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Why not Langkawi?

Published August 13th, 2015

If you’re looking for a tropical getaway that isn't far from home, but still offers a completely different world, it's time you met Langkawi.

Heard of it? Langkawi is a romantic tropical archipelago made up of 104 islands, located 30 kilometres off the coast of mainland Malaysia.

Far from being a one-trick beach destination, Langkawi has some truly unforgettable experiences and adventures. Read below for our pick of the best available.

Over-water villas at Langkawi Lagoon Resort (All images: Getty)

Island hopping

One of the most popular tours in Langkawi is hopping aboard a local wooden fishing boat and cruising the archipelago on an island hopping tour. Island hopping tours usually head south of the main island of Langkawi, taking you to some of the beautiful neighbouring havens.

You’ll get the chance to swim in a fresh-water lake, snorkel and enjoy the stunning jungle scenery of Pulau Dayang Bunting. When you stop off at Pulau Singa Besar, keep an eye out for the majestic eagles hovering and swooping for food. There's also plenty of beach time and boating fun to be had while chilling on Pulau Beras Basah.

In the jungle

The ‘Jewel of Kedah’ is a tropical paradise just waiting to be explored. Mangrove forests sit just beyond the luxury hotels, spas and shopping malls. The Langkawi landscape is covered in dense, unspoilt scenery complete with magnificent waterfalls, so if a wildlife adventure is what you’re after, Langkawi won’t disappoint.

Take a guided eco-tour into the jungle to get up close and personal with the unique habitats of Langakwi including the resident giant black squirrels and even monkeys.

Langkawi's idyllic village is tucked within serene tropical surrounds

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Walk in the clouds

Where else can you go on holiday to a beautiful tropical island and take a walk in the clouds? One of Langakawi’s best-loved attractions is the spectacular Langkawi Sky Bridge, a gravity-defying curved suspension bridge built on top of the Machinchang mountain.

At 125 metres in length, the bridge takes you out over the spectacular jungle, where you can revel in panoramic views across the island and even up to the Thai border. Access the Sky Bridge via the Langkawi Skycab cable car.

See it all

You really haven’t done Langkawi until you’ve gone on a ride in the legendary Skycab cable car. The scenic journey in a glass-bottomed gondola takes you above the forest with views across the island’s beaches and countryside.

Hop on the Skycab at the Oriental Shopping Village and stop off at the first station, which has a viewing platform. If you're comfortable with heights, you might want to head up to the the Top Station and walk out across the almighty Sky Bridge.

Ride the Skycab cable car for unforgettable views over the island

Shopping as the locals do

Duty-free Langkawi is a shopaholic’s dream, with a high concentration of air-conditioned modern shopping malls selling everything from imported perfumes and labels to local designer items.

There are also purpose-built shopping villages, such as the outdoor lifestyle Oriental Village, where you can purchase activities and tours around the archipelago. If malls aren’t really your style, head to the much-loved night markets and pick up some unique local souvenirs and trinkets.

Beach life

Does the breaking of waves over soft sand call to you? You’ll find pristine beaches that rival any in Asia on Langkawi. In fact, there are kilometres of palm-fringed, white-sand beaches where you can soak up the sun, swim in the azure sea and lounge around in blissful daze all day long.

If beach-side dining is your favourite complement to an evening, head to the venues along Pantai Tengah. One of Langkawi's most developed beaches, Pantai Tengah features a stretch of trendy restaurants and bars overlooking the ocean.

Parasailing on Pantai Tengah

Feast like royalty

Expect grand buffet seafood spreads as well as a wide range of affordable Western-style food when you visit Langkawi. For cheap, but delicious traditional Malaysian dishes, try the popular night markets where you can gorge yourself on delicious dishes such as barbecue satay chicken and secret-recipe noodles.

Amy Dalgleish

Wanderlust pommie, currently living the dream in sunny Byron Bay.