Referred many times as the Jewel of Kedah, Langkawi is a district and an archipelago of 99 islands. Most of the islands are uninhabited, only Tuba island and Langkawi island aren’t. For nature lovers, you just have to explore the best natural attractions in Langkawi.
The interior of the island is green lush everywhere but the coast is surrounded by a turquoise sea. Many visitors came here for diving, there are some good opportunities.
The origin name of the island according to local interpretation means, the island of the reddish-brown eagle. It is even possible to see a landmark sculpture of an eagle as the symbol of Langkawi at Dataran Helang (Eagle Square) in Kuah.
Tourism it’s been increasing in recent years. The island can be easily reached by plane from the capital Kuala Lumpur and from Singapore. If you choose the ferry, you can even get it from Thailand’s south island Koh Lipe.
Langkawi is also a duty-free paradise so, many come here for shopping. It is a good opportunity to buy global brands of chocolate and other things at a really good price.
Even though it is an island, Langkawi has so much to do and so much to see that is impossible to be bored. There’s room for all families on the island as the variety of activities can please everyone.
1.Kilim Geopark and Mangroves
If you are a nature lover you definitely have to check Kilim Geopark, also known as Kilim Karst Geoforest Park. Maybe this is one of the most searched natural attractions in Langkawi. Normally people join a day tour that included the Geopark, the Mangroves, and other points in Langkawi.
We are always looking for this kind of activities nature related. So, we did a daily tour with some local friends we meet. We just show up at Kilim Jetty (where the tours begin) and the guys from Natasha’s Mangrove Nature Tour were there to help us with all the process.
Kilim Geopark is a UNESCO World Heritage. This place is full of natural wonders, home to amazing fauna and flora. The Geopark is also, the only place in Langkawi where the Kilim river is laid down in a valley of mangroves trees.
To preserve the entire park and its wonders, the tour operators practice ecotourism, values such as educational tourism, and geotourism.
The boat ride takes you along the river with dense green mangroves and limestone rocks, some of them formed 500 million years back. The mangroves are very important to protect the shoreline and prevent soil erosion. These mangroves played an important role in the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami as they helped save the island from the worst impact.
The waters here have several species of fish and in the air, you can also see many species of birds. The reddish-brown eagle is the most famous. We didn’t like the idea of feeding the eagles for tourism purposes, so maybe this was the only downside of the tour.
We took a lunch break at a floating restaurant, it’s a good experience and the views are incredible. Other points on the tour can be included, visiting some of the islands around, a fish farm, a bat cave, and a crocodile cave.
- Don’t forget sun lotion and drinking water;
- Wear comfortable shoes and light clothes;
- Carry swimwear and a towel with you if you want to go for a swim;
- Go early if you are planning a long tour;
- For a short tour, it’s better to go to Kilim Jetty at 04:00 p.m and take a boat from there. At this time most tour boats have returned and you will get a free way to explore.
2.Pulau Payar Marine Park
Pulau Payar Marine Park is composed of four uninhabited islands Payar, Lembu, Segantang, and Kaca.
This is the oldest marine park on Malaysia’s west coast. You will find the Marine Park Centre at Pulau Payar, the largest of the four islands. This place is very popular for snorkelling and diving. The pristine water has colourfull coral, protected and preserved due to its sheltered waters.
There are some rules to obey like fishing is strictly prohibited in some areas and you must obtain permission from authorities to venture into the waters. The park has facilities like picnic tables, barbecue pits, gazebos, and restrooms. No open burning and cutting trees of course.
The water of Pulau Payar is full of wonders. Even an artificial reef you can see, built from tires, old boats, and concrete blocks. You can have access to the reef through a pontoon. Sandy beaches to relax are also an option or for the most adventurous there are several hiking trails to explore.
You have to pay a small donation, at the entrance park of RM 5,00 (1,22 USD/1 €) for adults and RM 2,50 (0,60 USD/0,50 €) for children.
Gunung Raya is the highest peak in Langkawi. Above 800 meters sea level, this is a unique trip. The dense rainforest covers the mountain and is home to amazing fauna and flora. The forest reserve is almost 5000 hectares to discover.
People usually come to Gunung Raya by driving or trekking with a local guide through the lush jungle. The drive is easy, not too steep, and with amazing scenery of a dense forest. Trekking is mostly worth it because you will get the chance to contact wildlife during the daytime or after the dark.
The rainforest of the Gunung Raya is home to many animals like flying fox, squirrels, birds, leaf monkeys, macaque monkeys, hawk eagles, white-bellied sea eagles, great hornbills, and many more.
