I’ve put together an itinerary must do things on the amazing island of Langkawi, including waterfalls, beautiful beaches, great food, and awesome scenery!
First of all, Langkawi is beautiful. You don’t have to look far to find something awesome, whether it be local food at a tiny stall in the middle of nowhere or a random scenic spot to relax for a while. I’ve included 1-2 activities per day because the best thing you can do is take the opportunity to just chill out and explore. I suggest taking the time to stop and check out any interesting little roadside stalls, out of the way restaurants, scenery, and views.
I’ve put days to this, simply because some things are open only on specific days. But another thing you’ve got to consider is the weather, which changes more often than a tourist changes outfits! So see this as a suggestion only. 😜
Day 1 – Monday: Set up and scout
If you’ve already booked your accommodation, great! If not, go for a walk and check out the prices around town. Most people like to stay around Cenang Beach. The area in the map below has lots of hostels with dorms and private rooms that would suit backpackers or travellers on a budget and is still within walking distance of the beach.
If you want to go a bit more fancy and have a higher budget, you can check out the places along the beach and further south.
Hire a scooter:
If you’ve got an international driver’s license, it’s a good idea to hire a scooter. It’ll save you a lot of money in Grab/taxi rides and will make your time here so much easier! Most places rent out scooters for around 30-35 MYR per day. They also often will give you a cheaper price if you take the scooter for a week, and cheaper again if you take it for a month.
Free to enter and enjoy.
The first and easiest thing to do is go check out Cenang Beach. You can’t miss it. It’s the place where all the tourists are. If you’re thirsty, get a refreshing coconut or Oreo shake from Coconut King on the main street, or grab a beer/cider from one of the duty free shopping malls (you can find them for between 3-5MYR per can). Then relax and enjoy a Langkawi sunset over Cenang Beach.
Dinner: Food Truck Street
If you’re feeling up for a walk, grab some dinner at the Food Truck Street after 6:30pm. My favourite are the benjo burgers (egg burger with no meat).
Other info for day 1:
Sim Cards – We went for the U Mobile GX30 prepaid plan. It gives you unlimited data for 30 days and costs 30 MYR. It isn’t the fastest, and like many sim cards in Malaysia, the hot spotting is limited (3 gigs). It isn’t the fastest, but it does the job. You can watch YouTube on it, so it’s not terrible. They also have a 12 MYR weekly plan if you’re here for a shorter stay. We purchased ours in the 7-Eleven near Cenang Beach located on the map below.
If you’re stopping over at KL on the way, don’t buy this sim at the KL Airport, they’ll charge you 60 MYR. In any 7-Eleven outside the airport, you can get the U mobile GX30 sim and the plan combined for 34 MYR (30 MYR for the plan and 4 MYR for the one off sim purchase).
Getting cash: There’s only a couple of ATMs at the airport. We found some good ones in the Cenang Mall. There’s a few different ones located inside the mall, so check which ones your bank partners with so you don’t get charged transaction fees.
Day 2 – Tuesday: Sandy Skulls Beach and Temurun Waterfall
Breakfast: Armani Food Garden
You’re going to need a big breakfast before your long ride. Grab a banana pancake, or a Western breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast. They also do a nice big coffee compared to other places.
If you want, you can grab some rice/noodles and curry from the little stand next door to the restaurant and take it with you for a lunch at the beach or waterfall!
Preparing for the day:
Make sure you take lots of water and snacks. Wear lots of sunscreen because we found out the hard way that you can get really burnt riding long distances in Langkawi. If you don’t believe me, take note of the many shades of pink to red you see on the tourists walking around. Make sure you wear your bathers and take a towel because you’re going to want to swim!
And most importantly, make sure your belongings are packed safetly inside your scooter and NOT IN PLASTIC BAGS. There will be monkeys around, and while they’re generally harmless if you leave them alone, they are VERY sensitive to plastic bags. So, if you want to keep your belongings safe, don’t have plastic bags hanging on your bike, don’t carry plastic bags when walking around, and don’t leave your thing sitting in plastic bags unattended.
Sandy Skulls Beach: Pantai Pasir Tengkorak
Free parking and entry is free.
The name of the beach in Malay translates to Sandy Skulls Beach. The legend behind the beach says that a massive storm in the Malacca Strait caused a bunch of sailors to be washed up on the beach.
From the beach, you can see the Thai island Ko Tarutao, and you’ll probably get welcome to Thailand messages on your phone too! The sign to the beach says, Pantai Pasir Tengkorak, so keep an eye out for that. It’s a nice beach for swimming with not many tourists around.
Free parking and free entry.
Next stop is a few minutes down the road, where you can wash off the salt water in a refreshing waterfall!
This is the tallest waterfall in Langkawi, and probably the easiest one to get to. You only have to walk about 200 meters beside the lowest part of the waterfall. The walk is really nice under lots of trees and beside the flowing stream. Then you need to do a little bit of a climb (like 5 minutes) and you reach the bottom of the waterfall where you can swim in clear refreshing water.
