Langkawi, also known as the “Jewel of Kedah State”, is one of Malaysia’s most famous holiday destinations, even for locals. You are now wondering how to spend the ultimate 3 days on this tropical island? In this Travel Guide to Langkawi I’ll introduce you to everything you need to know about activities, accommodation and where to find the best vegan hot spots.
The enchanting island is home to magnificent mountain ranges, spectacular waterfalls, long-stretched beaches and a diverse wildlife from monkeys to incredible 200 species of birds. Sounds like a paradise, right?
Let’s find out what’s there to see, do & eat. 🙂
How To Get There
To be precise, Langkawi is not just one island, but an archipelago of more than 100 islands scattered around the sea. Crazy, right? But to keep it easy, I’ll refer to Langkawi Island as the biggest and most inhabited one, the one you’ll probably visit.
Set in the far North of Malaysia, Langkawi belongs to Kedah state, one of 13 states in the country. Due to its proximity to Thailand’s border it can be easily combined in one go when visiting the South of Thailand.
Yes, even relatively small islands like Langkawi have an airport in Malaysia. And it’s conveniently located on the westcoast, close to the main attractions.
You can find cheap flight tickets on Skyscanner.com from any other airport in Malaysia or from Thailand, Indonesia & Co.
To fly from neighbouring island Penang to Langkawi takes a short 40 minutes, coming from KL around 1 hour.
Especially to and from Kuala Lumpur you can save a lot of time and mostly even a lot of money by flying. So check out the prices and book as early as possible to get the best deal.
Most people arrive by ferry at Kuah Jetty in Langkawi’s biggest city Kuah on the south-east coast. Well-established Langkawi Ferry Services connects the mainland and Langkawi 4 times a day.
There are two possible harbours to leave from the mainland, Kuala Perlis and Kuala Kedah. Just check the schedule here and see which harbour suits your travel plan best.
The tickets cost 20 RM for an adult and 14 RM for a child, one way.
Best Time To Visit
The north of Malaysia has a very short dry season from December until February. Thanks to its tropical monsoon climate, the majority of the year from March until November is considered to be wet season (yeaay!).
But as everywhere in Southeast Asia, you might even be lucky with the weather. When I visited in october I had four beautifully sunny days and three, oh well, very (!) rainy days. But don’t get discouraged if you happen to be there during rainy season, just pack a rain coat just in case and enjoy the warm, tropical wet.
How To Get Around
All of the interesting sightseeing spots are pretty much well distributed across the island, so the easiest way to get around is by renting a scooter. There are several rental shops in Kuah, as well as along Cenang Beach and on the main road to Tengah Beach.
If you need a ride from the airport or jetty, you can use the app Grab. It’s way cheaper than using a regular taxi and you don’t have to negotiate the price before getting in.
Where To Stay
The best area to stay is around Cenang Beach on Langkawi’s westcoast. From there you can easily explore the main beach area by foot and attractions like the Cable Car & Skyline Bridge by scooter.
Since Langkawi is home to both, luxury holiday seekers as well as surfers and backpackers, accommodations on the island are equally wide-ranged in price and furnishings.
There are several low-budget options like hostels and guesthouses as well as more expensive high-class retreats and even 5-star-hotels to be found.
Here are some options, that will cover every travel type.
Langkawi Island: Hostels, Hotels & Guesthouses
- Clean & basic: Cassa Kaseh Guesthouse ($) would be the optimal choice if you want to save money, but still have your own private space with ensuite bathroom! The staff is very friendly and beds were comfy. Plus, you’ll have one of the coolest cafés just across the road: Kolma Café. But it’s a bit out of the main area in town, so consider renting a scooter to get around.
– Find it on Booking.com!
- Funky & Fun: Indiana Café & Dorm ($) offers colorful 10 bed-dorms, amazing vegan breakfast, such as smoothie bowls and more, scooter rental and help with activities around the island. It’s a 5 minute walk to the beach and the airport is only 8 km away.
– Find in on Booking.com!
