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TRAVEL TIPS: 10 GREAT OUTDOOR ADVENTURES TO DO IN LANGKAWI ISLAND

outdoor adventures to do in Langkawi- beach sunset

Langkawi sunset

TRAVEL TIPS: 10 GREAT OUTDOOR ADVENTURES TO DO IN LANGKAWI ISLAND

Above all else, Langkawi is a little-disturbed natural island. Once you get past the modern airport-like arrivals jetty shopping-mall full of duty-free shops (!?!) and head off on the road through town, you’re immediately washed by the island’s relaxing laid-back aura, a result of Langkawi’s all pervasive, lush nature. A mere 100 meters after the terminal, you’re already passing through Kuah town’s lovely large Lagenda Park, en route to even more natural splendor. Great things to do in Langkawi await you!

things to do in Langkawi like watch water buffalo grazing

water buffalo grazing below mountain peaks on Langkawi

Outside Kuah, wherever you go on Langkawi you’re simply immersed in nature. You’ll pass verdant rice fields, water buffalo and cows grazing. You’ll drive through dense hilly forests and rubber plantations, past beaches and rocky shorelines. You’ll have scenic views of nearly-vertical jungle-clad limestone mountain peaks, sweeping views of bays dotted with fluffy islands, and panoramic marinas.

Watch for wildlife sign on Langkawi

Watch for wildlife sign on Langkawi

Langkawi has been designated a UNESCO GeoPark because of its unique geology and flora, including  limestone karst islands and mountains, caves, and mangrove forests. It’s famed as a bird-watching mecca, being home to such exotics as Hornbills and drongos with their long trailing tail feathers.

Thankfully, there are many fun ecological ways to immerse yourself in Langkawi’s stunning natural ego systems. They range in price from free to roughly $100 US. Here are 10:

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Cenang Beach- Langkawi- Malaysia

Cenang Beach- Langkawi

1. Enjoy Langkawi’s pristine beaches- Cenang, Pantai Kok, Tanjung Ru, and narrow roadside beaches.

Free

Many vacationers visit Langkawi solely to relax and chill out on the island’s stunning powdery white tropical beaches. All are still pristine and all but Cenang are barely developed. If you enjoy long sweeping tropical beaches backed by vegetation and palms trees, you’ll find them at Langkawi. So…

Suntan, swim, build a sand castle, read, listen to music, watch sunrises and sunsets, people watch, chat with locals or other travelers, walk, jog, run, meditate, practice yoga, stretch, skip to the loo… If you’re traveling with a frisbee, ball, or hackysack then add those activities to the list of great ways to enjoy Earth’s natural beach paradises.

Cenang is the only really developed beach (perhaps over-developed) where you can do water sports like paragliding, jet skiing, and banana boating. Cenang road has hundreds of shops, souvenir stalls, tour offices, restaurants, bars.. you get the picture. However, one half of the beach is still pristine, sans water sports or souvenir stalls, thanks to a few large 5-star resorts.

Tanjung Ru Beach and offshore islands- Langkawi

Tanjung Ru Beach and offshore islands- Langkawi

Public beaches at Pantai Kok and Tanjung Ru are beautiful, empty stretches of white sand backed by palm trees. Take all the food, snacks, drinks and supplies you’ll need or buy some nearby. No food stalls are at the beaches themselves. Two lovely, but narrow roadside beaches are located beside the airport and on the north coast, just west of the Kraft Complex. Both have one or two food stalls open in evenings.

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Dense rain forest covers Mount Raya- Langkawi

Dense rain forest covers Mount Raya- Langkawi

2. Travel to the peak of Mount Raya

free except for transportation

Gunung Raya, smack in the center of the island, is Langkawi’s highest peak at 881 Meters. A completely uninhabited, undisturbed dense rain forest covers the entire mountain. The 13 km road from the base of Gunung Raya to the peak weaves its way gradually up the mountain, with ever increasing panoramic views over the island and gradually cooler temperatures. En route, you’ll be entirely immersed by rain forest. You could very easily find yourself in the middle of clouds, in a ‘white out’. Most likely, you’ll spot Hornbills and other tropical birds, monkeys, and… cows! Yes, locals bring their cows up along the mountain road to graze on roadside grass, a very peculiar sight in the middle of rain forest.

view over Langkawi's 99 islands

view over Langkawi’s 99 islands

You can visit Mt. Raya by rental motorbike or car, taxi, bicycle, or even by hiking, if you’re so inclined. Although motorized vehicle is obviously the easiest way to scale the mountain, the engines will drown out the sounds of nature: birds, insects, wind and silence.

