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The best places to visit in Langkawi, Malaysia

Shows a view from the cable car of Langkawi

Welcome to our guide on the best places to visit in Langkawi, Malaysia. This stunning tropical island is quickly becoming a top Southeast Asia island destination for those that want great weather, relaxing beach, excellent hotels and endless facilities. It’s popular with Malaysians on vacation, but also has a huge appeal to Singaporeans and other international tourists.

Langkawi’s location is just south of Thailand’s Andaman Islands. So much so, you can catch a ferry to the Thailand mainland in just over an hour. Rice fields, palm trees, long sandy beaches and a unique eco-system make it the perfect tropical island destination for those that want to do more than just relax on the beach.

Read our guide on the best places to visit in Langkawi for inspiration on the top things to do during your visit. We’ve included all of the top attractions, but also a few off-the-beaten track favourites of ours. We loved our time in Langkawi and this article will show you exactly why…

Kilim Geoforest Park

We’re starting our list of great places to visit in Langkawi with our favourite attraction, Kilim Geoforest Park. This UNESCO protected nature reserve sits at the far north-east corner of Langkawi. It’s a series of natural mangroves, beaches and dense forests, forming together to create a labyrinth of nature and wildlife. The best way to see the Geoforest Park is by boat.

Boat tours depart from Tanjung Rhu pier throughout the day, taking you on a slow river cruise around the mangroves. During our tour we saw wild eagles, monkeys, tropical birds and the smaller creatures that make the mangrove their home. The quiet jungle scenery is breath-taking to look at and you’ll learn plenty of facts about Langkawi’s biodiversity as you cruise down the river.

There are several cruise operators available. However, we highly recommend choosing Junglewalla Tours. They’re an ethical tour that doesn’t feed the animals. They have excellent guides and offer both private and group tour options.

shows the Kilim Geoforest Park sign on a limestone cliff

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Tanjung Rhu Beach

Tanjung Rhu is regarded as the best beach in Langkawi. Located to the far north-east of the island, right next to the Kilim Geoforest, it’s a beach that’s surrounded my mangrove forest and wildlife. The beach stretches over 2.5km, with calm shores and towering limestone cliffs jutting out of the sea in the distance. Sunsets here are something special!

One section of Tanjung Rhu is open to the public; the other section is part of the 5-star Tanjung Rhu Resort. You can rent a sun lounger for a few hours, enjoy a coconut and admire the view from a beach bar, or hire a kayak for some island hopping. When the tide is low you can walk across the sand bar to small islands in the bay.

We recommend visiting Tanjung Rhu Beach after completing a boat tour of Kilim Geoforest Park. The beach is within walking distance of the pier. Alternatively, book into the Tanjung Rhu Resort for a couple of nights and wake up each morning to one of the most serene beaches in Langkawi.

shows the islands at Tanjung Rhu beach - The best places to visit in Langkawi

Langkawi SkyCab cable car

Langkawi SkyCab cable car is one of the best places to visit in Langkawi no matter your interests. It’s currently ranked as the steepest cable car in the world, taking you on an exhilarating journey up the side of Machincang Mountain in around 15-minutes. You’ll get to experience some beautiful forest scenery on the way up, with panoramic views of the south of Langkawi. The cable car then ascends to two viewpoints, which are connected by a second cable car. The whole Langkawi cable car experience is fun, scenic and will get your adrenaline pumping. We’ve been on a lot of cable cars and Langkawi was one of our favourites!