This is a very safe place to swim. The edges are all shallow and easy to get in and out of. I just wouldn’t do any jumping from the cliffs on the sides because the water isn’t deep enough for jumping to be safe, in my opinion anyway.
Dinner: Lagenda Nasi Arab
We really like this place. And since it’s so out of the way, it’s a great little dinner detour on your way back from the waterfall. There’s also a supermarket just across the road if you need to grab anything.
And if you drive a little bit further up the road when you’re finished, you can grab some of the biggest donuts you’ve ever seen for 1 MYR each at this place before 6pm.
The donut place is right next to a laundry shop and opposite a petrol station. It doesn’t seem to be on Google Maps, so I’ve included the link to the laundry next door.
Once you get back, you can book your tour for the next day.
Day 3 – Wednesday: Boat Tour Day!
Breakfast: Restoran Nasi Kandar Tomato
If you’re there after 9am, you can get a Western breakfast, but otherwise, there’s always nan bread, roti canai, tea tarik, and rice and curry up at the hot food counter. You can also grab a takeaway container of rice and curry to have later.
I have since been informed that the tour we took was not an eco-friendly one. I was not aware of this, or that there are other options, as we went in a group and did not arrange the tour ourselves. I have since taken an eco-friendy tour and written a post about that.
It doesn’t really matter who you book your tour through because all the tour vendors are reselling the same tours. Just make sure you pick someone that you think is upfront, honest, and you feel you can trust. Also make sure you check if you can get a lower price than the first one quoted.
As far as booking tours, we recommend Lio for a few reasons. First up, her English is on point, so you won’t have any trouble communicating with her. She’s friendly and she’ll tell you it like it is. And if you ask her, she’ll probably give you a good deal 😉 But there’s plenty of friendly tour sellers on the main street of Cenang Beach. Feel free to speak to a few and book with the one you trust. We didn’t get to book our tour through her because we were travelling in a group and had the tour booked for us, but we’ve had some good conversations with her in the past!
The tour we booked was a half day tour and cost 50 MYR per person. It included pick up and drop off from our hotel. This tour included eagle feeding. They’re such beautiful majestic birds.
Also included was a stop at the fish farm and and a ride through the crocodile cave (there’s no crocodiles, don’t worry!).
A close up feeding encounter with the swimming monkeys, which are just normal monkeys that swim out to get some peanuts from you. Feeding monkeys isn’t really something we want to do, so we don’t encourage them to steal from us.
Time for a picture infront of Langkawi’s version of the Hollywood sign.
And a stop at the bat cave and mangroves.
The only fee not included in our tour was the 2 MYR per person entry fee to the bat caves, and an optional extra 1 MYR to hire a torch. But it was well worth the fee for a nice walk amongst the mangroves and a look at the bats.
We did do a different island hopping tour also that took us to the Lake of the Pregnant Maiden, but that one seemed like a lot more of a tourist trap. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice. But there’s a lot of less touristy places that are just as nice around the island. You’re not allowed to swim here without life jackets, which is fair enough. But the 6 MYR entry fee does not include them! If you do go there, don’t rent the life jackets at the door – there’s people renting them out to you for 1 MYR at the actual lake.
Make sure you take plenty of water and snacks with you if you’re going on tours that don’t have lunch included. There might be places to buy food along the way, but it will be a lot more expensive.
Dinner: Sun Cafe
If you want to splurge a bit on some good quality food, head to the Sun Cafe for dinner. Their prices are more like Western prices, but the food is really good. My partner tried the garlic prawns, which were served with creamy pasta. The flavour was awesome. We also tried a white pizza and a creme brulee here, which we definitely recomend. Unfortunately, we didn’t take any photos of the food, so you’ll have to look at their Google reviews to check out the food pics!
We did, however, take a photo of their bathroom because it was such a wonderful experience. So, make sure you visit the toilets when you go here! It’ll be the best toilet experience you get on Langkawi, probably.
Day 4 – Thursday: Seven Wells Waterfall/Sky Cab and night market
Breakfast: Bella Restaurant
We really like the staff here. In the mornings, they do a really good egg roti canai, and also a banana roti canai. Their tea tarik is also delicious. It’s a local Malaysian drink, so make sure you try it! The best part about this place is their smiles. The staff are happy and friendly here, so it’s a really nice place to start the day.
Costs a bit more than our budget.
We didn’t go on the Sky Cab for various reasons, which I’ve explained in the fourth heading of another blog post. But if you’re more into touristy things, it’s in the same vicinity as the falls, so you might want to do that first while you’re dry and then head to the falls to cool off.
Seven Wells Waterfall
Costs 1 MYR for scooter parking. Entry is free.