If you enjoy cycling and are fit enough, try pedaling up the mountain. The road grade is mostly moderate, with surprisingly many flat sections, so it should only take 1-1.5 hours to reach the summit. Afterward, you’ll get to glide back down hill for 13 kms!

You could also hike up to the peak,which would entail a whole day hike: 3-4 hours up and 2-3 hours back down, depending on how quickly you walk and your fitness level. Take all the food and water you might need since there are no stores, food stalls, or even houses along the road.

Surprisingly, there is a small resort way up there on the peak, so you could stay on the mountain if you’d like! They offer admittance to non-guests to their tower for 10 RM. You could also potentially eat at their restaurant.

If you’re not inside a car, be sure to take a jacket and/or rain coat, especially if it’s a cloudy day.

* This is one of the best things I did independently on Langkawi.

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Langkawi cable car

Langkawi cable car soars over the coast

3. Experience Langkawi Cable Car and Sky Bridge

admission: 30 RM adults / 20 RM children ( $10 / $7 US)

Visiting the cable car and sky bridge on Langkawi is an amazing experience. You’ll be whisked up the steepest cable car in the world, with ever increasing panoramic views over Langkawi’s many islands, to the first platform at 625 M. Continue on a second cable car to the higher viewing platforms at 700 M. Then experience the astounding sky bridge, a curved engineering wonder suspended in mid-air between two mountain peaks. (Perhaps not advised for anyone fearing heights )

Langkawi sky bridge

Langkawi sky bridge

Read my review for full details of this great adventure.

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4. Luxuriate on Sunset Dinner Cocktail Cruises and Daytime Island Hopping Cruises

2012 prices: island hopping: 310 RM ($103 US) / sunset cruises: 250 RM ($83 US)

Lash on sunset dinner cruise- Langkawi

Lash on sunset dinner cruise- Langkawi

Langkawi is comprised of 99 jungle-clad islands and islets in the calm Andaman Sea. A fantastic way to enjoy them is to take a cruise through the islands. Two major island cruise operators offer day time island-hopping tours, sunset evening cruises, and privately tailored trips amidst the picturesque islands.

Read my two reviews of Crystal Yacht Holidays‘ sunset cruise: Sea Jacuzzi and Sunset Dinner Cruise (coming soon).

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Guided Bird Watching Tour on Langkawi- things to do in Langkawi Island

Guided Bird Watching Tour on Langkawi

White Throated Kingfisher on Langkawi

White Throated Kingfisher on Langkawi- photo courtesty of Dev’s Adventure Tours

5. Scout for Birds on Guided Bird Watching Tours

2012 price: 200 RM ($67 US)

With over 200 species of resident birds and over 130 migratory birds passing through, Langkawi is becoming increasingly more famous for bird watching. Several experienced local tour guides offer early morning bird-watching outings. Famous birds on Langkawi include 3 species of Hornbills, Drongos, White Bellied Sea Eagles, and Brahminy Kites, among others.

Spend a peaceful and rewarding morning surrounded by rain forest and/or rice fields listening to dozens of different bird calls and spotting raptors, exotic tropical birds, songbirds, and water birds with the help of a keen-visioned, bird-savvy local guide.

Read my guided bird watching tour review

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Flat forested road on Langkawi

Flat forested road on Langkawi

bicycling is a great way to visit Langkawi

bicycling is a great way to visit Langkawi

6. Bicycle the island

free with your own bike / rentals: / bike tour: 120 RM ($40 US)

Langkawi’s roads are in great condition and major roads have wide motorbike lanes on either side. Although Langkawi is very mountainous, much of the island is surprisingly flat, as are most of the roads. The total road distance around the entire island is only about 80-100 km, depending on which routes you take. Fit cyclists could complete the route in one day. Others may prefer to take 2-3 days, or even longer, in order to visit beaches, waterfalls, and rain forests. A few homestays are located around the island where you could spend the night during your tour.

You can bring your own bike, rent one on Langkawi, or join a guided bike tour.

