If you’re in Malaysia, you don’t need to travel far for beautiful blue waters and white sand. Malaysia has over 800 islands that you can go to. From over the top island experience where you spend lavishly on 5 star stays to the hippie havens on small islands for backpackers with many chalets, cheap restaurants and snorkel spots right at the beach. I know one of the hardest things when you’re looking for a beach holiday is finding one that suits your preferences; budget and time but there are some islands that should definitely be in your list. Pulau Langkawi or Langkawi Island is one of them!
Langkawi’s white sand beaches are simply some of Malaysia’s best. Located in the state of Kedah Darul Aman, Langkawi Island is rich in treasure island with natural beauty and tranquility of nature. Known for its history of the legendary Mahsuri and given the tax-free status certainly did not disappoint tourists.
Langkawi was an impromptu trip. It came into plan when me and some friends were in Cherating, Kuantan hoping to catch some waves for our yet another impromptu surf trip but the weather was a disappointment; the sky was constantly pouring, low tide with nothing much to do. So we cut short our trip from 3 nights to just 1 night. But you can still go on a firefly-watching trip available every night, that would be interesting too.
So we thought of making a detour to Perhentian Island and some other islands we could possibly think of but due to the monsoon season on the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, most islands are closed. We crossed those islands off the list and decided to go to one of the more stable climates for an island in Malaysia which makes it suitable to be visited all year round, Langkawi Island!
Langkawi is a huge island to explore, you can choose sea-based or land based activities or a mix of both. A weekend trip will not be enough to cover all the amazing places Langkawi has to offer, so I recommend you to stay at least 3 nights. It was my first time flying with Malindo Air as they were having their introductory promotion and because I wanted to experience the difference it has to offer. It was cheap (considering that it was a last minute purchase) and comfortable with an in-flight entertainment and a snack.
We spent 3 nights at a 2-bedroom Dayang Bay Seviced Apartment & Resort in Kuah Town, Langkawi. Located on the southeast corner of the island and it is the arrival point for most of the ferries but if you’re coming from the airport, it’s a 30-min taxi ride.
Kuah Town is a nice relaxing place but it’s a bit far off from the famous Cenang beach. This is a new hotel. So the rooms, swimming pool and everything are new and clean. I love the infinity pool but I was a bit disappointed with the location. It’s a nice place to stay if you have a car, otherwise it will be a bit difficult to move around. The hotel doesn’t have any access to the beach but the view is nevertheless, amazing. We stayed at this place due to last minute deep discounts, but it is definitely not worth the advertised price. The hotel made a mistake with our booking , so we ended up not getting the sea view room.
We had the floating fish farm for our view which was pretty nice at night. The plus side of this hotel is that it’s near to the Langkawi Plaza and most of the local duty-free shops. Apart from the spacious apartment, the infinity pool and the cleanliness which I really like, I would not suggest anyone to stay here unless they don’t mind driving around and they want a very quiet and peaceful place.
The best thing about Langkawi is of course the duty free stuff! Imported chocolates are so cheap, just for a fraction of the usual price. Tourists would love this place for its cheap alcohol, RM2 for the usual RM6 can of beer. I had a high expectation on food, I thought the food would be slightly cheaper from Kuala Lumpur but I was wrong. Not only it is the same price more or less, the range of seafood is the same as you could find in KL.
Our next adventure was Island hopping! A 3 to 4-hour half day trip to Pulau Beras Basah (Beras Basah Island), Tasik Dayang Bunting (Lake of the Pregnant Maiden) and Eagle Wacthing for RM55/pax. We left at 7am and went to the first island, an hour journey on a speedboat.
Our tour started off with the first island, we were given around 40 minutes to spend at the first beach. A nice little island, perfect for a swim in the still seawater. Beras Basah would top any island hopping list with its white sandy beach and clear water. There’s no hotel on the island. Most of the visitors stop by here during island hopping journey.
I’ve never seen an eagle in real life. This trip was exceptional! Eagle watching is one of the most spectacular sights you will ever see in your life. A great number of eagle flying around you showcasing their skills in getting their food; they would “dive” on the surface of the sea from the sky and snap a fish with its beak. Simply awesome!
Last stop – Tasik Dayang Bunting. This is probably my favourite part of the tour. It is definitely a scenic beauty! There’s a lake in the middle of the island and if you’re wondering why the island is called with such name, because there’s a part of the mountain in the island that looks like a pregnant lady who’s lying down. To reach the lake, it requires you a 10-min hike. The scenery is breathtakingly beautiful. You can either swim or you can rent a paddle boat for RM30 for 30-min circle around the lake while being mesmerised by its beauty. The lake is amazing and refreshing, the water is cold and clean, great for a perfect dip. Be careful with monkeys, they can get pretty aggressive.
The lake is phenomenal, magically set in between the lush green mountains surrounded by wonderful natural habitat. You can’t hear any noise but the sound of the birds flying and the buzzes from the jungle. It makes you feel at ease and the thought of returning to the city is the last thing you want to do.
The sights and experiences are fantastic and a great way to see the beauty of the island. My journey alone is not enough to describe how amazing Langkawi is. There are so many fun things to do here and you should definitely go to places like The Underwater World, Langkawi Cable Car, Telaga Harbour Park and many more. The Underwater World is a must because the huge white-washed structure houses more than 200 different species of marine and freshwater fish including harbour seals, rockhopper penguins, sharks, giant rays and enormous Amazonian arapaima – the biggest freshwater fish in the world. You just need to spend more time exploring the whole island. My first trip was not enough and I will definitely go back for more.