Sunday, June 7, 2015

Backpacking Langkawi: 10 Things To Do

Only having 3 days to spend in Langkawi, it is expected that our stay will be filled with different activities but all our plans changed after we checked in at Pantai Cenang (Cenang Beach). Maybe it is due to aging or lack of budget, we decided to drop most of our activities for an afternoon stroll at the beach and evening food comma trip at Pantai Cenang road. 

Below are the activities that we did/should have done while in Langkawi.

1. Island Hopping
Via Jetski – MYR600 per Jetski for 2 persons (Php 7,200++)

You could speed through Andaman Sea and visit the neighboring islands at your own pace. It is pricey but people said it is worth the experience. 
Via Group Tours – MYR45 per person (Php 540++) 
We did not hire a jetski simply because we could speed through Andaman Sea and visit the neighboring islands for a much lesser cost. Quite a few travel bloggers are not fond of this group tour but I actually enjoyed it. I guess you just have to choose a good boat tours company. 
We booked our island hopping with RBY Sea Tours. Judging by the boat and the amount of people inside the boat, RBY Sea Tours is better.
From Pantai Cenang, we were brought to a ferry port and were given stickers to stick on our chest throughout the tour so they could recognize us since there is a plethora of other group tours operating on the same port and will be going to the same islands.
The island hopping will go to 3 different areas and visitors will be given 1 hour (not strict) for each stop. First stop is the Dayang Bunting Marble Geoforest Park a.k.a. Island of the Pregnant Maiden. This place is the most interesting as compared to the other two. 
There is a fresh water lake within this island known as Lake Guillemard or Lake of the Pregnant Maiden. Locals believe that if women having difficulty in conceiving a child will become fertile if they took a dip in the Lake. 
I was not able to swim in this lake because we rented a kayak for MYR 30 (Php 360++). If you only have 1 hour in Dayang Bunting, I think you will enjoy this place more if you just walk and swim around the lake instead of renting a kayak.

Spot the Pregnant Maiden

Hardcore Hito Fish Spa

Lake of the Pregnant Maiden

Second stop is the Eagle Feeding Area where you watch the eagles fly. I didn't bring my glasses so I was not able to appreciate the flying prowess of the Langkawi eagles.

Those are eagles giving visitors a show.
The third and last island is the Pulau Beras Basah (Wet Rice Island) where you could swim, catch crabs, and play with monkeys.


 2. Parasailing
For MYR 120 (Php 1440++) good for two persons you could have an aerial view of Pantai Cenang and neighboring islands. 
I have tried parasailing in Boracay but that is a different experience. In Boracay you start and land in a boat controlled by a rope but in Langkawi, you start and land in the shore and you have to control your landing which is much more dangerous and scary (and more fun) in my opinion.

3. SkyCab and Skybridge.
I guess no trip to Langkawi is complete without a visit to the famous Langkawi Cable Car. It is amazing how the SkyCab and SkyBridge were built amidst the towering mountains. 
While on the Skycab, the breathtaking view of the Machincang Mountain Range and the Kedah - Southern Thailand Sea will be revealed to you and will make you forget that you are hundred meters above ground on a closed carriage and at the mercy of a single cable.
There are three stations; Base Station, Middle Station and the Top Station which is the way to the SkyBridge. The entrance to the SkyCab, SkyDome and Art in Paradise is MYR 65 (Php 780++) and you have to pay a separate MYR 5 (Php60++) to enter the SkyBridge.
Arts in Paradise is a 3D museum where you could create 3D photo illusions from the 2D paintings in walls, ceilings and floor. We visited it because another famous travel blogger (different from the one that hated Langkawi) that I follow included this place in the top things to do in Langkawi and after our short trip here, I would have to disagree with her. If you have limited time and budget and if you have been to other 3D museum before, I think it is better to just skip this one. 

The Base Station as seen from the cable car

The beautiful Langkawi and the scary inclined cable that will feel like a roller coaster ride on your way down

View from the Middle Station

The Top Station

Hike to the Skybridge

The SkyBridge

Art in Paradise

4. EAT.
Mention Langkawi to me and the first thing that will come to my mind is not the beaches or the tourist spots but the FOOD! As I said in my previous post, the variety of restaurants along the stretch of Pantai Cenang Road could be a good enough reason to make me want to go back and Langkawi has a serious cuisine game going on. A week is not enough to try all of the restaurants along Pantai Cenang. Authentic Indian, Pakistani, and Malay food are widely available as well as Western cuisine.
Everything we ate and drank on the duration of our trip are delicious. Looking back, one probable reason why we decided to drop our planned activities was to spend the rest of our budget on food.  
Langkawi has the best Shawarma we ever had!