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Kilim River mangrove tour boats on Langkawi

Kilim River mangrove tour boats on Langkawi

7. Boat along the mangrove River system: Kilim River

prices vary significantly among boat operators, ranging from 100 RM/person to 500 RM/boat.

Check around. Prices are higher from Tanjung Ru, cheaper from Kilim. At Cenang Beach, several tour operators make bookings.

Although taking a motorized river boat through the mangroves is not quite as ecological as kayaking, a boat tour will allow you to visit a much larger area, to visit caves, a fish farm, sea eagle habitat, and safe swimming areas. Tours range from 1-6 hours, so how much you see and costs depend a lot on the length of your tour. Again, check around for options.

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Rain Forest Walk

Rain Forest Walk

8. Join early Morning or Nighttime Rain Forest Walks

2012 prices: 120 RM ($40 US)

flying lemur at Langkawi

flying lemur at Langkawi- photo courtesy of Dev’s Adventure Tours

Several local tour operators offer guided rain forest walks, during which they educate guests about the rain forest flora and fauna. Some Langkawi exotics include the giant squirrel, flying lemur, dusky leaf monkey (langur) and flying lemur, Hornbills and drongos. You’re sure to see monkeys, birds, and other widllife. In evenings, you have a great chance to see the rare flying lemur.

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Temurun Waterfall- Langkawi

local boys enjoying one level of Temurun Waterfall- Langkawi

9. Hike and Swim at Waterfalls

free, except for transportation

Langkawi boasts several beautiful waterfalls, located in the lush  interior rain forests. Visit one or all of them. Four waterfalls marked on most Langkawi maps are each a short walk from the road, along a jungle path, stone steps, or sidewalk. Telaga Tujuh and Temurun Waterfalls are quite popular with locals Friday through Sunday. If you’d like to join some noisy swimming sessions, those are good times to visit. If you prefer solitude, go on weekdays. Durian Perangin Waterfall andLumbuk Sembilang Waterfall are less visited.

 

 

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Kayaking Kilim River mangrove system- Langkawi

Kayaking Kilim River mangrove system- Langkawi- photo courtesy Dev’s Adventure Tours

10. Go Kayaking

price: 220 RM adults / 140 RM children  ( $73 / $ 47 US at 2012 exchange rates)

Kayak through the mangrove river system at Kilim River, part of Langkawi GeoPark, on a guided tour. Guides will teach you about the birds, monkeys, snakes and other mangrove creatures as well as the mangrove eco-system itself. You might sight Langkawi’s famous Sea Eagles and visit caves. Kayaking is a fantastic, quiet, ecologically-sound way to visit the mangrove rivers.

Alternately, you can rent a sea kayak at Cenang Beach and at several resorts to paddle along Langkawi’s coast or out to nearby islands. Be careful of sea currents between Cenang and the islands.

Read my review of my kayaking trip with Dev’s Adventure Tours

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12 comments

3 pings

  1. Suzy says:

    Langkawi Island sounds so lush and active. I would be all about taking the cable car ride. Looks like the views would be gorgeous.

    1. Lash says:

      Hey Suzy,

      yeah, that cable car experience was pretty amazing! I loved the sky bridge the most.. but the views were definitely fantastic~! cheers, Lash

  2. CocoLee says:

    Love your 10 outdoor activities suggestion specially the waterfall & bird watching.

    1. Lash WorldTour says:

      Thanks Coco Lee, hope you enjoy them. cheers, lash
      (p.s. I removed the link to your Langkawi Tour website from this comment)

  3. Colin says:

    I really enjoyed you 10 outdoor suggestions, Langkawi seems really a beautify island, my wife are going for a holiday in early September and we both love bush walking and hiking in the outdoors. Have you heard of a walking track from beach (near Berjaya Hotel )to the Sky Bridge or any private guide who could show us the path?

    Thank again

    1. Lash WorldTour says:

      Hi Colin, Thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed the outdoor suggestions on Langkawi.

      As for hikes, I don’t know the trail you’re refering to from the beach to the sky bridge. But I did find out there’s a walking trek to the top of Mt. Raya! It might be fairly overgrown further up. I only walked the lower part en route to a ‘canopy adventure’ of abseiling, etc. The trail starts at a park near the base of Mt Raya. The park is not promoted at all to tourists, but is popular with locals and also allows free camping!

