Places to visit Langkawi – The best beaches and things to do: Although we traveled a lot in Southeast Asia, one island in particular convinced us. Despite the fact that we didn’t have very high expectations of Langkawi, the island was able to impress with a variety of activities, good food and great beaches. Langkawi is therefore one of the travel destinations in Southeast Asia, which in our view is definitely wrongly overshadowed by Phuket, Koh Samui and Bali. Anyone looking to explore something new, please do not hesitate to visit Langkawi!
Travel preparation Langkawi
There isn’t much you should consider before traveling to Malaysia. Enclosed you will find a few general tips about visas and the travel weather in Langkawi.
Most western countries can travel visa free to Malaysia. Staying without a visa is possible for up to 90 days.
Officially, you need an exit ticket from Malaysia to get the permission of stay. We have been to Malaysia many times and have never been asked for an exit ticket. But if you want to have a ticket issued as proof to be on the safe side, you can do this for a small fee of 14 USD at Onwardticket.com. There you will receive a real reservation confirmation for an outbound flight for a period of 48 hours or 14 days, which will then be automatically canceled again.
Take a travel adapter with you!
In Malaysia you need a plug adapter to charge your devices! Only very few hotels offer a socket where the plugs from Europe (type C) also work. Especially in the cheap accommodations you will only find the type G sockets. The best thing to do is to get a worldwide socket adapter and never have to worry about such problems again.
In terms of temperatures, you can travel to Langkawi all year round because it is always tropically warm. However, there is also a rainy season in Malaysia, where there are frequent rain showers. Although the weather is not particularly good in the rainy season, a trip can be attractive even then. For example, you can surf on Langkawi (more on that below) and there are far fewer tourists around.
The best time to travel to Langkawi is during the winter months from early December to early/mid April. During this time there is almost no rain and the temperatures are permanently tropically warm. It rains most in the months of September and October. If you have the opportunity, then avoid this time, as there can be a relatively large amount of precipitation.
On the other hand, due to climate change, the demarcation between rainy and dry seasons in Southeast Asia is no longer entirely clear. There is also more and more weather that is atypical for the respective season, with lots of sunshine in the monsoon season or rain in the dry season.
How to get to Langkawi
Langkawi is relatively easy to get to, whether you are coming from Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia or Malaysia. Since Langkawi has both an airport and many transport connections, there are many ways to get there. The prices for flights to Langkawi are cheap.
Flights to Langkawi
The quickest and easiest way to reach Langkawi is by plane. Before Covid there were a number of direct flights from all over Asia, Qatar Airways even flew directly from Doha to Langkawi. Currently there are only domestic flights from Kuala Lumpur, Penang and other airports in Malaysia, as well as a connection to Singapore. However, we are very much assuming that more and more direct flights to Langkawi will be included in the airlines’ flight schedules in the near future.
Domestic flights in Malaysia are very cheap. AirAsia often has the best deals. Other alternatives would be Malaysia Airlines and Malindo Air.
Ferry to Langkawi
It is very easy to reach Langkawi if you are already in the area such as Penang. It is not far from Penang to Langkawi and you only have to take the bus to Perlis, from where the ferries to Langkawi start. There are many bus and train connections to Perlis, including from Kuala Lumpur and Thailand. You can find all the connections and timetables here and book them conveniently online…
Thailand to Langkawi
You can also easily reach Langkawi from Thailand. You have the option of continuing overland from Hat Yai to Perlis and covering the last few meters by ferry (tickets are available here).
The better and nicer alternative would be an island hopping tour from Phuket. There are ferry services from Phuket to Langkawi, which also make stops in Krabi, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta, Koh Lipe, Koh Mook and Trang. You can easily buy the tickets in stages and stay in one place for as long as you like. Of course you can also skip some islands and destinations and continue directly. It is best to book the connections via 12go.asia – this way you can check all available connections and conveniently book the tickets online.
Also the other way, from Langkawi to Thailand is very easy to travel. The checkout and immigration process at Kuah Jetty is smooth and hassle free!
Getting around Langkawi
Getting around Langkawi is very easy. The best option for exploring the island is probably a scooter. In Langkawi there are also taxis on every corner, which are extremely cheap. If you don’t dare to get behind the wheel yourself, just take one of these. You can also simply order a taxi via Uber or Grab, which works very well in Malaysia. There is no bus service or similar means of transport like the Songthaews in Thailand on Langkawi, so the only way to get around is by taxi or your own scooter. You can rent a scooter from RM25 per day. The best thing to do is to ask your hotel whether they offer scooter rental.