Roti Telur with cheese and Teh Tarik for breakfast in a Mamak stall near The Cottage

Dinner: Buttered Lobster, Kangkong Belachan, Seafood Claypot and Thai Fried Rice for MYR 172 (Php 2064++)

A similar and equally delicious dinner: Buttered Shrimp, Kangkong Belachan and Tom Yum for MYR 65 (Php 780++)

5. Explore Pantai Cenang Road.
As if I haven't raved enough about Pantai Cenang, here is more. Langkawi is a duty-free zone which for me basically means cheap beer and cheap chocolates. There are a few duty-free stores along Pantai Cenang Road near Underwater World Langkawi that you could choose from. They sell anything that you may need while in Langkawi and more. As for souvenirs, Pantai Cenang Road also has an abundance of tastefully handmade souvenirs made of wood and metal.
When I came to Malaysia, I never brought any beachwear because I never planned on having a vacation and my mind is set to just work here. So when visiting Langkawi was being planned, I went to different malls to find inexpensive but stylish swimsuits and I was only able to find some in Forever 21(which is not really cheap by my standards). If you have the same dilemma, I suggest to just do your shopping in Langkawi. There are more shops to choose from and it is cheaper. Swimsuits, high-waisted shorts, crocheted cover ups, sunglasses, wide brimmed hats and fedora, all on budget prices.

6. Enjoy the sunset while taking a dip at Cenang Beach 
If there is one thing that I did not like about Langkawi, it is how humid the temperature and how unforgiving the sun could be. It is unlike the other beaches in the Philippines where the burning sun is usually balanced with a cool sea breeze. 
We took a dip in Pantai Cenang at 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM with sunblock applied 30 minutes before we hit the water but we still got about three shades darker. Tanning is not really my thing so if I were to do it again, I would swim at Cenang beach at 6:00 PM while watching the sunset. 
The best part of Cenang beach can be found if you walk further away from the Langkawi Permata Kedah sign.

The wide shores will remind you of Boracay station 1

7. Skytrex.
This park has multiple obstacle circuit of different difficulty levels. It is situated inside the forest which gives it a Hunger Games vibe. 
We were scheduled to try this on our first day in Langkawi but we ditched it to lounge around Cenang beach, I guess that is old age knocking at our door. I included it in the list because I think this activity is different from the usual touristy activities in Langkawi which involves beaches.
(c) Skytrex Langkawi
(c) Skytrex Langkawi

8. Kilim Geoforest Park.
This is another activity that was initially on our list but was dropped. We planned to do a kayak tour in the mangroves of Kilim Geoforest Park for MYR 250 per person but we decided to cancel it because of its price and because we don't really want to move a lot when we are in a food comma (see number 4). 
When I was researching about Langkawi, this park is what I was most interested in. Even the Tripadvisor reviews only good things to say about this place.

(c) Naturally Langkawi

9. Get Drunk Zone out in Cenang Beach at Night.
Aside from its natural beauty, Langkawi is also known for its cheap alcoholic beverages. Langkawi's nightlife is not situated mainly on the beach unlike Boracay so you could easily pick a quiet spot at the beach even on a weekend. It would be a good idea to buy some liquor at a store, take it to the beach and enjoy the sound of the waves and the vague light of stars while you warm your throat on some booze. 
PiƱa colada by the beach

10. Visit Dataran Lang to complete your Langkawi experience
Dataran Lang (Eagle Square) has a large sculpture of an eagle poised to take flight with the "Langkawi" sign which welcomes visitors that arrives via the jetty port in Kuah. It is like the Lion's Head in Kennon Road going to Baguio.  
This place is best visited at the late afternoon and night where I think it would look like Rizal Park or Roxas Boulevard at night. 

Free spirits have to soar :)

Some of my friends that visited Malaysia in the past were not really pleased with their trip. Before I moved to Malaysia, I never considered visiting this country because I thought its just about that skyscraper but this country really has a lot to offer. There is truly more to Western Malaysia than just the Petronas Twin Towers and this trip is the start of my journey to discovering more of its beauty.

The Langkawi Series
Backpacking Langkawi: 3 Days Itinerary and Expenses
Backpacking Langkawi: 10 Things To Do


  1. Hi! Is it convenient to go around Langkawi? Are there buses that go around the island?

    1. Hi, in my opinion it is very convenient to go around Langkawi.

      I am not sure about the buses but you can rent a car or a motorcycle for a really cheap price.

      If you don't want to rent, you can sign up for a travel tour to take you where you want to go. There are a lot along Cenang beach that you can choose from.