Some 30 km off the west coast of mainland Malaysia lies an archipelago of over 100 islands in the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea. This is the Langkawi groups of islands, coveted as the Jewel of Kedah. And travelers of all kinds – nature lovers, history buffs, adventure seekers, and even hopeless romantics – are sure to find something to match their interests within these numerous Langkawi islands.
The main Langkawi island itself is known for its marvelous diving opportunities. And that’s not all! From an expansive Underwater World along the Pantai Cenang to the high-flying Cable Car in Pantai Kok, Langkawi continues to provide a new delight in every minute fragment.
However, most people planning a holiday in Malaysia end up being confused between Langkawi island and Langkawi island. So, to begin with, let us differentiate between the two.
Langkawi Island vs Langkawi Islands
As mentioned before, Langkawi is a group of 104 islands in Malaysia. Most of these islands are uninhabited. Of the few inhabited Langkawi islands, the largest one is the Pulau Langkawi or the main Langkawi island. This main Langkawi island is known for its geography that is a mixture of picturesque paddy fields and jungle-clad hills.
But while taking a tour of the archipelago, you will come across several tourist places. Here’s a list of the major tourist attractions in Langkawi island group.
Tourist places in Langkawi
Islands in Langkawi
The islands around the main Langkawi island are known for their verdant jungles, limestone formations & caves, and unique wildlife that roams freely. While most of these continue to remain uninhabited, a select few have been transformed into scuba-diving sites, protected marine parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and luxe resorts.
Island hopping in Langkawi covers the following islands other than the main Pulau Langkawi island:
- Pulau Payar National Park: Famous for its coral reefs and scuba & snorkeling centers
- Pulau Dayang Bunting: Popular for its freshwater lake and swimming opportunities
- Pulau Beras Basah: Known for its facilities for swimming, jet-skiing, banana boating, and parasailing
- Pulau Singa Besar or the Giant Lion Island: Famous as a wildlife sanctuary where one can spot eagles, monkeys, mouse-deer, hornbills, snakes, monitor-lizards, and peacocks roaming freely (But there are no lions on the island)
- Rebak Island: Famous as a resort run by Vivanta by Taj with all modern amenities
There are also a lot of places to see in Langkawi island. Here are the key highlights of a Langkawi island tour.
Beaches in Langkawi
The island destination of Langkawi has numerous beaches of fine sand quality. The entire coastline is lined with hotels, restaurants, shops, and beach shacks. And then there are watersports that the tourists can try at the beaches in Langkawi. The most popular beaches of Langkawi include Pantai Kok, Pantai Cenang, Pantai Pasir Tengkorak, Pantai Tengah, Tanjung Rhu, Black Sand Beach, and Datai Bay.
Other tourist attractions in Langkawi for the nature lovers
Waterfalls in Langkawi: Though there only a few waterfalls on the island, they are beautiful and truly impressive. Temurun Waterfall, Durian Perangin Waterfall, and Telaga Tujuh Waterfall are the most popular ones. The Telaga Tujuh is, in fact, also known as the home of the fairies and the Seven Wells Waterfalls because of the series of the seven connected natural pools fed by it.
Mountains in Langkawi: Gunung Raya Mountain and Gunung Mat Cincang are the two popular mountains that offer spectacular views of the island.
Nature parks and wildlife zones in Langkawi: Kilim Karst Geoforest Park, Sungai Kilim Nature Park, Kilim Karst Geoforest Park, Taman Lagenda, and Langkawi Wildlife Park & Bird Paradise are the major wildlife zones.
Other places to see in Langkawi island
In addition to the tourist attractions mentioned above, there are some iconic structures, historical & art museums, and duty-free shopping centers that make sightseeing in Langkawi a wonderful experience. The prominent amongst these are Dataran Lang (Eagle Square), Langkawi Sky Bridge, and Paradise 3D Museum.
The shopping centers sell duty-free alcohol, tobacco, apparel, cosmetics, souvenirs, food, cooking ware, and electronics. Most of these duty-free shops are located either in Kuah Town or along Pantai Cenang.
