What to do in Langkawi – Itinerary of best places & attractions

Where is this island?

Langkawi is a Malaysian island just south of the Thai boarders, 30km off the mainland and in the middle of 100 islands that belong to the Langkawi archipelago. As a tropical island it offers lots of things to do anyway but as an upcoming popular destination many new places and ideas are in progress too. My Langkawi itinerary consists a bit of everything in just 3 days! It is doable but demanding so it can be done in more days with peace of mind! The island was my first ever visit in Malaysia and its amazing people so I couldn’t but have an amazing time! What to do in Langkawi then?

pantai langkawi
Pantai Cenang : A quiet spot in the north on the busiest beach of the island

It already sounds interesting, but first of all how do you get to Langkawi?

Basically, we arrived in the island from Koh Lipe, Thailand using the local ferry that usually operates till end of April (check here for updates!). Takes slightly less than 2 hours and stops either at Telaga Jetty or at the main one in Kuah city. Both terminals have immigration services but the first one is quieter and very cute!
lipe to langkawi
Fun fact: Koh Lipe immigration office is ON the beach so you can swim while waiting! (don’t ask! of course we did it!!)
We chose to stop at Telaga as we had plans of staying in a nearby place that has the best sustainable  construction ever! Huge pipes have been turned into «double rooms» (look below!)… how cool is that?
hostel Langkawi
One of these colourful creations was our home for 11 days!

However, Koh Lipe is not the only starting point as Langkawi has a well-connected international airport which connects the island with many places not only in Malaysia but also China, Thailand, Singapore etc. Of course there are many ferries as well. One of them sails to Penang island and one other connects Phuket, Phi Phi and other Thai islands with Langkawi. Basically there are so many options!

Telaga Langkawi
Leaving behind the Telaga Harbour Marina , ready to explore this Malaysian island!

What to do in Langkawi Day 1 – Beaches!

Head to the Pantai (=beach in Malay language) Tanjung Rhu, the best beach of Langkawi! Surrounded by mangrove forest and small islets, this sandy beach is the ideal introduction to the island! Many luxurious resorts are on this side but the beach is big and (still…) accessible for everyone. Some local stores, beach bars and restaurants can be found along the coast and the sea waters are nice for swimming. Be careful though, currents are strong here!

Tanjung Rhu Langkawi
Fantastic, right?

If you get bored (!) you can take an organised tour to the mangrove forest (many vendors around so you can negotiate the price!) and then come back to enjoy the sunset. Alternatively, drive about 40 minutes to get to the Pantai Cenang the main and most touristic beach of Langkawi. Jet skis, banana floats, parasailing and other sea sport activities can be done here and it is usually very busy. The good news? The beach is very long and wide so there is room for everyone! Moreover, try to find in advance the cheapest price (around 30 RMB) for your tomorrow tour- more details to follow!

mangrove forest langkawi
River and forest behind Tanjung Rhu Beach!
Pantai Cenang
Palm trees surrounding Pantai Cenang

Starving? It’s normal… such a busy first day! Spend your night at a local Night Market– Langkawi night markets are open daily but in.. different locations! Check here for the tonight’s one and immerse yourself to one of the most interesting Langkawi attractions!

What to do in Langkawi Day 2 – Nature and City … hand by hand!

Your half day morning boat tour to Pulau (=island in Malay) Dayang Bunting is about to begin! In this island / geopark you can swim in the fresh waters of the “Lake of the Pregnant woman”– ask the guides to show you her figure! Wearing a life jacket is essential here and you have to pay extra to rent it if you wish to get into the water- cheap but annoying! There are also few spas (!) , paddle boats for renting and a small café.

Dayang BuntingIn the park (which is beautiful and easy to walk around)  there are thousands of free macaques. Unfortunately, they are spoiled by humans because the tourists offer food to the monkeys in order to photograph them from a close distance. This means that in nowadays even a small bottle of water could make you a potential target! Do not carry anything related to food/ drinks (or at least put everything in a well-closed bag) and do not feed the monkeys!!
The tour usually includes an eagle feeding experience (where people throw chicken pieces in the sea and the eagles come to catch them- super uncomfortable for me) that we couldn’t skip even if we tried but everyone seems to provide only this package -pffff! After this, the boats usually make a last stop for swimming at one of the hidden Langkawi beaches, the Pulau Beras Basah which is technically an islet with a white-sand beach; the sea was not very pleasant that day but maybe we were down on our luck!

pulau langkawi
A stolen coconut!
 You will be back around 1.30 pm and then you can spend the rest of the day at Kuah, the capital of the island. Here, you can find some small but decent Malls, the local park Dalam Taman where sculptures associated with local myths are spread out across its area (and the entrance is free, hooray!) and of course the number one Langkawi attraction , the iconic Eagle square – both located next to the port. The best time to be at the Eagle Square is just before the sunset as the sky turns into a perfect colour but be prepared to meet many tourists’ groups around!
Sunset at the Eagle Square!

