Spotlight on: Langkawi
Consisting of 99 stunning tropical islands, the archipelago of Langkawi lies just off Malaysia’s north-west coast. The main island, Langkawi Island, is the largest and is where most of the accommodation and activities are based.
With an array of accommodation options to suit every taste and budget, breathtaking beaches, pristine jungle full of wildlife and hiking trails, and plenty of activities for all ages, Langkawi could be just the destination you need for your next break!
To help you plan your ultimate island getaway read on for answers to the following questions:
- When to visit Langkawi?
- How to get to Langkawi?
- What to do in Langkawi?
- Where to stay in Langkawi?
When to go to Langkawi?
Malaysia has two distinct seasons on each side of the peninsula. Langkawi, on the west coast, enjoys its best weather between November to April. This is the dry season, and the weather should be warm, dry, and sunny - perfect for relaxing on the beach! Temperatures during these months are generally between 30-35°C during the daytime and stay warm at night.
During the low season (May to October), temperatures drop to a slightly cooler 25-30°C and there are chances of rain and thunderstorms during this period. The heaviest rains generally arrive in September and October, but even at this time any rain is usually accompanied by long periods of clear dry sunshine, and many people still visit Langkawi to take advantage of the reduced visitor numbers and lower prices.
How do I get to Langkawi?
Langkawi has great transport connections and can fit into most tours of Malaysia quite comfortably. There are multiple flight connections from both Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, and the archipelago can also be visited as part of an overland tour through Peninsula Malaysia, with regular ferries from the mainland and from Penang Island.
Langkawi can also be combined with a stay in Thailand. A speedboat can take you from Langkawi to the paradisiacal island of Koh Lipe, off Southern Thailand’s Andaman Coast. From there you can continue island-hopping up to Krabi and beyond, as seen in our tour ‘Island Hopping from Kuala Lumpur to Krabi’.
What is there to do in Langkawi?
Although it is primarily known as a beach destination, Langkawi has no shortage of things to do for those who prefer a bit more activity on their holidays.
Gunung Machinchang (also known as Gunung Mat Cincang) is the second highest peak in Langkawi, standing at 850m above sea level, and provides a base for a number of activities. The dramatic cable car ride to the peak takes around 15 minutes and offers incredible views over the lush rainforests, tumbling waterfalls, and gleaming beaches of Langkawi itself and its surrounding islands. Also located at Gunung Machinchang is the Langkawi Sky Bridge. This is a 410ft long pedestrian bridge curving out from the mountainside. Although not for the faint hearted the views from the bridge and the observation deck are truly breathtaking.
Keen hikers will delight in the array of hiking trails to be found around Gunung Machinchang and Gunung Raya, the highest peak in Langkawi. The peak of Gunung Raya can be reached by car so if you don’t fancy tackling all those steps the hike can be done in reverse downhill instead, so you can still get the views but with less effort. Trekking to the peak of both mountains is a tough climb, so these hikes are best for those with a good level of fitness. For those looking for a gentler option, then there are an array of jungle walks available, with short one-hour walks or longer multi-hour hikes possible. The hike to Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls is a popular route and the waterfalls themselves are very picturesque and great for a refreshing dip after the walk.
Langkawi has an extensive network of mangroves, which help to protect and preserve the island’s ecosystem. The Kilim Geoforest Park is full of fascinating and unique flora and fauna, and the best way to explore is to take a boat trip through the mangrove forest.
Langkawi is more than just its main island, and an island-hopping tour is a fantastic way to see some of the other areas. There are opportunities for snorkelling and diving off some of the smaller and uninhabited islands. The Pulau Payar Marine Park is a great snorkelling spot, and can be reached by a short boat trip from the main island.
Golfers will be right at home here with three golf courses, including the internationally acclaimed Els Clb Teluk Datai, close to the stunning Datai Bay and the luxurious Datai Resort.
There are also plenty of activities for families with children of all ages. Underwater World is Malaysia’s largest aquarium, and showcases hundreds of species of marine and freshwater fish. Langkawi Wildlife Park & Bird Paradise is a five-acre site housing many species of birds and animals, with the highlight being the large walk-through aviary. Art in Paradise, Malaysia’s largest 3D Art Museum, is sure to be a hit with the whole family with its interactive art displays and fun optical illusions. Finally, the Taman Langenda Folklore Park is a park / outdoor museum themed around Langkawi’s history and folklore, and is a relaxing and educational way to spend an afternoon.
Where should I stay in Langkawi?
Langkawi’s range of hotels can suit every style and budget, from budget backpacker guesthouses to comfortable mid-range boutique hotels, right up to some of the top luxury resorts in the country.
Here are some of our favourites:
One of our favourite places to stay in Langkawi is the Casa del Mar, a stylish yet laid back boutique resort right on the beachfront with easy access to all the amenities of Pantai Cenang Beach.
The Danna Langkawi combines a classic colonial heritage style with all the modern comforts and facilities of an upmarket beach resort. The resort is located along a quiet bay, but right on the doorstep of some of the island’s main attractions such as the Sky Bridge, and a conveniently short transfer from the airport.
If you prefer a more secluded location, then the Datai Langkawi, found on the idyllic Datai Bay, is one of the top resorts in the whole of Malaysia. Boasting a fantastic location in the jungle alongside Langkawi’s most beautiful stretch of beach, the Datai offers stunning rooms and suites, exceptional food, and impeccable service throughout.
Langkawi features on several of our existing tours in Peninsula Malaysia, and can also be easily included in your own bespoke itinerary. Please get in touch to speak with one of our Malaysia specialists and start planning your adventure.