Whether you’re a local or an international guest, the archipelago of Langkawi is easily one of Malaysia’s most precious gems. Aside from being a hotspot for tourists, Langkawi is also home to stunning forests, that since 2007, have been given geopark status by UNESCO. Keep reading our Langkawi travel guide to learn more about this verdant tropical heaven that’s been dubbed the jewel of Kedah.
Here’s a little tip before we get started. Seeing as Langkawi is set in a tropical climate, you can expect there to be a seasonal sweet spot. The best times to visit are between November and March, as well as April and July. Otherwise, you might get rained in. Pet parents out there, fret not, as there are several stays that welcome pets, such as Temple Tree Resort and Bon Ton Resort.
How to Get to Langkawi, from Flights to Ferries
With Langkawi International Airport (LGK), it’s no surprise that the island can attract millions of visitors each year. If you’re flying in via Kuala Lumpur, there are hundreds of direct flights to get you there, and you’ll be entering paradise in just a little over an hour. However, if you’re up for some sightseeing, there’s always the option to ride the train. Departing from KL Sentral, you’ll be able to reach Langkawi in just under five hours.
Thinking of going at your own pace? Who doesn’t. If you’re up for a drive, then be sure to plan ahead, because a trip to Kuala Kedah Jetty can take you upwards of six hours from Kuala Lumpur. To get to the island, you will then need to board a ferry. There are several trips scheduled per day but check here just to be sure. The ferry ride itself should take about three hours. This is where you should remember to bring your motion sickness medications should you be prone to getting seasick. Once you reach land, you’re going to want to secure yourself a rental car to get you around.
For those who insist on driving their own car, then you’ll need this alternative plan: drive up further north to Kuala Perlis (which requires at least an additional 40-minute drive) and hitch a ride on a ferry. The ferry ride itself should take about two hours, so you’re not really losing out on time should you go for this option.
10 All-Time Best Hotels in Langkawi to Seek Refuge in
Once you braved the trip, your safe haven awaits! In this section of our Langkawi travel guide, we round up the creme de la creme of accommodations. With top-tier facilities, astounding views of lush greeneries and the Andaman Sea, as well as decadent dining options and spas, you will easily be back for more.
Rebak Island Resort
We’re kicking off the stay section of our Langkawi travel guide with a private island. This place is the definition of an escape, as you’ll be ensconced in a serene retreat that will have you sighing in relief the moment you set foot on it. Guests enjoy complimentary scheduled boat transfers, so don’t sweat the additional charges.
If you’re one to stay away from the holidaymakers’ crowd, then this is the one for you. But don’t let the distance fool you—there are plenty to be done here. From morning beachside yoga, nature walks, and movie nights under the star-spangled sky (all of which are complimentary, BTW!) you’re bound to find something to get up to here.
Price: from MYR400
Address: P.O. Box 125, Pulau Rebak Besar, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah
This year, The Dalai celebrates its 30th anniversary. A background for many a fashionable moment for Malaysians, the resort has made a profoundly grand show of celebrating local culture and nature. Situated about an hour’s drive away from the Kuah Jetty, the scenic drive to the resort will show you just what Langkawi is made of. There are 121 suites and villas that are waiting to be your home away from home. A stay here will open up a world of wonder, as you’ll be exploring the Poet’s Trail, the Rimba Trail, as well as a trek to Crystal Creek. This is, of course, if you’re not itching to tee off at The Else Club Teluk Datai.
Price: from MYR1,400
Address: Jalan Teluk Datai, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah
The St. Regis Langkawi
Just like its Kuala Lumpur address, you can count on world-class service at The St. Regis Langkawi. There’s no such thing as a bad room here, as they all come with their own unique views of the rich natural tapestry of Langkawi. Choose between the Andaman Sea view, a rainforest view, or both. The 5-star luxury resort also has over-water villas, perfect for a honeymoon escape. With a 600-metre-long strip of pristine white sand beach, a stay here is just what the doctor ordered for those yearning for the calming sound of waves.
Price: from MYR1,500
Address: Jalan Pantai Beringin, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah
The Ritz-Carlton, Langkawi
Nowhere else gets you closer to Mother Nature than The Ritz-Carlton in Langkawi. With a 10-million-year-old rainforest and an enviable beach, this resort should be on everyone’s to-stay wish list—especially if you fancy yourself a spa connoisseur. Here, they pay homage to the local rituals of Mandi Bunga as well as the Javanese’s Lulur. And when you’re done with a day of relaxation, you can always dabble in resort activities such as jewellery making, textile printing, or even water-skiing along a volcanic lake. Just take your pick.