      You can find several excellent guides on Langkawi. I’d suggest asking Vanessa of FB: Langkawi Drum. She’s an American woman living there who makes a regular ‘news’ letter of Langkawi. Otherwise, I’d highly recommend Dev’s Adventure Tours. Excellent guides. (see my review on the culture tour for contact info and website) Hope you find what you’re looking for! let me know how your trip and hiking goes on Langkawi! cheers, Lash

  4. george2210 says:

    Hi, I will visit Langkawi on 28 February. Do you know if there is any place close to airport where I can rent a bicycle? Thanks!

    1. Lash WorldTour says:

      Hi,

      GREAt! I hope ypu enjoy Langkawi!

      Sorry, I don’t know any places in the immediate vicinity of the airport to rent a bicycle.

      But the main beach on Langkawi, Cenang, is only about 7 km south of hte airport. Many places rent bicycles there. Try guest houses and a large motorbike/car/bicycle rental shop on the main road of Cenang.

      cheers, Lash

  5. kb bibin says:

    many thanks Lash,… i’m planning for langkawi on may.. it was indeed very helpful
    Bibin

    1. Lash WorldTour says:

      HI Bibin,

      Oh, great. I”m so glad it was helpful. I will be in Langkawi this week.. but not in May.

      Enjoy your trip there!

      cheers, Lash

  6. Sezzy says:

    Thanks Lash this website was really helpful i am not going to Langkawi but i am doing a school Assignment on it, Langkawi sounds like a lovely place i hope you had a great time there.

    1. Lash WorldTour says:

      hi Sezzy,

      Wow, I think you’re an unusual visitor to my travel blog- school assignment!

      Cool. Welcome. I’m glad my site was helpful. Feel free to come back if you have more assignments… or want to travel ther world. :)

