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 you decide whether Langkawi should make it onto your itinerary.


Okay, straight in with the big one.

There’s a crocodile ‘adventure land’ and questionable eagle feeding (big chunks of chicken are hurled into the water to lure them near boats for pictures). As soon as we arrived on the island, we were stuck by the large amount of advertising for such attractions. A story regarding an abused elephant hit the news headlines a couple of years ago.

there are Limited ATTRACTIONS

During our few days in Langkawi, we took a boat tour in Kilim Geoforest Park. Our guide was uninterested and there wasn’t a huge amount to see, but it was okay. The cable car and viewing platform, and numerous waterfalls around the island, were also so-so, and you can likely have similar experiences elsewhere in Malaysia.

The BEACHES were disappointing

We had just stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel in Batu Ferringhi, Penang, and we 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'll stick to Woolacombe or Crantock beach in South West England!

PENTAI CENANG isn't everyone's cup of tea

The main drag of restaurants, bars and tour companies was uninspiring to us, it almost felt our of place. We couldn't put our finger on it. In addition, most of the meals we had in Langkawi were lacklustre, apart from one good dinner at The Cliff Restaurant & Bar.

There's a LACK OF public TRANSPORT

When we visited, there was no public transport operating on the island. 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, nowhere we visited changed our mind about the island. 


I've included this point purely so you don't make the same mistakes as us! Although it wasn’t particularly rainy, there was quite a lot of fog and wind when we visited in September. 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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