Top 5 things to do in Langkawi
Langkawi island sits at the very top of Malaysia on the West Coast but sits so far north that on a good day you can see neighbouring Koh Lipe in Thailand in the distance. The island itself isn’t the biggest and is becoming much more of a luxury resort kind of place rather than a backpacker haven but in it you can surely find your own little slice of paradise. Below are our top five things to do there which can be stretched out or packed in to any space of time you have! We spent 5 nights which was plenty of time to see the whole island and spend as much time as possible on the beach…key tanning time!
1.) Pantai Cenang
Pantai Cenang is what you would call the “main” beach on Langkawi and the centre of this now tourist destination. The one main road of the Cenang area is a cluster of restaurants and beach shops and runs parallel to the beach – just nip down a side street or alley way and you will step foot on the white sand which runs for around a mile (I know – I ran it!!) Despite the mass of jet skis and banana boats if you take a walk right up to the north end of the beach its not hard to find a quiet spot to look out from beneath the palm trees. See above….
2.) Hire a scooter
Although not for everyone (for safety reasons I imagine) hiring a scooter for the day was one of the best things we did. At 25MYR for the whole day (from Rainbow Lodge) and less than 5MYR for a full tank on the way back, we thought it was an absolute bargain and the best if not the only way to effectively see the whole island in a day. Yes, the hiring of the scooter was ridiculously easy with a meer 1 signature and asking if I had a driving licence (he said more for the police if we get stopped than for him). The roads in Langkawi are wide, smooth and generally there is very little traffic and, if there is, the other motorists are very accommodating to scooters (unlike Thailand or Vietnam!) More to come on where we went underneath but for now take note of the following…On the same road as the Cable Car, 5/10 minutes further down the road there is a small local road side cafe which serves THE BEST doughnuts in Langkawi, possibly Malaysia! (bold statement) Try the banana balls and fried banana doughnut which come at 10 for 1MYR or 2 for 1MYR respectively…we ate far too many and felt bloated on the beach all afternoon. Well worth it!
3.) Top of mountain
Warning; before attempting to scooter up Gunung Raya, the highest peak in Langkawi, make sure you have enough petrol to get you up the steepish, half hour ascent and back down again…something we did not! Half way up the mountain already past some monkeys, cows and pretty great views the dial on our petrol swung dangerously low into the red and we spent half an hour debating whether to leave the scooter and hop on the back of another of our convoys or risk it up there and free-wheel back down. We decided on the latter rather than a stolen moped and both the ride and panoramic view of the island from the watchtower at the top (10MYR to go up but you get delicious free herbal tea!) were absolutely worth the risk. We’d bet sunset from up there would be even better but we had to find a petrol station and get our scooters back to avoid further fines!
They were….*cough*…. shizer (as our esteemed German friend would often exclaim!). No water and rubbish in the river….although don’t take our word for it – a lack of rainfall may have contributed to the dry waterfalls so if you have a moped they are mostly on route and maybe worth a quick stop! Good luck and let us know if you are more enamoured than we were!!
5.) Tanjung Rhu Beach Resort
Situated on the north east of the island this beach is maybe less well known than Pantai Cenang making it a lot quieter but certainly no less spectacular. The long beach stretches out opposite some other small islands or rock formations within the archipelago; the sand is soft, the water clear and you can walk a fair way out (100 metres) with it being shallow to the waist (always good to fool those you have left behind on the beach that you are being swept away before actually standing up and dancing around foolishly!) An afternoon of basking in the sun is easily spent here…and was!
So there you have it…oh and don’t forget the 1.50MYR beers (2op) which are perfect for cracking open and watching the sunset at whichever spot you may choose…or every spot!
C & J