- Central & cheap: Boxpackers Hostel ($) is the ultimate backpacker’s heaven – including a spacious backyard with a snack bar, free use of the washing mashine, a shared kitchen and a tour desk. Guests can choose between dorm rooms or comfortable double rooms with shared bathrooms.
– Find in on Booking.com!
- Stylish & spacious: Lot 33 Boutique Hotel ($$) Located at the south end of Tengah Beach, this inviting hotel is a real eye-candy offering different room categories with flat-screen tv, toiletries, hait dryer and even an iron. It also features an outdoor swimming pool and an in-house restaurants, where guests can enjoy a fantastic meal.
– Find in on Booking.com!
- Relaxed & luxurious: Ambong-Ambong Rainforest Retreat ($$$) Money doesn’t matter and all you want is to pamper yourself? Then go for this adult-only boutique villa resort in the tropical south end of Langkawi! Get one of their cottages or the Rainforest Suite and enjoy the tranquility of this place, try one of their signature massages, the pool or their vegan in-house restaurant Pegaga Langkawi. What a good life!
– Find in on Booking.com!
Where to Eat Vegan
Unfortunately, Langkawi is not the most typical place for exciting vegan food in Southeast Asia. There are for sure restaurants that can adapt to a vegan lifestyle by omitting egg and chicken in their dishes, but sometimes there’s not much left except rice or noodles and carelessly arranges veggies.
So, good for you: I’ve checked out a great number of them to tell you which one is worth the visit.
In this list of my favorite vegan or vegan-friendly places you’ll find the best spots for breakfast, lunch or dinner on Malaysia’s most northern island.
Have a look and check them out.
Selamat makan – Enjoy!
Travel Tip: You love vegan food as much as I do? Then feel free to check out my Vegan Food Guides for your next vacation.
Best Vegan-Friendly Places for Breakfast
Address: Jalan Pantai Cenang – VIEW MAP.
Opening hours: 9am- 1pm, wednesdays closed.
Nicely hidden in a side street, artsy Indiana café features delicious vegan breakfast options in a laid-back setting. Indulge in a wide range of vegan brunch classics, like fluffy pancakes, overnight oats and probably the best smoothie bowls on Langkawi while enjoying the garden view.
Smiling Buffalo Café
Address: 965, Jalan Pantai Chenang, Langkawi – VIEW MAP.
Opening hours: Every day from 8am – 5pm.
Situated at the far north end of Pentai Beach, relaxed Smiling Buffalo Café has it all: Speciality coffee, an extensive All-Day Breakfast and different outdoor seating areas set in a beautiful garden with rustic decor. I’ve tried the Mango Pancake Waffle with coconut milk and was pretty happy with my choice. Enjoy!
Address: Jalan Pantai Tengah, Langkawi – VIEW MAP.
Opening hours: Thursday – Sunday 9am – 6pm. Sometimes they close earlier.
Simple and calming design with natural materials, friendly staff and really good locally sourced coffee in handmade mugs: I loved everything about Langkawi’s first fully vegan-only café! Choose between savory favorites like smoked carrot bagels or avocado on toast or treat yourself with one of their heavenly pastries from the cake cabinet.
Best Vegan-Friendly Places for Lunch & Dinner
Address: Lot 33 Bistro & Bar, Jalan Teluk Baru, Langkawi – VIEW MAP.
Opening hours: 9am – 10pm, thursdays closed.
Membawang’s food does not only look phenomenal, it also tastes amazing. The menu consists of creative all-day breakfast options, colorful western food like wraps and pasta and much more. The place itself is part of the Lot 33 Bistro & Bar and a real zen heaven.
Vegan options include eggplant, tempeh & tofu curry, spicy vegan quinoa wrap or vegan pomodoro pasta. When I visited they created a totally individual dish for me: vegan tofu mee curry.
And by far, this was the best meal I had on Langkawi!
Address: 4, Jalan Pantai Tengah, Langkawi – VIEW MAP.
Opening hours: 10am – 12pm, mondays closed.
Authentic and delicious food, made with love. The restaurant itself is pretty unspectacular, but what you get for your money is more than covincing! Bobi’s offers Malaysian, Indonesian and Western classics as well as a list of vegan options like burgers, curries and fried rice/noodles. Had to go back, because it was that good & cheap!
