Langkawi, the largest island on Malaysia’s west coast, is part of an archipelago of ninety-nine islands. Long the destination for the well-heeled, this lush island offers turquoise waters that lap onto long stretches of beaches and against vast jungle-topped limestone cliffs. Plus Langkawi offers island-wide duty-free shopping.
Must take a boat tour of Kilim Karst Geoforest Park
Touring the lushly hemmed waterways and tiny tributaries of the mountainous Kilim Karst Geoforest Park is both serene yet ripe with exciting anticipation. At any time you have a good chance of spotting a python or a large water monitor lizard while they rest on the twisted roots of mangroves.
The air is sprinkled with sounds of the blue and white colored kingfishers and other birds. The highlight (bird-wise) is spotting the eagles (the symbol of Langkawi). To ensure tourists get to see them they controversially throw bits of chicken skin at strategic points into the water so that eagles inevitably swoop above the tour boat.
Stop at the bat cave where mosquito-eating bat colonies hang down from the cave’s 550 million-year-old limestone ceiling or fly around. It is pungent yet awesome but be sure to keep your mouth closed as you look up in awe. Just saying. The surrounding sound is made by the thumb-sized cicadas.
There is a wooden bridge walkway that stretches over a mangrove where you can mingle with the long tail macaque monkeys as they frolic with some endearing abandon.
Must ride the Skycab cable car & cross the Skybridge
The Langkawi Skycab, tucked away in the Telaga Harbour area, near Burau Bay, is located in the Oriental Village – a shopping area with some small attractions. It carries you above the dense canopy of the Gunung Machincang rainforest. This is a truly steep ride up Mount Mat Cincang and you eventually arrive at the peak 708m above sea level. The view over the scattered islands from the viewing platforms is, as you can imagine, sensational.
If it’s a clear day, the coastline that emerges out of the horizon over the Andaman Sea belongs to South Thailand. The Skycap runs from 10 am to 7 pm, but if the day brings inclement weather, it may close, so do check first.
But there is more. It’s a little heady for some, but do ascend to the Top Station is one of the glass-bottomed gondolas. You can see the ancient jungle’s treetops below.
And there’s still more. Walk across curved 125-meter (410 feet) long Sky Bridge – most certainly one of the most famous landmarks on the island. This curved walkway dangles above a chasm from a single metal pylon and seems to wrap around the mountain.
Tip: The higher you go, the more chilly it gets. So take an extra layer just in case.