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The best things to do in Langkawi, Malaysia

Get inspiration on the best things to do in Langkawi with our action-packed list of activities. Although Langkawi is known for its blissful white-sand beaches and tropical vibes, there’s plenty to see and do when you fancy some sightseeing. A healthy mix of relaxation and activities is the best way to enjoy a trip to Langkawi and we’re here to make sure you make the most of it!

After exploring the island for a week, we’ve assembled our personal favourites for the top things to do in Langkawi, with some tips and tricks we learnt along the way.

Drift about the clouds in a SkyCab and Walk the SkyBridge

Best things to do in Langkawi - Shows Skybridge from above
Langkawi attractions - SkyCab cable car

Starting with one of the best things to do in Langkawi and the island’s most famous attraction, the Langkawi Skybridge and cable car is where you can find the most spectacular views of the island. Board a ‘Skycab’ cable car at the base of the forest and ascend to the clouds, up to a staggering 660 metres (2,170ft) above sea level. The views from the cable car and summit are breath-taking. You’ll see the coastline below and will find yourself surrounded by rich jungle terrain.

Once you reach the platforms perched on top of the forest, make your way to the uniquely designed SkyBridge. This 125m long, curved pedestrian bridge is where you’ll take all of your best Langkawi pictures and the views are incredible. Just be careful when looking down through the glass floor, it’s a lot higher than you’d think!

Relax on one of the amazing beaches

The best beaches in Langkawi - Shows a white-sand beach and blue ocean

Considering Langkawi is a tropical island with warm temperatures and scorching sunshine, its beautiful beaches are probably top of your agenda for places to visit. Although there’s plenty to do on the island, the main attraction is simply relaxing on the beach, going for a swim and capturing amazing sunsets from the shore. Here are the best beaches in Langkawi to check out:

Tanjung Rhu Beach – Located to the north of Langkawi away from the main tourist areas, Tanjung Rhu is without a doubt our favourite beach. You have huge stretches of clean, white sands and the ocean is calm. Gaze out at the rock formations in the distance and spend your day soaking in the sun. We recommend visiting in the afternoon and staying for sunset, which is out of this world!

Cenang Beach – Cenang is the main tourist beach in Langkawi and although it can get a little busy in peak season, there’s plenty to see and do here and the sands themselves are beautifully maintained. Grab a drink in a beach-side restaurant, enjoy live entertainment on an evening or relax all day long. This is also the best beach for water sports.

Pasir Tengkorak Beach – Pasir Tengkorak is a small, secluded beach right next to Tengkorak National Forest. Head out for an early morning trek through the greenery and then descend to the beach for an afternoon of relaxation. The beach is small but pretty and there’s a few bars and restaurants to grab lunch. 

Cool down at Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls

Shows Telaga Tujuh waterfalls and rocks below
image courtesy of Mohd Fazlin Mohd Effendy Ooi – Flickr

Langkawi is home to many refreshing waterfalls, but Telaga Tujuh is the top-rated falls. With a location right next to the must-see national park and cable car view attraction, Telaga falls is the perfect accompaniment to an action-packed day out. Visit the falls after your trek to bathe in the fresh water, capture some cool pictures and relax in nature. The waterfall area has various walking paths that you can follow and rocky pool areas to paddle in. Just be sure to bring some decent footwear! The rocks can be slippery.

Stop by the Langkawi night market

The best things to do in Langkawi - Shows a woman walking through a night market

You can’t visit South-East Asia and not check out a good night market! And Malaysia’s markets are very good. Browse the market stalls on an evening for a bustling atmosphere of locals selling everything from bags and clothes to handmade gifts. Then there’s the food stalls – the main reason we love night markets! Sample delicious Malaysian street food and then buy some fresh fruit or shaved ice cream for dessert. It’s a cheap night out and part of the fun is just embracing the atmosphere around you. The night market tends to move location based on the day of the week so we recommend checking Google on the day you plan on visiting. View its map location here.

