About Langkawi Island
If there is a piece of heaven anywhere on earth it is at Langkawi. The picturesque archipelago is made up of around 104 islands among which only 99 are visible during high tide. Surrounded by the emerald water of the Andaman Sea and fringed by coconut groves, the shimmering beaches of Langkawi Islands offer a perfect escapade to vacationers. The mixed topography of the “Jewel of Kedah” comprises cascading waterfalls, dense rainforests, meandering creeks and a tropical climate round the year.
Langkawi also has excellent adventure sports facilities apart from its treasure trove of hidden gems dotted across the island. During the festival time the beaches are flocked by locals and tourists who want to soak into the electrifying vibe of the place along with cocktails. Some of the most alluring activities in Langkawi Island are cable car ride, wildlife expedition, paragliding, snorkelling, skiing and swimming.
On a boat ride you can visit the nearby Islands and see the most highlighted attractions viz. Museums, aquariums, craft villages and traditional markets from where you can collect souvenirs and knick-knacks.There are deluxe and budget resorts in Langkawi where you can enjoy a blissful escapade. There are bars and restaurants where you can savour local dishes along with Chinese, Thai, Indian platters and cocktails.
How to Reach Langkawi Island
Being an island destination Langkawi Islands can only be reached by air and water routes. There is no railway or road network from Malaysia’s mainland till Langkawi Island as it is some miles off the shore. In case you want to avail road or rail network you need to come down to the North Western coast of Peninsular Malaysia from where you need to take a boat ride or ferry to reach the island.
1. By Air: Daily flights ply between Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi Islands which makes it most convenient for you to reach your destination. There are also direct flights from Taipei, London and Osaka. The distance of Langkawi Island from the Langkawi International Airport is located at about 20 kilometres.
2. By Ferry: There are four water routes that connect Langkawi by ferry service- Kuala Kedah, Kuala Perlis, Penang and Thailand (Satun). Langkawi has also regular port which receives many cruise ships. The ships have their own pier where they dock for passengers to board.
Best Time to Visit Langkawi Island
1. Summer: Summer at Langkawi Island spans from June through August till September. During this time of the year Lankawi experiences a perfect weather balance of sunshine and mild rainfall. The average day temperature is around 30C while that of night is around 28C.
The sun kissed beaches of Pantai Cenang and Pantai Tengah are frequented by tourists for all kinds of beach activities and water sports. Having a high humidity level in the air, tourists prefer to relax at the beachside. Commercially speaking, this is the ideal time to visit Langkawi Island.
However, if you are looking for a secluded holiday at Langkawi, choose the shoulder months (April- August) for your trip.At this time of the year, days are predominantly sunny with occasionally overcast sky and short spells of rain. The festival of Ramadan coincides generally during this time. So, most of the institutions are closed early. You can expect to get massive discounts on tariffs and other charges.
2. Monsoon: The months between September-October is commercially the off-season of Langkawi tourism due to sporadic rain and thunderstorms although rainfall does not linger for more than 2-3 hours. The entire archipelago takes on a verdant charm after being fed by rain. Airfare and tariffs are dirt-cheap during these months and it is worth a try for rain lovers!
3. Winter: Monsoon winds gradually start retreating and rainfall slackens in the coastal belt between the months of December-February. The climate is predominantly cool and sunny when the average temperature ranges between (23-31)°C.
You have a good chance to bask in the sun and indulge in outdoorsy activities on the beachside. During the dry months festivals and events such as Yacht Race, Music Festival, Christmas and New Year’s Eve are celebrated in a gala way at Langkawi.
What Not to Miss at Langkawi Island
1. Islands at Langkawi- Nestled within dense mangrove plantation, the islands forming Langkawi archipelago are mostly unoccupied by humans. Some of the islands are, however, popularised as sites of scuba diving, banana boating, wildlife sanctuaries, deluxe resorts and protected marine parks. Some of the prominent islands are Pulau Dayang Bunting, Pulau Payar National Park, Pulau Singa Besar (Giant Lion Island), Rebak Island and Pulau Beras Basah.
2. A beach at Langkawi- Langkawi Island is an ideal destination for beach activities and sports. The popular beaches along the coastline are Pantai Cenang, Pantai Tengah, Black Sand Beach, Pantai Kok and more.
