There is only one word that can describe Langkawi—inexpressible! An exotic tropical paradise made up of 99 islands in the beautiful waters of the Andaman Sea, just off Malaysia’s north-west coast. As Malaysia’s most well-known holiday destination, there is just so much to explore, see and do.
Surrounded by stunning turquoise sea, the interior of the main island is a chequerboard of picturesque paddy fields and jungle-clad hills.
Nature-lovers will find the island delightful with its shoreline fringed with powdery fine sand and swaying coconut trees. The island is not only an excellent diving location, but a tropical masterpiece that hides a treasure trove of other thrilling vacation surprises. The sightseeing spots will not disappoint, and the vast array of gastronomic options will leave you spoilt for choice.
So what exactly can one do in Langkawi? Trek through the rainforest, take a mangrove forests and eagle watching tour, Jet Ski to local islands, go diving, parasailing or island hopping. Visit the Oriental Village, take a trip on the sky cable car, walk the sky bridge, investigate the Agro Technology Park, visit rubber plantations and rice paddies or just laze by the pool or on the beach.
Here we’ve picked out just a few of the spectacular attractions:
Langkawi’s popular cable-car ride takes visitors all the way up to Mount Mat Cincang, Langkawi’s second highest peak. Beside it is the highest peak, Gunung Raya Mountain, but the only way up to that peak is by car. According to local legend, the two mountains had ‘quarrelled’ before at the wedding of their children. So what happened next? Take a trip to find out more!
At Mount Mat Cincang, a set of staircases will lead you to the observatory deck on top. Once there, you can finally enjoy the magnificent view of the surrounding horizon; the island’s landscape, skyline and seas beyond. Beside the deck is the Langkawi Sky Bridge—a steel bridge suspended across Mount Mat Cincang and a neighbouring mountain. Walking across this bridge is a fantastic experience and offers a different viewpoint of the island and sea. It is a 410 foot-long curved pedestrian bridge above Mount Mat Cinchang. As cliché as it may sound, the views from here are simply stunning—great for those Instagram moments!
What’s the next best thing after viewing the skyline from the peak? Focus and hear—*Whoosh splash!* The melodious rush of water drumming on rocks.
Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls is billed as the island’s most wonderful natural attraction. Its name also means Seven Wells Waterfalls, referring to a series of seven connected natural pools fed by seven separate waterfalls in Mount Mat Cincang.
Locals say that the Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls are home to fairies, but really it is probably the gorgeous flora in the area that makes the place seem magical.
Take in deep lungfuls of the fresh air, damp with mist from the waterfalls, and put on your swimming gear! Dip in and have a relaxing bath in the pool at the bottom. You will definitely have a splashing good time.
While some might be content with simply admiring the waterfalls from the bottom, there’s more to see on top. Adventure enthusiasts can brave the steep climb past huge rocks and through the seven pools where that cut through the undergrowth—a journey that will take you about 45 minutes. Along the way, look out for the abundance of flora and fauna—you are likely to spot macaques, hornbills and a positively giant squirrel or two. Get ready a list, spot them and start ticking them off!
Don’t forget to look at the bigger picture—visit some of the 99 islands! What better way to know more about Langkawi than island hopping? Take a three island tour, for as little as US$7–US$15. Or take a day trip along the coast from Kuala Perlis costing around US$180.
Usually, the three island tours include Pulau Singa Besar (Big Lion Island) where you get the watch the king of the skies—eagles diving for their prey or for chicken carcasses thrown by the boat drivers. Pulau Dayang Bunting to catch the silhouette of the pregnant maiden, and Beras Basah Island (Wet Rice Island) which is a beach just to chillax (chill and relax), breathe in what Mother Nature has to offer, and soak up the holiday atmosphere.
Of course, what is a vacation without scrumptious food? Fruits of all kinds and local delicacies can be found at the Langkawi Night Markets. Malay, Thai and Chinese dishes are readily available in the restaurants but when it comes to an island like Langkawi, it has got to be fish or seafood!
Nonetheless, words are just plain words and pictures are just pictures. They may paint a thousand words but there is always a limit to one’s imagination. You have to see it for yourself to believe in Langkawi’s wonders!
Ang Xue-Er has a passion for exploration, thriller novels and volleyball. Always keen to experience new, opportunities around the world.