It was the April of 2015. My husband and I were planning to catch a quick summer break. We were looking for a place not too far off from India and somewhere that’s inexpensive. Naturally, we ended up looking for holiday destinations in South-east Asia. That was when we chanced upon this little jewel situated in Malaysia – the island of Langkawi!
Where Is It Located?
This little gem is situated around 19 miles off the north-western coast of the mainland of Malaysia – a tropical island having the perfect mix of lush green forest-covered hills and pristine white sandy beaches. The island also houses mangrove forests, caves, and beautiful waterfalls. No wonder why it easily makes it to the list of top 10 islands in Malaysia!
Love islands and beaches?
Check out my Key West travel guide.
Things To Do In Langkawi
If you’re an adventure-seeker, there’s plenty you can do here. For example, hop aboard a kayak and sail through the mangrove forests. Go on one of the many jungle treks. Or indulge in the usual beach thrills such as parasailing and surfing.
However, for the more laid-back travelers, the island offers picturesque surroundings. Here you can simply laze around, have a few drinks, read a book by the sandy beaches. Or gorge on the gastronomical delights of the many cafes and restaurants on the island.
Looking for some less touristy yet gorgeous islands to visit?
Check out these 3 tropical islands in Malaysia!
The best and probably the most popular way of getting around the island is on scooters/ATVs, although you can rent cars too. These are widely available for hire. We rented our scooter from the owner of the Airbnb where we were staying. Driving is quite safe here as people follow traffic rules diligently.
1. Oriental Village
On our first day, we started off around noon, to one of the most popular attractions, Oriental Village. The quaint village is a hub of more than 50 odd restaurants, cafes, souvenir and retail stores. It is situated at the foothills of Mt. Machincang.
The drive to the village was delightful. Although it had rained a little earlier, the weather was quite pleasant. Driving through the picturesque meandering roads, with the breeze caressing our faces, was nothing short of amazing!
Oriental Village is the place where you board the Cable car, also known as SkyCab. This takes you all the way up to the mountains from where you can enjoy panoramic views of the island.
2. Langkawi SkyBridge
You can also access the famous SkyBridge from the topmost deck of the Cable Car. The SkyBridge is one of the longest suspension bridges in the world. It hangs at around 100 meters from the top of Mt. Machincang.
Try reaching early as the entry to Langkawi SkyBridge closes at 5 pm. Also, there are usually long queues at the Cable car ticketing counter.
The walk to the SkyBridge is definitely not for the faint-hearted. You need to climb down precarious steps right on the edge of the mountains. There’s only a handlebar between you and the abyss below.
It gets pretty tiring too, given the humidity on the island. However, once you reach the bridge, you’ll know in your heart that it was all worth it.
Don’t miss the Cameron Highlands when visiting Malaysia.
Known as the Garden of Malaysia, these highlands are famous for their unique natural beauty.
3. Cenang Beach
On our way back from the Oriental Village, we visited the Cenang Beach. The sand here is powdery and the beach has options for all kinds of water-sports. There are a number of charming cafes along this beach and the roads leading to it.
By evening, the ambiance transforms into a fairy-tale like setting. The cafes light up with tiny stringed lights and upbeat music starts to play. This is a great time for a lazy stroll along these streets.
You can also grab a quick bite before retiring for the night. People in the island retire quite early. By 9 pm, you will find most of the streets deserted and most shops closed.
4. Tanjung Rhu Beach
The next day we visited the Tanjung Rhu beach. This one easily makes it to the top 10 beaches of the world. Its beauty cannot be described in words.
Tanjung Rhu is a vast endless expanse of white, powder-fine sands. The beach overlooks clear blue waters and is lined at the far end with forest-covered mountains. Once here, you are bound to lose all track of time. You might just keep on gazing into the ocean for hours if you’re a lazy romantic person like me.
Speaking of beaches, have you heard about Long Beach in Malaysia’s Perhentian islands?
Another famous landmark of Langkawi island is the Eagle Square or Dataran Lang. The eagle is an emblem of the island. According to folklore, Langkawi’s got its name from two Malay words – “helang” (eagle) and “kawi” (reddish brown, the color of the eagle). The Eagle Square is situated in the busiest and commercial part of the island, Kuah.
The drive from Tanjung Rhu to Kuah is a really long one but extremely enjoyable. Kuah also has great shopping options.
If you have more time on your hands, some of the other notable attractions that you might want to visit are – the Telaga Tujuh waterfalls and the Langkawi Wildlife Park (especially if you are accompanied by children).
As for us, we got exactly what we wanted from this vacation – the romanticism of getting lost in time in a quaint little island. And of course, some more added bonuses such as – the clear blue waters, great seafood, long drives through scenic roads, and the fun of getting caught in the occasional showers – made our visit totally worth it!
Before you go, here’s another beautiful island in Malaysia you should definitely check out.
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