Langkawi is a combination of two Malay words: ‘Helang’ (eagle) and ‘Kawi’ (reddish-brown). Hence the literal translation of Langkawi is a reddish-brown eagle. Did you know? Langkawi is also referred to as the ‘Jewel of Kedah’. This beautiful archipelago of 99 islands is located off the northwest coast of Malaysia. The place is a wonderland of natural landscapes with scenic beauty sprawling in every nook and corner of the island. Here you would find beautiful sandy beaches adorned jungle-clad hills, waterfalls and an enormous amount of greenery.
Ever heard of the phrase “every place has a story to tell”, well Langkawi might have taken the phrase quite literally. So the most popular legend of Langkawi goes like this:
About 500 years ago, there was an immensely beautiful girl, Mahsuri who encountered the envy of both men and women due to her beauty. Long story short, she was executed by the council. But just before dying, the girl cursed the island of Langkawi to destruction for seven generations. It is said that only after the curse of seven generations got over, was the island able to prosper again.
Do you believe in this legend?
Langkawi holds a lot of activities for the tourists. On one hand, you can soak in the natural beauty of the landscapes on the island or you can put on your adventure pants and dive right into a plethora of thrilling activities. The best part is the melange of beauty and action that is infused into the wilderness of the place, that leaves people confused. They do not understand whether to put their phones down and enjoy the moment or capture every movement so that it's etched in your digital memory.
Here are 7 must-do things on your tour to Langkawi:
Make sure to hop into the cable car for 15 minutes of mesmerizing beauty. The Langkawi cable car takes you to the top of Mat Cincang mountain as you cross lush green rainforests and majestic waterfalls and astounding seas. The mountain is situated at 708 m above sea level. You are highly recommended to pay a little extra and take 15 minutes to walk to Langkawi Sky Bridge. This 125 m pedestrian bridge connects two hilltops of the Mat Cincang Mountain and is sturdy enough to hold more than 250 people at a time. While walking on the bridge is an exhilarating experience it is definitely not for the faint-hearted. The sky bridge offers a spectacular view of the Gunung Mat Cincang, Telaga Tujuh waterfalls, and many other smaller and bigger islets. Both Langkawi Cable Car ride and Langkawi Sky Bridge should be on your tour itinerary.
Dataran Lang is famous for the statue of a reddish-brown eagle ready to take flight. It is 12 meters of height and is also serves as an emblem of Langkawi. Also known as Eagle Square, the place has a gorgeous view of the ferries being located close to the harbor. This is one of the primary reasons why the place is so popular among tourists. Dataran Lang also offers many beautiful miniature fountains, terraces, and bridges that provide an amazing scenic view of the area. A five-minute walk from the place also houses Jetty Point Mall and numerous duty-free shops.
Being an island, Langkawi is bound to have lots and lots of beaches, a few of them being hot on everyone’s checklist. Beaches in Langkawi consist of pristine waters and beautiful sand that are sure to sate the wanderlust in you. Tanjung Rhu offers the best shorelines in the whole Langkawi. With crystal clear waters and dense forest surroundings, the beach offers an extremely serene experience. Next in line is Pantai Kok that offers the best luxury resorts for your staycation. The beach is lined with shops, bars, and restaurants as well as a bank and a post office on board for every kind of traveler. The Pasir Tengkorak beach is one of the hidden gems of Langkawi. Lesser known among tourists means more tranquility. Interestingly, the name of the beach translates to “Sandy Skull Beach” due to the various legends associated with the place. Here you can enjoy the pristine white sand and relax on the multiple gazebos sprawled across the coast. The experience is soothing for the heart as well as the mind. The Pantai Cenang Beach has been crowned as one of the busiest beaches on the island. The beach hosts many restaurants, cafes, and shops that can cater to everyone. This beach also has multiple hotels and resorts in close proximity.
This is for all the thrill-seekers. Langkawi offers a plethora of water adventure activities that would fascinate all the adventure lovers. Kayaking and canoeing through the mangroves are one of the major crowd pullers. The twist and turns offer an exhilarating experience for everyone. Apart from this, you can opt for scuba diving and snorkeling. The Pulau Payar Marine Park is popular for scuba diving excursions and enjoying the colorful corals. The Andaman Sea is the perfect spot for all these leisurely activities as well as a wonderful chance to explore Langkawi’s marine life up close. However, if you are more into thrilling adventures, try parasailing and jet skiing. Langkawi is one of the best destinations for parasailing and jet skiing, both being popular adventure sports on the island.
One of the most beautiful aspects of the island of Langkawi is the mangroves. They are not only aesthetic but are also an important part of Langkawi’s natural ecosystem. The mangroves have said to protect the island during the tsunami of 2004. Hop on a kayak and glide through a labyrinth of nature and wildlife at Kilim Geopark. For nature enthusiasts, this tour is extremely exciting as they come across eagles, an assortment of other words, fishes, snakes, monkeys and more. One of the most remarkable of them is the Bat Cave tour (Gua Kelawar) . This beautiful yet spooky cave is 390 million years old! The walls of the caves are lined with thousands of bats as well as striking rock structures and sculptures of stalactites and stalagmites. So put on your explorer’s hat and make sure to take a trip to the Bat Caves for a memorable experience.
The highest peak in Langkawi is a sight for sore eyes. Standing tall at 881m, Mount Gunung Raya has its own tale to tell. The legend has it that the mountains are in fact the cursed form of the giant Mat Raya, who was once an inhabitant of the island. One of the most popular activities here is hiking through the rainforests along the slopes of Raya. The forests are home to a number of animals like the leaf monkeys, macaque monkeys, flying foxes, white-bellied eagles, mountain hawk eagles, great hornbills, and many more. You might also sight a few while you climb up the slopes. The mountain top also offers a panoramic view of the entire island and the experience is quite tranquil, to say the least. The soft mountain wind blowing through your hairs while you gaze at the picturesque setting before you feel straight out a novel.
It would be considered blasphemy if we mention an island and not talk about their waterfalls and beaches. This Jewel of Kedah is laced with numerous beaches as well as waterfalls that attract a large flock of tourists from all over the world. One of the special mentions should go for the Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls that have an enigmatic story behind them. The waterfall albeit beautiful is said to be a residence for the fairies. A group of 7 natural pools that are connected to each other, this place epitomizes perfection and beauty in its stature. Another mention must be made of Temurun Waterfalls, the tallest falls in Langkawi (200 meters). The Durian Perangin is another waterfall that deserves a mention. Embracing the slopes of Mount Gunung Raya. this 14 tier waterfall is definitely a sight to behold. Make sure to mark all the three waterfalls off your checklist as each has its own unique appeal that calls out to the tourists.