Seven Wells Waterfall is a must do in my opinion, but only if you’re able to walk up around 600 steps to get to the upper part of the waterfall. The good news is, when you arrive all sweaty and puffing at the top, you can get straight into the pools of fresh cold water, relax, and enjoy the view!
It’s safe to swim, but you’ll need to be a lot more careful here than at the Temurun Waterfall because the rocks are very slippery and potential drop if you go past the barricade could be fatal. If you’ve got small children, then the Temurun waterfall would be a much safer place to swim. Alternatively, you can always stop at the lower waterfall. It seems like a lot more families go there. But if you can get to the top, it’s worth the climb.
There is a bridge above the waterfall where you can get an awesome view as well.
There are also lots of monkeys here, so don’t carry plastic bags. Parking for a scooter is 1 MYR for the day. Other than that, entry is free. There are some food vendors at the bottom where you can get something to eat on your way back down if you’re hungry.
Dinner – Thursday Night Market after 6PM
You won’t find a seat here, but you’ll find lots of tasty food and probably at the cheapest prices you can find on the island.
You can also get snacks here that you don’t normally see on the street, so make sure you try a bunch of different things!
Day 5 – Friday: Raya Mountain and Tanjung Rhu Beach
Breakfast: Food Truck Street morning vendors
We found some nice rice and curry, fried snacks, cakes, and hot and cold drinks in some pop up stalls on food truck street. I don’t know if they’re always there, but they’re worth visiting if you see them! They make a great morning coffee.
I’ve written about both Raya Mountain and Tanjung Rhu Beach in more detail in another post, so I’ll just include the basics here.
Raya Mountain: Gunung Raya
Entry is free.
We’ve gone up Raya Mountain in all types of weather, but would highly recommend doing it on a clear day so you get to see the views from the top. It’s really worth doing. Again, just make sure you don’t have plastic bags in sight because you will come across monkeys. It’s better to go in the morning than the afternoon because the sun can get pretty hot later in the day.
Tanjung Rhu Beach
Entry and parking are free.
This is a great place to swim, relax, and lie in the shade while you recover from the long ride up the mountain. There are a bunch of restaurants around this beach, so you can easily find lunch here too. It’s a lot quieter here than Cenang Beach. So it’s a great place to just chill and soak in the island vibes for an afternoon.
Day 6 – Saturday: Buffet, Kuah, and Langkawi Eagle
Breakfast: None because buffet
Instead, go take an early morning walk and swim on Cenang Beach. The water seems to be so much clearer in the mornings and the beach has a lot less people on it, especially if you go around 7:30 AM.
Buffet: Nadia’s Hotel
Head to Nadia’s Hotel at 12pm for their all you can eat buffet. I have also written more about that in another post, so I won’t write it all again here. But basically, the cost is 18 MYR per person, and you get a variety of local and Western food. It’s good value for money, and we find we don’t need to eat much else on the days we go there! It’s a weekend only deal, so check it out.
If you need to get some last minute gifts and have already wandered the main street near Cenang Beach, head to Kuah for the afternoon and check out some of the duty free shopping malls there. You’ll probably find a lot of the same stuff, but perhaps more variety.
Eagle Square: Dataran Lang
Entry is free. Not sure about parking.
Langkawi’s symbol is an eagle, so if you want to be a true tourist, you should visit the massive manmade eagle and get some photos. It looks nice both at daytime and in the evening. I would recommend visiting around sunset or later because there isn’t much to do there and it can get very hot during the day. At night, you get to see it lit up with colorful lights and water fountains around.
Kuah Saturday night market: Pekan Kuah after 6pm
This night market is much like the Thursday night market, just in Kuah instead. If you haven’t got your fix of might markets yet, take a look at this one for some pre-dinner snacks, or just for your whole dinner!
Dinner after 6:30pm: Restaurant Kak Ani Nasi Campur
Again, I’ve written more about this restaurant in my Langkawi food post, but it was also a favorite of ours. The prices, flavors, and meal portions were great. there was one evening they weren’t open and their opening hours on Google aren’t correct, so make sure you check before going. If you like spice, try their Kuah Soup.
Day 7 – Sunday: Check out, chill, and goodbye drink
Breakfast: Revisit one of the friendly places that you’ve tried this week and say goodbye.
Since this is your last day, you’ll have to check out and return your scooter. Hopefully your hostel will let you leave your bags with their reception and you can take a walk down to Cenang beach and sip a goodbye drink while thinking about all the wonderful experiences you’ve had during your week on this beautiful island.
If you want, you can head to the Flo Lounge during their happy hour from 4pm-7pm where you can get drinks for 4.90 MYR and enjoy the sunset.
Promise yourself you’ll never leave plastic, cigarette butts, or bottle caps in the sand because it can be so dangerous for wildlife and people walking on the beach. Thank the island and the locals for being so kind to you, and remember to keep appreciating this wonderful world we live in!
Until next time, peace and good times to you all ✌