Price: from MYR1,800
Address: PT 313, Jalan Pantai Kok, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah
The Danna Langkawi
Fancy a stay with a colonial flair? Then The Danna Langkawi is the one for you. Here, you get to soak in the Malaysian sun at its private beach. On top of its suites (which boast views of the lush mountain and the scenic ocean), The Danna also offers two grand beachfront villas, each with its own private lap pool so you can clock in your workout within the comforts of your accommodation. Fully committed to their sustainability goals, even the water sports activities here are eco-friendly.
Price: from MYR1,600
Address: Pantai Kok, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah
Four Seasons Resort Langkawi
With almost a two-kilometre stretch for its private beach, we’d say this one is easily a must-visit—especially if this is your first time in the archipelago. Against the backdrop of Malay and Moorish architecture, you get to explore the resort’s enriching offerings like rock climbing and archery. Feeling more adventurous? Then venture out to a mangroves and eagles safari, rainforest trekking, or go on a bicycle tour to immerse yourself in the local scene. Whether you’re staying at a pavilion or a villa, the spacious accommodations will in and of itself be a treat on top of the excursions.
Price: from MYR2,700
Address: Jalan Tanjung Rhu, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah
Bon Ton Resort
Love a good rustic charm? Then head on over to Bon Ton Resort, where eight idyllic villas await to assuage your urban aches. On top of having its own furry residents, the property also welcomes yours. Aside from chilling by and in the pool, there’s also a lifestyle boutique for you to exercise your retail therapy, with a choice selection of international resort wear, books, as well as regional artefacts and jewellery for you to bring home a piece of this vacation. If you’re lucky, you might even catch guest entertainment, where local crooners sing the night away.
Price: from MYR900
Address: Jalan Pantai Cenang, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah
Ambong Rainforest Retreat
‘What makes it a retreat?’ you ask? Well, this is an adult-only resort, perfect for those who are seeking to truly, unadulteratedly, let loose. This award-winning site is located in a private estate which houses 11 exclusive suites, studios, and cottages. While there may not be as many thrilling excursions, there’s still plenty of adventure to be had here. Forest bathing, a visit to the spa, as well as gastronomic exploits are all part of the itinerary here. Whenever you feel like the world is going too fast for your liking, a visit here will quickly hit the reset button for you.
Price: from MYR1,600
Address: Jalan Pantai Tengah, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah
Temple Tree Resort Langkawi
This breathtaking resort has been the go-to of some of Malaysia’s top celebrities. In fact, model Shikin Gomez held her wedding here in 2022. There are 21 suites at Temple Tree, ranging from stately structures such as the Colonial House to markedly traditional ones like the Johor House. As mentioned previously, this location allows for pets. While it may not be a beachfront hotel, a stay here would definitely recharge you—thanks to its rich natural surroundings.
Price: from MYR900
Address: Lot 1053, Jalan Pantai Chennai, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah
The Westin Langkawi Resort
Now, this one’s perfect for the whole family. With villas and rooms that welcome the little ones, everything about this place oozes heavenly tranquillity. Complete with a kids’ club, keep them busy with activities such as bird watching and nature walks. If they’re a little reserved and want to be away from the scorching sun, don’t worry. They can stay in at the club and play board games and pick up batik painting. The adults, on the other hand, can spend the day sunbathing, golfing, and getting laps in at the pool.
Price: from MYR900
Address: Jalan Pantai, Jalan Dato Syed Omar, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah
Exciting Things to Do in Langkawi for the Best Vacation
While you can totally laze the day away at the accommodation of your choice, basking in all the luxury wonders, one might even be so bold to step out and unlock their sense of adventure. Live up your best tropical life at other pristine beaches and catch every version of Langkawi sunsets that you can while you’re there. There is also plenty of nightlife on the archipelago—and you can view this as your opportunity to connect with other holidaymakers. On top of that, no Langkawi travel guide is complete without suggesting the staple water activities: island hopping, snorkelling, and diving. There’s also no avoiding the shopping, seeing as Langkawi is plenty visited for duty-free sprees.
Places to Visit in Langkawi
Dream Forest Langkawi
One of the latest additions to Langkawi is Tiara Jacquelina’s Dream Forest Langkawi. It’s a forest night walk experience that transports you to the legendary worlds of Tasik Dayang Bunting, Merong Mahawangsa, and The Giants of Langkawi—all told through light, sound, and multi-sensorial technology. The trail is 1.2km long, so remember to wear comfortable kicks. You’ll be walking for upwards of an hour.
