Like emeralds strung out among the deep turquoise of the Andaman Sea the 99 islands of Langkawi are pure holiday gems. Coconut palms dapple the unspoilt beaches while white-sailed yachts ferry snorkelers and sun-worshippers between the peaceful islands. In the archipelago's lush interior, picturesque paddy fields are framed by jungle-clad hills. Add in the area's rare duty-free status and you've got a very beautiful yet very reasonable Langkawi holiday.
Things to do
Water sports in every form are at their best in Langkawi. The coral reefs that fringe many of the islands are a haven for jewel-like fish and stately turtles, drawing snorkelers and scuba-divers from the world over. Calm seas and ceaseless sunshine make kayaking and sailing popular here too. And after a long day, Langkawi transforms into a romantic paradise of beachfront bars and starlit seafood restaurants.
Food & restaurants
The Langkawi restaurant equation is a simple one – fresher-than-fresh seafood straight from the Andaman Sea plus Malaysia's melting pot of cuisines equals unbeatable dining. At the top end hotel restaurants like Ikan-Ikan serve up a top-notch melange of spicy eastern flavours in jaw-dropping oceanside settings. But you could stick a pin in a map of the 99 islands and somewhere there would be a beachfront shack frying up giant prawns, soft shell crabs and mussels to die for.
Langkawi hotels tend to reflect the island they call home. Those on the main island's town of Kuah are livelier and more reasonable – perfect bases for sunbathing and shopping by day and partying all night. If you feel like splashing out then one of the five-star spa hotels that cluster in Datai Bay will give you untouched rain forest, manicured golf courses and views all the ways to Thailand. And for the most peaceful of getaways remote Pantai Kok is as peaceful as it is beautiful.
Not many tropical paradises can claim to be known continent-wide for their shopping but Malaysia's decision to make the whole of Langkawi duty-free has turned it into a local retail destination. Alcohol, perfumes and chocolate are very reasonable here and the malls on the main island are a constant throng of excited shoppers. If you want something a little more traditional from your Langkawi shopping trip try the Temoyong Night Market where handicrafts and street-food make an unmissable combination.
Climb 700 metres up a jungle mountain ridge and take in the elegant bridge that snakes through treetops giving panoramic views over the Andaman Sea. This is the Langkawi Skybridge, a pedestrian walkway so high up that you need to take a cable car to reach it.
Langkawi Holiday Deals
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