Must Read: Exotic Places To Visit In Langkawi
In pictures: Things to do in Langkawi islands
1. Mangrove kayaking
Also try: Taking the day cruise, the sunset dinner cruise, and multi-island cruise for island hopping in Langkawi
2. Jungle trekking
3. Snorkeling and scuba-diving
Other water sports in Langkawi: Jet-skiing, banana boating, swimming, and parasailing
4. Walking on the Langkawi Sky Bridge
5. Hovering over Langkawi island in a cable car
Places in Langkawi island to eat and drink
Food for thought: Best restaurants in Langkawi
Some of the best restaurants in Langkawi offer delicious food with fantastic service and magnificent views of the Andaman Sea and the Gunung Mat Cincang. These restaurants cater to a variety of tastes and preferences – authentic Malay, Chinese, and fresh seafood – and all budget levels. While some of the finest restaurants in Langkawi are located within the chic resorts, others are stand-alone dining options that are spread across the main island.
Resort-run restaurants in Langkawi: The Gulai House & The Pavilion at The Datai Langkawi, La Sal at Casa Del Mar Resort, and Ikan-Ikan at Four Seasons Resort
Other fine restaurants in Langkawi: Langkawi Hainanese Cafe (aka Chicken Joe’s), FatCUPID, Fish Farm, and The Brasserie Langkawi
Sippin’ the night away: Best bars and pubs in Langkawi
Thanks to the duty-free policy across the Langkawi islands, alcohol is very cheap. And so, for those who love liquor, Langkawi has a whole new meaning. And to add to the cheap liquor, there is the amazing ambience of some of the chicest bars and pubs in Langkawi. Most of these are located around Pantai Cenang and Pantai Tengah.
The most popular pubs and bars of Langkawi include Rhu Bar within Tanjung Rhu’s Four Seasons Resort, Naam OMG! Bar, Debbie’s Place Irish Pub, and D’Reef at The Cliff .
Hotels and resorts in Langkawi
There’s no dearth of stay options in Langkawi, ranging from hostels & backpacker inns to chic beach resorts & villas. And to help you plan your stay, we have listed some amazing hotels in Langkawi. These not only provide breathtaking views of the Andaman Sea & the rainforest, but also offer easy access to the must-visit attractions in Langkawi.
Budget hotels in Langkawi: Bella Vista Waterfront Resort & Spa, Casa Fina Fine Homes, Dayang Bay Serviced Apartment & Resort, and Alia Residence
Best hotels in Langkawi: The Andaman, The Datai, Ambong-Ambong, and Vivanta by Taj – Rebak Island
Best beach resorts in Langkawi: The Danna Langkawi, The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa, Four Seasons Resort, Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa, and Casa Del Mar
Best Langkawi Villas: Jasmine Villa Tropical Garden, Villa Del Porto, and Bon Ton Resort
Things to know before visiting the Langkawi islands
How to reach Langkawi
- By air: The Langkawi International Airport, located at Padang Matsirat, caters to direct flights from Penang, Singapore, Phuket, Kuala Lumpur, and Hat Yai.
- By sea:
- Langkawi Ferry: A/C boats from Kuala Perlis, Kuala Kedah, & Penang in Malaysia and Satun in Thailand
- Tropical Charters: Ferries from Koh Lipe to Kuah Jetty in Langkawi
- Telaga Harbor: Speedboats from Koh Lipe in Thailand
Best time to visit Langkawi islands
Langkawi sees three major seasons; namely the dry season (between November and March), the mid-season (between April and July), and the wet-season (between August and October).
Peak tourist season in Langkawi: The dry season in Langkawi is offers plenty of sunshine and minimum rainfall. The temperatures range from 32° C – 35° C during daytime and from 25° C – 28° C at night. It isn’t too windy and the sea water is steady & perfect for watersports such as snorkeling & jet-skiing.
Recommended time to visit Langkawi: The dry season, being the peak tourist season, draws the maximum crowd. So, hotel & flight prices are the highest. The mid-season has only occasional rainfalls and the temperatures are not too high either. What’s more? You can expect discounts upto 50%. And the beaches will be more or less deserted, thereby offering a peaceful vacation.
A word of caution: Langkawi is a muslim state. So, during the Ramadan days, most islanders leave early from work. So, many establishments either close early or remain closed altogether. We suggest you to check with the travel agent about the same at the time of booking.
Still reading? How ‘bout planning a trip to Langkawi right away! We assure you, you are going to love it just as we did.