Whilst travelling in Thailand another backpacking suggested travelling to Langkawi whilst my friends and I were in Malaysia and I am so glad we did!
How to get there
You can get to the island which is right at the top of Malaysia right near the border connecting to Thailand via either plane or ferry. Flights from Phuket or Kuala Lumpur are relativity cheap. The ferry from Penang costs about $20 one way but you also have to figure out how to get to Penang (which is also worth a visit).
When I went, my friends and I opted for the cheapest option which was landing in Kuala Lumpur and getting a bus up to Penang and then a ferry over. What was supposed to be a 5-hour bus trip turned into an 8 hour + journey because the bus broke down and the driver kept
You don’t need more than a week in Langkwai as it is known to be a relaxation beach getaway island so there isn’t a great amount to do. The beaches are beautiful though and there is plenty of water sport options to do in the more touristy parts.
The most popular attraction on the island is seeing the Cable Car and Sky Bridge which I found to be A-M-A-Z-I-N-G and an incredible experience. You can find out more info here but the cable car is known to be the longest free span cable car and one of the steepest in Asia. The views are incredible and at the top, you can walk along the sky bridge for more panoramic views of Langkawi.
Kuah Town is the most developed and central part of the island where a lot of people stay to be close to the shops, restaurants and duty-free liquor. Apart from here all along the streets are small house cafes that usually sell Malaysian meals. We also found a lot of bigger Indian food places that were set up more like a big outside eating hall and the food was really good and cheap!
In regards to the duty-free shops- they were massive with loads of foods and souvenir items you could take back home. They also had sections that were filled with crazy cheap priced liquor for example, a
Apart from the beaches, you can go jungle trekking, cycling, mangrove kayaking, waterfall hoping- however you will need to organise a tour or hire a car to get around. Whilst we were on the island we just stayed at one hostels that was a 30-minute walk into the main beach town, otherwise, we got Ubers around when we needed to go further out.
I also had the coolest experience with my friends where one day we were in one of the shopping centres and a company were promoting a private island party, we thought it was a bit sketchy but ended up going and it was the most amazing experience ever! I have written a whole blog post about this you can find here. The company was called Paradise 101 Island and it was a private island just off Langkawi where you pay for an all-inclusive ticket which included food, drinks and water activities.
The sunsets on the island were incredible! Just like fairy floss skies. This island was a great place to explore but also relax, so I hope you can make it there one time to experience it yourself!