Great tips for exploring Langkawi by scooter – all you need to know
June 22, 2023
Malaysia exists out of multiple islands, from which Langkawi is located at the West side of the country. Comparing to Penang, Langkawi is less touristic and is still very pure. That’s also the reason why Langkawi is perfect to explore by scooter. We stayed a few days at Langkawi during our round trip through Malaysia. In this article I provide a Langkawi travel guide including some great tips for exploring Langkawi by scooter. Enjoy!
Langkawi is a beautiful archipelago of Malaysia situated in the Andaman Sea. It consists of 99 islands and is known for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush rainforests. Below you can find some general questions about Langkawi, in order to help you prepare your trip.
How many nights should I stay in Langkawi?
Langkawi is a small island, so I would say that three or four days are enough to see all the best sights and to enjoy the best beaches and waterfalls.
What is the best time to visit Langkawi?
The best time to visit Langkawi would be from November to March, as the weather is quite pleasant with moderate rainfall and high temperatures. During this period, you can enjoy all the outdoor activities that Langkawi has to offer.
What are nice work cafes in Langkawi?
I had two favorite cafes to work in Langkawi that I would like to share with you.
The first one is the Loaf Bakery & Bistro for in the mornings or afternoons. Around noon this place is very crowded and noisy. They serve delicious meals throughout the day, local food and western food. They also have a bakery with delicious and affordable pastries. Wifi and seating are good.
Another great spot to work in Langkawi is Instea. This place serves plenty of drinks, snacks, lunch dishes and lots of tea related drinks. However, the lunch dishes are a bit overpriced if you see the quantity. This place usually was very quiet throughout the entire day, the wifi was strong and the coffee was very good.
How to travel to Langkawi?
There are different ways to travel to Langkawi. You can either reach the island by plane or boat. I’ve explained both options in more detail below:
Traveling by plane to Langkawi
The easiest way to get to Langkawi is by plane. The island has its own airport and there are many flights available from major cities in Malaysia such as Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and Johor Bahru. There are also direct flights available from other countries such as Thailand, Singapore, and China.
Tip: I recommend using Skyscanner to find the most convenient and cheapest plane tickets.
Traveling by boat from Penang to Langkawi
If you prefer to travel by sea, there are ferry services available from Kuala Perlis and Kuala Kedah, which are located on the mainland. These ferries operate daily and the journey takes around 1-2 hours depending on the weather conditions.
When you are traveling from Georgetown to Langkawi in low season, you can take a bus to Kuala Perlis and then the ferry to Langkawi. The total ride should take about 5-6 hours:
First, you need to take a Grab or ferry from Georgetown to Sungai Nibong (Butterworth). The ferry takes about 10 minutes and is free. With a Grab car it should take around 20 minutes to reach Butterworth.
From here, you can take the bus to Kuala Perlis. Redbus is one of the platforms that sell tickets for this route. Search for a bus from Sungai Nibong to Kuala Perlis. The ride should take about 2.5-3 hours and costs about 20 RM.
From Kuala Perlis you can take a ferry to Langkawi. This takes about 1 hour and costs about 27RM.
During high season, you can take a direct high-speed boat from Penang to Langkawi, that takes you to the island in approximately three hours. Although this is quite efficient, the ferry ride wasn’t very comfortable. This means that the seats were small and there wasn’t much legroom. Furthermore, if you get sea sick fast, this might not be the best idea for you as the water can be quite wild sometimes.
Traveling by boat from Koh Lipe (Thailand) to Langkawi
Thanks to the fact that Koh Lipe is located near Langkawi, it’s also possible and very easy to reach Langkawi with speed boat from Koh Lipe. It only takes around 1,5 hour. The speedboat operates from October till May.
You first have to go through immigration in Koh Lipe, this is located at the beach. There, you have to give your passport to the immigration and you will receive your passport back at the boat. I know it feels weird to give away your passport, but this is mandatory and worked out fine. You don’t have to worry about it. Then when you arrive in Langkawi, you have to go through immigration and then take a taxi to your destination in Langkawi.
