How To Plan A Memorable Family Vacation In Langkawi With Kids
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When planning a family holiday in Southeast Asia, there are so many beautiful places to choose from. Langkawi in Malaysia isn’t usually the first place people think of, but that is exactly the reason why it’s the perfect place to visit with the family.
Although most famous for its beaches, Langkawi has an incredible array of attractions that are fun for the whole family; from taking a cable car up the mountain to visiting the penguins at Water World, there is much to see and enjoy here for the whole family – even if you have small children.
But a family vacation with kids can be stressful, if you don’t go fully prepared. If you’re thinking of visiting Langkawi with kids, you’re onto a great idea, but there are a few things you should note down to make the trip run smoothly.
In this guide, I’ll be sharing our tips for visiting Langkawi as a family and listing all the best family-friendly attractions in Langkawi.
How Do You Get to Langkawi, Malaysia?
Langkawi is an archipelago of 99 islands located 33km off the northwest coast of mainland Malaysia. Most of these islands are uninhabited, so people tend to visit Pulau Langkawi or the main Langkawi Island.
There are multiple ways to get there, but assuming you are coming internationally, you’re going to want to fly there.
You will find there are flights to Langkawi from both Kuala Lumpur and Penang several times a day. Most likely, you will fly from Kuala Lumpur.
The flight takes approximately 40-minutes from Kuala Lumpur International Airport and approximately 25 minutes from Penang International Airport.
For the best deals, look at airlines such as Air Asia, Malindo Air, and Firefly. With Air Asia, be mindful of the weight of your luggage, and though the flights may seem less expensive than its competition, hidden surcharges add up, and so do the math pre-booking.
You can also get a ferry from Penang or Kuala Perlis, Satun or Kuala Kedah on the mainland of Malaysia, or even from the island of Koh Lipe in Thailand. Ferry schedules can be found here.
Things to Do in Langkawi With Kids
Langkawi is a rather big island, and being a UNESCO Geopark, there is an abundance of natural beauty to take in. So if you’re not sure what activities in Langkawi to add to your itinerary, here are some of our favourites…
1. Check out the Oriental Village
oriental village on the island of Langkawi.
This fabricated village is geared toward visitors who may want to do something other than lounging at the pool or getting sun at the beach. The property is done beautifully, with its Alps-style aesthetic.
It sits at the base and has a great vantage point to gaze upon Mount Machincang with an elevation of 2,339 feet.
Within the village, there are many shops and some eateries.
There are also activities well-suited for families. A wonderful place for the family to spend a few hours out of the sweltering sun in the kitschy 3-D museum.
It’s hours of fun, taking pictures and making silly poses in front of some inventive artwork by some of the best 3-D artists in Asia
The main attraction, however, is the cable car (also known as the Langkawi Skycab), which is boasted as being the steepest cable car, and longest free span mono-rail cable car, in the world. In the ascending gondolas, the riders are given the opportunity to appreciate the island from up high.
There are many ranges of gondolas, from private two-seaters with lounge chairs to a private group glass-bottom gondola, to traditional gondolas. You can also choose whether to get off at the middle station and hike up the rest of the way, or go straight to the top station.
The costs, of course, vary, but by our estimation, the traditional was just fine.
Upon reaching the top, for more exhilarating views, there is the sky bridge, which ranks as one of the world’s longest suspension skybridge.
The incredible views are spectacular, but a warning to those who suffer from a bit of acrophobia, it’s a knee-knocking height, so be prepared.
All the kids, however, including our daughter, seemed to have loved it.
2. Take a Sunset Boat Cruise
There are plenty of water-based activities on the island of Langkawi, but we recommend you take a boat tour to really experience the beauty of the island and its landscape. There are many options, but for families, the four-hour sunset tour is the best. It gives the family an opportunity to see the beautiful coastline and the diverse topography of Langkawi.
The captain and its awesome crew also give the passengers some information on what they’re seeing and also give them some fun time by letting them jump off the boat and swim in the beautifully clear, warm water.
The staff on board are all very professional and make sure everyone is always safe during this session.
They are also very attentive and are always serving drinks, and snacks along the way.
A wonderful meal is prepared on board and served on the top deck for the best sunset views. It is one of the best 4 hours a family can spend together.
A luxurious experience that every family deserves to have every once in a while.
3. Go Island Hopping on a Jet Ski Tour
With the use of the jet-ski, a guide takes you jetskiing out to 8 of the 99 islands of Langkawi. It’s both thrilling and educational.
This activity, however, is limited to children 10 and up, as the ride gets fast and the water somewhat choppy at times.
Island stops include Eagle Island, where a multitude of these regal creatures soars in the air. Langkawi, loosely translated, means eagles rock. So no surprise as to the number we saw during our visit.
Others include a private beach, where there is snorkeling to be done, to a lake where on the outskirts are monkeys driving tourists crazy by snatching at their bags of food.
Watching it happen is always good for a laugh, and children are kept fascinated by their antics.
The best part of the island hopping tour was being able to jet-ski through some beautiful grottos and rock formations that would otherwise be unreached by a vehicle any larger.