Price: from MYR48
Address: Lubuk Semilang, Jalan Padang Gaong, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah
Langkawi Mangrove Tour
There’s no way you’re making the trek to Langkawi without paying a visit to the iconic Kilim Geoforest Park. With up to 11 activities available for you and the family, you can easily cross several activities off of your must-do list. From eagle feeding to entering bat caves, you’re going to want to make sure your phone’s fully charged for these excursions.
Price: from MYR250 per boat
Langkawi’s Mount Machinchang
While, yes, you’re free to join a hike here, nothing truly compares to the SkyCab. With several gondola options, you can customise the experience to your liking. For the bold, select the glass bottom gondola or the 360-degree gondola, where you’ll get a semi-open air experience and feel the fresh mountain air caressing your face as you make it to the Sky Bridge.
Price: from MYR40 per person
Where to Have the Best Food in Langkawi
OMG Restaurant at Paradise 101
Though this is a little ways away, trust us when we say it’s worth the short boat ride. The stars of the show here are the pizzas and the nutritious drinks, but equally as decadent are the romantic atmosphere and that quiescence you won’t get on the main island. With five finger-licking pizza offerings, you also have the chance to curate your own.
Address: Paradise 101, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah
Operating hours: 10 am – 11 pm Tuesday to Saturday, 10 am – 3 am on Sunday, and 1 pm – 11 pm on Monday
Got a hankering for Nyonya delights? Then you’re in luck because fatCUPID’s in town. Serving from breakfast to cocktails, you can get a hearty meal that will fuel you for the rest of your day. The award-winning restaurant serves up its signature Nyonya cuisine during its lunch and dinner hours, so write this down. Traditional, family recipes such as Nyonya Laksa and Nasi Ayam Pontay await at those times.
Address: Lot 2273, Kampung Tasek Anak, La Pari-Pari Resort, Jalan Pantai Tengah, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah
Operating hours: Daily except Tuesday. Opens from 10 am – 3 pm, and 6 pm – 10 pm
The Cliff Restaurant & Bar, Langkawi
After scores of positive reviews, we can’t not include The Cliff Restaurant & Bar. Serving up seafood and fusion delicacies, the upscale joint is where you’d go when you want a feast for the tastebuds and the eyesight. With a menu that’s bursting with local flavours, there are also options Western options for international patrons.
Address: Lot 63 & 40, Pantai Cenang, Lebuh Pantai, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah
Operating hours: Daily from 12.30 pm – 10 pm
Yellow Beach Cafe
Tapas and sunsets make the best combination, especially when you’re on vacation. With yellow parasols to block out the sun’s scorching heat, this restaurant is easy to pick out against the rest. Yellow Beach Cafe is definitely the place to be, and if you’re lucky, you might even catch a DJ behind the decks. Be sure to check out their vegan burger, too!
Address: Jalan Pantai Cenang, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah
Operating hours: Daily from 5 pm – 1 am
Langkawi Fish Farm Restaurant
Ah, yes. What would a Langkawi travel guide be without including some fresh—and we mean fresh—seafood? Not only will you be dining some of the best the Andaman Sea has to offer, but the place is also highly Instagrammable. Like many other restaurants on the island, you’re going to see plenty of local flavours, including Thai cuisine.
Address: Lot 1986, Jalan Penarak, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah
Operating hours: Daily from 1 pm – 10.30 pm
Scarborough Fish and Chips
For British guests, this one has a slice of home for you. The English-style fish and chips are their bread and butter here, but of course, there’s more to it than that. The humble restaurant may not have the biggest address, but they have some of the best views in Tanjung Rhu. If you like to pair your meals with the calming sound of the ocean and the smell of salt in the air, then you should pay this joint a visit.
Address: Lot 1388, Jalan Tanjung rhu, 07100 Langkawi, Kedah
Operating hours: Daily from 10 am – 10 pm
The Fat Frog
Living that meat-free life? Then this location is the one you’re going to want to frequent when you’re in Langkawi. With several wines for you to down as you take in the view of the golf course, the cosy restaurant welcomes patrons to relax and unwind with their healthy meals that even the carnivores will enjoy.
Address: 99 East Estate, Jalan Padang Matsirat, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah
Operating hours: Daily except Tuesday. Opens from 12 pm – 4 pm and 6 pm – 9.30 pm