Langkawi is one of the better-known islands of Malaysia and offers a lot of attractions. Here are our best attractions in Langkawi. However, visiting the island for a beach holiday or for its attractions was not our main reason why we decided to go to Langkawi. Our main reason to travel to Langkawi was actually because of a golf course! Crazy? Perhaps… but certainly not any crazier than embarking on a world tour with golf bags.
The north end of the island is home to a dream golf course, The Els Club Teluk Datai, which was ranked number 83 on the list of the Golf Digest “The World’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses”.
Even though the club did not make it into the top 100 this year (2019), we were more than excited to play there. This golf course was definitely very high on our bucket list and we couldn’t wait to check this off on our long long list.
Getting to Langkawi
The island is really easy to reach. Depending on where you are traveling from, you can choose a bus, train, ferry or a plane to get to Langkawi.
From Kuala Lumpur you can reach Penang in about five hours by bus. From there, you can take a ferry to Langkawi, which goes twice a day. After about three hours on the ferry and then you can enjoy the beach life.
This is also a good excuse to see Penang with its UNESCO Georgetown.
If you get seasick: we found the crossing really rough, and I got really sick despite taking motion sickness pills. There are lots of “worst case scenario bags” on the ferry, which a sign that the rough swell is probably not an isolated incident.
If I had known the ride would have been like this, we probably would have gone to Kuala Kedah which is the next ferry port north by bus. Although we would have been sitting on the bus for an additional hour (from Penang, from Kuala Lumpur it is about six hours), we would only have had an hour long ferry ride.
Of course, direct flights from Kuala Lumpur are the quickest and easiest, and Air Asia offers a variety of great deals.
But since we wanted to stop on the way to Langkawi in Cameron Highlands, Ipoh, Taiping and Georgetown, the bus and ferry was the best option for us to get there.
We paid 70 MYR per person for the ferry from Georgetown to Langkawi.
We didn’t try the train on our entire Malaysia trip, because the bus was less expensive, and also a bit more flexible for us.
Direct flights to Langkawi are also offered from Germany. It’s best to inquire and book at the travel agency of your trust. Or with me ?
Top things to do in Langkawi
Golf was planned as a highlight towards the end of our stay in Langkawi. So until then, we wanted to see some of the sights on the island that we had picked out.
Could we wait for so long before playing???
Our hotel was not located at the beach, but rather at the foot of the jungle, which was great because it was very quiet and secluded.
From here we rented a scooter and went on our own exploration tours. We rented it on a daily basis for 30.00 Malaysian ringgit, which is the equivalent to approx. €6.50.
One of the great memories that we have from our stay was that every time we came out of our little hotel, we passed countless monkeys. How curiously they sat on the side of the road and watched the passing scooters, while grooming each other. It was an unforgettable picture, and a thousand times more beautiful to see something like this in the wild than in the zoo.
Langkawi Sky Bridge
Just as the Petronas Towers stand for Kuala Lumpur, so the Sky Bridge is the attraction of Langkawi.
Even if we didn’t go there our first day, I would like to mention the Sky Bridge here first. First, because it was really a fantastic experience and much better than we had imagined. And second, because despite my fear of heights, I am very proud of myself to have tackled the gondola and especially the bridge. And that too was much better than expected.
There is a saying that I love: “Push your comfort zone in order to grow a little bit more.”
The Sky Bridge was completed in 2004 and is 1.80 meters wide and 125 meters long. It has been open to the public since the beginning of 2005 and is one of the top 10 landmarks in Malaysia.
The curved bridge is located about 700 meters above sea level and offers great views. The view of the Andaman Sea, which you have from here, is simply overwhelming. At the end of the bridge are triangular viewing platforms, perfect to enjoy the view and take millions of photos.
To get to the bridge you have to go up by gondola. The entrance fee was 50 MYR per person. There is an additional 5 MYR per person fee once you arrive at the top.
After a few steps which you must climb, we finally arrived. There is also a tram, but it was out of service while we were there.
You can also get to the Sky Bridge with a tour, but we decided to go there without a tour and rented a car for 80.00 MYR.