Address: 2461, Jalan Pantai Tengah, Langkawi – VIEW MAP.
Opening hours: Every day from 12am – 12pm.
The best spot for a sunset dinner! Don’t expect haute cuisine, this trendy place is known for its waterside location and view of Tengah Beach. Hidden’s menu consists mainly of western food like pizza, pasta & salads and some vegan options like pasta & salad, too. So get your beer ready and watch the show, have fun!
Address: Jalan Pantai Chenang, Langkawi – VIEW MAP.
Opening hours: 12am – 12pm.
Facing the busy Pantai beach promenade, this syrian restaurant is very popular among travellers and locals alike. I know it’s obviously not the type of food you might think of when in Malaysia, but OMG this vegan hummus and falafel plate was to die for! It’s a little bit more pricey but I say it was worth it, especially when you are craving for some noodle and rice alternatives as I did that day.
Address: Ambong-Ambong Rainforest Retreat, Jl. Teluk Baru, Langkawi – VIEW MAP.
Opening hours: Every day from 8am – 3pm. No dinner available!
Pegaga is the 100 % plant-based in-house restaurant of Ambong-Ambong Rainforest Retreat and set in a lush jungle with sea views. An absolute must-visit for every vegan foodie travelling to Langkawi! The menu includes locally sourced soul food such as Sweet Potato Tahini Salad, Rainforest Green Curry, Tempeh Mushroom Rendang and much more.
Vegetarian Melior Café in Langkawi’s capital Kuah serves home-cooked, plant-based happy food. Try mouthwatering Vegan Meatball Spaghetti, Dumpling Bowl or lesser-known dishes like Black Vinegar & Ginger Clay Pot. Everything is made from fresh local produce and is high in quality & taste!
The Ultimate 3-Day Itinerary
This area is blessed with magnificent mountains, long beaches and fun activities! So staying on Langkawi Island for 3 full days is the perfect amount of time to tick all the boxes.
Day 1: Cenang Beach & Kilim Geoforest Park
On your first day it’s best to get aquainted with the main area around Pentai Cenang Beach. So start your day with a fueling smoothie bowl for breakfast at Indiana Café & Dorm and head to Cenang Beach for a morning stroll.
If you love adrenaline then you’ll love all the opportunities there – parasailing, kayaking or banana boat riding? Have a go!
Or cruise along spectacular mangrove forests while exploring Langkawi’s rich biodiversity at Kilim Geoforest Park. There are different tour operators offering 2-, 3- and 4-hour trips to famous Bats Cave, Crodile Cave, Dangli Island and many more places.
So book your favorite package or just hire a charter boat for your own route. The more people you find, the cheaper it gets. (10 max.)
Day 2: Cable Car, Sky Bridge & Telaga Waterfall
The second day is going to be adventure-filled! Visit Smiling Buffalo Café for some delicious pancakes in their unique back garden before heading to Langkawi’s probably most famous (and most expensive) sightseeing spot: SkyCab & SkyBridge.
Be prepared for some crowds, so come early. Get your ticket at the counter and enjoy the very thrilling cable car ride up the mountain. You’ll first have to get off at the first level, which already opens up a beautiful view, then queue up again for the cable car to bring you up to the very top.
Like I said, it is very touristy. So why doing it? The view is simply a-ma-zing! From the top at 708m above sea level you’ll be able to see the entire archipelago of small islands scattered around Langkawi and even the south of Thailand.
If you’re not afraid of heights keep going to Sky Bridge, the world’s longest curved bridge and most spectacular pedestrian bridge. (But first queue up again at the Ticketing counter…)
And enjoy the view! 🙂
Prices per person
Cable Car: 33 MYR/adult
SkyBridge: 6 MYR/adult, 4 MYR/child
For the perfect ending to an exciting day, check out Pantai Tengah Beach just before sunset and enjoy an icecold beer at Hidden Langkawi.
Day 3: Kuah Park, Eagle Square & Wat Koh Wanararm
First things first! Get a cup of freshly brewed coffee in a handmade mug and fresh cinnamon rolls at Kolma Café. It’s such a nice setting that you probably don’t want to leave again.
