Things to Do in Langkawi
The second-largest island in Langkawi archipelago, Dayang Bunting Island (Pulau Dayang Bunting) and its surrounding lake are enshrouded in folklore. Visit the lake where legend says a celestial princess placed her baby after his death (the waters are thought to aid in conceiving). Try snorkeling, bird-watching, and cave exploring too.
A unique structure with spectacular views of Malaysia’s Langkawi archipelago, the Langkawi Sky Bridge is a curved suspension bridge on Mt. Machinchang. The 410-foot-long (125-meter-long) span hangs from a single pylon, 328 feet (100 meters) above the ground, offering excellent views of the jungle-covered mountains below and the Andaman Sea beyond.
Dataran Lang, or Eagle Square in English, is a square on Langkawi near the port where ferries sail in and out. It is the first sight visitors to this Malaysian island will see when they arrive by boat. In the square is a giant statue of an eagle poised to take flight. The eagle is almost 40 feet tall. The reddish-brown eagle was built as a symbol of the island since, according to folklore, Langkawi’s name came from two Malay words, Helang which means “eagle” and Kawi which means “reddish brown.” It is one of Langkawi's most recognizable sights.
Eagle Square is about 19 acres large and has covered terraces, small ponds, fountains, footbridges, shops, and cafes. The square also has covered pavilions where events are held. Nearby you'll also find several duty-free shops. The square offers gorgeous views of Kuah Bay that leads into the sea and the surrounding mountains. From the square, you can also watch the ferries crossing the bay. After dark, the square and the eagle are illuminated with lights.
A young woman who died around 1819, Mahsuri is an important figure in Langkawi, and though it was only built in the 1950s, Mahsuri’s Tomb (Kota Mahsuri) is one of the island’s more meaningful tourist attractions. Besides the tomb, there’s a museum, a handicrafts shop, a theater, food outlets, a re-created traditional house, and a well believed to be magical.
Formally known as Langkawi SkyCab, the Langkawi Cable Car takes riders high above the Langkawi rain forest on Mt. Mat Cincang (Gunung Mat Cincang) for a panoramic view of the surrounding islands and sea. It boasts Malaysia’s longest free span mono-cable car—at 3,117 feet (950 meters)—and is among the steepest on the planet.
Atma Alam Batik Art Village is a batik center located in Padang Matsirat, Malaysia on the island of Langkawi. Batik is a traditional wax-dyed cloth technique and an ancient art form. The center is owned by Aza Osman, an oil painter, and Roshadah Yusof, a batik artist. They designed the art village primarily to attract tourists and to promote the art of batik and showcase the creative art of batik in Langkawi. Atma Alam Batik Art Village has been recognized by the Ministry of Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage of Malaysia.
The batik art village building covers half an acre and consists of a batik workshop, a batik showroom, an art gallery, a batik gallery, and a handicraft display. It offers high quality and affordable local products, such as wall hangings, garments, and handbags. More expensive items for sale include collections of original canvas oil paintings and batik paintings by local artists. The batik art village also offers classes where you can learn to turn white fabric into batik art. There is also a cafe where you can get coffee, cold drinks, and snacks.
Oriental Village Langkawi is the home of Langkawi Cable Car (SkyCab), which transports you 2,326 feet (709 meters) to the SkyBridge at the summit of Mt. Mat Cincang. Located at the bottom of the mountain, this open-air complex features souvenir and retail outlets, galleries, rides, health spas, a hotel, and a huge lake at its center.
Set between Penang and Langkawi, Pulau Payar Marine Park offers probably the best diving and snorkeling on the west coast of peninsular Malaysia. The four islands that make up the park are a marine protected area, meaning there’s a rich range of coral reef and fish life, from angelfish and clownfish to blacktip reef sharks.
Tanjung Rhu has one of Langkawi’s most celebrated shorelines—and for good reason. Flanked by limestone cliffs jutting out into the Andaman Sea, the beach at Tanjung Rhu is breathtakingly attractive; the sand is as soft and white as any Thai island, its waters are crystal-clear and it affords some incredible views across the other Langkawi islands.