3. Waterfalls near Langkawi- Though not in large numbers still Langkawi is the birthplace of a number of impressive waterfalls rendering a spectacular scenic appeal to the region. The popular waterfalls you may visit in Langkawi are Telaga Tujuh, Durian Perangin and Temurun.
4. Wildlife at Langkawi- The major wildlife sanctuaries at Langkawi are Kilim Karst GeoForest Park, Taman Lagenda, Sungai Kilim Nature Park and Langkawi Wildlife Park and Bird Paradise. Among these wildlife zones, the Kilim Karst GeoPark is home to hundreds of bats that cling to a 196 ft. long cave which was once submerged in water. So you can find exotically shaped stalactites and stalagmites that are inside the cave and shells on the roof of the cave.
Things to do in Langkawi Island
1. Water activities- Once you have touched down at Pantai Cenang, a surfeit of activities are awaiting you in the real sense! Whether you want some laid back activities such as snorkelling, swimming or skiing or a bit more thrilling sport viz. banana boat ride, you are just at the right spot. Watching the light show of a stunning sunset on the sea water is a surreal experience altogether.
2. Go shopping- Langkawi is a duty-free island where you can enjoy shopping for everything ranging from chocolates to electronic gadgets, souvenirs to cookware and alcohol to clothes. The biggest shopping malls are at Kush and Pantai Cenang.
3. Cable car ride- In a 15 minutes’ cable car ride across the sweeping rainforests and tumbling waterfalls you can enjoy the pristine charm of nature at Langkawi. The ride starts from the Orienta Village and ends at Mt. Mat Cincang.
4. Scale the heights- Langkawi Island is home to few pristine waterfalls that invite you to hike up to their summit and marvel at gushing water cascading down the rocky mountain wall into a drop pool. You can enjoy a refreshing swim in the pool water.
5. Sunbathe at Tanjung Rhu- Enjoy sunbathing at this secluded pristine beach of Tanjung Rhu which is visited by a handful of tourists and hence gives you the bliss of spending a private vacation. You can also hire a boat and go on exploring the off shore attractions of the island.
Other Essential Information About Langkawi Island
History of Langkawi Island
The best known myth is that of a beautiful maiden Mahsuri, who is believed to live on that land about 200 years ago. She was convicted of committing adultery and was given a life sentence by the Royal authority. On the day of her punishment as he was stabbed to everyone’s amazement white blood oozed out of the body. She proclaimed her innocence and while dying laid her last words of curse upon the island that it will remain barren for seven generations. Mahsuri's Mausoleum is a solemn reminiscence of her sad past.
In 1821 Langkawi was invaded by the Siamese. Datuk Kerma Jaya, the then chieftain of Kampung Raja (erstwhile capital of Langkawi) ordered his army to burn the village granary and pause the wells in order to starve the enemy. Call it superstition or mere coincidence, the island had slipped into a slumberous existence since then which continued for the next seven generations.
According to official accounts and chronicles we can draw an inference that Langkawi Island was once under the rule of the Sultanate of Kedah. Later, the region was under British rule. During the World War II it was controlled by the monarchy of Thailand. That is why one can perceive some traces of Thai influence on the culture of Langkawi.
Places to Stay in Langkawi Island
1. Telaga Terrace Boutique- The resort comes with a complete recreation package to make your holiday as dreamlike as possible. The boutique hotel has cosy and stylish rooms, outdoor pool and a fitness centre and all other amenities to make your stay comfortable.
2. Berjaya Langkawi Resort- The 5 star Resort located on the fringes of the tropical forest on the edge of the sea can be the ultimate dream destination for any honeymooners. The resort consists of traditional Malay style villas, some of which are built on stilts over the water. You can enjoy a candle light dinner with a view of the changing colours of the sky at the backdrop.
3. Ambong Ambong Langkawi- If you choose Langkawi for your honeymoon this adult only hotel is a perfect hideout for spending romantic hours in private. The property has a blend of rustic and contemporary look which is perfectly in keeping with the surrounding nature.
4. The Smith House- The budget accommodation near the airport gives a good value for your money. Clean rooms with boutique style interior, a cafe, restaurant, library and a rooftop pool overlooking the beautiful landscape outside promise you of a comfortable stay in Langkawi.