Located off Malaysia’s northwestern coast in the Andaman Sea, Langkawi is an archipelago of 99 islands boasting picturesque beaches, rainforest, mangroves and forest-clad mountains, making it one of Malaysia’s most popular destination. In recent years, resorts, hotels, restaurants and other tourist facilities have developed in Langkawi, offering visitors the opportunity to experience the archipelago’s exceptional natural beauty.
By far the largest of the islands is the eponymous Pulau Langkawi with a population of some 65,000, the only other inhabited island being nearby Pulau Tuba. Langkawi can be explored by taxi or renting a car, motorbike or scooter at the airport. Bicycles can be hired at many hotels. The island’s natural splendor is its number one attraction. Beaches offer powdery white sands, crystal clear waters, limestone cliffs and water sports. The most popular beach, Pantai Cenang, is busy with restaurants and bars. The beaches of Pantai Tengah and Pantai Kok are more isolated, offering peace and tranquility.
Several protected parks offer jungle trekking and mangrove tours where visitors can experience breathtaking views of the Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls and exotic birds and animals like monitor lizards and macaque monkeys. Gunung Raya and Gunung Mat Cincang are Langkawi’s tallest mountains with lookout points presenting outstanding views of the area and across to Thailand. Gondola rides and the SkyBridge are fun ways to ascend the mountains and survey the surrounding beauty.
Other attractions not to miss are the Laman Padi Rice Garden, Eagle Square, the Underwater World aquarium and Oriental Village, which features snake charmers, elephant rides and traditional food, music and customs.
From food stalls to resort restaurants, food choices vary widely from traditional dishes of steamed rice and coconut wrapped in banana leaves to international cuisines of Indian, Chinese, Balinese and German.