Langkawi, Malaysia: Travel/Tourist Information Guide
Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah, is an archipelago of 99 islands on the Northern Region of the Peninsular Malaysia. The islands are a part of the state of Kedah. Having beautiful islands and beaches, rainforests, mountains and unique natural attractions, it was granted to be a UNESCO Global Geopark. There are two main island areas: the Southern Islands, which has a thick number of tourists, and the Northeast Islands, which has the most tranquil beaches. The main island, Pulau Langkawi, is a mixture of paddy fields and jungle clad hills. Kuah is the main town and main settlement that is the best place for duty-free shopping. The main island is hosting some of the country's most popular beaches including Pantai Cenang. Off the coast of Pantai Cenang are islands housing several attractions and hotels. The natural beauty of Langkawi is what attracts the tourists.
Pantai Cenang is the busiest beach town on the Pulau Langkawi. The main tourist hub featuring a strip of diverse restaurants, bars and dance clubs for a bustling beach nightlife, accommodation from high-end hotels to budget hotels, shops, duty-free outlets, and child-friendly attractions is a popular holiday destination for locals, backpackers, foreign tourists, and traveling families. Famous for its water activities like jet skiing and parasailing, the Mega Water Sports offers jet ski island tours at a reasonable price. There are also rent-out jet skis, parasailing, banana boats, and wakeboards. Aside from the beach and water-based activities, top attractions in Pantai Cenang are the Underwater World Langkawi, the largest aquarium in Malaysia with over 300 species of marine and freshwater fish, and the Rice Garden Museum, a gallery in Laman Padi that exhibits artefacts, photos, and other important objects that show the history of rice cultivation in Langkawi.
A quieter beach located at the southern road bend of Pantai Cenang is the Pantai Tengah. It is the longest stretch of beach that has few chalets and all-inclusive resorts. Attractions in this beach are not as plenty as the ones in Cenang, but the beach itself offers fun water activities that tourists enjoys. There are plenty of huts in the beach that are home to water sport operators of island hopping tours, jet ski rides, banana boat rides, and speed boat joy rides.Known spot for relaxation, the beach are hosting a lot of spas including the Ishan Malaysian Spa. Treatments like the bamboo massage and the herbal body scrub and wrap pamper the visitors. For families, the Mini Water Theme Park located within the Aseania Resort & Spa is a recommended place to head to. It houses the largest swimming pool in the country covering an area of 154.4 meters. Adult and children enjoy the wave pool, mushroom pool, waterfall, Jacuzzi, sundeck, and lazy river. When the sun sets, the calm and serene beachside turns into a busy and loud nightlife scene.
One of Langkawi's best shorelines is the Tanjung Rhu in the north. It is a secluded area with a peaceful atmosphere and a clean and cool air. Other beautiful beaches that are worth the visit are the Pantai Kok, Datai Bay, Burau Bay, Black Sand Beach, and Pantai Pasir Tengkorak.
Langkawi is a collection of 99 islands. Most of these islands are inhabited and few are developed for tourism. Island tour operators are all over the main island to cater tourists wishing to have a visit on the islands. However, tours shut down during the months of July to September preventing any danger at the sea as it becomes choppy and weather is not good. The most popular islands in Langkawi are Pulau Payar Marine Park, Pulau Dayang Bunting, Pulau Beras Basah, Pulau Singa Besar, and Rebak Island.
A popular site for snorkeling and diving is the Pulau Payar Marine Park. The Coral Garden is one of the its main diving site housing a well-protected coral system and various marine wildlife. Langkawi Coral is the official operator for a half-day snorkeling excursion that costs 295 RM for adults and 195 RM for children with hotel transfers and use of reef-viewing platform.
Pulau Dayang Bunting is the second largest uninhabited island in Langkawi. Its name means "Isle of Pregnant Maiden", which compliments its reclined pregnant woman silhouette look from afar. The island is believed to bring fertility to women swimming in the freshwater lake. The lake is surrounded by mangrove trees and limestone cliffs with food stalls and souvenir shops nearby. A half-day island hopping tour may cost 80 RM to 100 RM while jet ski tours are 650 RM to 1200 RM.
Pulau Beras Basah is a home to expansive sandy beaches with clear blue waters. Despite its popularity, the island remained undeveloped leaving the beach as natural as it can be. There are banana boat rides and jet ski rentals at 100 RM. The island hopping tour costs 80 to 100 RM and a private speedboat tour may cost 600 RM to 900 RM.
For animals and wildlife, the Pulau Singa Besar is an island worth visiting. It is a wildlife sanctuary that is a home to eagles, monkeys, hornbills, monitor lizards, and other exotic wildlife. The beaches are great for swimming, while the forest is a place for trekking and overnight camping. Exploring the island is not included on an island hopping tour, but tourists on board may witness the eagle-feeding session. A private speedboat tour to the island may cost 600 RM to 900 RM.
The Rebak Island is a secluded islet that houses the Vivanta by Taj Rebak Island perfect for a romantic and exclusive holiday. The resort has numerous facilities including an outdoor swimming pool, a health club, a full-service spa, and an arcade and game room. It is also a home to natural rock formations, lush jungle, picturesque waterfalls, limestone caves, and secluded beaches. The only equipped marina in Malaysia is located in the island that caters luxury ferry ride to the guests heading to the main island. Booking the hotel early is recommended.
Other Natural Attractions
Langkawi also boasts its tropical rainforests with amazing wildlife, breathtaking waterfalls, and beautiful greenery.
Waterfalls are also gems to the archipelago. Some of the beautiful waterfalls that attracts tourists are the Temurun Waterfalls in Mat Cincang Nature Park of Datai, a 30 meter drop water cascade; the Durian Perangin Falls, a 14-tier waterfall that flows down the slopes of Mount Raya; and the Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls, the island's most wonderful natural attraction that has seven connected natural pools fed by seven separate waterfalls in Mount Mat Cincang.
Mountains are also the best natural attraction for backpackers. Mount Mat Cincang and Mount Raya are located next to each other. The famous cable car at a 709 meters above sea level is housed in the Mount Mat Cincang.
Other natural attractions are the Kilim Karst Geoforest Park set along the northeast tip of Langkawi Island and the Sungai Kilim Nature Park. These nature parks are home to several wildlife. With these natural attractions that remained pristine, Langkawi was granted as a UNESCO Global Geopark.