Look at this view!
SkyDome, SkyRex & 3D Art Langkawi
The Sky Bridge ticket also includes admission to the SkyDome, SkyRex & 3D Art Langkawi.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to see everything, because we had planned a round of golf at the 99 East Golf Club later in the day, a course that I found and wanted to play. And, as you can imagine, there is no need for much persuasion for James.
So, we just visited the 3D art Langkawi and it was so much fun. We really enjoyed acting like kids again and didn’t want to leave!
We haven’t mentioned it yet, but we had a lot of rain during our stay on Langkawi. That is also the reason why we have not done quite as much as we had intended.
Other than the “Must See” Sky Bridge, we really wanted to visit two temples.
One was the Thean Hou Temple, and the other was the Lucky Temple.
Thean Hou Temple
The Thean Hou Temple, named like its big brother in Kuala Lumpur, was completed at the end of 2017. Unlike the bigger temple in Kuala Lumpur, here there is a peaceful silence. Thean Hou Temple is a place where you can relax and can really look at all the details in peace.
The temple is dedicated to the sea goddess Mazu and features classic details of Chinese and Taiwanese temples.
When we were there, we learned that the temple had been built entirely on a donation basis. But now that the money has run out, the final works have not yet been completed. For example, the souvenir shop. We weren’t disappointed and enjoyed strolling through the tourist-less temple.
The Lucky Temple is even more deserted than the Thean Hou Temple, maybe because it is located in a more secluded area.
We are greeted by a pack of barking dogs, but they didn’t bother us. We just took our time and admired all the oversized statues that are erected here.
What we missed: the Wat Koh Wanararm Temple, which is just a few minutes away. So, if you’re visiting the Lucky temple, continue on.
When we took the ferry from Georgetown to Langkawi, we arrived at the Ferry Terminal in Kuah. Here at the ferry port is the famous Eagle Square, Dataran Lang.
Coming from the sea you will see the 12-metre-high statue that greets visitors and is almost impossible to miss. I have to say that my James didn’t see it on arrival. Lol.
A photo is mandatory here.
By the way, if you arrive by ferry, you can shop right away at the jetty. Alcohol and chocolate are particularly cheap here, because Langkawi is a duty-free zone.
Tip: maybe wait for your shopping and go to one of the countless duty-free stores in Kuah itself, or even in Cenang. Both are slightly cheaper than directly at the port.
Mardi Agro Technology Park Langkawi
We discovered the Eco-Farm by chance as we drove by. It is an eco-farm with more than 14 hectares of land, where more than twenty different types of fruit are grown. It is possible to take a shuttle through the area and to learn all sorts of things about the exotic flora and fauna. There are also different kinds of fruit to try.
We thought it sounded really great and went there, but unfortunately, we were too late, and the farm had already closed. We will have to do the tour next time.
Beaches on Langkawi
For many, Langkawi is the perfect holiday to relax on a beach and just to enjoy the sun and the sea.
We also wanted to spend a few days at the beach, but due to all the rain we experienced, we didn’t really get to have real beach days. But we still went to a few:
The most famous, but usually overcrowded beach is Cenang Beach. There are plenty of hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops and water sports at the beach.
If you drive a little further, you will find the smaller beach Pantai Tengah within a few minutes.
This beautiful beach lies on the way to the Sky Bridge. An extra bonus: on the way to the Pantai Kok you will find a lighthouse and a little harbor. It is definitely worth a stop!!
Sandy Skulls Beach
After we had played golf at The Els Club Teluk Datai, we made a short stop here and watched the magical sunset. It is a smaller bay, which at least when we were there, was deserted.
Black Sand Beach
Unfortunately, the beach wasn’t black, and the view, of a factory we assume, was not nice. We didn’t stay here very long.
Tanjung Rhu Beach
The Tanjung Rhu Beach is the most beautiful beach. White and long, stunningly beautiful and perfect for beach walks. Definitely plan a day here if you’re in Langkawi!
We are so happy to have taken this tour!
In our accommodation were flyers with advertisements for this tour and we decided to book it spontaneously. The 120 MYR per person for the tour was definitely worth it.
