Many of the great attractions of Langkawi are located within the main island (i.e. Pulau Langkawi) while there are a few that are located offshore in the tiny islands scattered around the main island. In Langkawi, local transport essentially means car/bike rentals, or taxis, although there are limited public bus services in some places.
The easiest and the most convenient way to visit the attractions would be to take a taxi (you can get one from one of the many stands around the island or just flag down one on the street and hop in). While taxis have fixed rates between one place to the other, they also operate by hourly rate for local tours which is quite economical. All you have to do is just tell the driver which places you want to visit. However you will need to hire the taxi for a minimum of 4 hours.
By road it does not take more than 45 minutes to reach one end of the main island from the other. So if you plan your day carefully you won’t spend much time travelling.
For visiting the attractions & tourist places in some of the offshore islands, you will need to take a boat tour or a private boat rental. Some great attractions like the Kilim Geo Park, the mammoth limestone rocks rising from water edge, eagle & monkey feeding and stunning mangroves can be best seen from the waters.
There are many sightseeing and island tours run by the local tour operators that you can also avail to visit the tourist places. Although they would cost a bit more, one advantage here is they offer proper guide. If you are in a group, they can also organize a mini van or coach. You will find a link to all such great local tours near the bottom of this page and under the section ‘Related Articles’.
Langkawi is sparsely populated and you will hardly see people on the main roads. As you drive along, the swaying coconut & palm trees, the lush greenery of the rain forests, the fresh breeze from the ocean and wonderful view of the coastline will often be your company.
If you plan to rent a car (which many do), you will need a good map of the island. There are two ways to go: Either you refer to our Langkawi Map that we ourselves use extensively, or drive down to the nearest tourist information center (there is one in Kuah Town and opposite to the Jetty) and grab a folding map.
Following are the top attractions and places to visit in Langkawi. In the section that follows after this, you will also find the complete list of attractions arranged by category. I have described the attractions with pictures along with our personal experience & reviews.
Top 10 Attractions of Langkawi
Here are our most favorite 10 attractions in Langkawi.
1. Langkawi Cable Car and the Langkawi Sky Bridge (Pantai Kok)
This is an awesome ride on a cable car that has the steepest gradient in the world and taking you to the summit of Mount Mat Cincang over a distance of about 2.1kms. You get breathtaking views of the Andaman sea below along with the scattered islands of Langkawi and the towering peaks. There are two cable car stations with viewing platforms and walking trails. The Skybridge is another engineering marvel. It’s a curved suspension bridge high up in the sky that links the cable car top station with a nearby mountain. If you have the spirit of adventure, take the long flight of steps to reach the bridge, walk over it and appreciate the magical creation as you watch the views all around. You will feel you are on top of the world.
2. Kilim Geo Park and Mangroves (Kilim River, North East end of Langkawi)
You will need to take a boat tour to experience Kilim Geo Park which is a nature reserve full of geological formations and spanning across some 100 square km area. It offers stunning sights of gigantic limestone rocks, millions of years old fossils, mangrove swamps, lovely sights of the islands, beaches & lagoons and lot more. As part of this tour, you will also see floating fish farms where you can yourself feed stingrays, and experience other spectacular activities like eagle feeding, monkey feeding etc. For Booking!
3. Pulau Dayang Bunting & Lake of the Pregnant Maiden (Dayang Bunting Island)
There is a wonderful fresh water lake locate at the Dayang Bunting Island which is steeped with legend and surrounded by hills and rainforest in a picturesque setting. The lake is great for swimming and the forests excellent for bird watchers. The island is located offshore in the south of main Langkawi island and can be easily reached by a boat. There are plenty of boat tours operating out of Pantai Tengah that can drop you to this lovely spot. For Booking!
4. Underwater World (Pantai Cenang)
The 60,000 sq. ft. building houses over 4000 fish and marine creatures and have separate sections for wide range of birds and animals as well. The sections are themed on Tropical Rainforest, Temperate, Sub-Antarctic, Ponds, Corals and so on. There is a 15-meter long tunnel that showcases an array of fish and underwater life in numerous large and small glass tanks that are mostly engraved on the walls. Inside, there are souvenir shops and cafe as well.