Also rentalcars are a good option to get around Langkawi. The roads are in good condition and there is almost no traffic. All beaches and sights can be easily reached by car. We recommend rentalcars especially for families with kids. You can rent cheap cars on Langkawi here…
Langkawi Accommodation Guide
On Langkawi you will find accommodation in every price category. The central place on Langkawi is Pantai Cenang. Pantai Cenang is centrally located, the beach is very nice and there are also plenty of restaurants and night markets around. Personally, we find the other places on Langkawi a bit too remote, so look for accommodation in the center.
A recommended place to stay at Pentai Cenang is The Cottage. It is just a few meters from the beach and costs just $15 per night, depending on the season. The rooms are simply furnished, but clean and absolutely fine for the price. Also, the internet is surprisingly good. The hotel also offers a hostel dorm if the bungalow is too expensive for you. In the dorm you only pay $5 per night. However, depending on the season, the prices may vary slightly.
There is also a wide range of great resorts and luxury hotel chains at Pentai Cenang. Here you can find everything from simple accommodation right on the beach to resorts with pools.
The price level in terms of accommodation in Langkawi is rather low. There are many inexpensive hotels and bungalows, which offer a very good standard.
Places to visit Langkawi: Beaches, Attractions, Activities
Langkawi is a travel destination that surprises with an enormous variety of activities. There are wonderful nature parks, impressive viewpoints, fantastic beaches, a number of night markets, shopping malls and places to go out. In short, even the most ambitious tourist will never get bored on Langkawi. We have clearly listed all the beaches, sights and activities for you below.
Langkawi Beach Guide
We have often read on the internet that the beaches in Langkawi are not really good, so we traveled to the island without great expectations. Whoever spread the info on the internet has probably never been to Langkawi. We found the beaches on Langkawi very beautiful and also much more well-kept than many places in Thailand, for example. In addition, there are still many beaches on the tourist island of Langkawi that are hardly visited at all. In general, Langkawi is a wonderful beach destination and always worth a visit!
Pantai Cenang Beach
Pantai Cenang Beach is considered the main beach on the island, and the town offers the most accommodation and restaurants in one spot. The beach is beautiful and spacious, but always busy. The offer of activities ranges from banana boat rides to jet skiing and parasailing. In our opinion, the beach is a bit too busy, but luckily there are many other great beaches on Langkawi to discover.
At Pantai Cenang Beach you can see the sunset perfectly in the evening, as the sun disappears on this stretch of beach. The sunsets on Langkawi are a dream anyway!
Pantai Tengha Beach
Not far south of Pantai Cenang Beach is Pantai Tengha Beach. This is one of our favorite Langkawi beaches. Here you will also find some accommodation and restaurants. If you want to have it a little quieter, it is best to settle down in this area. The T-Star Cottage is a good value place to stay very close to the beach.
This section of the beach is also relatively well visited, but it is much quieter than at Pantai Cenang. If you follow the beach to the northern end, you will find a very relaxed section where you can relax and find peace.
Pasir Tengkorak (Sandy Skulls Beach)
Are you looking for a beach that is virtually uncrowded? Then you should visit Pasir Tengkorak Beach in the north of the island. The beach section is somewhat hidden and is not the largest, and there are also many stones in the water, which spoil the bathing fun a bit. But you will definitely find your peace here and can enjoy the day almost all alone on a beautiful beach in Langkawi.
Black Sand Beach
Also to the north is Black Sand Beach, so called because of its dark sand. But don’t expect a pitch-black sandy beach, because the name is a bit deceptive. You will only find a few black spots. Even if the beach is not pitch black, it is worth stopping here to take a souvenir photo.
Pantai Tanjung Rhu
Powder-fine white sandy beach, turquoise water, no jet skis or the like and not particularly crowded – welcome to Tanjung Rau Beach, the most beautiful beach on Langkawi! The beach is located in the very northeast of the island, from where you can also have a nice view of Koh Torutao National Park in Thailand on a clear day. It will take you around 40 minutes by scooter from Pantai Cenang, but it’s definitely worth it.
The beach is also home to two luxury hotels in close proximity to the beach, The Andaman and The Datai Resort. If you’re looking for a luxury vacation in Langkawi in a dream setting, then you’ve come to the right place if your budget allows… The prices of the two luxury resorts are quite high.
In addition to the beautiful beaches on Langkawi, there is also a lot to see and discover that will definitely keep you busy for a few days, or even a week. We will now present all the attractions on Langkawi that we have personally visited in more detail. At the end you will find more activities on Langkawi for an exciting stay.