Explore Kilim Karst Geoforest Park on a mangrove boat tour

Boats floating near Kilim Karst Geoforest Park

To the far north-east corner of the island sits the stunningly beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Geoforest called Kilim Karst. This natural forest and mangrove habitat are home to countless species of different animals, also featuring lagoons, beaches and even floating restaurants. The best way to see the natural park is on a mangrove boat tour. Get up close and personal with monkeys, reptiles and other locals, gaze at the impressive land formations and cruise leisurely over turquoise-coloured lagoons.

The Kilim Karst Geoforest Park is a by far one of the best things to do in Langkawi and a must-see for any trip. You can book a boat tour online on Viator before arrive or at one of the tourist agency booths on the island itself.

Visit Langkawi Wildlife Park

Top things to do in Langkawi - Shows animals at Langkawi Wildlife Park

Right next to the mangroves of Kilim Karst Geoforest you have Langkawi Wildlife Park; a compact zoo filled with local animals, birds and reptiles. Unlike many zoo’s, you can actually interact with the animals here and take part in feeding time for the birds or hugging a racoon. It suits families with kids perfectly, however adults will enjoy themselves too and it’s a good place to visit later on in the afternoon. We recommend coming here straight after Kilim Karst Geoforest as they’re so close together. You’ll also hopefully catch the animals at a cooler time of the day as they like to hide in the shade when it’s hot. View the Langkawi Wildlife Park information and ticket prices on their website here.

Relax in a luxury hotel

Sun loungers on the private beach of a hotel

Being one of the top places for a beach holiday in Malaysia, one of the best things to do in Langkawi is simply relaxing in a nice hotel. Sip cocktails by the private beach, go for a dip in the pool and enjoy a candle-lit dinner in the on-site restaurant. Langkawi has no shortage of cool hotels, from the super luxurious resorts that take up their own area of the island to excellent but affordable guesthouses with a pool. Consider how secluded you want your hotel to be and your budget level to choose the perfect hotel escape for you. Here are some of our favourite hotels in Langkawi for every budget:

5-star luxury: The Datai Langkawi or The Ritz-Carlton. Both hotels offer amazing luxury experiences and unique accommodation themed to the island.

Mid-range: Look no further than the trendy Camar Resort Langkawi, located in the main tourist area. The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa suits those want somewhere a little more secluded and romantic.

Budget but brilliant: Check out Tropical Resort Langkawi. It’s a basic but well-maintained boutique hotel near the main beach.

Go on a snorkelling boat trip

The best things to do in Langkawi - Yacht sailing alongside a forest

Langkawi is not one island, but an archipelago of islands big and small. The best way to see them is to step off land and onto a boat, for a tour around the coastline. Various island-hopping boat trips are available, including a more exhilarating jet-ski tour, so we recommend researching to find an option that suits you best. We personally recommend the day yacht cruise experience for a leisurely cruise around Langkawi. 😊 Tours generally include hopping between different islands, swimming, snorkelling and a BBQ lunch on the beach.

For a more relaxing experience gazing at the sunset and enjoying delicious food and drinks, you may prefer a sunset cruise. Either option is excellent but we personally opted for the day trip.

Check out the Art in Paradise interactive museum

Shark mural at the Art in Paradise museum

A 3D art museum may not be your first thought of an activity on a tropical island such as Langkawi, however we highly recommend checking it out! Art in Paradise is an interactive art museum with rooms painted with giant murals, designed to trick the camera and give the impression of you being in the scene. Spend an hour or so exploring the museum with your partner, family or friend and take pictures of each other in the different scenes. It’s a cool way to spend time when you want a break from the sun.

Take a day-trip to Penang island

Top attractions in Langkawi - Temples of Penang

If you’re staying in Langkawi for an extended period of time (one-week plus), you might want to go on a day trip to sample another area of Malaysia. You can take a direct ferry to the cultural island of Penang in only 2hr 45mins and ferries run 7 days a week. Board at the main port and set sail onward to the Penang capital of Georgetown. It’s known as one of the best places for Malaysian food in the whole country!

This UNESCO protected colonial city is a melting pot of culture, featuring famous street art, colourful colonial buildings and some amazing streets, architecture, temples and museums. View our Georgetown guide here for tips on the best things to do in the city. We recommend staying overnight in Georgetown and then returning to Langkawi by ferry the next day. It’s a day trip that will be a highlight of your holiday!