At the summit of the mountain, the panoramic view is breathtaking. There is a resort near the top, the D’Coconut Hill Resort. There’s also a watchtower that belongs to the resort but is open to the public at a RM 10 (2,40 USD/2 €) fee per person. Gunung Raya is for sure one of the natural attractions in Langkawi you don’t want to miss.
A local legend about the Gunung Raya said that once existed two giants, Mat Raya, and Mat Cincang. Mat Raya daughter and Mat Cincang son fall in love, and their parents decided to get them married. However, problems happen and Mat Raya has accused Mat Cincang’s son of being eying another woman. They started to throw pots and pans towards each other. The legend says that the village of Belanga Pecah was where the broken pot fell. Kuah was the place where the gravy fell. Air Hangat (meaning hot water) was where the hot water fell and Tanjung Cincin (cape of the ring) was the place where the wedding ring dropped.
4.Mount Mat Cincang (Pantai Kok)
Even though Gunung Raya is the tallest mountain in Langkawi, Mount Mat Cincang is the most famous. With a height of 850 meters, featuring amazing views of the island, this is one of the best natural attractions in Langkawi.
Here lies the well-known Langkawi cable car. There is no road to the top, so it was a complex project. A project has three stations, the last one located on the peak of the mount. The slope between the middle station and top station is said to be one of the steepest in the world.
The Langkawi cable car will take you on a ride of 700 meters above sea level. The base station is very complete with eating buildings and entertainment places. The middle station has a viewing platform. At the top station, there are two circular viewing platforms. Here a Sky Glide can also take you to a bridge (Sky Bridge).
The Langkawi Sky Bridge is a 125 meters curved pedestrian bridge. At some point, there are sections of glass flooring installed. This is the longest free-span bridge in the world.
It is possible to do a 2.5 km walking trail, called Sky Trail, through the forest from the top station until, the middle station on Seven Wells waterfall. This is only possible guided by a local naturalist.
Mount Mat Cincang comprises UNESCO World Heritage Geopark. The mount date from 550 million years, making him one of the oldest rock formations in the world.
We did this trip to Mount Mat Cincang and although it’s not cheap as other things in Langkawi, is totally worth it. The majestic mount offers us one of the most astonishing views over the island.
Admission: Please check the official website, at www.panoramalangkawi.com for the most precise information.
5.Gua Landak (Porcupine Cave)
Langkawi has a good number of natural caves. One of the most visited is Gua Landak known as Porcupine Cave. The name is due to many years ago the cave is inhabited by porcupines.
The cave is easily accessed because it’s centrally close to Kuah town, only a few minutes drive. Once you are in the local, there is a rocky downward pathway full of boulders and rocks, so be careful. You will need to walk down to the main entrance.
The entrance is arched and 20 meters below the road level. This place is so mysterious, with incredible stalactite and stalagmite formations. The shapes can resemble some things like an umbrella. At the central part, there is a huge stalagmite pillar standing.
It is better to take a flashlight as inside the cave can be very dark. Visiting Gua Landak doesn’t take you much time, and you can go at any time of the day. So, you better not miss one of the most accessible natural attractions in Langkawi.
6.Mardi Agro Technology Park (Lubuk Semilang)
Created in 1990, the park functions as a center for technology transfer and information dissemination concerning the agro-industry. If you love ecotourism this is also the right place to go to Langkawi.
Spreading over 35 hectares of land, this park is managed by the government. Here you can have a panoramic view of the forested Gunung Raya catchment area.
Inside there is a technology information center, tropical fruit farms, sheltered hi-tech vegetable farms, and naturally conserved surrounding areas for recreational purposes.
Guided fruit farm tours are conducted for visitors to know more about the process. The agrotechnology park includes six main areas: Orchid Garden, Rose Garden, Herb Garden, English Garden, research and an information center.
A vast natural and recreational area is being used by visitors to relax and enjoy the scenic views. If you want to stay overnight it’s possible too. Basic camping facilities are provided at an extra charge.
This place is good and also nice for trekking through the forest area, but please get a guide. If you like fishing there is a pond on the edge of the forest. Cycling is another option.
In the information center, a 2-hour learning session is offered. It is an opportunity to learn about hi-tech farming and tropical fruit necessities. Topics like organic farming, fertilizers, insects, and many more are part of the knowledge-acquisition process.
