Was your new year resolution to travel and explore the world? Since peak travel periods naturally mean sky high air fares and costly accommodations for already popular tourist hotspots, the inertia to start travelling more frequently may be really large. If you don’t feel like splurging on an exotic resort or spending a bomb on just the airfare, do consider visiting Langkawi, Malaysia. It is easy to go around (Thank you Grabcar) and frequent return flights there can cost less than S$100. I’ve managed to snag mine at S$76 through Air Asia and arrived at summer paradise in around an hour half.
Langkawi screams summer the moment we landed. The sunny weather, sandy beaches and exciting adventures! Here’s 14 exciting things to do in Langkawi! Prices of each activity may vary across different activities provider, across peak and non-peak periods… so don’t forget to compare the prices of a few providers before making payment.
1) Sail down the mangroves
Reliving geography textbooks of stilt roots that enable the mangrove plants to breathe or something along those lines (I ain’t the best student my Geography teacher had), it was pretty exciting to sail through the narrow route with huge areas of mangrove trees. We even spotted mudskippers and interesting species of crabs. Oh and a blue kingfisher as well! It was a pretty calm and relaxing experience (:
2) Witness swimming monkeys at the Kilim Geoforest Park
It was really amusing watching these furry agile swimmers paddle towards our boat as our guide tossed peanuts into the waters. They Unless you’re really bold, please refrain from bringing your own food to feed the monkeys (they can eat anything humans consume). We had a bunch of tourists on our boat who threw small bananas out into the waters. Eventually, the monkeys climbed on board for more, resulting in scrambling of the same bunch of tourists. Everyone else was really calm though…
3) Take a dip in Pregnant Maiden Freshwater Lake
Plunge into the cool waters of the freshwater lake, a great escape from the sweltering heat. Wearing of life jackets are strongly recommended, even though not enforced as many visitors dived in without. However, as the waters are deep, do rent a life jacket for 5RM if you’re not a good swimmer.
If you’re a non-swimmer (like me haha), kayak and paddle boats are also available for rent! Alternatively, you may just sit back and relax ~
As we arrived early, we even got to play with baby catfishes in the waters! The fishes swam away as the place got really crowded later that day… the early bird gets the worm.
Pro-tip: You may want to bring some money with you because some attractions do require conservation fees like this one – 6RM for foreigners.
4) Jet ski your way around islands
Other than the mainstream boating around neighbouring islands, jet ski tours are popular choices too! There are around 3 different routes, catered to the experience of the riders. Of course, some experience in riding a jet ski would be good but you’ve got to start somewhere right?
If you’re not feeling adventurous enough, you may wish to rent jet skis off the coast of beaches for a 15min to an hour of adrenaline rush. Prices and type of jet skis ranges, so do take a walk down the beach for the best deal!
5) Watch circling eagles waiting for their prey
Enjoy the majestic view of a sky full of soaring eagles. Although some boats may do a little feeding, we were told that the area was actually a natural feeding ground for eagles! Truly eye-opening!
6) Catch your own lunch at the Floating Fish Farm (and feed a stingray)
For all picky eaters, you’ll not just be able to pick the way your food is cooked at the Floating Fish Farm! While it is undeniably touristy (and pricey), I enjoyed the experience of choosing my own fish and lobster for lunch. The staff were very friendly and even wanted to let me try catching my own live seafood.
They also have a mini tour on board which let’s you feed the different types of fishes they have – including stingrays!!
7) Get your tan while playing water sports
Parasailing, banana boating and jet skiing in Langkawi, you name it, they have it. Indulge in the variety of water sports available or just stroll down the beach with your partner (:
Pro-tip: Stroll down the Pentai Cenang Beach to get the best price!
8) Scooter your way around
When you’ve finally had enough of the glistening waters and sandy beaches, you can scoot your way around in Langkawi! Its not difficult to navigate around with Google maps, so you may want to have connectivity during your trip. Full scooter rentals range from 30RM onwards. They asked for a driving license during payment and thankfully J had a Singapore driving license.