The Langkawi SkyCab has multiple ticket options, including a standard cab, a cab with a glass bottom and a unique ‘VIP’ experience. We opted for the cheapest ‘standard cab’ option, and it was perfect. We recommend heading to Langkawi SkyCab first thing on a morning when it opens as it can get very busy.

shows Langkawi skycab cable car - the best places to visit in Langkawi Malaysia

WATCH OUR VIDEO GUIDE ON THE BEST THINGS TO SEE & DO IN LANGKAWI ⬇️

Langkawi Sky Bridge

Paired with the Langkawi cable car experience but a small additional cost, the Sky Bridge is the star attraction at the top of the cable car ride. It’s one of the world’s longest curved suspension bridges, measuring 125-metres long. It’s nestled on the mountainside at the top of Machincang Mountain and provides stunning views of the valley below. Walking across the bridge can be a little nerve-wracking for those afraid of heights, but it’s a very cool experience.

shows the skybridge walk - Top things to do in Langkawi

Langkawi 3D Art Museum

The next attraction on our list of places to visit in Langkawi is a quirky art museum. 3D art museums are very popular in Malaysia and you’ll find them in all towns and cities. The Langkawi 3D Art Museum is a particularly excellent option, and entry is free when you show your Langkawi cable car ticket. The attractions is a 2-minute walk from the cable car base station.

When visiting the 3D Art Museum, you’ll walk through a series of rooms where giant murals have been painted onto the walls, floors and ceiling. Each exhibit is a fun, unique, photo spot. Position the camera correctly and stand in the correct spot and you’ll create a realistic-looking 3D photo. There are over 100 photo spots to choose from and it’s a lot of fun when travelling with a partner or family.

shows a 3d gorilla painting on the wall

Oriental Village

At the base of the Langkawi cable car, you’ll find a small village area known as the ‘Oriental Village’. You’ll pass through the village to get to the cable car and Sky Bridge. However, it’s worth a visit in itself. Colourful buildings, a small lake, fountains and traditional bridges set the scene for the Oriental Village. It has a handful of attractions, including a red double deck bus, the 3D Art Museum and some fun photo spots. It’s also full of shops, drink stalls and dining options.

Spend an hour wandering around the village at your leisure after checking out the other attractions in the area. It’s free to visit!

shows the oriental village in Langkawi - best places to visit in Langkawi Malaysia

Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls

Langkawi has a handful of waterfalls scattered across the island, but not many are as impressive as the Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls. Located in the Machincang Mountainside, right next to the cable car, Telaga Tujuh is not just a waterfall, it’s a series of falls, nature trails and encounters with the local wildlife. It has various trekking routes around the base of the mountain, with the shortest route leading to the bottom of the waterfall. Here, you can bathe in the natural pools or peer up at the water cascading over the cliff edge.

You can also walk up a long staircase to the top of Telaga Tujuh falls. The summit of the hill has several bathing pools, a natural rock water slide and a bridge that gives you excellent views of the mountainside below. The Telaga Tujuh trek can be a little challenging in the heat but it’s well worth a visit. We encountered many monkeys and birds on our way to the waterfall.

shows telaga tujuh waterfall in Langkawi

Gunung Raya

Gunung Raya is the island’s highest mountain, sitting at 881 metres above sea level. It’s one of the best places to visit in Langkawi to experience lush, tropical scenery and panoramic views of the towns and forests below. It’s also a great place to see the local wildlife! Macaques, geckos, lizards, hornbills, squirrels and super cute Dusky Leaf Monkeys make Guning Raya their home.

Visit Gunung Raya by car for a morning of hiking and nature trails. It’s a great place to be close to nature, away from the hustle and bustle of the beach towns. If you don’t want to go for a long hike in the heat, you can simply drive around and stop at the various viewpoints and walking trails.

shows a dusky leaf monkey on a tree

Pantai Cenang

Pantai Cenang is a long sandy beach and small beach town. It’s the most popular place to stay in Langkawi, being a lot busier on an evening that other towns and with a lot more going on. Its long beach is a top spot for water sports, boat and jet-ski tours to the islands, and there are plenty of sun loungers you can hire. It also has a wide selection of restaurants and bars.