Tip: there’s a petrol station with an ATM next to the dock. As soon as you passed immigration, you can get some money here, so you’re able to pay a taxi.
How to get around in Langkawi?
Langkawi has many options for transportation such as taxis, rental cars, motorbikes, and bicycles.
Using Grab in Langkawi
If you prefer to sit back and relax, using ride-hailing services like Grab can be convenient. It works fine in most of the areas in Langkawi, like around the airport, near Kuah and near Pantai Cenang.
Exploring Langkawi by bicycle
For a more eco-friendly option, you can rent a bicycle to explore the island and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Exploring Langkawi by scooter or car
If you want to explore the island at your own pace, renting a car or motorbike can be a great option.
I really liked exploring Langkawi with scooter. It gives you the freedom to go anywhere! In my opinion, I found it quite dangerous to rent a scooter in Kuala Lumpur, because it’s a big and chaotic city. In contrast to Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi doesn’t have big cities, which makes it much safer to drive a scooter. There is a lot of nature which it easy to reach by scooter.
I stayed in Aneeda Inn at Pantai Cenang and from the owner of the accommodation, I got the tip to rent a scooter at Super Duper Scooter. This is one of the few scooter rentals in Langkawi that provides scooter insurance when renting the scooter, so any repair costs for your scooter are covered. This is perfect, because as a Dutch citizen with a car driving license and international driving license, you are not insured when riding a scooter in Langkawi (you need to have a motor driving license). While any costs to your scooter are insured, this is not the case for any costs related to health. In case you end up at the hospital, you still need to pay these costs yourself (unless you have a motorcycle license).
What are the best things to do in Langkawi?
There are many great things to do in Langkawi! Some popular activities include visiting the Langkawi Cable Car and the Langkawi Sky Bridge, taking a sunset cruise, taking a jet ski tour to one of the many beautiful islands, visiting waterfalls or visiting the beautiful mangrove. You could also try some delicious local food at the night markets. All these places can be easily reached by scooter.
Below you can find more information about the best things to do in Langkawi:
See monkeys, eagles and bats at the Langkawi Mangrove
The Langkawi Mangrove is a must-visit attraction in Langkawi! It’s a unique ecosystem that comprises a network of estuaries and mangrove forests that are home to a diverse array of flora and fauna.
You can take a boat tour in the Langkawi Mangrove to explore the mangrove forests and to learn about the various plants and animals that call this place home. You have a high chance to spot wildlife such as macaques, monkeys, eagles, bats and a variety of bird species. If you’re lucky, you might even see a snake. I was lucky enough 🙂 A boat tour also takes you through the Kilim Geoforest Park, which is a UNESCO-listed geopark.
Tip: either book the boot tour online or ask your ho(s)tel for a tour package. It is possible to book a boat directly at the Mangrove, but then you have to pay renting the entire boat, instead of paying per person.
Visit the Telaga Tujuh Waterfall
One of the most beautiful natural attractions in Langkawi are the waterfalls; especially the Telaga Tujuh Waterfall is very impressive. The Telaga Tujuh Waterfall is also known as the Seven Wells Waterfall, it’s actually a series of seven cascading waterfalls that flow down the mountainside into a series of pools. It’s a popular destination for swimming in the refreshing water and taking in the breathtaking scenery.
To reach the waterfalls, you must first climb a steep staircase that winds through the jungle. The climb can be a bit challenging, but it’s definitely worth it for the views along the way. At the top, you’ll find a series of pools fed by the cascading waterfalls, each one more beautiful than the last. The pools are surrounded by lush greenery and steep cliffs, giving the whole area a magical, otherworldly feel.
Visit the Langkawi beaches
Langkawi has multiple beautiful beaches! There are beaches everywhere and they’re all unique in their own way. You can find a black sanded beach, beaches located in the middle of nature and beaches located close to nice restaurants. My favorite probably is Tanjung Rhu Beach, located on the North side of the island. Here are some of the top beaches in Langkawi:
Pantai Cenang – This is the most popular beach in Langkawi and is known for its long stretch of white sand and clear blue waters. It’s great for swimming and water sports, and there are plenty of restaurants and shops nearby.
