If you happen to travel to Penang anytime soon, I would say you should never miss the chance to go on a side trip to Langkawi.
Langkawi, situated in Malaysia’s northwestern peninsula, is just a 2.5-hour ferry ride from Penang. Often called the Jewel of Kedah, it is a big hit among visitors for its lush forests, cascading waterfalls, karst hills, and beautiful beaches. This must-visit destination is also recognised as a UNESCO World Geopark.
With its many attractions, Langkawi is popular among Malaysian and foreign tourists who stay and explore the islands for days, or even weeks. However, if you only have a day to spend in this gem of a nature getaway, here’s how you can make it as fun-filled as possible.
1. Dataran Lang
One of the first things to see when you set foot in Langkawi, especially if you just hopped off from a ferry from Penang, is the Dataran Lang or the Eagle Square. Just a 5-minute walk from the jetty, the square is where you will find the 12-metre tall eagle statue, one of the most iconic landmarks in the archipelago.
2. Langkawi Sky Cable Car
Located in the Oriental Village, the Langkawi Sky Cable Car or the Skycab, will take you on a 15-minute ride to the peak of Mount Cincang, letting you enjoy an unparalleled stunning panoramic view of Langkawi. While absolutely safe, the Skycab is not for the faint-hearted, because the 2.2 kilometre-long cable car ride is considered among the steepest in the world, so it can be quite unnerving.
3. Langkawi Sky Bridge
Situated hundreds of metres above sea level, the Sky Bridge is the last stop of the Langkawi Cable Car. This fascinating 125 metre-long curved bridge will give you a one-of-a-kind opportunity to take in the magnificent view of Mount Cincang, the natural waterfalls of Telegah Tujuh, as well as the ocean and smaller islands of Langkawi.
4. Langkawi Arts in Paradise 3D Museum
Still situated in the Oriental Village, the museum houses more than 200 3D artworks. One of the largest of its kind in the world, the 3D museum features different interactive zones where you can have endless fun exploring the life-like exhibitions.
5. Langkawi’s beaches
Langkawi is a beach destination so your trip, however short, won’t be complete without the requisite dip at one of its many beaches. If you’re looking for a few hours of quiet after hours of sightseeing, Tanjung Rhu Beach is perfect – fine sand, crystal blue waters, and lots of shade. Tanjung Rju Beach also makes for a great starting point if you plan to do the mangrove forests tour.
6. Kilim Karst Geoforest Park
A tour of the Kilim Karst Geoforest Park is another must-do in Langkawi. Just a stone’s throw away from Tanjung Rhu Beach, the protected area is considered the most popular attraction in Langkawi. Be prepared to spend at least three hours touring the area and check out its beautiful caves, beaches, karst hills, dense mangrove forests, and fascinating flora and fauna.
7. Local food
Although most people wouldn’t consider Langkawi a foodie’s haven, the local food is really good, especially the stews, satays, and sweet treats. For the best street food, head to the local night markets. There’s one open every day but the location changes, depending on which day of the week it is. For directions to the night market, just ask the receptionist at your hotel or hostel. It is definitely worth tracking down!
If you can’t stop by the night markets, then you should at least have lunch at Restoran Siti Fatimah, one of Langkawi’s oldest dining places. Specialising in curries and other Northern-Malay dishes, it’s also the most affordable restaurants in the island. Do take note that it’s hugely popular among locals who take advantage of the lunchtime buffet so be there early. Other noteworthy restaurants in Langkawi include Wonderful Food Store, Maya Seafood Restaurant, Bella Restaurant, and Okay Boss Restaurant.
Planning a side trip to Langkawi during your Penang holiday? Make the most about your Langkawi trip with these tours and activities.
By: Brendelyn Balaga