6 Reasons to Visit Langkawi

Published 24 February 2017

Lucy Tolley

Lucy Tolley

Langkawi is a quintessential tropical paradise: think white beaches and palm trees, dense rainforest forests and spectacular waterfalls.

A small island located off Malaysia’s west coast, Langkawi is known as the ‘Jewel of Kedah’ and is just one of many tropical islands situated in the Andaman Sea.

Whether you want a chilled beach holiday, or a little adventure, there is something for everyone here. Below are my top 6 reasons why you should visit Langkawi.

Sunset in Langkawi

Sunset in Langkawi image: Lucy Tolley

The beach

If all you want to do is sip cocktails whilst lazing in a hammock looking out over crystal blue sea, Langkawi is the destination for you. There’s no shortage of white pristine sand to choose from, with many of the hotels offering superb beaches. However, some of the best beaches are worth a little trip out of the comfort of your hotel. Try Burau Bay, situated on the west of the island, or Pasir Tengkorak and Pantai Kok Beach in the north.

Langkawi archipelago

Islands in the Langkawi archipelago image: Lucy Tolley


Langkawi is part of an archipelago of 104 islands in the Andaman Sea. Its surrounding islands consist of tall cliffs interspersed with tropical rainforests. They jut dramatically out of the turquoise sea, creating an impressive scene. There are many organised island-hopping tours around the best of them; I recommend visiting Tasik Dayang Bunting, which is home to Langkawi’s largest lake, watching the native white bellied eagle feeding on the water and stopping off at Pulau Beras Basah, the kind of island that you see on postcards. Snorkel, have a picnic or just take a nap under a palm tree.

Night market, Malaysia

Night market, Langkawi

The night markets

Langkawi has many markets taking place during the day, but for me there’s nothing quite like the hustle and bustle of a night market. The atmosphere, thick with the smells and aromas of sizzling street food, local music and drinks beckon.  Haggle for local arts and craft, textiles, trinkets and other souvenirs to take home.

Langkawi is a duty-free destination. There are various shopping centres over the island which are worth a visit if you want to spend some time out of the sun and in a cool air conditioned mall scouting out bargains.

Dusky leaf monkey

Dusky leaf monkey image: Lucy Tolley


It’s no secret that I really, really love animals. In Langkawi it feels like the humans and animals co-exist in a harmonious way. Watch out for the enormous monitor lizards that scuttle about in fallen leaves, and keep an eye on the water for white bellied eagles diving to catch fish. A few species of monkey live on Langkawi, my favourite being the dusky leaf monkey, a little creature quite commonly seen across the island and not as bold as its macaque counterpart. Have your camera at the ready for that perfect photo opportunity: these are the most amazing animals to watch whilst they zoom about in the tree canopies and chatter with their troop.

Swimming pool, Langkawi

Swimming pool, Langkawi image: Lucy Tolley

Water sports

Whilst Langkawi has the feeling of a remote exotic location, it’s become a popular tourist destination over the past seven years. Therefore it’s wholly set up for visitors. If you fancy a bit of jet skiing or banana boating there are loads of places you can go and get your adrenaline junkie fix and if you want to explore the underwater paradise there are plenty of places to snorkel and dive.

Langkawi Cable Car

Langkawi Cable Car

Langkawi Cable Car and Sky Bridge

The Langkawi Cable Car is one of the island’s main attractions. Situated at Oriental Village it provides an aerial link to the peak of Gunung Machinchang which is also the location of the Langkawi Sky Bridge.

The views across the mountain peaks and bay are totally worth the effort of tearing yourself off a sun lounger and away from the beach.

For those who aren’t a fan of heights, the cable car and sky bridge make for a slightly hair raising experience but there are many photo opportunities to get that perfect Kodak moment.

Langkawi isn’t a remote off the grid tropical island paradise. It’s a much-visited tourist destination easily accessible from Kuala Lumpur. Tourism is well established on this island and consequentially it is well set-up for those of us that want to get away from the 9 to 5 grind. Just because it is well developed, it doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to find some peace and quiet to rest your body and mind. There are still rural areas inland which are home to rice paddies, areas of dense jungle and quiet, forgotten beaches. The locals are charming and if it’s winter sun you’re after then Langkawi is definitely the place to go. 

Visit Langkawi with Round the World Experts' Culture, Highlands & Beach holiday, which spends three nights on the island.

You might also like:

Why You Should Visit Penang

10 Must-Sees in Malaysia

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