We were picked up the next morning at 9 a.m. and taken to the Tanjung Rhu Beach. From there we continued with a boat. The tour was four hours long and it went to the Kilim Forest National Park.
The drive from the beach to the park was already overwhelming.
We arrived to a view of limestone rocks and Thailand in the distance.
The first stop was a fish farm. That wasn’t really our thing, but good. We would also have lunch here later.
A mother and her child
On the way to the mangroves, the boat made a stop and a monkey jumped in. It wasn’t until the second look that we realized it was a mother monkey with her baby. It is no exaggeration to say that I have never seen anything like this. How she held her little one! I could hardly get away from this sight and it softened my heart so much. There is nothing stronger than a mother’s love.
Our next stop was The Eagle Bay. While I was still daydreaming of the mom and her baby, this was James’ favorite. Countless eagles in the sky, repeatedly driving into the sea in the hunt for food. An unbelievable picture!
Then we went into the mangroves. That’s why we had been on the tour in the first place.
With my fear of snakes, I was a little nervous and hoped that we would a) see none and b) if we would see one, that we would not get too close to it.
I hoped for both in vain.
(Attention Mommy… a snake picture will follow. It’s best not to look any further…)
After the tour we googled about mangroves, because we didn’t know much about them.
Therefore, we added a short summary here:
What are mangroves and what do they do?
Mangroves are plants that have adapted to nature to the point where they can survive in an unusual environment like in salty water.
Mangrove forests are among the most adaptable ecosystems on Earth.
They provide habitat for fish, reptiles, mammals and birds.
Mangroves have exposed roots. This allows them to filter water and fortify coastlines. This in turn can reduce tidal waves and flooding.
Mangroves can store 3-5 times more CO2 than normal forests. This way they contribute to reduce climate change!
Did you know…?
Did you know all of this? We didn’t, at least not all of it. Nor did we know that 50% of the mangrove forests in the world have already been cut down, even though they do so much good for a healthy ecosystem.
It is really sad, but entire forests are being cut down to build more shrimp farms and/or more palm oil plantations.
After this small but important “did you know”, we would like to show you something amazing.
Yes, I know… we can’t get enough of these cute little animals. And since we always keep a respectful distance, don’t show our teeth, like from smiles (showing teeth is a sign of aggression), and do not look them directly in the eyes, we have so far been spared any incidents. We just find them to be sweet.
And the monkeys in the mangroves of Langkawi are particularly special?
They live in the mangroves and have adapted to their living conditions in order to survive.
These monkeys can swim!
Our guide had some small apples with him and threw them into the water, and immediately the little ones were in the water. Normally, they eat crustaceans. It was again a pleasure to see the animals in the wild and one of the highlights of our tour.
The Bat Cave
After lunch at the fish farm we went to a bat cave as the last stop.
Armed with a flashlight, we lit our way through the short cave and saw bats hanging from the ceiling.
We don’t have pictures here, at least not good ones, because we didn’t want to shine the light onto them. Sometimes it’s just nicer to keep something in your memory.
The tour ended and we were taken back to our hotel.
The mangrove tour was great fun for us, and we say “thank you” to Castro, who brought us through the day with his funny and relaxed manner.
And what about golf?
The weather god wasn’t good to us while we were in Langkawi, but we could play a round of golf at the 99 East Golf Club at the beginning of our stay. We liked the place very much and we had a good round. If you want to read more about it, just go to James’ golf blog on our Quick Pars page and read about the 99 East Golf Club.
And, what about the real reason why we ended up in Langkawi? The Els Club Teluk Datai! After days of rain, we finally woke up to sunshine. We immediately rented a car so as not to miss this weather and drove to Teluk Datai. But unfortunately, I wasn’t feeling well that day, and couldn’t play. Life is not a picnic, and it just wasn’t meant for me this time. Even though I was very sad at the beginning of the day, I was glad that at least James could play. And I was able to take relaxed pictures and had fun driving the golf buggy while enjoying the views.
Just one reason to go back to Langkawi so that I can also play The Els Club, right?!