The “Brown Eagle” is considered the symbol of Langkawi and has given the island its name. In the old Malay language, “Lang” means eagle and “kawi” means red-brown. You can find this 12 meter tall statue in Kuha, the main town of Langkawi, where ferries from the mainland dock. The entire Eagle Square Park is one large area where you will also find restaurants and souvenir shops. A visit to Langkawi’s landmark is a must! The best way to visit Eagle Square is on an island tour, so you can cover all the major sights on the southeast side of Langkawi in one day.
After visiting Eagle Square Park and heading back to Pantai Cenang, the Kota Mahsuri Museum is worth a stop if that interests you. Brief history: Mahsuri was a young woman and lived on Langkawi about 200 years ago. She was the wife of Wan Daru and was accused of conspiracy to commit adultery. Although she has repeatedly protested her innocence, her father-in-law Dato Karma, the then ruler of Langkawi’s old capital, Kampong Raja, had her executed. Years later, a memorial was erected here to honor the sad story of the young woman.
Langkawi Oriental Village is a purpose-built tourist village built in the Oriental Muslim style. The village is located in the northwest of the island, where the cable car to the Langkawi Sky Bridge also goes up. In addition to countless souvenir shops and overpriced restaurants, you will also find a small lake here where you can watch lizards. The Oriental Village wasn’t our favorite because it just seemed too artificial.
So why are we introducing you to the Oriental Village? Here you can take really nice photos of the buildings and the village. Since it’s already crowded at 8 a.m., we advise you to come as early as possible. We were already at the Oriental Village at 6:30 am and had the village completely to ourselves. From here you can go straight up to the Skybridge to be able to take photos there without mass tourism.
Langkawi Skybridge & Cable Car
From the Oriental Village, a cable car takes you up the 700m high mountain where Langkawi’s famous Skybridge is located. Many believe that the Skybridge is Langkawi’s highest point, but it is not, but more on that later.
Once at the top, a 125m long skybridge awaits you, which is an architectural work of art. From the bridge you have a fascinating overview of the island of Langkawi. To get a usable photo without 1000 tourists in the motive, you should be one of the first in the morning.
Admission is RM85 for adults, which is just under €18. The price includes the ascent and descent with the cable car. Packages are also offered where you can also go to the Sky Dome and Sky Rex.
If you want to enter the Skybridge you have to pay again at the top: 6 Ringgit if you walk down (10-15 minutes), or 16 Ringgit for the Sky Glider (gondola on rails).
Gunung Raja Viewpoint
Let’s come to our personal highlight among the attractions on Langkawi: Mount Gurung Raja. In contrast to the Skybridge, there is no cable car here, but a road up the mountain, so you can easily ride a scooter to the top. In the Viewtower you are 900m above sea level and you also get a fantastic 360° panoramic view that is simply spectacular.
Admission is also only a fraction of the Skybridge at RM10. The price includes free tea, which you can enjoy on the terrace. You can stay in the Viewtower for an hour before you have to leave it again. Visiting at sunset is highly recommended as this is where you get the best views. However, keep in mind that this is also the time when most visitors come and it can therefore get quite crowded. We therefore decided to visit at lunchtime and had the entire tower to ourselves. We actually wanted to visit the Gurung Raja again at sunset, but the long journey of 45 minutes prevented us from doing so.
Seven Wells Waterfall
On Langkawi you will find several waterfalls that are worth a visit. If you want to visit them all, you have to plan some time. We were only on the island for 5 days, so we just didn’t manage to explore everything on the island. If you are short on time, the best thing to do is visit the Seven Wells Waterfall, which is one of the most beautiful and popular and is located in close proximity to Langkawi Oriental Village.
The way to the waterfall alone is a little adventure, because on the way through the dense jungle you will always meet curious monkeys who want to see what you are doing there. The waterfall itself is quite beautiful, but in the dry season it carries almost no water and is therefore unspectacular.
Field of Burned Rice
The Field of Burned Rice on Langkawi itself is completely unspectacular as there is nothing to see except a field. However, many might be interested in the interesting story of the rice burning in 1821. Dato Karma Jaya, then supreme commander of Langkawi’s former capital Padang Matsirat, once had all the rice supplies on the island burned to starve out invading Siamese. But the plan went awry, because as a result of the rice burning, numerous islanders also died of starvation.