Otherwise, Grab and Uber are great ways to travel around Langkawi.
Pro-tip: Make sure there’s enough petrol in the scooter (to reach the petrol kiosk) before you set off! Ours ran out midway and we were stranded in the middle of a kampung. Thankfully a kind lady drove us out to the petrol kiosk to purchase petrol in a container ((:
9) Take a dip at the Seven Wells Waterfall
This is probably the place that nature lovers won’t want to miss – Seven Wells Waterfall. It was a short walk up the hilly regions – around 10 mins, and there were many people taking a dip in the cool waters by the time we arrived.
Pro-tip: If you’re looking at going for a trek instead, do make sure you have proper walking shoes and insect repellent! Something bit me on my little toe and it stayed swollen and itchy for more than 3 days.
10) Challenge yourself in a see through base cable car
Want to up your cable car game? Hop on the see through base cable car cabins (aka gondolas) and take in the entire breathtaking scenery! It was rather scary towards the end for me because the route got really steep. Like realllyyyy steeeeeep. There are two stations along the way, do remember to go up to the top station to get the best views!
Pro-tip: Photographers would be at each checkpoint to snap shots of you that will later be made into souvenirs for your purchase. Just politely refuse them or refuse to buy the souvenirs later. They aren’t that pushy.
11) Stroll along the Skybridge
Enjoy the vast scenery and cool winds of Langkawi from the top of the mountain. Parts of the bridge has also been replaced with transparent glass for that extra adrenaline pump! Although slightly intimidating at first, it was really a great experience strolling down the Langkawi Skybridge.
There are two ways to the Skybridge from the top station of the cable car. First would be via their tram service which costs 15 RM per pax. Basically you just have to get on the tram and it will send you straight to the start of the Skybridge.
Alternatively, you could choose the walk-in method, which costs 5 RM. You will have to go down many steps and up again to reach the bridge. It will probably take you 10-15mins if you don’t stop along the way. We took the walk-in option and was out of breath on the way back as it started to rain. Running up steep steps ain’t a good idea for someone who haven’t exercised for a long time (aka me).
Pro-tip: The steps of the walk-in method can get pretty high and steep along the way, only choose this option if you’re physically able to conquer it!
12) Feed your Instagram in the 3D Art Museum
Bundled together with the cable car ride, this 3D Art Museum is similar to the Trick Eye Musuem in Singapore. However, this is waaaaaayyyy larger and grander. You will be asked to remove your footwear at the entrance before you enter the Instagramming space. Since footwear is not allowed in the place, the entire museum was really clean. They even have staff present to periodically mop the floor a little. I’m so impressed really.
The best part is probably the sheer size of their art works. I love this place.
13) Binge on fresh and affordable seafood
As a foodie, this is probably what I loved most about Langkawi – fresh and super affordable seafood. You can choose from an array of live seafood or frozen ones if that fits your budget better! I’ve tried both and loved them! Even the frozen ones are fresh with no fishy taste.
Among all the seafood restaurants along Pentai Cenang, my favourite is definitely the Happy Happy Cenang Seafood Restaurant. Food was fresh, and customer service great! We especially loved the giant butter tiger prawns (22RM / 100g) – the sauce was just… So good.
Pro-tip: Alternative food places include Langkawi night markets, even though you may want to give the underwhelming place a miss.
14) Take a short trip out to Penang
If you’re a foodie like me and want to binge on the food in Penang, you could take a few days out of Langkawi. Ferry services to Penang are available twice a day, and costs 70RM per trip. Each journey takes 3 hours and luggages are allowed on board. You may wish to purchase the tickets online, especially during peak seasons like school holidays to avoid disappointment!
With so many exciting things to do in Langkawi, who says you have to spend a lot on airfare just to have fun?