As you stroll along the white sand beaches, you admire the colorful sunset reflecting off of the turquoise waters. Off to the side of the beach, you can hear the rainforest animals singing the last songs and chattering their last sounds before the day becomes night. Langkawi is unspoiled and a perfect place for a romantic getaway, as well as a place full of adventure and activity.
Langkawi is an archipelago of 99 islands, forming the regions first geopark located off of the west coast of Malaysia. When you are out on the water and up close and personal with these beautiful rock islands, you get a feel for how amazing this world really is. The rock islands are dated over 550 million years, and almost all of them have a mushroom-capped bit of wild jungle growing on top. If you want to see Langkawi, this is the time to go, before the rest of the world knows about this secret.
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Where did the name “Langkawi” come from?
The name Langkawi is actually made from 2 local words. Langkawi is the home of eagles, and it is also geographically rich in marble rock; loads of the stuff. Since eagle in Malay is ‘Helang’ and marble in Sanskrit is ‘Kawi,’ they’ve just put these words together as ‘Helangkawi,’ which later became Langkawi. So there you go, the translation for Langkawi is Eagle Rock! They have this big sculpture of an Eagle on a rock near the main ferry port.
Here are 7 Awesome Things to do in Langkawi, Malaysia
1. Fly High in the Langkawi SkyCab
(also referred to as the Langkawi Cable Car) – TheLangkawi SkyCab is the longest free span single rope cable car, measuring about 950m long. They offer two spacious viewing areas, with the highest at 650m above sea level. Oh, the views are spectacular from the top, and you can see so much of the geopark and get a feel for the vast number of islands that make up Langkawi. The cable car ride offers various experiences, including a glass bottom carriage so you can see below you.
2. Float with the fishes while you are Snorkeling/Diving
You can spend the day out snorkeling or diving at the Pulau Payar (Payar Island) Marine Park. It is about a 1-hour ferry ride out to the island, and your ticket usually includes about 4 hours to snorkel and a boxed lunch. You may also opt to upgrade and go for a single tank dive, for an additional fee. It is actually a great little cove for snorkeling, with so many colorful fish and corals.
If you have a good eye, you can spot the tiny nudibranchs or even a grouper as big as you. After lunch, they sometimes gather the food scraps and go to the pier to feed the sharks too. This is an amazing experience not to be missed. Don’t worry if you can’t swim; they provide you with life vests.
3. Glide through the Mangrove Kilim Geoforest Park
Boats hired from Tanjung Rhu or the Kilim River cruise through Langkawi’s Geoforest Park along winding rivers flanked with dense mangrove swamps, rainforests, and unusual geological formations. You will be able to experience, watching bats in the caves, seeing monkeys all around, eagles soaring and feeding, as well as fish feeding at Hole in the Wall. It can get warm, so if you boat driver is up for it; ask if he can let you jump out for a quick and refreshing swim in the Andaman Sea. You will be able to see the coast of Thailand off in the distance.
4. Feel the wind in your hair when you rent scooters!
Just get out and explore off the beaten path. There is nothing better than to just get out and explore. Rent some scooters and meander your way around the island. Stop in the small villages along the way and make a day of it with a picnic lunch. You will find plenty of amazing beaches for a quick dip and swim too. Rental periods are usually for 24 hours, and it is fairly very low-cost entertainment.
5. Enjoy a Romantic Sunset Dinner Cruise
This is a very peaceful and relaxing evening out, where all you need to do is enjoy your surroundings. It is about a 2-hour boat tour of the surrounding islands, where you will learn about some local culture and myths. You will weave your way in and out of some stunning scenery all to watch the beautiful sunset at the end. There are various boats and options to select.
You may have a private boat or go with a bigger group. No matter which you choose, it will be an incredible experience.
6. Soar above the sea while you are Parasailing
With state of the art equipment, you can soar high above the boat on the parasail with up to 3 people at once. This is effortless for you as your take-off and landing all happen from the boat deck, so there is no need to worry about landing on the beach or running fast enough to take off.
They just reel you out and in with the cable. It is an amazing experience with picturesque views. They even let you decide if you wanted to get wet or not. If it was a yes, you could dip into your toes, knees or thighs.
7. Eat like locals!
Jom Ikan Bakar Masakan Ala-Kampung– This is as local as it can get. A wonderful seafood buffet, with chicken options as well. This is very low-cost and tasty as well. You may notice that using utensils is optional, so dig in and enjoy the experience. There are a few of these located around the island, but try the one located fairly close to the airport.
8. Bonus activity, hang out in the hammocks!
9. Find accommodation in Langkawi, Malaysia
Where to Stay in Langkawi, Malaysia
We recommend two different locations depending on the ambiance you prefer. From beaches to rainforest you will have no shortage of places to choose from.
Remote and Romantic Luxury – Berjaya Langkawi Resort
This is one of the largest 5-star resorts on the island. If you are looking to get away from it all and have the rainforest, white beaches, glistening sea and great service than this is the place for you. You will have your choice of rainforest chalets nestled up in the hills like a treehouse or a gorgeous room on stilts over the sea.
There are several restaurants on site as well as many activities available to keep you busy. They include an amazing buffet breakfast every morning, with stunning sea views. The service is top notch and the afternoons are well spent by the pool bar.
It is just a 10-minute walk from the Langkawi cable car and the shopping village. This is the ultimate in opulence.
Stay in style near all of the action – Meritus Pelangi Resort & Spa
The resort was located directly on the white sandy beaches and is within walking distance to town. All of the chalets have an easy beach and pool access, with spectacular views from your private terrace. The staff is very welcoming and helpful; you can tell they want you to have the best experience possible. The spa treatments are very well worth it and are tucked away in the back of the property.
It is located on Chenang Beach, where you will find many of the watersports activities available. There are also many international as well as local restaurants, and plenty of shops. So there will be no shortage of things to do or places to eat during your stay and all without needing a car.
Budget friendly The Cottage Langkawi
This property provides cottages and backpackers hostel rooms. It is located along Chenang Beach. They offer affordable prices, for those that aren’t looking for the resort experience. This is rated very highly among families with children.
The time to experience Langkawi is now!
About the Writer
Heidi and Alan Wagoner are passionate about travel (50+ countries) and both authors of the popular travel blog Wagoners Abroad. In Aug 2012, they left the “perfect American life,” quit their jobs, sold their belongings, and moved to Southern Spain, with their two kids (Lars and Anya). They also spent a year as nomads exploring Southeast Asia. Now Spain is their home base, and they continue to embrace the world and different cultures. They have inspired hundreds of people to visit Spain and helped many actually move to Spain as well. They are a true source of inspiration and proof you can make your dreams come true. Follow them on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter and many of the other social media channels.