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Cruises to Langkawi are the perfect way to see and experience the magic of Malaysia while exploring this nature-filled region’s 100 or so myth-shrouded islands and tropical splendor. Langkawi, also known as the “Jewel of Kedah”, is an archipelago off the northwest coast of Malaysia, famous for its breathtaking beaches, lush tropical rainforests, mouth-watering local cuisine, and biodiversity. Langkawi also offers fantastic duty-free and market shopping options, as well as hand-made artisan gifts at places like the Atma Alam Batik Village in the city of Kedah. Be sure to visit cultural heritage sites like Eagle Square, the Sri Murugan Temple, and the Mahsuri Tomb and Museum.
Langkawi has been awarded World Geopark status by UNESCO and is home to over 200 bird species, “flying” tree snakes, flying foxes, and even colorful flying dragons. Uncover dizzying panoramic views while suspended high over the rainforest as you walk the winding Langkawi Sky Bridge, or ride the SkyCab cable car for a thrilling adventure above the treeline. Sun-seekers can unwind on the beautiful white sands of Tanjung Rhu Beach, where calm blue waters are framed by craggy limestone rock formations. Discover the best of beautifully natural Malaysia on a luxury cruise to Langkawi with Celebrity
Eagle Square, also known as Dataran Lang, is one of the top sights in Kuah, the main town on Langkawi island. The square is home to a towering eagle statue that greets visitors as they come into port and symbolizes the region’s close relationship to nature and these mighty raptors. Eagle Square has a great walking area lined with miniature fountains, bridges, and terraces, and offers visitors great views of the Kuah Bay and the forested islands beyond. You’ll also find small souvenir stalls to browse here.
This island lies in the Straits of Malacca about 20 miles south of Langkawi and is the perfect getaway for a day trip while on a cruise. The island is famous for its vivid coral reefs, where divers and snorkelers can look for moray eels, clownfish, grouper and barracuda in the protected marine sanctuary. There are also incredible nature trails on land at Palau Payar, where dense rainforest frames sandy beaches lapped by turquoise and blue waters.
The Langkawi Sky Bridge is a 410-foot cable-stayed bridge that wraps like a snake above the treeline at the peak of Mount Mat Cincang (Gunung Mat Cincang). The bridge deck sits at a height of over 2,000 feet above sea level and offers unprecedented views of the island’s rich green forests, coastline, and villages. To reach the Sky Bridge, you’ll ride the thrilling Langkawi Cable Car from the base station at the Oriental Village shopping center down below.
The Langkawi Mangrove Forest, also known as the Kilim Geoforest Park, features a dense mangrove forest, multiple lagoons, and pristine beaches. Take a boat tour through emerald green waterways and learn from local experts about the park’s biodiversity, conservation, and history. The park is extensive, and you’ll be able to explore bat caves, observe snake habitats, and look out for monkeys scampering through the trees. You may also catch a glimpse of majestic kite eagles or white-bellied fish eagles as they perch on branches or swoop down on their prey.
Pantai Cenang is one of the most lively beaches in all of Langkawi. Go for a fun and fast jet-ski around the shores of this stunning white sand beach, or take a banana boat ride with friends. If you really want some thrills and spectacular views, try paragliding high above the surf and seaside treeline, then lie out on the beach with a refreshing tropical cocktail. There are also guided snorkeling tours available for both beginners and experts, and fascinatingg underwater sea life you can observe nearby.
If you’re looking for more of an active adventure while on a cruise to Langkawi, try a nature hike around the Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls. These falls are fed by seven different sources on Mount Mat Cincang and culminate in a stunning cascade of water that pours down magnificently shaped rocks. The Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls are located in the rural western section of the island, near the Langkawi Sky Bridge. To reach the falls you’ll need to do a short hike (around 20 to 30 minutes), so make sure to bring comfortable shoes.
Local food in Langkawi embraces many traditional Malay spices and flavors with an emphasis on fresh fruits, fish, and curries. You’ll also find many international food options near the Langkawi port, including good Chinese food, Thai food, and BBQ. Make sure to try classic local dishes like nasi lemak, consisting of fragrant coconut milk rice cooked in a pandan leaf, or pajeri nenas, a pineapple curry made with star anise and ginger. This is the tropics, so try a refreshing water chestnut juice or an ice-cold Tiger beer between stops as you tour the island on a cruise to Langkawi.
Langkawi is known as an island of legends, and its history and culture both reflect this in lore, architecture, and art. For many years, the island was ruled by the Islamic Sultanate of Kedah, and later by the British during the colonial period of the early 20th century. Langkawi was briefly ruled by Thailand, although its Thai influence and cultural roots go far beyond that. Modern Langkawi’s culture is marked by a focus on maritime commerce and tourism, and it is one of the busiest and most visited islands in Malaysia, for good reason.
Langkawi’s cruise ship jetty is located just under 10 miles southwest of Kuah, the island’s principal city, on the southwestern tip of the island. This is really just a point for embarking and disembarking your ship, with easy access to shuttles and taxis at the terminal. You can also get to Kuah and many of the surrounding islands via ferry if you wish.
Public transportation isn’t always reliable in Langkawi, but this shouldn’t be an issue thanks to an abundance of other options. Tour buses and taxis will meet you right at the dock, and you can also rent a car or motorbike. Taxis have fixed rates. When driving, be diligent and mindful about local traffic laws and often chaotic roads. As it’s hot and humid year-round, don’t overestimate the amount of walking you might want to do. There are bicycle options in some areas, and bikes are a great way to get around the boardwalk on the waterfront area near the terminal.
There are many great shopping options available on cruises to Langkawi, with great duty-free offerings as well. You’ll find lots of popular international brands at the Langkawi Fair Shopping Mall, or Jetty Point Complex next to the Kuah Jetty and Eagle Square. For more of an artisan shopping experience, head to the Atma Alam Batik Village, a batik textile factory with a showroom that features exquisite, authentic textiles, bags, paintings, purses, and more.
The local currency in Langkawi is the Malaysian ringgit, and cash can be withdrawn fairly easily from numerous ATMs spread throughout the capital of Kuah and other popular tourist towns. Cards are accepted by most restaurants, hotels, and major tour companies. For smaller merchants and taxis, it’s recommended to use cash. Tipping, as in the rest of Malaysia, is not customary, but small tips for restaurant servers, hotel staff, and tour guides are always appreciated.