On an evening, Pantai Cenang comes alive with music, street performers, bars and night market stalls. It’s also a popular place to shop. The main road is full of duty-free shops selling everything from chocolate and gifts to clothing, accessories and homeware. Evenings on Pantai Cenang Beach are host to energetic fire shows, live music and sunset cocktails.

shows a large sign of Pantai Chenang in capitals

Pantai Tengah

Pantai Tengah is the beach town just along the road from Pantai Cenang. It’s a popular place to stay for families, couples and those that want a quieter beach resort experience compared to the livelier Pantai Cenang. In our opinion, it’s also home to better restaurants. Visit Pantai Tengah during the day for a relaxing beach experience. As there aren’t many water sports providers on the beach, it’s a quieter place to relax and enjoy the sea views. It also has some nice beach cafes and sunset bars.

Stop by Pantai Tengah on an evening for a good selection of restaurants, ranging from Turkish grills, Korean BBQ and Chinese eateries to Malaysian cheap eats.

shows a longtail boat docked at Pantai Tengah beach in Langkawi

Island hopping – Dayang Bunting, Singa Besar and Beras Basah

The smaller islands to the south are some of the best places to visit in Langkawi for those that was a fun day out at sea. The archipelago of islands sits just off the south coast of the main Langkawi Island, so they’re easily reachable by boat, or the more exciting option, jet ski. Boat and jet-ski tours leave for the islands of Dayang Bunting, Singa Besar and Beras Basah every morning. They take you to untouched beaches, lakes, coves, and amongst natural limestone cliffs.

On a guided daytrip, you’ll encounter local wildlife such as eagles, birds, monkeys and sometimes dolphins. You’ll also stop at remote white-sand beaches to swim, a large lake known as ‘Pregnant Maiden Lake’ and a series of coves and inlets. We opted for the 4-hour jet-ski island hopping tour and loved every minute of it. It’s more expensive than the boat option but it’s completely unique. Zooming between Langkawi’s islands on a jet-ski will be a highlight of your trip!

shows jetskis on an island hopping tour in Langkawi - best places to visit in Langkawi Malaysia

Book a jet-ski island hopping tour on GetYourGuide

Kuah town

Kuah is the main town in Langkawi. It’s where a lot of locals live and is the centre of all business and transport to the island. Admittedly, there isn’t a lot to see in Kuah. However, it’s worth stopping by for a half-day if you like shopping. It has a good selection of duty-free shops where you can find some bargains, a nice local park and plenty of affordable, local restaurants. Most notably, it hosts a huge Saturday night market. Kuah town is one of the top places in Langkawi to experience a less touristic, local side to the island.

We personally loved the selection of street food stalls and small, affordable restaurants on offer. Cuisine can be quite westernised in the beach resort areas, so Kuah town is one of the best places to experience good Malaysian food.

shows an eagle landing on top of the water - best places to visit in Langkawi

Eagle Square – Dataran Lang

Also in the Kuah area, you’ll find Eagle Square, or Dataran Lang as it’s locally known. ‘Langkawi’ translates to ‘island of the reddish-brown eagle’. These magnificent birds can be seen all over the island and Eagle Square pays homage to the island’s bird with a grand statue by the edge of the sea. It’s a famous landmark on Langkawi and is not to be missed!

Go for a walk along the promenade and get up close to the giant, watchful eagle. We recommend visiting Dataran Lang at sunset on a Saturday evening if possible. You can then check out the Kuah night market.

shows a large eagle statue in Langkawi

Temurun Waterfall

We’ve mentioned Langkawi’s most popular waterfall, Telaga Tujuh. Temurun Waterfall is also worth a visit. It’s one of the top things to do in Langkawi for those that want a peaceful waterfall experience away from the crowds. Situated in the remote north-west corner of the island, Temurun is a cascading waterfall deep in the jungle.

Embark on a mini jungle trek up stairs, across forest pathways and across rocks to find the hidden waterfall. Temurun Waterfall is nice to admire from afar. You can also bath in the shallow pool at the base of the falls. It’s a refreshing place to cool down after a sweaty hike through the jungle. In addition to the waterfall, you’ll discover rich jungle scenery and plenty of wild monkeys. It’s a place to visit in Langkawi that’s well worth the drive and hike.

shows a close up of a macaque monkey on a rock - best places to visit in Langkawi Malaysia

Pasir Tengkorak Beach

Right next to Temurun Waterfall is one of Langkawi’s most beautiful, secluded beaches, Pasir Tengkorak. This small cove features bright turquoise water, gorgeous white sands and a jungle backdrop. It doesn’t have the water sports activities and crowds of the southern beaches, so it’s a calm and peaceful place to relax. It’s also undeveloped, so you’ll need to bring your own towels, snacks and drinks.