What to do in Langkawi Day 3 – Tourists Attractions!

To cool yourself down start the day north of the island , in the secluded Pasir Tengkorak Beach. Soft sand, nice seawaters, not many people around, in the middle of the jungle… the perfect morning! During our 10-day stay in the island we were told by many locals that this is one of their favourite beaches in Langkawi as it’s still quiet and unspoiled and we can’t blame them as during our visit there we indeed saw only 3-4 tourists around!
Pasir Tengkorak Beach
Soon after, on the way to the Sky Bridge and the Cable car you will pass next to the jungle so you can notice heaps of macaques again (being more relaxed this time as they don’t interact with people that much) and you can observe them in their natural environment. The above mentioned Langkawi attractions are located next to each other so it s convenient to do both at once. Not my cup of tea but they have indeed great views and you can easily spend few hours here- currently under renovation, please check before your visit! The last stop is made for some funky photos! UpSidoW is the first roadside attraction where everything inside is made from recycled, up-cycled, old and unwanted materials. In fact, it is an.. upside down house! This colourful place has a bit of us too because we have helped with the art installation…but this is a different story! Enjoy the great sunset and if your days in the island have come to an end…the airport is very close by!
Dimitris: Went for a relief, ended up SO confused!
Valentini: Doesn’t want to go to school!!!

Useful Info for any Langkawi Itinerary :

-I strongly believe that 3 days are not enough for Langkawi, I would spend at least 4 full days and a bit more if I would like to relax next to the sea for most of the day.
-The main disadvantage of the island is the lack of local transportation. There are only taxis available (quite expensive for SE Asia standards) so the best you can do is to rent a motor bike or a car.
– As before-mentioned the airport has already many direct connections with China, Thailand, Malaysia (plenty flights for Penang and KL on a daily basis) , Singapore etc. but a new terminal / extension for new destinations is ongoing.
-If you aim to spend more days in Langkawi you can also visit the small beaches east of Cenang; lots of construction work in progress there too but the beaches are still accessible, quiet and sandy. I didn’t find any particular attractive though but you may discover your ideal one!
-Once more, do NOT feed the monkeys! Here is why:
dont feed the monkeys
-An unpleasant phenomenon in the Andaman sea is the «sea lice» that leads to body itching and potentially rashes. Technically it is not «lice» but many people refer to the phenomenon that way. Actually, the rash is caused by the tiny stinging cells of the thimble jellyfish or, in some cases, the larvae stage of the sea anemone. It has been reported in Andaman Sea, Caribbean, Florida, and other seas around the globe. The phenomenon affected us only 1 day out of the 9 we swam in Langkawi but the itching reaction was so strong that we had to dash out of the water straight away! Many people suggest to dive a few meters away but we were rubbing off so much so we couldn’t think of anything else! Read more information about the phenomenon here.
beaches Langkawi
Spending my time after this incident taking photos…and trying to forget about it!

 

Are you planning to visit Malaysia? I think you found out some valid reasons to add Langkawi to your Malaysia itinerary in here! Have you been to Langkawi? Comment your thoughts or recommendations below!

A full itinerary for Langkawi island in Malaysia

Things to do in Langkawi island, Malaysia

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14 Comments

    • Valentini

      I stayed 10 days because of work. I think 5 days are sufficient unless you want to relax on the beach most of the day so you will need extra days to explore the island properly without rush. The place is fine for kids (I saw many families there and less party backpackers), I felt safe everywhere and people drive normal in comparison with the rest of SE Asia! If you come with kids you may need more days taking into consideration their needs? Hope it helps! Any questions feel free to ask 🙂

  1. Followingtherivera

    Langkawi certainly looks like a paradise island to visit. The cable car would be top of my list as I love to see the land from above! And those beaches seem dreamy to me, I would love to be there right now!

  2. Elle

    I almost did the trip here when I was in Thailand, but I wasn’t sure about how touristy it would be since it was during Chinese New Year!!
    I hope to make it there one day though 🙂
    I had no idea how bad it was to feed the monkeys!!

  3. Nathan Tran

    That was an amazing trip to Langkawi:) Hopefully you could travel to many places in the world! And Vietnam is also a fantastic place for you to get visiting:))) Thanks for posting:)

  4. Natasha L

    The beach looks so beautiful, and there’s not a ton of people which is always nice! That upside-down house is trippy, I still don’t understand how it works! Would love to try it!

  5. Marya

    My parents just got their first passports and I’m actually planning to take them for a trip to Malaysia. Penang is the place that I’d like them to visit, but I’m actually thinking to stop by Langkawi and go across Thailand too. Do you think Langkawi is suitable for people in their 60s?! 🙂

    • Valentini

      Hello! Langkawi is definitely suitable as nightlife/ party vibes are not very present here! In fact I think it s an ideal choice for family vacation and I believe your parents will enjoy it 🙂

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