Across Land & Sea Travel Blog

Why we didn't love Langkawi

After a vomit-inducing boat trip across from Penang (we really should have taken a flight), we were hoping that Langkawi would be worth the journey. Unfortunately, for us it was a disappointment.

There are a number of reasons why, and whilst some of them were down to our own planning, we hope this will help people make their own decision as to whether Langkawi will meet their expectations. 


There’s a crocodile ‘adventure land’, a wildlife park and eagle feeding (bit hunks of chicken chucked into the water to lure them near the boat for pictures). Recently, a story regarding an abused elephant has hit the news headlines, and we’re not surprised. There’s animal cruelty in a lot of places across the world, but in Langkawi it was widely advertised and there was so much of it for such a small island.


We took a boat tour in Kilim Geoforest Park. Our guide was uninterested and there wasn’t a huge amount to see (compared to other amazing parks in the world). The cable car and viewing platform and numerous waterfalls around the island were also so-so.


We had just stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel in Batu Ferringhi, Penang, and weren’t fussed that the beach it backed on to was mediocre. We’d heard great things about the beaches in Langkawi and were keen to see what all the fuss was about. As it turns out, the beaches were a massive anti-climax and there are a number of signs warning against jellyfish and sea lice. We would rather visit Woolacombe or Crantock beach in England!


The main drag of restaurants, bars and tour companies was uninspiring to us.


There is no public transport on the island so your main options are taking expensive taxis or hiring a car or scooter. We hired a car for a day to explore the island, and whilst it was good to have our own wheels, there wasn’t many places were ended up enjoying going.


Most of the meals we had in Langkawi were lacklustre, apart from one good dinner at The Cliff Restaurant & Bar.


This final point is likely to do with when we visited (September). Although it wasn’t particularly rainy, there was quite a lot of fog and wind. It also felt like nothing was going on, and a lot of bars and restaurants were shut. Definitely visit in the high season if you want any sort of atmosphere.

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