Located in the lovely country of Malaysia, the archipelago of Langkawi is renowned for its interesting marine life, spectacular beaches and intriguing legends and folklore. An archipelago comprised of 99 islands, Langkawi is dominated by the big island of Pulau Langkawi, which measures 478.5-sq-km. It boasts natural jungles, clean, blue waters and white sandy beaches. It has been duty-free for over three decades, which makes it a shopper's paradise as well.
Fortunately, the archipelago has not been overdeveloped, and shortly after leaving the main beach areas, visitors will find themselves in an idyllic tropical area that is rural Malaysia at its finest. The string of islands is peppered with traditional villages and a welcoming, laid-back atmosphere.
Although there is no lack of restaurants, beach bars, shops and spas, local residents continue to live their lives just as they have for generations. Therefore, although tourist attractions abound, visitors can also chat to those who call the archipelago home and take a glimpse of a simpler life. Below are some activities and attractions virtually all travellers will enjoy:
Featured Langkawi Hotels
Kota Mahsuri Shrine
A visit to the Kota Mahsuri Shrine belongs on every traveller's must-see list. Mahsuri was believed to be a Malay princess who was wrongfully accused of adultery and cursed Langkawi as revenge for the unfounded accusations. A shrine to the Princess Mahsuri is commemorated at the historical complex of the same name and this impressive monument is definitely worth seeing.
Langkawi is home to more than 200 bird species, which makes birdwatching tours a favourite activity among locals and visitors alike. Guided tours are available at various times throughout the day: however, the widest variety of birds can be viewed in the early morning or early evening.
Ibrahim Hussein Foundation Museum
Travellers who enjoy museums should plan a trip to the Ibrahim Hussein Foundation Museum. The museum is home to hundreds of award-winning photographs, paintings, sketches, and sculptures of landmarks, mosques, and other items depicting Malaysia's Islamic history.
Mangrove-limestone cruises are a favourite activity of tourists in Langkawi, and can be easily booked in Jalan tanjung Rhu. Such excursions take participants on a tour through mangrove forests, rock formations, and ancient limestone outcrops, all of which are terrific places to take photos. Visitors also have the opportunity to view walking fish, eagles, and kingfishers at various times during the tour.
Many travellers choose to explore Langkawi by boat to view all the unique natural splendours for which the string of islands is famous. This is a great way to get the full impact of the archipelago and its outstanding rock formations, waterfalls and forests.
Crocodile Farm and Underwater World
Visitors should also consider spending a family-friendly afternoon or morning at two of Langkawi's top wildlife attractions: Underwater World and the Crocodile Farm. Three-hour tours are available during which visitors can watch crocodiles jump for food and learn interesting facts about the world's biggest crocodiles. Additionally, patrons can walk through a spacious tunnel surrounded by Penguins, tropical birds, and a wide variety of marine life.
Telaga Tujuh is a large waterfall with a series of freshwater rockpools at Pantai Kok. Those who prefer a refreshing alternative to ocean swimming should consider a trip to this beautiful natural wonder. Located near Oriental Village, one can reach the falls by a steady, ten minute trek through a natural rain forest, which is an activity all by itself.
As one would suspect, there is no shortage of beaches on the archipelago, but the most developed of these is Pantai Cenang. The beach is spectacular with its green palms, teal water and white sand. Additionally, the water is safe for swimming, jet skiing, parasailing and virtually all other water sports. However, visitors should beware of jellyfish as they have been known to travel in to the shore.
The archipelago is also peppered with seafood restaurants, cafés, spas, beach bars, and live entertainment venues. Residents are friendly and often strike up conversations with foreigners, which many families find appealing. Although everyone has his or her own idea concerning what makes the perfect getaway, Langkawi is an ideal choice for anyone who enjoys beautiful scenery, great shopping and an endless number of outdoor activities.