Langkawi is an archipelago of ninety-nine islands and is home to Malaysia’s first designated ‘geopark.’ These rock islands date to more than 550 million years, and almost all of them have a mushroom-capped top of wild jungle growing on them. When you are out on the water and can view these majestic islands up close, you get a feel for how amazing this world really is.
There are many tours offered where you can get up close and personal with these beauties and even explore their jungles and caves–all worth doing. There is also no shortage of gorgeous, white sand beaches to explore throughout the archipelago. And best of all, these natural surroundings aren’t overrun with resorts and tourists. But if you want to see Langkawi, go now–before everyone knows about it.
Here are my top 4 recommendations of what to do when you get there, plus 1 great place to eat and 1 great place we recommend staying on your family vacation in Langkawi.
Activity 1: Soar to the Top of the Island on the Langkawi Skycab
The Langkawi Skycab is the longest free span for a single rope cable car, which is about 950 meters long, and it has 2 viewing areas. The highest is at 650 meters above sea level. Be prepared for some incredible views.
To get to the top, you’ll actually take two cable cars. The trip up to the top takes approximately 25 minutes. Once you’re at the top, the views are gorgeous. Hopefully it will be a clear day for you so that you can see the surrounding areas and get some good videos/pictures.
From the second viewing area, you may also walk along a trail out to the Sky Bridge, which connects the tops of two of the mountains. It takes approximately 20 minutes to venture out to the bridge, but you are in for a treat. It is amazing how the bridge was engineered, and they have several Plexiglas panels where you can stand and see the trees/land far below. It’s kind of spooky, but the bridge also provides great views.
Activity 2: Float through the Kilim Geoforest Park
Kilim Geoforest Park makes for an excellent day tour for adults and kids alike, which will allow you to see beautiful animals and scenery. If you’ve never seen mangrove forests, you’re in for a treat as they grow in spooky formations, and actually help protect against erosion. You will meander the Kilim Geoforest Park in a small boat and have a few places to stop off and stretch your legs as well.
You’ll see monkeys, crabs, and all manner of other critters along the way. The stop at the bat caves is pretty spectacular (not to fear the dark!) as you walk through one end and out the other. You need to be very quiet as you walk through, but when you look up with your flashlight, you will discover you aren’t the only ones in the cave. The bats are pretty amazing, and there are some nice stalactites and stalagmites that are formed within the limestone caves.
You will also see many floating restaurants throughout the day, and it is worth a stop over to have a drink. You may even request to stop at the “Hole in the Wall” floating restaurant, where they have a fish feeding session for you to watch.
Tip: Request to see the Eagle feeding. Your boat will stop along the waterway and give you a moment to enjoy the peace around you. There will likely be eagles soaring above and there are also set times when they feed the eagles. You want to be sure you are part of that experience, so request in advance so they can time it accordingly. This will provide ample opportunity for animal photographers to grab that perfect pic.
Activity 3: Swim Above The Colorful Sea Life with Langkawi Coral Island
Enjoy a great snorkeling experience with Langkawi Coral Island. Spend the day out at the Pulau Payar (Payar Island) Marine Park and the day is yours to explore. Not to worry, everything is arranged for you, so just make your way to the pier and the rest of the day you will be guided. It’s about a 1-hour ferry ride out to the island and you will have about 4 hours to snorkel and eat the box lunches provided. If you are a scuba diver, you can upgrade to have 1 or 2 dives.
When snorkeling, watch closely for interesting sea creatures and you won’t be disappointed. With a focused eye, you will see several nudibranchs, grouper, black tip reef sharks, angel fish, parrot fish, puffer fish, and all kinds of coral. The kids will be amazed to see all of the life under the water here.
If you would prefer not to see what is in the water, it is okay to just hang out at the beach and swim. After lunch, the crew gathers the left over scraps and they are thrown off the end of the pier. This is shark and fish feeding time! An amazing experience to watch with the kids!
Activity 4: Sail Away On a Sunset Dinner Cruise
A sunset dinner cruise is great for a very peaceful and relaxing evening out. This is about a 2-hour tour of the surrounding islands. You will learn quite a bit about some local culture and the myths of the pregnant maiden. One of the islands appears to be the shape of a pregnant woman lying on her back. On this island there is a lake, which is said to help with fertility if you swim or drink the waters. The dinner is usually a boxed type meal, so nothing too fancy for the kids.
Of course the name gives it all away; you are also in for a spectacular sunset too. The boat will stop out at the tip of the bay and allow you time to soak in all of the colors Mother Nature has in store for you. There is no doubt you will be in for a nice view. Take notice of the eagles flying above and around you as well. We would recommend booking with Naam Adventure.
Tip: Parents, this is the perfect opportunity to sneak in a little romance! The older kids are safe to explore the boat and feel the wind at the bow, while you hang out drinking wine in the back, enjoying the sights before you.
1 Great Place to Stay: Meritus Pelengi Beach Resort & Spa
This is all about location and service! The Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa is located just 15-minutes from the airport and it is right on Chenang Beach. They have an open air lobby, where you will be greeted upon your arrival. Their check in process is very efficient and you can enjoy a complimentary drink while they get your keys.
For a family, this is really an ideal style of accommodation; the rooms are very spacious and have amazing terraces. There is easy beach and pool access and the staff is very welcoming and helpful. The kids will love the pools as well as the splash zone–an area just for the kids to have fun with water.
The resort is within walking distance to town and just a 5 minute walk away from the public section of Chenang Beach, where you will find many water sports activities available, as well as shopping, and international dining options.
1 Great Place to Eat: Seashells
Seashells is located on Chenang Beach, just across from the Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa. The food is a local Malay menu and it is absolutely delicious, but the ambiance is to die for. They have a unique setting where you will eat at your own private palapa, above the rice paddies. They have a raised sidewalk leading out to the palapas and it is as if you are floating. The kids will be very excited about this meal, no doubt.
Find out more: For more of our tips and recommendations for family travel to Langkawi, see our Ultimate Guide to Langkawi and 15 Things to Do in Langkawi with Kids.