From Kuala Lumpur, we used Air Asia to get an internal flight to Langkawi International airport. Langkawi is an archipelago of 99 islands, in Northwestern Malaysia and is officially known as Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah. We stayed in Pantai Cenang and unfortunately only got to explore part of the West side of the island, as we were only there for four days.
Langkawi is for sure, one of my most favourite places I’ve ever visited. I was truly happy and worry-free whilst I was here. The wildlife and landscapes were simply incredible. The island consists of sandy beaches, rich greenery, rice paddies and mountains. There is a constant background noise of the Rhinoceros Hornbills call, you can see adorable dusky leaf monkeys and macaque monkeys swinging through the trees and lizards scuttling around. The locals were ever so friendly and welcoming as well!
We really focused our attention on finding the perfect accommodation whilst in Langkawi. We found that accommodation was either budget hostels or big resorts with not much personality and little in between. As this was more of the ‘relaxing’ part of our trip and the place we would be for Chris’ actual 30th, we wanted something really relaxing where we could chill out, that was near the beach, with a pool and with a really nice atmosphere and with a more ‘traditional feel’. We didn’t mind spending a little bit more for this either. After looking around, after what seemed like days of searching, I found the perfect place!
We stayed in the absolutely stunning Panji Panji Wooden Tropical Home which is situated along the Chenang River (Fisherman’s River) and is a 15-minute walk to Pantai Cenang beach. The setting of the lodging is so beautiful and there was a real sense of calmness and peacefulness. The courtyard is filled with beautiful greenery, vintage VW vans and other vintage pieces. Due to the greenery and the river, there is a lot of wildlife around. There are only about 8 unique chalets around the courtyard. We stayed on the upper floor, but all chalets have an outdoor balcony with seating. The wooden furniture, beams and windows gave a feeling of a traditional Malay house, but with comforts and a fierce air-con system! The bathroom was stunning as well. The contrasting blue tiles really stood out and the shower was half open as well, so we could see palm trees whilst in there!
There is an outdoor pool area which is fenced away from the main courtyard, giving guests privacy- except from the visit of a cheeky solo dusky leaf monkey on one day! There were plenty of not so stray cats who would hang around the guests and one even spent the evening with us one night! There are vintage bikes on site for guests to use whenever, and we were provided with a lock and headlight each! On-site, there is a speciality coffee cafe which is open to the public. It never felt busy though. The iced coffees here were amazing!
The place and staff were so thoughtful and friendly. They really made us feel so welcomed and really made our stay extra special. Particularly assisting to our vegan needs, despite me saying they didn’t need too! I’ve gone into detail about the food here.
This has been my most favourite accommodation, I’ve ever stayed in and would highly recommend it (unless you’re budget travelling)!!
As we were mainly relaxing, we did mainly walk or use the on-site bicycles a couple of times. However, we did use Grab (Malaysia’ version of Uber) for our airport runs and for one day trip (SkyBridge). It’s worth noting that other than grab, there is no public transport on the island. There are lots of scooter and car hire places if you are able to drive.
Except for one rainy but hot evening, we had glorious sunshine and high temperatures (30-35°C) every day.
You can find out about all the vegan food we ate in my Vegan in Langkawi post
What to Do
- Cenang Beach- We swam during the day and in the evening we watched some live bands playing at the beach bars and fire-walkers along the beach
- Pantai Cenang strip– restaurants, local shops and the mall
- The Fisherman’s Wharf/Trail- A pathway along a windy river full of fishing boats and jetties
- Cycling- using our bikes from Panji Panji
- Lamen Padi & Rice Museum– An open-air museum and ‘working’ rice museum that explores the history of rice cultivation
- Langkawi SkyCab and SkyBridge– Langkawi Cable Car is a 1.4-mile aerial link from the Oriental Village at Teluk Burau to the peak of Gunung Machinchang. Upon arrival to the site, you can walk around the very touristy Oriental Village, which hosts restaurants, shops and attractions for kids. From the base, you take the cable car up to the very top (approx 15 minutes), where the SkyBridge is. There is a halfway point where you can get off and take photos from the viewing deck. Langkawi Bridge is a 125-metre curved bridge, suspended from cables by a single pylon! It even has a small glass walkway. The views were absolutely phenomenal. You have a 360° view from the bridge and can see so much of the beautiful island.
- Seven Wells Waterfall– A waterfall with several natural pools. I LOVED it here, paddling and swimming in the natural pools and chilling on the rocks. As well as tourists, there was a big group of teenage locals swimming at the bottom. It was so nice to see young kids having fun and playing around together
- Dev’s Adventure Tours- Evening Jungle Trek-I really wanted to explore the mangroves in Langkawi and book into a guided mangrove boat trip. However, looking into it, a lot of the tour operators carry out eagle feeding (meat is fed to attract the eagles), so that tourists can see them and take photos. Feeding the eagles this way, is really disruptive to the eco-system. I came across Dev’s Adventure Tours who do not do this and warn the dangers of doing this. However, as they operate in the same spot as the other operators, it still didn’t sit right with me. I then saw they offered an Evening Jungle Trek which consisted of 2 hours walking in the jungle and 1-1.5 hours walking the grounds of the Berjaya Resort. At 140 RM (about £26) per person and including transport, we decided to go for it and were we glad that we did!
The jungle part focuses on learning about the jungle’s biodiversity, learning about the different plants and trees. The last part of the ‘trek’ focuses on the shift change from day to nocturnal animals, with a 100% chance of seeing flying lemurs and an 80% chance of seeing flying squirrels (red giant or pygmy). Unfortunately, we were in the 20% who didn’t get to see the flying squirrels but we did see an eagle and saw a rare type of hornbill that the guide hadn’t seen in over 2 years! He was so happy. We both loved the tour and found it so incredibly interesting, learning about the biodiversity and Langkawi island itself. Our guide extremely knowledgable and ever so charming and you could really tell he had a real passion for the jungle and protecting it. For his training, he had to spend a few weeks in one of the national parks!
- Paradise Craft– A lovely stall selling handmade crafts and goods, we picked up a lot of souvenirs for people here. There are a couple of other lovely independent ‘craft’ gift along the strips but I cannot remember the names!
- Swimming (beach & pool)
When we travel, we tend to cram loads in. This is the first time we’ve gone away where we’ve had the opportunity to relax on the beach, read and swim. I appreciated it so much. Looking back, I would have probably had one less day in Kuala Lumpur and added an extra day in Langkawi. The mix between relaxing by the beaches and pool and having the most fun during the jungle trek and waterfall made Langkawi a real winner for me. I’d definitely like to come back to Langkawi to visit other areas of the island such as Tanjung Rhu Beach, Gunung Raya nature reserve and Kuah town.
Highlights- Seven Wells Waterfall, Dev’s Adventure Tours- Evening Jungle Trek, Langkawi Sky Bridge/Cable Car