The beach is not the only draw for many visitors to Tanjung Rhu however, with many people heading further inland behind the shoreline and into Tanjung Rhu Village—home to some of Malaysia's most fascinating and diverse wildlife and natural landscape.
Tanjung Rhu Village is a place where visitors can immerse themselves in the beauty of Mother Nature. Monkeys, kingfishers and huge monitor lizards gather to greet visitors along the river banks, while eagles soar overhead. Elsewhere, the village’s fish farm restaurant serves up fresh seafood straight from the ocean.
Sitting to the west of Langkawi’s archipelago of paradise islands, Langkawi Beras Basah Island (Pulau Beras Basah) is an idyllic haven, with pristine beaches flanked by a verdant forested inland. Fully conforming to the tranquil Andaman Island ideal, a trip to the shores of Beras Basah is a popular activity for those visiting Pulau Langkawi.
Pulau Beras Basah (literal translation: “Island of Wet Rice”) benefits from remaining non-commercial, yet is still easily accessible from the main island of Langkawi. Despite the daytrippers, it retains its laid-back paradise island ambience with ease. With not much to do but relax then, Beras Basah Island is the ideal place to sunbathe or take a dip in the island’s inviting waters, where swimmers and snorkelers are said to spot schools of playful dolphins from time to time.
More Things to Do in Langkawi
Dayang Bunting Lake (Tasik Dayang Bunting) is located on Dayang Bunting Island, the second largest island in the Langkawi island group in Malaysia. "Dayang bunting" means "pregnant maiden", so the lake is also sometimes known as Pregnant Maiden Lake.
The legend surrounding this lake says that a princess named Mambang Sari married a man named Mat Teja and had a son. Unfortunately the boy got sick and died just a few days after he was born. The princess laid his body to rest in the lake and made a blessing to all women who have trouble conceiving a child. Supposedly infertile women who go for a swim in the lake will later be able to get pregnant.
Despite only being separated from the sea by less than 100 feet, Dayang Bunting Lake is a freshwater lake. Popular activities include swimming and renting paddle boats. You can also walk on a path through the mangrove forest that surrounds the lake. In the forest, you'll have the chance to see some of the 90 bird species that live on the island, as well as lizards, monkeys, butterflies, and other native animals and insects. The lake is part of Dayang Bunting Marble Geoforest Park, which has many limestone formations and caves.
Located in Kilim in the northeast of Langkawi, Galeria Perdana was established in 1955 by former Malaysian Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir. It houses the gifts, awards, and souvenirs he and his wife received from various statesmen and world leaders during this time in government. As such, this well-kept museum displays a rather unique collection of cultural and artistic items from all over the world.
The museum is divided into various sections. In one section, a gleaming collection of gemstones, musical instruments and other articles made from wood, glass, porcelain, and crystal are gathered. Another section is dedicated solely to the gifts given by political figures and members of the public to the former Prime Minister’s wife. One of the more extravagant gifts the couple received is a Formula 1 racing car, which is set amid a collection of bikes and cars in another section of the museum.
Crocodile Adventureland Langkawi, previously known as the Langkawi Crocodile Farm, houses one of the largest collections of crocodile and alligator species in the world. The reptiles range from newborns to fully grown, some world record-holders and some that are handicapped. The crocodile farm covers an area of 20 acres.
Visitors come to Crocodile Adventureland Langkkawi to see more than 1,000 crocodiles. The first section is where you'll find the baby crocodiles along with signs that provide facts about these little guys. There is also a pond where both crocodiles and alligators are located, with signs explain the difference so you can try to tell them apart. At the feeding pond, you can watch crocodiles snap at and devour their meals. You can also walk on a bridge above another pond where crocodiles are lounging. There is also a gift shop where you can buy fun croc-themed souvenirs.
Located at the southwest tip of Langkawi, Singa Besar Island (Pulau Singa Besar) is nestled between Beras Basah Island and Dayang Bunting Island. Singa Besar Island is home to over 1500 acres of dense rainforest, swaying palm trees, pure white sandy beaches, and some fascinating limestone formations.