Opening hours: Saturday to Thursday from 09:00 a.m to 05:00 p.m (Closed on Fridays)
Admission: Farm tour: Adult RM 20 (4,90 USD/4,30 €), and children RM 10 (2,45 USD/2,20 €)
Recreational Area (basic entrance): Adult RM 20 (4,90 USD/4,30 €) and children RM 10 (2,45 USD/2,20 €)
Guided jungle trekking: 20 RM/hour (4,90 USD/4,30 €)
Campsite charge: 5.00 RM/person/day (1,22 USD/1 €)
Tent rental: 40 RM/pax – up to 4 persons per tent (9,80 USD/8,70 €)
7.Dayang Bunting Island
The island of Dayang Bunting is the second largest island in Langkawi. The name of the island meaning ‘Pregnant Maiden Island’ and the famous lake also got the same name.
Local legend says that princess Mambang Sari married a man named Mat Teja and had a child. But, the baby didn’t live long and died a few days after he was born. To bless the women who have trouble conceiving, the princess placed his body in the lake. Once they take a dip into the water of the lake, they become fertile.
If you look from an angle it really seems like a pregnant woman lying down. This lake and the surrounding areas are part of the Dayang Bunting Marble Geoforest Park.
The unique limestone formations and caves make it so attractive. There is a path passing through the mangrove forest where visitors can look for native birds and other species of animals.
We did walk along this path and in the end; we reach a point called the ‘Miracle Border’. It’s where you can see the lake and the sea. Although it is very close to the sea the lake remains separated by a strip of rocks.
Our advice is to be carefull at some points of the boardwalk as when we visited it needed maintenance.
Admission: Adults – RM 5.00 (1,22 USD/1 €) and Children – RM 3.00 (0,65 €) to enter in the island.
8.Laman Padi Rice Garden & Museum
One of the best natural attractions in Langkawi is Laman Padi Rice Garden and Museum. The popular ecotourism site lies at Cenang Beach.
This vast complex opened in 1999, for helping to teach traditional agricultural techniques. The place was also designed to improve the quality and standard of local farming.
The visitor can learn things about rice cultivation, like the historical and cultural importance of traditional farming. Here is not only possible to see rice fields but also, herb gardens, galleries, and a museum.
At the museum, there is an exhibition about the process and evolution of rice cultivation and harvesting in Langkawi. The gallery has on display tools and equipment used on the rice paddy working.
At the entrance gate, you will be able to see signs in all the areas. You can ask for a guide, it’s free and they explain almost everything about this place. One of the good things about this place is you can participate in planting and harvesting rice. You only have to ask your guide. In the fields are common to find water buffaloes and cows.
This place is so amazing that even got a rooftop garden with lovely views of the rice farm and a spa that uses fresh ingredients from the garden.
Opening hours: Every day from 10:00 a.m to 06:00 p.m
9.Darulaman Sanctuary Jungle Walk
This is just one of those places that will leave you speechless. Darulaman Sanctuary is located at Gunung Raya in a forest reserve. The surrounding atmosphere is very hilly.
2 kilometers into the jungle walking trail runs daily and is very popular among nature lovers. A guide will be with you to share his knowledge and passion for nature.
The highlights are the lush jungle of Lubuk Semilang, the fauna and flora, and the amazing wildlife that you will get the chance to see. You will be face-to-face with different animals and plants. Is common to observe strangling figs, wild orchids, unique pitcher plants, dusky leaf monkeys, oriental pied hornbill, and many more.
It is possible to do a day tour or even a night walk. Can you imagine walking in the rainforest after the sunset? The experience is so remarkable, once a lifetime opportunity to see wildlife animals in their natural habitat.
Admission: See everything at Darulaman Sanctuary.
Pulau Dangli is a small rocky island, part of the Langkawi territory. In some tours operators, this island can be covered in a package included in the Kilim Geopark and Mangroves.
The island is many times call a snorkelling haven in Langkawi. Over the last years, overfishing and pollution have threatened the survival of coral reefs and reef fishes. But, the government took measures to control fishing, and its been helping.
Pulau Dangli is the habitat for many small colourful yellow and black striped coral reef fish locally called ‘puyu laut’. There are also other species of small reef fishes. If you are in Langkawi and don’t want to miss the opportunity for seeing marine life at its best, the island of Pulau Dangli deserves a visit for sure.
Another thing you can miss on the small island is the Gua Dangli cave. Actually, they are two caves with the same name but, distinctly inside. You can only enter during the low tide. In the first one, the stalactite and limestone formations have the appearance of some structures.
A narrow hole leaves you in a bamboo forest area. The second cave is about 30 meters up the slope. The formations are incredible with a 20 meters depth.
Admission: Depends on the tour operator and the type of tour.
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