Top Things To Do In Langkawi

Langkawi is a beautiful island in the northern state of Kedah, Malaysia. From Kuala Lumpur, you can take a direct one hour flight with either Malaysia Airlines or Air Asia to Langkawi. 

Where To Stay

For families with young kids, you may want to consider the beach resorts with private beaches. The beach resorts are scattered all over the island. If you’re going to stay at a regular hotel but still want to be close enough to the beach, you can book a place near Pantai Cenang. Pantai Cenang is one of the most popular beaches in Langkawi – the beach is long, there are many watersports activities and a lot of food options around the area.

Our most recent stay was at Westin Langkawi. Check out my review here. My upcoming stay, will be at Danna Langkawi – wait for the review!

What to do in Langkawi

Enjoy the beach

There are many public beaches around Langkawi. The most popular with the crowd in the main island is Pantai Cenang. Other than just hanging out on the white sandy beach, you can go for water sports activities – you can rent a kayak, jet ski, parasailing or go for banana boat rides. Pantai Cenang can get quite busy – people head there not just for the water activities but also the food. There are many eateries around the area. 

There are quieter beaches at the other parts of the island or the surrounding islands like Pulau Beras Basah. 

Langkawi Cable Car

The Langkawi Cable Car takes you along a 2.2km line up to the second-highest peak of Gunung Machinchang (which is 700m above sea level). There is a viewing platform near the top station – which gives you a beautiful view of the island’s landscape. The gradient from the base to the middle station is said to be one of the steepest in the world. From the top station, you can take the SkyGlide which will bring you to the SkyBridge.

Langkawi SkyBridge

The Langkawi SkyBridge is a 125m suspended curved bridge 660m above sea level. The bridge can accommodate about 250 people at any one time. 

Mangrove Forest Tour

One of the best tours to do is the Mangrove Forest tour at Kilim Geoforest Park. In fact – I consider this a Must Do! You will cover the Fish Farm (kids will love this – they can touch the stingray etc.), visit a bat cave (cool experience and quite safe) and watch eagle feeding.

Mangrove swamp
Bat cave
Fish farm

Pulau Payar Marine Park

It’s a nice place for snorkelling. There is a platform on the water – you have the option to snorkel near the platform or the beach. The former will give you a better experience. The park is an hour ferry/speed boat ride from Kuah.
Tip: Try to go when there is less crowd – in other words, avoid the school holiday season. Facilities are pretty basic (especially the washroom) – so be prepared. Packing your lunch is probably a good idea. 

Pulau Dayang Bunting

If you take an island-hopping package, the first stop they will take you to is Pulau Dayang Bunting. You will visit a freshwater lake “Tasik Dayang Bunting” – literally translated as “Lake of the Pregnant Maiden” where you can go for the water activities. I took the paddleboat ride with the kiddos. You can also swim here but at your own risk. There is a small entrance fee to get to the lake and separate charges for the water sport activities. People also do some trekking here. There are a lot of monkeys here, so be careful with your bags/foodstuff.

There is a legend regarding the lake – a celestial princess fell in love with a mortal prince (some says he tricked her into marrying him). Anyway – the princess gave birth to a child, but the child died not long after he (or she) was born. The child was laid to rest here in the lake. The princess then blessed the lake – so that any woman who has difficulty bearing children will be able to conceive should she drink from the lake.

This place requires going up/down concrete steps (some quite steep and a bit slippery). So not accessible for physically challenged people. Wouldn’t recommend it. And for the Mums/Dads – you probably need to carry the little ones for a fair bit – approx 15mins from the jetty to the lake. I didn’t particularly enjoy this place too much – felt a bit not safe as I had young kids with me, especially when going up and down the slippery steps. Also if you want to go, best to avoid Malaysia school holidays. It can get extremely crowded especially at the lake platform. I found though that most people tend to stay at the platform where they have places for adults and kids to soak their feet etc – so when you’re out in the lake itself, with the paddle boat, it is much more comfortable and quieter.

View from the middle of the lake
On the paddle boat - it got quite hot after a while - try to go early morning

Pulau Beras Basah

As part of the island hopping package, you will also visit Pulau Beras Basah. If you want to enjoy the place without the crowd, again – avoid the school holidays. If you are travelling in a big group, you can also rent a small boat to take you there for a few hours.

