Long Haul: visiting Langkawi, Malaysia

My blog posts seem to be piling up on me these days, there just never seems to be the time to write lately, but I’m trying to catch up and I thought before I head off for this summer’s adventures that it was about time I wrote about last summer’s trip to Langkawi! Better late than never, eh?!

I have a bit of a thing about Malaysia. I LOVED Kuala Lumpur the first time we went. There was just something about it that really captured my heart and stuck in my mind, and ever since then I’ve had my sights set on exploring a bit more of Malaysia, so after weighing up various options, we decided on Langkawi for our summer family holiday. We’d also considered Penang, or a holiday split between both Langkawi and Penang (which in hindsight would have probably been better), but with an almost four year old in tow, we really couldn’t face the thought of travelling around too much and having to take not one, but two internal flights during the trip to make this happen. After a busy year it was definitely a relaxing holiday that we needed.

We stayed at the Four Seasons Langkawi after reading reports that it was situated on one of the best (private) beaches around, and that was certainly true. And there’s no doubt that the hotel was beautiful, and had everything we needed – but, well… if I’m honest I felt it was a little overhyped. And although it may be the best hotel on the island by all reports, we came away feeling that it wasn’t quite up to the same mark of other hotels in the same category that we have stayed in previously.

We found Langkawi very beautiful, and relaxing – and there is also plenty to do outside the resorts – although it’s worth noting that activities with younger children are a little limited as they mostly tend to be geared towards long hikes or adventure sports.

We took a trip out to the Langkawi Sky bridge which was fun, getting there by cable car and looking out with views all over the island. But, cantilevered between two mountains, it’s not for the faint hearted!

The weather is also quite quick to change at that height and even though we chose one of the clearest, sunniest days to go up the mountain, by the time we reached the top, we found ourselves with heavy mist and clouds quickly closing in!

One of the other highlights of Langkawi for me was taking a cycle tour around the local village. We do love to get out on two wheels on holiday and explore the local areas a bit, so I’d highly recommend doing that to see a side of a place that you wouldn’t otherwise see.

Another thing you definitely can’t miss is a visit to the Langkawi Geopark. We did a tour through the mangrove park with the Four Seasons in-house marina biologist which was amazing to have the opportunity to not only see this incredible marine parkland its native animals, but also to learn a lot of interesting facts about the history and surrounding flora and fauna. And monkeys, everyone loves monkeys!

Night markets are something that Langkawi has plenty of, and they rotate around island locations on different days, so wherever you stay you should easily be able to catch one. The market was mostly a local type – with fruit, veg, food stalls, toys and knick knacks as opposed to the souvenir type markets you’d find in cities like Bangkok, but it was still worth a look from the people watching aspect and for trying out some of the local delicacies!

And one of the funniest parts of staying at the Four Seasons was the visitors we’d get at our door in the late afternoons! My son loved seeing the monkeys come and say hello!

So would I recommend Langkawi? Well, I would, for a few nights or no longer than a week. I think anything longer is a bit much, and that’s the mistake we made, despite not wanting to be on the go too much. In the end, although we hadn’t planned to visit Kuala Lumpur on the trip we decided to leave Langkawi a few days early to spend a few days in the capital and revisit some of the places we’d loved so much the first time round, which, in my opinion, really finished our trip off nicely. We’d thought that doing both Langkawi and Penang would be a bit much for a two week trip, but in hindsight it probably wasn’t, but it really depends what you’re looking for. Penang has plenty of culture and a thriving social scene for foodies, while Langkawi has the best beaches.

Long haul from Abu Dhabi: highlights and holiday activities for families with young kids on the beautiful island of Langkawi, Malaysia.

Let me know your thoughts and comments here!

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