When hubby and I were planning our visit to the Far East, we knew of the main places we wanted to see – Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. However, we had a couple more days to utilise, and knew KL and Singapore would be hectic trips, so decided on a relaxing stop-off at Langkawi, an island off the coast of Malaysia.
Stunning, postcard picturesque and easy to navigate (it’s only a small island) Langkawi is a great escape from the busy Asian cities, and makes a great honeymoon, or anniversary destination.
We were in Langkawi for a three nights. This is enough time to see the main attractions. Though out of laziness we missed out on many key excursions.
However, here’s my lowdown on things to do in Langkawi (plus what we missed out on:
Things to do in Langkawi #1 – visit the Crocodile Park
Dare-devil crocodile tamers in Langkawi
As Langkawi is known for its exotic wildlife (monkeys are commonplace) it was no surprise that the Island has its own Crocodile Park. With comprehensively referenced cages for crocodiles of different sizes and types, you could see the range of reptiles in one park. They even had a disabled crocodile pen, which seems a bit wrong.
The park also had a show at regular intervals, where crocodile ‘games keepers’ would display daring feats of braveness/stupidity with the crocodiles. See them in action in my candid video here.
Things to do in Langkawi #2 – Step through Seven Wells Waterfall
The route to the waterfall
Seven Wells waterfall
Monkey business by the water
Langkawi boasts not one but seven individual waterfalls. The most impressive waterfall boasted 600+
steps through the rainforest to the top of the waterfall. However, being a wimp and not keen to use my
travel insurance, I opted for one of the more modest, yet still breath-taking waterfalls.
Negotiating the way to the waterfall was relatively easy, though it did get a bit hairy with some slippery steps (I’d advise wearing trainers). However, once you reached a peak you were rewarded with an amazing view and cool, fresh air. It was a welcome break from the humidity of the rest of the island.
We were also in good company, as some local monkeys were also soaking up the freshwater.
Things to do in Langkawi #3 – Scale the sky with the Langkawi cable car
If nothing else, Langkawi is known for its breathtaking rainforests and greenery (NB: I know I’m saying breath-taking a lot here, but there really is no other way of describing it!). And the best way to fully appreciate this is by taking a sky cab up to the highest peak of the island.
The cable car takes you slowly up to the peak, thousands of feet up in the air. Not good if you’ve got vertigo, but if you’re want the best views of the island, this is the way to go. There are two stations, one on the middle peak, and one at the summit, which has a café and toilet facilities. The latter gives you the most amazing panoramic views of the island.
The photos below don’t fully do justice as to how stunning it really was:
The amazing view from the top
Of course, after the trip, you can get a cheesy photo shopped memento of the skyride, which of course we just had to buy…
Things to do in Langkawi #4 – shop at the Night market
In the small two of Kuah, they hold a well-known night market on Wednesday and Saturday. The market is bustling with food stalls serving street food, cloth and fabric markets and toy sellers. It was a great place to pick up some bits and pieces for family back home. I bought a few shawls and some toys for my nephews and nieces.
Things to do in Langkawi #4 – Swoop to Eagle Square
Welcome, says the eagle
Also known as Dataran Lang, Eagle Square is home to one of Langkawi’s most famous attractions, a huge, overbearing eagle sculpture. It is used as a welcoming symbol for visitors coming to the island by ferry.
Eagle Square is also adorned with fountains and terraces, making it the perfect picture opportunity:
Things we missed out on in Langkawi
It was only upon returning to the UK and speaking to others that visited the island that we found out that we had missed out on a few other impressive things to do in Langkawi. To name but a few:
The Hindu temple
The mangrove tour (to be fair, we had booked this, but slept in on the morning and missed the tour – oopsy!)
Note to self: read up on where I’m going before I get there.
Getting around in Langkawi
One of the first things we did when we arrived in Langkawi was hire a car and circle the island several times a day. Navigation couldn’t be easier as there were three main roads on the entire island. However with my terribly map-reading, I still managed to get us slightly off-track, until my husband parked up and read the map himself. It’s not my thing, you see.
However, getting lost aside, driving afforded us the convenience and flexibility to go where we want, when we want and at our own pace. It also allowed us to explore the local parts of Langkawi, where most tourist excursions don’t reach. In the long run, it probably saved a packet on cab fares too.
However, if you’re not keen on driving around yourself, the other option is hiring a chauffeur. My friends who had visited previously did this at a relatively reasonable day rate. It does take the pressure off driving around in unknown territory.
Food in Langkawi
The great thing about Langkawi is that a lot of the food is halal, so there were a lot of options. However some places weren’t, so we were sure to ask beforehand.
We found a few nice restaurant huts that were a bit rough around the edges but served very good food.
One near the beach in Penang served amazing fresh fish smoked to order on their barbeque. It was also
Of course, we couldn’t resist the traditional nasi goring, though the fishcakes were slightly different than I expected. It seems that an authentic fish cake is literally like a spongy slice of cake, not the crispy, breaded and potato-filled variety that we get back in the UK. Who knew?
When we got tired of local cuisine (we inevitably always do) there were enough fast food places which served burgers, chips and pizza, so we got our fill.
We always made the most of the generous breakfast where we stayed (though more of this in a separate review).
The only downside I’d say about Langkawi is that like any small tropical island, the emphasis is on R&R. Beach lounging, some excursions and sightseeing. So if you’re less of a beach bum, and prefer your holidays jam-packed with lots to see and do, you might find yourself a bit bored.
But if you want hot weather, cooling waterfalls, amazing rainforests and wildlife, Langkawi’s worth a visit.
For my review of where we stayed in Langkawi, click here.
I’m a British-Bengali Muslim mum-of-two. My pictures aren’t filtered and neither are my words. I’m not a makeup artist, chef or lifestyle guru. I’m just me, sharing honest beauty reviews for brown skin, halal restaurant finds, travel inspo, mum life hacks, easy Bengali recipes and more. If that’s your bag, keep reading!