Tanjung Rhu – This beach is located on the northern tip of Langkawi and is known for its serene beauty. The sand is fine and white, and the waters are crystal clear. It’s perfect for a peaceful day of sunbathing and enjoying the view.
Black Sand Beach – As the name suggests, this beach has black sand, which is a unique sight to see. It’s not as popular as some of the other beaches on the island, but it’s still a great spot for swimming and sunbathing.
Explore the Langkawi Cable Car and Skybridge
The Langkawi Cable Car and the Langkawi Skybridge are two of the most popular tourist attractions in Langkawi. The Cable Car (Sky Cab) takes you up to the top of Machincang mountain, which is the second highest peak in Langkawi. During the ride, you can enjoy panoramic views of the lush rainforest, the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea, and the surrounding islands. There are different types of cable cars available. I recommend taking the 360 view gondola. This one has a glass floor and is open from the sides. You pay a bit more than the regular gondola, but it’s definitely worth it.
Once you reach the top of the mountain, the Langkawi Skybridge awaits you. The Skybridge is a curved pedestrian bridge that stretches for 125 meters, offering a stunning view of the surrounding landscape. Walking on the bridge is a fun experience!
I recommend buying tickets in advance, because it can be very busy at this attraction. Klook provides cheap tickets and you can easily select any add ons that you want to experience.
At the entrance of the Cable Car, you can find some other attractions as well. There’s a 3D Art Museum, an Adventure Park, some shops and some restaurants.
Enjoy a Sunset Cruise in Langkawi
If you like a little party, sunsets, boats and unlimited (alcoholic) booze, then definitely try one of the sunset cruises in Langkawi! On the sunset cruise, you’ll get to enjoy the beauty of the Andaman Sea and its surrounding islands. Most cruises provide unlimited drinks, a buffet dinner and some water activities like supping, water jacuzzi or banana boat ride. You can relax on the deck and see the sun set in the ocean.
If you’re lucky, you might even spot some dolphins swimming alongside the boat or see some flying fish jump out of the water.
Shop duty free products
As a duty-free island, Langkawi offers a tax-free shopping experience, making it a great place to purchase alcohol, tobacco, chocolates, and other luxury items at lower prices than you would normally find in other parts of Malaysia.
From perfumes to cosmetics, watches, and electronics, Langkawi has a variety of stores that cater to different tastes and budgets. With so many shops to explore, you can easily spend a whole day shopping and browsing through the many duty-free stores.
Surfing in Langkawi
The best time to surf in Langkawi is from November to March when the waves are at their peak. During this time, surfers can expect clean waves with heights ranging from 2 to 6 feet, offering a challenge to both beginners and advanced surfers.
One of the best surf spots in Langkawi is Pantai Cenang Beach, which offers consistent waves and a laid-back atmosphere. Other popular surf spots include Pantai Tengah and Pantai Kok.
Book a Jet Ski Tour and explore some hidden islands
If you’re looking for an adventure on your next trip to Langkawi, why not try a jetski tour? During a jetski tour, you’ll be accompanied by experienced guides who will ensure your safety while showing you the best spots around the island. You’ll stop at various hidden coves and secluded beaches to take photos and learn more about the history and culture of Langkawi. One of the highlights of the tour is the chance to visit the uninhabited island of Pulau Singa Besar, which is home to a diverse range of wildlife including eagles, macaques, and hornbills.
Instead of taking a jet ski tour, you can also rent a jet ski on Pantai Cenang for only 30 minutes. However, I do not recommend this. It’s very busy around Pantai Cenang and it’s not that much fun as the tour. With the tour you really ride to hidden and secluded places. Much more fun!
What are the best places to eat in Langkawi?
Langkawi offers a wide variety of culinary experiences. Whether you’re looking for local Malay food or international cuisine, there’s something for everyone. Here are some of the best places to eat in Langkawi:
Red Tomato Restaurant (Pantai Cenang) – This popular restaurant is known for its delicious wood-fired pizzas and homemade pastas. The menu also features a variety of other Italian dishes, as well as Malay and Western options.
