Langkawi: hikes and island-hopping

During a recent long weekend, we decided to visit beautiful Langkawi. Full of myths and legends, I had never truly appreciated what a cool, laid-back this place was, often wondering how my friends could be talking about retiring there. But I now start to understand.

We took an early Friday morning flight into Langkawi and met the car rental guys from Jazirah Holiday at the airport. A car is a must in Langkawi, especially for us who love to explore the far beaches and make discovery trips.

We stayed at an awesome Airbnb in Kedawang called Sal’s estate, which houses five bungalows. We arrived in March during the dry season, so the surrounding lush padi fields were not-so-lush but the scenery was still gorgeous. The shared pool was super welcome, and we were there daily – before and after our sojourns. A 5 minutes’ drive away from popular touristy Cenang beach, we were in a central location when travelling to various parts of Langkawi.

Exploring by bike

Langkawi hikes 8 - Happy Go KL

Day 1 saw us heading for a 3 hour / 36km bike through padi fields, rubber estates and kampungs. We found out about local grown kapok (a type of cotton), poisonous sap and we tasted cashew nut fruit, assam pods and local ulam (leaves) from the surroundings. More info about this bike trip here.

Dinner that night was on the beach at Scarborough Fish & Chips near Tanjung Rhu, about 30mins away. Coming back we were treated to the delights of a Friday night market, with our haul of mango sticky rice, crème de caramel and other goodies.

Hiking day

Day 2 had us venturing to the challenging hike at Gunung Mat Chinchang. We entered via the 7 Wells Waterfall (Telaga Tujuh), rumoured to be the bathing place of fairies. It was 640 steps up to a pretty tiny waterfall, since it was dry season. Still lovely to swim though in the shallow pools. That’s where we crossed over and entered the steep uphill climb.

At 700 meters above sea level, we did a 7km, 137 floors, 2 hours up and 1.5 hours down trek, using ropes and ‘Will Power’. What a hike! Not going to lie – it was exhausting and I almost didn’t make it, but my hubby and kids bounded up. After heading down by rappelling backwards and taking many breaks, we were tired but headed to Pegaga Langkawi, a vegan restaurant at Ambong-Ambong spa village. A haven on a hot day! Set within lush rainforest it was just the calm we needed after such a killer hike.

Island hopping

Forgoing a much-needed nap, we went on an island-hopping experience on day 3. We went first to the Kilim Geoforest Park, located north-east of Langkawi. It houses Langkawi’s largest freshwater lake on Dayang Bunting Island. Seen from the air, the island hills look like a pregnant maiden and the mystical properties claim to boost fertility. Honestly, it was a perfect place to refresh and recharge. We had an hour there to swim and take advantage of the services offered like kayaking and fish feeding.

My husband also tried a jet powered hand-held machine. It took him underwater where no, he didn’t see any lake monsters. Lots of other tourist boats go here, so be sure to note the colour and number of your boat if you want to avoid running up and down to search for it.

Langkawi hikes 9 - Happy Go KL

The next hop took us to the famous eagle feeding spot. It was very cool to see, but our boatman simply threw the food into the water. If you go, try to request you feed them by hand. If you’d like to do a mangrove tour here, have a look here at our article, for more information.

White sandy beaches

Our final destination was a small island with white sandy beaches. We swam here, which was ok, but honestly it was nothing to shout about. March is not the month for snorkeling, as visibility is quite low.

Langkawi hikes 10 - Happy Go KL

Back to our Airbnb and the pool to rinse off, then a quick change for much needed dinner. We ate dinner at a restaurant called fatCUPID at a lovely boutique hotel called La Pari-Pari, close to Pantai Tengah.

On the day we left we thought to get a well-earned massage before catching our afternoon plane, but alas, no place opens on Cenang Beach for massage until 3pm. Three nights was definitely too short. We will aim for four nights next time, to explore the other parts of the island.

Useful tips

  • Car rental can be arranged via Jazirah Holiday travel agency, more info on their website here. You can contact them on 019 479 0425. We rented a car for RM270 for 3.5 days.
  • For bike tours on Langkawi you can contact guide Sandra Loh on her phone: 011 1223 4948. Let her know ahead and she can prepare bikes for you.
  • You can contact Mr. Li for island hopping tours on his mobile: 012 476 7487. He only speaks Malay. Tour guide Sandra Loh can help you to book these tours as well.
  • For those who like to booze: alcohol is duty-free on Langkawi.



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