      cheers, Lash

  1. Alor Setar - Malaysia - LashWorldTour » LashWorldTour says:

    [...] LashWorldTourTravel Blog offering Cultural Insights, Travel Tips, and Tales of Adventure from 14+ years of world travelsHOMEABOUTAbout LashWorldTourAbout LashContactWhat’s in a name?LashWorldTour Travel MapLash’s Travel Fast FactsMissionsWorld Travels Overview: 1991-2011PressDisclaimerCOUNTRIESASIABALI- INDONESIABalinese CultureDiving in BaliBicycling in BaliAmedSanurBali MiscBANGLADESHBRUNEICAMBODIASHANGHAI- CHINAHONG KONGINDONESIABaliJavaLombokJAPANLAOSMALAYSIAKuala LumpurPenangLangkawiBorneoDiving in MalaysiaMalaysia MiscMYANMARNEPALPHILIPPINESSINGAPORESRI LANKATHAILANDVIETNAMAUSTRALIAEUROPEENGLANDSPAINS AMERICABRAZILUSAAdventuresBicycle TravelCycling in Bali SeriesHikingMotorbike TravelScuba DivingSky DivingSurvivor TV CrewTravel DisastersWWOOFCruisesTravel TalesCulturePhoto GalleriesTravel Tips10 Free Things to do in… SeriesAccommodation TipsFlight TipsLuxury Travel TipsMoney TipsSafety TipsWhy Living Overseas is Better SeriesMisc Travel TipsBeyond GuidebooksTravel ResourcesTRAVEL INTERVIEWSBook ReviewsHotel – Tour – Museum ReviewsLINKSTravel StoreFREE eBookTravel Books StoreLash’s Guidebooks to Bali wp_flash_img_show will display here (config: default)« Asia’s Amazing Shopping Malls Alor Setar – Malaysia 2013/03/05 by Lash WorldTourgorgeous Zahir Mosque – Alor Setar – MalaysiaAlor Setar – MalaysiaAlor Setar is a small but important city in the far northwest corner of Malaysia, just 30 km from the border of Thailand. Not surprisingly, some Thai influence is found in the city, including several Thai temples. When I visited I didn’t actually come across any Thai restaurants, shops or people. But a monk at gorgeous Thai Wat Nikrodharam assured me that many Thais live in Alor Setar.More importantly for travelers, Alor Setar is one of the main jumping-off points to/from pristine Langkawi Island. The ferry pier at Kuala Kedah village has almost-hourly ferries running all day to/from Langkawi. The pier is just 11 km from Alor Setar, a 30 minute bus ride that costs only 2 RM ($0.65 US).Balai Nobat (Royal Drum Tower) in Alor Setar – MalaysiaAlor Setar makes a pleasant 1-3 day side trip getting to or from Langkawi. Most notably, the town has many beautiful historic buildings and museums. Malaysia’s train line stops at Alor Setar, so it’s very easy to continue on to Kuala Lumpur or northward to Thailand. Many buses also go to/from Alor Setar all over Malaysia.The city’s importance to the country of Malaysia is entirely different. The Royal Family of Kedah State, based in the capital Alor Setar, was the first royal family in Malaysia to adopt Islam, thus becoming Malaysia’s very first Islamic Sultan.Zahir Mosque, in the center of Alor Setar, is one of the first mosques built in the country. It’s also generally considered one of the most beautiful. As you can see above, it certainly is very stunning.In addition, the Sultan’s original wooden palace is now open to the public as the Royal Museum. It stands just across the plaza from Zahir Mosque. Alor Setar’s famous Clock Tower and the Balai Nobat – Royal Drum Tower – are also situated on the plaza. Rounding them out is the Kedah State Art Museum (Muzium Seni Negara).. All of these beautiful historic buildings sit together gracefully in the center of Alor Setar, making a convenient and interesting day or two of exploring.part of the beautiful Royal Palace Museum- Alor Setar – MalaysiaIn addition to the prestigious Kedah royal family, two of Malaysia’s most important historical political figures hail from Alor Setar. Y.T.M. Tunku Abdul Raman Putra, referred to as the ‘Father of Malaysia’, was born and raised in Alor Setar. His charming wooden home beside the Kedah River is now a museum, called Rooma Merdeka, ‘Freedom House’. Secondly, Malaysia’s longest serving Prime Minister, Bpk Mahathir was also born and raised in Alor Setar. His childhood home is also open to the public as a museum.There are several other museums in and around Alor Setar and several traditional Malay style houses on display. The city has a very small 1-street Chinatown full of somewhat restored Chinese shop-houses along one section of the river. (However, the Chinese shop-houses in Penang, Melaka and Singapore are much more attractive and extensive.) Alor Setar’s version is worth a short stroll.the charming Kedah River runs through Alor SetarMeanwhile, the slow, languid brown Kedah River winds its way around town. Lovely walkways run along the river at several places. A beautiful look-out tower stands beside the river on the edge of Chinatown.Aside from the gorgeous historic buildings, Alor Setar’s main downtown area is nothing to write home about. It consists of several streets / blocks full of shops with no particularly interesting merchandise or architectural charm. There is a very large 2-story market called Pekan Rabu, full of local shops and produce, which is quite popular among locals.Alor Setar’s Clock TowerOne other delight of the city is its extensive variety and selection of inexpensive local foods. Practically every block has at least one, but usually several, local eating shops. There are various Indian, Chinese and Malay cuisines. If you arrive from KL or Langkawi, you’ll find the prices surprisingly cheap.I spent three days in Alor Setar, en route from KL to Langkawi. I took the night train up from KL then found a great budget hotel right on the edge of the main plaza. (Hotel Grand Jubilee, rooms from 50 RM) I could clearly see Zahir Mosque, the clock tower, Balai Nobat, the State Art Gallery and a bit of the Royal Palace Museum from my large room windows. I even had hot showers, which is a luxury for budget travel.I’m guessing that most travelers would find 1-2 days in Alor Setar quite enough.I needed a bit longer because when I’m traveling, I’m also working as I go. I spend about 4-5 hours per day writing, editing photos, answering emails and replying to fan comments. I don’t have full days to explore. I generally go exploring for a few hours and work the other hours. It’s a good balance.But anyone with full days to explore could probably visit all of Alor’s attractions in one day by really packing them all in or during a more leisurely two days.What I personally enjoyed most were:*  Zahir Mosque* Royal Palace Museum* Strolling along the Kedah River ———————————————————————————————————————-QUESTIONS:Does Alor Setar sound like a city you’d like to visit? Why or why not? If you’ve been to Malaysia, what are your favorite places? ———————————————————————————————————————–You might also like: Photo Gallery: Beautiful Langkawi Island10 Great Outdoor Adventures on Langkawi————————————————————————————————————————  /* /* Leave a Reply Cancel replyYour email address will not be published.Name:Email:Website:Message:You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> [...]

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