Meet some reptiles at Crocodile Adventureland

Shows a crocodile at Crocodile Adventureland

Langkawi’s very own Crocodile Adventureland is something a little different to check out when visiting the island. Wander around the grasslands and lakes looking at huge crocodiles, alligators and other reptiles. Seriously, these things are huge and will catch you off guard! The adventure park also has various interactive attractions and crocodile shows with the staff that will leave you wide eyed.

We’ve visited a few different reptile parks in South East Asia and Crocodile Adventureland definitely seemed to be well-run, with staff being knowledgeable and caring for the animals, rather than placing them there solely for your entertainment. You’ll learn a good deal about the crocs too. 😊 Visit their official website here to book tickets.

Get your adrenaline racing with water sports at Pantai Cenang

Couple jet-skiing on a beach in Langkawi

If you’re a big fan of water sports and doing something adventurous on your beach holiday, Langkawi’s Pantai Cenang Beach is the place to go for the best water activities. Jet ski rental, para-sailing, banana boats and wake boards are all available at the beach and you can spend your full afternoon getting your adrenaline going. Tours are also available for those that want to do a spot of sightseeing on a jet-ski. We recommend Mega Water Sports, a top-reviewed company based on Pantai Cenang Beach.

Go for a bike ride by Eagle Square

Best things to do in Langkawi - Shows the Eagle statue at Eagle Square

Known for its large eagle sculpture in the centre and beautiful views of the bay, Eagle Square is right in the centre of Langkawi’s main tourist area. It has a short promenade where you can go for a stroll looking out at the sea, stalls where you can grab a fruity drink and a few gift shops to browse. We recommend renting a bike and exploring this area of town at your leisure, stopping off for snack breaks. You have to check out the huge eagle statue too of course! Arrive at sunset for the best views.

Hike to the top of mount Gunung Raya

A view from the top of Gunung Raya mountain

Climb to the very highest point on the island by ascending to the summit of mount Gunung Raya. This huge mountain is visible from everywhere in Langkawi, with a staggering elevation of 872m above sea level. Rent a scooter or book a private transfer to climb the road up to the mountain peak and then strap on your hiking shoes and take the dirt path. You can even drive most of the way for some excellent views, making it an easy trek for anyone to complete. At the top of Gunung Raya you have panoramic views of the entirety of Langkawi and lush jungle terrain stretching into the distance. Set off on the trek on a morning whilst it’s cool and make sure you pack the appropriate supplies. You’ll need plenty of water!

Climb through the trees as Langkawi Canopy Adventures

Woman zip-lining through the forest at Langkawi Canopy Adventures

Malaysians love their treetop adventure parks and we found them in most of the destinations we visited whilst travelling the country. Langkawi’s very own Canopy Adventures park is a top-rated activity park full of ziplines, rope walks and obstacle courses, each with varying levels of difficulty. Clamber high into the trees and swing between them like a monkey for a couple of hours – it’s great fun! You’ll capture some nice views of the jungle canopy too. We found Canopy Adventures to be well-run and they took safety very seriously. Find out more information on their Tripadvisor profile here.

Go shopping at Cenang Mall

Selection of colourful plates in a shop

For rainy days or evenings out where you fancy stocking up on some holiday clothes or gifts, Langkawi’s Cenang Mall is the place to go. The mall has mainly local shops and brands, but also Starbucks, McDonalds and other western cafes and restaurants. It’s nothing mind blowing, but is a nice place to visit to catch a break from the sun or if you fancy a browse before dinner.  View the Cenang Mall location on a map here. It’s right in the centre of the main tourist area.

Thanks for reading our guide on the best things to do in Langkawi! Our top tip is to take it slow and have lots of relaxation time in your hotel or on the beach. One day of activities, one day of rest, is the perfect combination, but it’s completely up to you as to how much exploring you do! Browse our other Malaysia travel guides here, including advice on visiting the capital Kuala Lumpur and cultural island of Penang.


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