft drinks. For example, a bag of Pad Thai usually costs 3 RM ($0.75) while popular Malaysian pancakes will set your sugar levels for as low as 2 RM ($0.5).
Don’t skip food night markets as it is probably one of the best ways to explore local culture and observe the lifestyle of locals.
#8- Take a walk through Langkawi Sky Bridge
Langkawi Sky Bridge is by far the most visited attraction on the island. The whole complex features a cable car line and a 125 m long pedestrian bridge on the top of the mountain. If you’re looking to take stunning landscape photos, then this is the place to visit. From the bridge, you can see surrounding islands, dense island’s jungle and even waterfalls.
Be sure to bring warm clothes and sunscreen as the bridge is located on 700 m above the ground and weather tends to change every minute. Probably the best, but the most crowded, time to be on the bridge is around sunset.
#9- Explore Temurun Waterfall
Located very close to the Sky Bridge, Temurun waterfall is the tallest waterfall in Langkawi. The official height of the main waterfall is 30 m, but there are a few parts of a waterfall featuring small lakes where you can relax. On the main waterfall, there is quite a deep lake where you can swim and jump from the cliffs. The best way to arrive at the waterfall is by driving a motorbike since the roads around Mount Mat Cincang are simply breathtaking. Be aware of monkeys over there as they are extremely aggressive.
#10- Jump on a boat and explore surrounding islands
As I’ve mentioned before, Langkawi is a part of a huge archipelago that consists of around 100 islands. There are many beautiful boat tours you can take from Langkawi and explore the surrounding area. The most popular island is Pulau Dayang Bunting where you can explore the biodiversity of the ecosystem, caves, clean lakes and much more. If you’re looking for great organized trips, go to Kuah for more options are cheaper prices, or just book a tour from Pantai Cenang.
Have you ever been to Langkawi? What’s your favorite thing to do on the island? Share your thoughts and recommendations in a comment section.