Pulau Langkawi is one of the most beautiful islands I’ve ever seen. I’ve been there thrice now and I would recommend it without hesitation. What I always enjoy about the island is that attractions and activities there aren’t only restricted to sandy beaches, parasailing, and jet skiing, but rather, also include mountain peaks and skydiving.
However, even the activities pale in comparison to the sweeping fantasies that stand wide before you as you take in the island’s strikingly beautiful views, especially the view from Langkawi Sky Bridge at the top of Mat Chincang Mountain. As I rode the cable car to the peak, I was given an overwhelming visual canvas of island trees and rich green canopies spotted all around by glassy waterfalls that fell below me. Once I made it to the Sky Bridge, the scenery moved from strikingly beautiful to sublime. Words fail me even now as I try to describe it, but if there was a word for it, I would say that it would be, “heavenly”.
If there was one downside to my last excursion to the island, I would say that it would have to be that I stayed at the Sandy Beach Resort next to Cenang Beach. Yes, it’s close to the beach, but I still wouldn’t recommend it even if you’re on a seriously low budget as the atmosphere of the hotel was, let’s just say, not pleasant. The rooms were a hit-and-miss in terms of cleanliness and had no telephones. But were there any better hotels?
Yes. The Aseania Resort Langkawi, the hotel at which I stayed on my second trip to the island didn’t disappoint from a value and affordability standpoint. While its offerings were nothing about which to write home, they struck a decent balance. You’ll find that, though the rooms need to be updated and you may have to change your initial room for one that’s sufficient, when you settle in, it’ll be adequate for the fun and beautiful views that lie ahead. Additionally, the hotel had a mini water theme park to round out its offerings, which was fairly well conceived and added to the fun. So, if you’re planning to save money, this hotel is a good place to be.
For a splurge and excellent service, I recommend Berjaya Langkawi Resort. Here, you get the best of the rainforest and the beach. The rooms are clean and of a decent size, but best of all, the views are spectacular. You can’t go wrong with any of the suites or chalets on the water. It’s a perfect stay for a honeymoon or for the whole family!
Langkawi has great beachside restaurants and they are not in short supply around the island, which made finding a great dining experience really easy for me day after day. One restaurant that I really liked was the Sandy Beach Resort’s own restaurant (skip the checking in and head for the food there). The grilled prawn kebab was to die for and the portions were very reasonable. While I stuck on my favorite dish on the occasions on which I ate there, the other dishes looked great as well.
From island hopping tours to duck tours, there are a wide variety of options to help you get the best out of what Pulau Langkawi has to offer. Instead of going for a tour, I decided to go to Panorama Langkawi, where I bought a package that included, the Langkawi Sky Bridge and cable car (as discussed above), the imaginarium, the SkyRex and the SkyDome. The 3D Art Langkawi, the biggest 3D Interactive Art Museum in Malaysia, is great fun! I ended up being very happy with the package. Not only was I able to go to the peak of the beautiful mountain, I was also able to enjoy a dome theater which screened a video of a thrilling roller coaster ride. And through a simulator, I was also given the experience of riding a tram chased by a T-Rex. It was all fun, thrilling, exciting and memorable (and it packed a wallop for a single day).
Now let’s talk about shopping. Going shopping at the night market was amazing and worked well with my budget. I bought a quality dress for less than $10 USD and a handbag for less than $5 USD. There were also some shopping malls to which I went with prices that were every bit as cheap as those noted. A mall I would definitely recommend is the Cenang Mall where many local products are sold, but at which, you can still find your everyday Starbucks. With a good mix of restaurants and cafés from which to choose, you’ll always have a place to relax after shopping on a hot day. And did I mention that everything sold in Langkawi is duty free? Awesome? I think so. Langkawi is without doubt a great place to buy quality stuff at some of the best prices.
However, before you pack your bags, you should consider a few things. The island has a hot and humid weather all year round, having an average temperature of around 28°C (82.4°F). Still, you might want to avoid the rainy season which takes place from March to November. Also, you’ll want to make sure to do some research on locations that have jellyfish, such as Pantai Cenang as there’s nothing like an unnecessary jellyfish sting to put a temporary damper on your ability to enjoy an island paradise (though most of them won’t do any real harm).
Finally, when thinking about the logistics of your trip, keep in mind that the island can be accessed by sea (by ferry) or by air, so you’ll definitely have some options in getting over there.
Should you choose to travel to Langkawi, I wish you as incredible experience as I have enjoyed time after time on the island. The island is definitely spectacular and as with any travel, seeing is believing! Happy travels and hope to see you there.