North of Malaysia’s west coast is Langkawi, an archipelago of 99 islands (104 at low tide). Its main island receives the same name and can boast of being a tourist destination for all audiences. From beach areas with a wide variety of water sports, jungle trekking for the most sportsmen or a cable car ride to enjoy the island from a bird’s eye view. In this article, we will present the 10 best things to see in Langkawi.
Langkawi is also known for being the duty-free island of Malaysia. And is that some products such as alcohol, tobacco or chocolate do not have taxes. This is one of the main reasons why the island receives so much local tourism. Flying to Langkawi is not too expensive and you can also take home a good shipment of chocolate bars.
10 things to see in Langkawi
Langkawi was a surprise. An island from which we expected nothing and from which we had heard both good and bad things. He gave us a week of great heat, incredible sunsets, the best ice creams in Asia (at least for the moment) and fun activities such as the 3D museum. We tell you our 10 essentials in Langkawi. Maybe they will become your reasons to travel to the island!
1. Explore the Pantai Cenang area
Pantai Cenang is to Langkawi what Las Ramblas to Barcelona or the Strip to Las Vegas but on a small scale. The atmosphere at all hours, restaurants, duty-free shops, souvenir shops and perhaps too many cars up and down. Parallel to the busiest street in Langkawi is what is probably the most touristy beach on the island. And it is not precisely for its beauty, but for the number of water sports that can be practised.
I already warn you from here that the beaches of Langkawi did not seem to us and wonder. I don’t know if it was bad luck or what. We find excessively dirty beaches and where sometimes there are more jet skis than people in the water.
Returning to Pantai Cenang, I definitely recommend staying in this area to be more or less close to everything. There are accommodation options for all tastes and budgets. And the same goes for restaurants. You will find so many cheap street stalls up to a Starbucks or a McDonald’s.
2. Eat the best ice cream in Asia
Perhaps saying that it is the best is exaggerating a bit because obviously I have not tried them all. But if you want to feel that your taste buds are going on vacation to Italy for a moment, be sure to stop by Gelato Cabana. I liked it so much that I went every day. Also, the man who works there is a charm.
3. Visit the Langkawi Cable Car and the 3D museum
They are probably the star attractions of the island and the truth is that for me they are worth it. The views from the second-highest mountain in Langkawi are spectacular. On very clear days you can see many of the islands that are part of the Langkawi archipelago. But if the day is not accompanied it does not matter because the fog makes the landscape even more mystical. As for the 3D museum, get ready to have a laugh. It is one of the funniest interactive museums we have ever been to.
4. Slide down the Seven Wells waterfalls
Seven Wells is another one of the places you can’t miss, especially on hot days. These waterfalls are very close to the Langkawi Cable Car and are impressive. To get to them you will have to climb a few stairs, but it is worth it. Do not forget the swimsuit and, if you have time, stay awhile and have a picnic in the area. Flat!
5. Visit the Upsidow and see the world upside down
The Upsidow caught our attention from the beginning because it is an installation made from recycled materials. And what an installation! Everything is turned upside down, so when you take the photo and turn it over, this happens. In Upsidow itself there is a food trucks area where you can snack on something. They have options for all tastes: local food (be sure to try the Pau de Pollo), pizza, pasta, hamburgers, sandwiches, etc.
6. Get on the Gunung Raya
The Gurung Raya is the highest mountain on the island of Langkawi. You can walk it up, although we ruled it out mainly because we read that it was all stairs. The motorcycle climb can be done in about 20-30 minutes and the views from above are also spectacular. Of course, they do not differ much from the views from the Langkawi Cable Car. What I enjoyed the most was the climb, surrounded by unspoilt nature and scary monkeys.
7. Take an excursion to the northern beaches (or not)
Although we did not like the Langkawi beaches, we decided to take a motorcycle tour to see the northern beaches. In themselves, they are not bad, but we were unlucky because there were currents and we could not bathe. In addition, many of the beaches are resort-owned and privately owned. Many tourist activities are organized in this area but, from what we saw, no one responsible. So honestly you can do the excursion to the northern beaches or not. If you don’t do it, you won’t be missing out on anything amazing.
8. Breakfast at the tokman hotel
This is one of those tips that do not appear in travel guides. We stayed in various places during our stay in Langkawi and towards the end, we discovered Hotel Tokman. We didn’t get to sleep there but we did try their breakfast. For 10 ringgit ($2) you have a very rich and very rich breakfast buffet. It is cooked by the husband of the hotel manager and she makes a sauce that is to die for. Includes sweet pastries, bread with butter and assorted jams, some salty dishes, eggs cooked to order and drinks. From what we saw those days in Langkawi, it is the best value breakfast in the area.
9. Eat or have dinner at the market next to the airport
Another of those tips that do not appear in the guides. On google maps, the place is called Laksa Ikan Sekoq Langkawi. It is a market that is open almost every day (we know that it closes someday, but not exactly which one) and that mainly serves local food at a very good price. You will see him by the road just past the airport driving from Pantai Cenang. The best thing is that it is right on a beach and that day the sun gave us a movie sunset.
10. See a thousand and one sunsets
I guess it depends on the time you go and the weather. During the week we were in Langkawi it was terribly hot. The best reward was the collection of sunsets that we took.
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