Langkawi is known for its beachfront resorts and laid-back atmosphere, but did you know there are plenty of places to explore beyond the usual (and often overpriced) tourist zones? Check out our video and click on to the next pages for recommendations!
Take a short hike through the Dayang Bunting(Pregnant Maiden) Marble Geoforest Park
If you’ve seen the Disney movie Moana, you might remember the goddess Te Fiti, who assumed the form of a lush green island. Langkawi has its very own version of this, the Dayang Bunting island, or ‘Pregnant Maiden’ island, named because it appears to take on the form of a pregnant woman lying down. The famous lake that lies next to the island is one of the main attractions of the park, but there are also mangroves and caves accessible by foot or kayak that are worth exploring. You’ll find plenty of opportunities to get close to monkeys, so remember to hide the snacks! Case in point: we only had one packet of biscuits with us, and that was quickly snatched away! If you’re lucky you might spot other forms of wildlife, like the rather elusive hornbill.
Drift around the scenic Dayang Bunting lake via pedal boat
This lake, dubbed Lake of the Pregnant Maiden, is accessible from the Marble Geoforest Park entrance, with an entry fee of RM5 for adults and RM3 for kids. Rumour has it that if you take a dip in the lake, the chances of you getting pregnant will increase! There’s actually a sad, but cool ancient myth behind the island and lake: it was said that the celestial Princess Mambang Sari married a mortal prince, Mat Teja, and they had a son. Sadly, the baby passed away and was left in the lake to rest in peace. It was also said that the princess blessed the lake, giving infertile women the ability to bear children after bathing in the lake.
Even if having children isn’t on your ‘to-do’ list anytime soon, the lake still provides a stunning and tranquil view! There are solar panelled pedal boats available for rent and makes it easy to travel around the area. If you’d prefer to swim or stick to one area, there are also life jackets available for rent at RM5 each. If you’re not squeamish at all, you might be interested in a natural foot spa: there’s a separate small lake that homes catfishes who can give your feet a polish!
Spend a relaxing afternoon on Beras Basah island
This large untouched island is surrounded by clear blue waters and fine white sand. There are no toilets on the island, so bear that in mind before you make your trip! There are, however, fresh coconuts for sale, plenty of palm trees to take shade under and water sport equipment for rent, such as kayaks. There is a restricted area for the island’s locals, so be mindful not to trespass, but there’s still plenty of space for you to relax on the sand– just bring a book or some speakers! Boats to Beras Basah are available from Cenang Beach or the nearby Teluk Baru jetty on Langkawi’s main island.
Stay at the Tubotel
Overlooking Cenang Beach, this cosy and colourful budget hotel is pretty unique: as well as mixed and all-girl shared dorms, you can opt to book your own private capsule room! Inspired by Dasparkhotel in Austria, the cylindrical compact rooms are constructed out of concrete, are big enough to fit a bed for two and come with two electrical sockets, a light, air con and cool pop art paintings. There are both garden view and beach view tubes– we especially liked the beachside tubes as you can fall asleep much easier with the sound of crashing waves in the background. The main communal area has WiFi access, a pool table, dining tables to enjoy breakfast or lunch (exclusive to guests) and board games to enjoy with new and old friends! You will have to use shared bathrooms, but there are plenty for everyone and each cubicle comes outfitted with a shower, toilet bowl and sink. We think this experience takes glamping to a whole new level.
Explore the wacky Upsidow tourist attraction
Psst… We’re one of the first to get the scoop on this brand new attraction, situated on top of a hill overlooking Langkawi International Airport and accessible from the Jalan Padang Matsirat highway. Fully constructed out of recycled materials, namely shipping crates, and put together by tourist volunteers, the Upsidow house is a little dizzying, but totally fun! Though not fully furbished yet (you might only want to start checking it out from June onwards), the rooms have already mostly been constructed. The floors are slightly sloped, adding even more of a vertiginous effect. Snap a pic of yourself standing near the furniture and decor, which are all secured to the ceiling, and you’ll have people wondering how you managed to walk on walls! There are also food trucks selling comfort food faves, like burgers, pasta, pizza and tacos, so be sure to stop by for lunch or dinner too.