Langkawi, Malaysia's tropical paradise
Langkawi is by both locals and foreigners credited as a top notch tropical paradise island. True? I would say, yes, Langkawi has plenty to offer to tourists, it's well organized with hotels and infrastructure but is still relatively untouched too.
This page will give an overview of the various activities and possibilities. The main attraction is of course the spectacular beaches. There can be little discussion, the island has some of the best beaches of Malaysia.
Langkawi is a duty free zone but it doesn't mean it's rock bottom cheap.
Accommodation in Langkawi
With Cenang Beach as the tourist hot spot, it's not surprising you will find hotels in all price ranges, from rock bottom cheap to where the sky is the limit.
The northern part of the island have a few 4 and 5 star hotels and in Kuah, the main city of Langkawi you will find a mix of budget and up market hotels.
We have sorted them out for you.
Or check one of the following links:
Things to see
As you can expect, there's plenty to do at Langkawi:
Diving in Langkawi
Diving in Langkawi is one of the most popular options in Langkawi. With Pulau Payar you have found at Langkawi your easiest option to dive on the west coast. There are a few other options, see our diving in Langkawi page and more in general our diving in Malaysia page for details.
Langkawi Cable Car
The Langkawi cable car is located at the Oriental Village in south west Langkawi. The Oriental Village is as an attraction itself already interesting enough for a visit with typical Malaysian architecture build houses and shops.
The cable car is 2.2 km long and offer some spectacular views over Langkawi and the islands around. A round-trip 30 minutes.
Langkawi Underwater World
If diving is not on your program but you still want to explore the Langkawi Underwaterworld, this is a good option.
The Langkawi Underwater World offers a unique look (with more then 4000 sea creatures) what the underwater world of Malaysia in general and Langkawi in particular offers.
The Underwaterworld is more then "just a huge aquarium", it's a learning center to understand more about the creatures living here with a 3D theatre, cafe and much more.
It's located just south of Cenang beach and worth a visit.
Entrance Fees and Opening Hours
One of the main reasons to visit Langkawi are the beaches. Probably the most famous beach though not necessarily the best of Langkawi's beaches is Cenang Beach.
Cenang Beach is a few kilometers long stroke of white sand beach at the south west corner of the island. The boulevard parallel to Cenang Beach is filled with hotels and restaurants.
One of the popular attractions at Cenang Beach is paragliding.
Cenang Beach is the busiest of beaches and with plenty of budget and up market hotels this is a perfect area to use as a base to explore the rest of the island.
There are plenty of other attractions. Get a motorbike, bicycle to visit the Oriental Village (the geological "museum", it actually one room is very interesting), handicraft village, the crocodile farm on the way to Pasir Tengkorak or hike up to the top of Gunung Raya with fantastic views all over Langkawi. A holiday to Malaysia is not complete with a visit to Langkawi.
Another interesting thing to do is to visit the Kota Mahsuri cultural village where you also find the Mahsuri Mausoleum. The museum shows a video about the Mahsuri legend.
Not far away is another ancient tomb to be found. More interesting is Air Hangat village on the way to Tanjung Rhu, a hot springs area where you can wash your feet in hot spring water and sweat more out than in a whole day at the Langkawi beach!
A really good place is the Birdpark. There is a wide range of birds and you are allowed to feed them. There's a lot of good info around and you will find zoo keepers everywhere to show you some hidden gems in the park. I would say: a must visit!
Getting there and away
Langkawi is easy to reach from both local and international destinations. The Langkawi International Airport is located just north of Cenang Beach in the south west corner of Langkawi.
Kuah town is a 30 minutes taxi ride, Cenang Beach is 10 minutes away while the northern beaches and hotels like the Andaman are about 30 minutes by taxi to reach.
Kuah town is the main entrance to Langkawi by ferry. There are regular ferries (almost every hour) to Kuala Kedah (for Alor Setar) and Perlis (Kangar). There are two ferries a day to and from Penang (4 hrs) and there are two ferries a day to and from Satun in Thailand (1.5 hrs)
There are no ferries to other places in Thailand. If you don't want to go to Satun Thailand, you can take a ferry to Kuala Kedah and transfer to Alor Setar and get a train to Hat Yai.
There are no boats from Langkawi to Medan but there is a boat to Medan on Sumatra Indonesia from Penang leaving at 10am daily with a coach to Belawan - Medan.
There are (irregular) buses from Kuah to other parts of Langkawi, especially the airport and Cenang Beach. However, a taxi is reasonable cheap and fast.
Many hotels offer motorcycle and bicycle rental but there are plenty of rental options in Kuah Town and Cenang Beach. Going around on motorbike or bicycle is an excellent way to explore the island. Traffic is still mellow and safe though if you cross the island, you may have to spend some sweat in climbing a hills here and there.