Wildlife Park: Langkawi Zoo
Especially with children, a visit to the Wildlife Park, or rather a zoo, where you can touch the animals, is recommended. This is also an option in bad weather. The wildlife park with a small lake and numerous exotic plants is home to various species of birds (including hornbills, parrots, cockatoos), but also snakes, spiders, monkeys and many other animals. Entry is RM20. You can buy the tickets here online…
At the edge of the jungle, more than 20 types of tropical fruit and numerous types of vegetables are grown on a spacious, hilly facility. Anyone who has always wanted to see a pineapple plant or a star fruit tree in person has come to the right place. Admission costs 15 ringgit per person and includes a 30-minute tour of the fruit plantations.
There are numerous Hindu and Buddhist temples on Langkawi. The proximity to Thailand and the high diversity of the island population has ensured that Langkawi is a multicultural destination. The Lucky Temple is one of the most beautiful temples on the island and can easily be reached by scooter. There is also a large golden Buddha statue on site, which makes a good photo opportunity.
Langkawi Things to Do
In addition to the regular attractions on the island, there are also a variety of sporting activities and excursions that make your stay on Langkawi an experience. Here we have listed some of the best things to do in Langkawi.
Langkawi Mangrove Tour
If you are tired of the beaches or the other sights on Langkawi, then we recommend you to take a mangrove tour and enjoy the nature of Langkawi. Most mangrove tours lead across the Kilim River in the geopark of the same name, into the estuary and out to sea. There is a lot to see and discover along the way, especially the bizarre rock formations and the white-tailed eagles are very nice to watch. The prices for the mangrove tour start at around 40$.
Jet Ski Island-Hopping
How about some fun on a jet ski island hopping tour? From our point of view it is an absolute highlight to explore the rock formations and the Andaman Sea around Langkawi by jet ski. Even if this trip is not cheap, it is definitely worth it! You can book the jet ski daytrip here…
Parasailing & Banana Boot
Especially at Pantai Cenang Beach, you will find many offers and you can either go banana boating or see Langkawi from above by parasailing. Definitely an experience for the adventurous, we tend not to be fans of such activities.
Around 30 km off the coast in Kuah, Payar is a small island that is excellent for snorkeling. Unfortunately we weren’t able to visit the island during our stay, but next time the island is at the top of the bucket list.
Langkawi is certainly not a second Bali or Siargao and is even inferior to Phuket when it comes to surfing. Nevertheless, with a bit of luck you can catch a few waves every now and then. Especially in the low season there are some surf spots on the west coast, which are especially suitable for absolute beginners. There is a small local surf scene that rents out boards and also offers surf lessons. So if you want to try surfing, then with a bit of luck Langkawi is the place for you.
The base camp is located in the Indiana Cafe at Pantai Cenang, which also has delicious food and cheap accommodation. Even non-surfers should definitely stop by here!
Langkawi Night Markets
We love markets, whether in Thailand, Malaysia or anywhere else in the world. At the local markets you can get very tasty and authentic street food, which is also very cheap. Thailand is already cheap, but in Langkawi it is again much cheaper. You can eat here from as little as RM2 and fill your stomach. Souvenirs, clothes and much more are also offered here. The highlight, however, are the dishes and the fruit shakes that you absolutely have to try!
Unfortunately, the night markets are not open every day, or not in the same place. So you have to be lucky and catch the right day of the week, or just follow the hustle and bustle of the market…
- Monday: Ulu Melaka Market, 17.30-22h, Location: Jalan Makam Mahsuri Lama, Ulu Melaka
- Tuesday: Kedawang Market, 17.30-22h, Location: Kedawang (Pantai Cenang)
- Wednesdays & Saturday: Kuah Night Market, 17.30-22h, Location: Kuah Town
- Thursday: Bohor Tempoyak Night Market, 17-22h, Location: Kampung Temoyong, Mukim Kedawang, Pantai Cenang
- Friday: Air Hangat Night Market, 17.30-22h, Location: Padang Lalang, Air Hangat, Langkawi
- Sunday: Padang Matsirat Night Market, 17.30-22h, Location: Kampung Raja, Mukim Padang Matsirat
It is better to check the current opening hours and locations again via Google Maps. Our last update was before the Covid pandemic.
Of course we also created a video about our Langkawi trip. We hope this video makes you want to visit Langkawi, it’s really worth it!
So that you can quickly find your way around Langkawi, we have created a detailed map for you, with which you can find the best beaches and sights straight away. We wish you a lot of fun!
Have you already been to Langkawi? Tell us about your favorite places. Leave us a comment below!