When you’re ready to tackle the day, rent a scooter (if you haven’t already) and drive to Kuah Town, Langkawi’s capital. Walk through beautiful CHOGM Park and have a look at the famous Eagle Square before proceeding to Wat Koh Wanararm just out of town.
From there you’d have the opportunity to do a little hike to Gunung Kuang Trail Head if you feel like it.
For a tasty vegan lunch go to Melior Café and tickle your tastebuds with a quality meal.
Or if you’d like it more fancy on your last night, drive back to your hood and check out Pegaga Langkawi. Their menu consists of locally sourced plant-based soulfood that does not only make vegans happy. So good!
What else To Do
On almost every day of the week you’ll find another night market on Langkawi. They are not as big and colorful as you might know them from Thailand, but they give you a taste of typical Malay dishes nontheless.
Monday: This busy but rather small night market in Ulu Melaka showcasts authentic snacks, sweets and savory dishes right next to a mosque. So you’re better off covering your shoulders and knees. – VIEW MAP.
Wednesday & Saturday: The night market in Kuah Town is the biggest one on the island and takes place twice a week. You can find all kinds of fried food, Durian with rice and other typical dishes as well as toys, cigarettes and more. – VIEW MAP.
Thursday: If you stay at Cenang Beach, that would be the closest one. Food stalls contain exotic fruits, Nasi Lemak, Satay or other meaty or non-meaty street food classics. – VIEW MAP.
Friday: This night market in the north-east operates from 5 pm on friday night until late. It offers clothes, seafood, fried meals and lots of dessert options. Nothing spectacular but good for a fun night out. – VIEW MAP.
My favorite vegan things to eat at night markets were Char Kway Teow, a Malaysian rice noodle dish (say without egg) and Apam Balik aka the most delicious peanut pancakes. Just make sure they use margarine and not butter to fry them.
Langkawi is the ideal starting point to explore even more islands of Langkawi’s archipelago. Just a short boat ride away you’ll encounter tranquil beaches, unique rock formations as well as wildlife sanctuaries giving home to eagles, monkeys, hornbills, snakes, monitor lizards, peacocks, and many more.
The five most popular islands among them are Pulau Payara Island, Pulau Dayang Bunting, Pulau Singa Besar Island, Pulau Lembu aswell asl Pulat Tempor.
There are no public ferries operating between the main island of Langkawi and its small neighbours, so it’s best to charter a boat for your trip. Go to Teluk Baru Jetty in Pantai Tengah or Kuah Jetty in Kuah Town and ask for a half-day tour to your prefered island(s).
They offer bigger boats to share with others or more expensive private speedboats.
Prices per person
Half-day island Hopping Tour – around 100 MYR
Faster speedboat – MYR 650 and MYR 1200
Boat trip to Kilim Geoforest Park
Another popular activity on Langkawi Island is a mangrove tour through Kilim Geoforest Park on the east side, just 20 minutes off Kuah Town. The conservation area was launched by UNESCO and comprises a rich biodiversity of Mangrove & Limestone Flora and Fauna.
There are different tours of 2, 3 or 4 hours including a River cruise, Eagle Watching and an excursion to Bats Cave, Crocodile cave and other sights depending on the tour package.
The price starts at 250 MYR for a 2-hour boat charter for max. 10 people. So gather some family, friends or strangers and hop on a boat to paradise.
For more active adventurers, there are great hiking trails all around the island.
Whether you like to challenge yourself or you’re just here for the views – Pulau Langkawi offers plenty of hiking trails, ranging from easy hikes to temple Wat Koh Wanararm and the orchid farm to a more difficult hike to Gunung Machinchang and everything in between.
Just be aware of leeches and bring plenty of water when exploring the wild nature.
Find here a more extensive list of all the top trails.
Travel Tip: If you’re into hiking, why not visiting Cameron Highlands? See my Travel Guide for the best 2-day itinerary.
I hope you enjoyed reading it and got some inspiration for your next trip. Feel free to contact me on Instagram (@eat.travel.flow) if you have any travel related questions or simply leave a comment below.
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