Just a short walk from the jetty takes you white sandy beaches where you can have a bit of picnic. The water is crystal clear – great for swimming. Suitable for families of all ages. 

The island is uninhabited – there is nothing much on the island – facilities are very basic and very few food stalls.

Enjoying the boat ride
Fish at the jetty at Pulau Bears Basah


You can also head to the waterfalls for a picnic and swim. To reach the waterfalls you may need to climb up some steps. The best time to visit the falls is during the wet season (but that means it can get quite slippery, especially if it’s just after the rain – so be careful!).

  • Temurun Waterfall – This is a 3 tier waterfall located near Jalan Datai. The uppermost tier is the best. The pool at its base is not too deep, just nice for a swim. The drop for the top tier is about 30m. The water is cool and clean. 
  • Telega Tujuh Waterfall – Telaga Tujuh is near Pantai Kok. You can spend hours here. The bigger kids (even adults) love sliding down the rocks into the base pool. A fair bit of climbing (600 steps) is required to get to the top, but it’s worth it 
  • Durian Perangin Waterfall – The trail to the lower fall is quite short. This is a 14 tier waterfall – the drop on the lower tier is not that high. If you compare Durian Perangin vs Temurun then you may not be very impressed. But it depends what works for your group. As the trail is not so challenging, this area is quite popular for families with young children.

Underwater World Langkawi

This is not a big place – and definitely not comparable to big city aquariums like KLCC Aquaria and Singapore S.E.A Aquarium. But the exhibits should be interesting for the kids if you want a one to two hours of indoor activity after all the outdoor activities. There is a 15m tunnel tank where they house giant stingrays and groupers. They also have penguins – which is their key attraction. You may want to check the feeding times before visiting. I would recommend this place for families with young kids.

Galeria Perdana

Galeria Perdana is a museum – and not exactly something I felt I wanted to do on a beach holiday. I went here initially because of my parents. But I am glad we went, the collection is quite impressive.

The museum houses gifts and awards from various countries/governments and corporations received by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and wife during his tenure as the 4th Malaysian Prime Minister (1981 – 2003). Of course – he is also our current Prime Minister since 2018. It is very rare that a government leader openly displays such things to the public. And there is some really cool stuff in there. There is a 19th-century carriage from Argentina (the real deal), dolls from Japan, Thailand, weapons, mosque replicas etc. 

Entrance fee is less than USD3 for non-resident adult. So if you have 2-3 hours and want to do something indoors then head to the museum!

Beautiful architecture
Gift from Palestine
Gift from Thailand
Gift from Japan

Morac Adventure Park (Go-Kart)

If you want to do something different, head to the Morac Adventure Park for Go-Kart. The race track is good, and they have got new go-karts under the new management. We went before the upgrade, and my daughter loved it so much. It should be even better now.


Langkawi is the place if you want great seafood – you can choose from the many local seafood restaurants around the island.

When I visit Langkawi, at the very least – I must have a one-time “big” dinner at one of these restaurants.My standard “big” dinner menu (it’s a family tradition since I was a kid) is one large fried Pomfret cooked in “Tiga Rasa” sauce (“Tiga Rasa” means three flavours – sweet, spicy and sour) or Steamed Pomfret cooked with garlic, chilli and lime. Whatever it is, the fish is a must! Tom Yum seafood (or chicken) is also a must – compliments the fish really well. Other must-have dishes include beef (or chicken) Padprik – which is stir-fried meat and vegetables cooked in spicy sauce, stir-fried kailan (Chinese Kale) cooked with salted fish. When I was younger, another add-on that we used to have if we want to splurge a bit is the stir-fried flour-coated prawns – they’re not exactly tempura – see the picture below. My Dad loved these.

Tom Yum - my all-time favourite
Stir-fried Kailan with salted fish
Stir-fried flour coated prawns
Chicken padprik (usually the chicken is cut into small pieces)

To Sum It Up…

Langkawi is quite a laid back place. It’s a great place to unwind and enjoy nature. There are activities for all age groups.
Langkawi is also the home of many beautiful resorts and it’s only an hour flight from Kuala Lumpur. If you are in Kuala Lumpur and looking for a quick few days detour – this beautiful island is a great option.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.