Visit Pasir Tengkorak Beach along with Temurun Waterfall for a relaxing day in nature. Both Langkawi attractions are well worth checking out.

shows a close up of the beach shore

Visit a night market

South East Asia is full of bustling night markets. They’re a place where you can try local street foods, buy cheap clothes and accessories, or simply wander around, soaking in the atmosphere. We all love a good market! Rather than one main market, Langkawi has several. Each market is generally only open one or two days a week, so you can visit a different market each evening if you’d like.

Here are the main Langkawi night markets to check out:

  • Monday – Ulu Melaka Night Market
  • Tuesday – Kedawang Night Market
  • Wednesday – Kuah Town Night Market
  • Thursday – Temonyong night market
  • Friday – Ayer Hangat Night Market
  • Saturday – Kuah Town Night Market
  • Sunday – Padang Matsirat Night Market
shows food stands at Langkawi night market - best places to visit in Langkawi Malaysia

SKYTREX Adventure Langkawi

SKYTREX Adventure is one of the best things to do in Langkawi for those that want to have a ziplining adventure in the jungle. Canopy walkways, rope bridges and plenty of towering ziplines make SKYTREX one of the top-rated outdoor activity centres. It’s well managed, has good safety stands and is a lot of fun!

SKYTREX is near a selection of other attractions on our list, including the Langkawi cable car and Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls. Therefore, you can do a series of fun jungle activities in one day. Visit their official website here for prices, packages and bookings. https://www.skytrex-adventure.org/langkawi

shows a rope zipline in Langkawi - the best places to visit in Langkawi Malaysia

Laman Padi Langkawi

Langkawi is full of rice fields. The hot, tropical climate is the perfect setting to grow one of South-East Asia’s most popular foods, and fields can be found throughout the rural areas of the island. To see a rice paddy up close and learn about how the crop is grown and cultivated, stop by Laman Padi on the south of the island. It’s one of the more cultural places to visit in Langkawi.

Located in Pantai Cenang, it’s a good attraction to add to your list when you fancy a break from the beaches. It has a series of walking trails throughout the rice field, photo spots and a museum where you can learn how rice is made. It’s a little bit of a tourist trip. However, the small entrance fee makes it worth a visit when you’re in the area.

shows a rice field during sunrise - the best places to visit in Langkawi Malaysia

Underwater World

Underwater World Langkawi is one of the best places to visit in Langkawi for families. Easily accessible for those staying in Pantai Cenang, the aquarium is a place where you can discover the many species of marine life that make the Langkawi waters their home. It also has species from faraway lands. We were surprised to see penguins here!

Visit Underwater World Langkawi to see the marine exhibits, learn about the local wildlife and see the animals being fed. Young children in particular will appreciate this Langkawi attraction.

shows tropical fish in an aquarium

Thanks for reading our guide on the best places to visit in Langkawi. Whether you manage to cover every attraction on our list or just experience the must-sees, you’ll have a great time on this diverse tropical island. Langkawi may lack the heritage and food scene of other parts of Malaysia. However, its gorgeous tropical scenery, wildlife, beaches and adventure activities set the scene for an amazing trip. We recommend visiting Langkawi for at least one week if you can.

If you have any questions about any of the things to do in Langkawi we’ve listed or have your own suggestions, be sure to post a comment below.

The Top Langkawi Excursions – GetYourGuide

Ricky

BY RICKY MARSHALL

Author bio:

An adventurer at heart that loves anything outdoors. Beaches, mountains and amazing scenery is everything I love about travel! I also enjoy home comforts and need a nice place to relax and re-charge after every trip.

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