5. Eagle Square – Dataran Lang (Kuah Town, South East Langkawi)
There is a 12-meter high sculpture of a reddish brown eagle at the square and looking into the open bay. The eagle symbolizes origin of Langawi’s name and hence such a statue created at Kuah Town close to the jetty (ferry dock). The view of the waters with backdrop of mountains and ferries plying by is really spectacular.
6. Mahsuri’s Tomb & Cultural Center (Padang Matsirat, Jalan Makam Mahsuri)
This place has a mausoleum and the tomb of Mahsuri, the legendary folk lady from Langkawi who was falsely accused of adultery by the wife of village chief and was finally sentenced to death. It was her dazzling beauty that led to the jealousy and the false charge. Before her death, Mahsuri cursed the island for seven generations of ill luck which apparently struck the island soon after her death. But fortunately the bad time has now passed.
This place, also known as Makam Mahsuri, has evolved as a cultural complex which also has a music theater where folk instruments are played, a large gallery with paintings & models depicting Mahsuri’s life story, an audio-video room, a typical Malay house the way it used to be centuries back, souvenir shop, food stalls and more.
7. Galeria Perdana (North East, near Kilim Village, Mukim Air Hangat)
This is a plush museum that showcases collections of gifts and awards received by the 4th Prime Minister of Malaysia Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad and his wife. The Prime Minister believed that all his gifts were public properties. The large building with oriental architecture houses many precious items including jewelry, souvenirs, weapons, copper & metallic items, furniture, and even his cars and cycles that have been gifted to the Prime Minister during his tenure of service by foreign delegates, statesmen, well-wishers, friends and guests.
8. Langkawi Craft Complex (North Langkawi, Teluk Yu, Mukim Bohor)
Located at the northern part of Langkawi near Shark Bay Beach, this craft complex showcases wide range of art & handicraft craft items reflecting the rich culture and heritage of Malaysia and Langkawi. There are museum sections with exhibits depicting several themes like Heritage, History & Legends etc. There are exclusive collections of forest based products, silk batik, ceramics, brass & silverware and lot more which you can buy from the sales gallery.
9. Pulau Payar Marine Park (An island 30km south of Langkawi)
Pulau Payar is an island which is located offshore and 30kms south of the main island. A marine park has been developed in the surrounding water area that also includes few other islands. There are scheduled boat trips taking tourists to the marine park for a day’s tour. Other than beautiful scenic settings, you can enjoy swimming at the beaches, snorkeling and even diving amongst Langkawi’s best marine life & corals, hand feed the baby sharks, or just relax and sunbathe. The trip includes all gears and lunch. For Booking!
10. Langkawi Wildlife Park, formerly Bird Paradise (North East, near Kilim Village)
Spread across some 5.5 acres of area, this wildlife park (earlier known as the Bird Paradise) is fully covered with roofed pathways. So in sun or rains, you can equally enjoy the park which has over 150 species of animal and bird life. The collection comes from various parts of the world including South Asia, Russia, South America and Malaysia. However, don’t expect the large exotic species here. You can interact with the animals during feeding sessions.
The Other Great Attractions
There are several other attractions and places that come pretty close to our list of top favorites. Honestly it’s very difficult to rank them all. So below I have categorized them under different heads and described them all in detail under those sections.
The top waterfalls of Langkawi
Langkawi Parks & Nature
Know about the great parks, nature reserves, sanctuaries, lakes & lagoons etc.
Langkawi Museums, Historical Places & Shrines
An insight into the rich heritage, culture and historical background of the island.
Langkawi Art & Craft
The top craft centers and art galleries in Langkawi that showcase exquisite items including wide range of handicraft and paintings from exceptionally talented local artists. A new introduction is Malaysia’s largest 3-dimensional art museum.
The great natural caves in Langkawi for the cave lovers. Some of them can be accessed on foot, and some by taking a boat ride. Many of them have amazing stalactite and stalagmite formations, and some are home to large number of bats & other creatures.
Langkawi Village Complexes
These are village like complexes developed with their unique and holistic offerings. Some of them like the Oriental Village offers a comprehensive complex with shopping, food, and many attractions & activities all packed in one place to make it a one-stop village.