Literally meaning "Big Lion Island", this undeveloped Langkawi island remains refreshingly untouched by humans and as such features no basic amenities or constructions whatsoever. Instead, Singa Besar Island is a natural haven for a variety of flora and a range of wildlife, from mouse deer and macaques to monkeys and eagles – the latter of which are a huge attraction on the island come their feeding time.
The gentle, clear waters surrounding Pulau Singa Besar are ideal for swimming and snorkeling, with some unique species of fish and coral making for a fascinating underwater experience. However, many visitors choose to spend their time on Singa Besar simply lazing on the island’s soft sandy beaches and gazing out to those craggy limestone formations in the distance.
Thanks to Langkawi’s status as a Duty Free Port, shopping in the city is popular and inexpensive. Established in 1966, the Langkawi Craft Complex (Kompleks Kraf Langkawi) specializes in traditional Malayan handcrafted items — things like hand-dyed batiks, silver jewelry, ceramics and woven tote bags.
The complex often hosts craft demonstrations and cultural performances. A series of on-site exhibitions cover topics like traditional wedding ceremonies, Islamic heritage and local legends.
One of Langkawi’s top natural attractions, Seven Wells Waterfall (Telaga Tujuh Waterfall) is a scenic series of rock pools set atop a towering waterfall in the middle of the jungle. The waterfall itself drops around 295 feet (90 meters) through the forest, while monkeys add local color even when water is short. Sweeping views stretch across the island.
Mt. Machinchang (Gunung Mat Chinchang) is the second highest peak on Langkawi and the oldest mountain in the whole of Southeast Asia. This majestic mountain range is covered in dense rainforest and features some incredibly old and impressive rock formations. Mt. Machinchang, also written Mt. Mat Cincang and Gunung Mat Cincang, is one of three UNESCO World Heritage Geoparks on Langkawi and is understandably one of the top tourist attractions on the island.
The rainforest within Mt. Machinchang is home to some ancient, gigantic trees, as well as a flurry of forest animals, including the macaque monkey and an array of birdlife, including the eagle – the symbol of Langkawi itself.
A cable car carries passengers 709 meters above sea-level to the top of Mt. Machinchang. One of the steepest cable car rides in the world, the journey offers breathtaking views of the rainforest and the Seven Wells Waterfall, along with Langkawi’s islands scattered in the Andaman Sea below. From the top of the peak on a clear day, Mt. Machinchang presents sweeping views all the way to the Malaysian mainland and even across to southern Thailand.
Larger than you’d expect for an island Langkawi’s size, Underwater World Langkawi is a Pantai Cenang landmark thanks to its striking frontage. With freshwater and ocean aquariums, it’s home to everything from penguins and sea lions to lionfish, catfish, sharks, and turtles—and even a tropical rain forest aviary packed with birds.
The Rice Museum (Laman Padi Langkawi) is an eco tourism attraction located at Cenang Beach. As well as featuring an indoor museum, this is a 14acre working rice farm where you can learn about rice cultivation in a natural setting.
The Rice Museum, also known as the Rice Garden Museum and Muzium Laman Padi, is divided up into the Heritage Gallery, Paddy Gallery, Herb Garden, and Garden of Variety. The Heritage Gallery features exhibits on the process of rice cultivation in Langkawi, from seed selection right through to harvesting. The Paddy Gallery is a viewing deck offering spectacular views from a rooftop rice garden, while the Herb Garden and Garden of Variety are the openair spaces where you can wander among the paddy fields and watch the farmers go about their work. Laman Padi Langkawi also features a unique floating rice garden, plus hosts regular rice-based food demonstrations and themed exhibitions.
Stretching along the waterfront in Kuah, Lagenda Park (Taman Lagenda) offers green gardens, tranquil pools, shady pathways, and mangroves, but sculptures are the highlight. Seventeen colorful structures immortalize different Langkawi legends, from friendly giants to Mahsuri, who cursed the island for generations.
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