Wonderland Food Store (Kuah) – This is the place to go if you’re looking for authentic Malay food. From nasi lemak to beef rendang, the food here is fresh, flavorful, and affordable.
Telaga Seafood Restaurant (Pantai Cenang) – For seafood lovers, this is a must-visit spot. The restaurant offers a wide variety of fresh seafood dishes, from grilled fish to steamed crabs and prawns.
Amani Cafe (Pantai Cenang) – This cozy outdoor place serves delicious breakfast. Either choose traditional nasi lemak or noodles for breakfast or enjoy a sandwich, pancake or fruit bowl with yoghurt.
Lebanon shawarma kebab Langkawi cafe (Pantai Cenang) – This place serves the best Shawarma kebab of the island. The little restaurants looks very underrated, but believe me, it’s worth a try.
The Langkawi Food Markets – The Langkawi food markets (also known as night markets) are held every day of the week, but every day at another location. It’s absolutely worth it to pay a visit to one of these night markets. The night markets start from 17.00 until late. Here are the locations:
Here are some nice bar recommendations in Langkawi:
The Cliff Restaurant & Bar (Pantai Cenang)- The Cliff offers stunning sunset views and a relaxed ambiance. The bar serves up a variety of cocktails and signature drinks, as well as a selection of wine and beers.
Charlie’s Bar & Grill (Kuah jetty) – Charlie’s is a popular spot for live music and sports events. The bar offers a great selection of beers, cocktails, and wines, as well as delicious food options.
Sunba Retro Bar (Pantai Cenang) – This funky retro-style bar is located in Cenang Beach and offers a nostalgic vibe with its vintage decor. The bar serves up a variety of drinks and often has live music performances.
Kalut Cafe And Bar (Pantai Cenang) – Kalut Cafe And Bar is a beachfront bar that offers a relaxing atmosphere and stunning sunset views. The bar serves up a variety of drinks and light snacks and often has live fire show performances.
Where to stay in Langkawi?
Here are some of the most recommended accommodations in Langkawi:
Bed Attitude is a cozy and affordable hostel. It’s situated near Pantai Cenang, close to many restaurants, shops and the beach.
Gecko Guesthouse has private rooms and dormitories. The common area is very cozy and this accommodation is located very close to the beach.
I stayed several nights at Aneeda Inn and really liked this hotel. It has spacious rooms, a nice swimming pool and is located close to the beach and plenty of restaurants.
I also stayed some nights at Sri Embun Resort Langkawi, a resort located 700 meters from Penang Beach. This resort offers air-conditioned accommodation with a terrace and an outdoor swimming pool. I enjoyed the quietness.
Here’s a suggested 3-day itinerary for visiting Langkawi:
Day 1: explore Langkawi by scooter
Start the day with a visit to the Langkawi Sky Cab and Sky Bridge (go early to avoid crowds)
Next, head to the Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls, also known as the Seven Wells Waterfalls. Take a refreshing dip in the clear pools and enjoy the natural surroundings.
Drive to the different beaches in Langkawi
In the evening, see the sunset at the beach and watch a fire show.
Day 2: discover the nature on Langkawi
Take a morning boat tour in the mangrove forests, where you can spot a variety of wildlife, such as monkeys, eagles, and otters.
End the day with a sunset cruise around the island and take in the beautiful views of the coastline.
Day 3: enjoy some water activities and local food
Take a jet-ski tour to explore hidden coves and secluded beaches
In the afternoon, do some duty-free shopping
In the evening, visit one of the Night Markets, where you can try delicious local food, buy souvenirs, and enjoy the festive atmosphere.
I hope this article has given you some ideas on how to travel to Langkawi and what to do on the island. Langkawi is great to explore with scooter. I know I haven’t covered every single thing there is to do, but I think that this article is a great start! If you want more Malaysia travel related inspiration, check out our other blog posts. If you have any questions about Langkawi, please leave a comment in the comment section below.
This article is part of the GPSmyCity iOS app. You can download it, read this article offline and obtain travel directions (by foot, car or bicycle) to the places mentioned in this article. Click here to download it.
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