Fantastic, to say the very least. Makes one really appreciate the awesomeness of the sea.
4. Visit Underwater World Langkawi
Underwater World Langkawi is probably the most famous attraction on the island and an unmissable place to take your kids to. It’s not only Malaysia’s largest aquarium but the largest marine and freshwater aquarium in South East Asia.
It opened in 1995 and is dedicated to research, development, and education toward marine life conservation.
It’s made up of three sections, the Tropical Rainforest and River Ecosystem exhibit, the Temperate and Sub-Antarctic exhibit, and the Marine Section. You can see hundreds of species of marine life here, including sharks, turtles, and even penguins.
A trip to the aquarium will surely be a crowd-pleaser in your family!
5. Take a Kilim Karst Geoforest Park and Langkawi Mangrove Tour
Many people don’t know this about Langkawi, but it’s actually a UNESCO Global Geopark made from dramatic limestone rock formations that jut out of the ocean.
The land is not only beautiful, but ancient, and from certain parts of the island, you can see where ancient coral was pushed out of the ocean millions of years ago. This coral then sprouted plant life, creating a unique species of plant that you won’t find anywhere else in this world.
The Langkawi mangroves are those plants, and as you sail through the fascinating maze of tree roots and reeds, it’s amazing to think that they were formed over a millennia ago.
Your kids will enjoy the boat ride, but mom and dad may appreciate the natural phenomenon more!
6. See the animals at Langkawi Wildlife Park and Bird Paradise
Langkawi Wildlife Park and Bird Paradise is a must-see attraction in Langkawi with kids.
Housed in a beautiful park, which was once part of the Matsirat Royal Forest, this eco-educational tourist attraction boasts 5.5 acres of land, with several species of animal and over 1,500 birds.
While providing an exciting encounter with nature, the park also educates visitors on responsible travel and how to conserve Malaysia’s precious wildlife.
You can take a tour of the Bird Paradise area where Hornbills and Eagles can be seen in their natural habitats as you learn about their unique behaviors and diets.
The Otter Pond provides an interactive experience for guests; observe these playful mammals at rest or during feeding time, when they temporarily leave their pond.
A walk around the zoo part of the park, where guests can hand-field many animals such as ostriches, donkeys, and friendly deer.
7. Shop for Souvenirs in Kuah Town
Photo credit: Flickr
Every step taken in the lovely streets of Kuah Town, Langkawi is a rich journey through time. Kuak Town is the largest town in Langkawi and is where most people will first visit if they arrive by ferry to the island.
Today, its unique blend of colonial heritage and marvelous natural attractions makes it one of the best places to explore in Malaysia.
You can take a stroll down the waterfront promenade while enjoying its bustling atmosphere.
There’s also ample opportunity to enjoy duty-free shopping or pick up souvenirs that have been made by generations of locals.
8. Relax on Pantai Cenang Beach
Of course, no trip to Langkawi would be complete without a trip to the beach. The most popular beach is Pantai Cenang Beach, which is also locally known as ‘The Beach of Fire’ because of the fire shows that are performed here at the night.
In the daytime, you can take part in many water activities and there are ample facilities, such as bathrooms with changing rooms, showers, and toilets.
The sand is clean and soft, and the water is clean and clear with gentle waves – what more could you want?
9. Visit the Crocodile Adventureland
Langkawi’s famous Crocodile Farm, Crocodile Adventureland, is an incredible place to see crocodiles and alligators up close. It has been around since 1993 and was founded as part of the Convention on International Trade and Endangered Species in an effort to conserve the wildlife population of crocs.
Today, it houses over 4,000 crocs, including one of the world’s biggest crocodiles in captivity, the “Bujang Lang”, which is a saltwater crocodile that weighs 1000 kilograms.
Highlights include the croc show, where you can see how high these giants can jump out of the water, as well as the crocodylus interpretation and educational show, and photo opportunities with baby crocs!
10. See the rice fields at Laman Padi
The Laman Padi is an open-air museum where visitors can see the beauty of the rice paddy up close. It offers an educational glimpse into the history of rice cultivation, in which tourists can learn more through guided tours and hands-on activities.
It doesn’t take a long time to explore and it’s a fascinating attraction for anyone whose interested in Asia’s rice-growing industry.
It also offers a stunning backdrop for family photos.
Check out these most popular tours in Langkawi:
What to Pack on Your Trip to Langkawi with Kids
tropical island view
Langkawi is not just a beach destination, but an active one as well. It’s also a predominantly Muslim country, and so people dress conservatively here and expect tourists to do as well.
Here are some items we recommend you pack with you on your trip to Langkawi:
Light and casual clothing that covers the shoulders and knees. Don’t bother with smart clothes, even in the 5-star resorts, there is very little need for anything too dressy
It’s hot, so bring lots of reef-safe sunscreen
Comfortable walking shoes
Water shoes or sandals that you can swim in (to protect your feet from rocks and sharp coral)
A scarf to wear over your shoulders or wrap around your waist when visiting holy sites if you are a woman
Motion sickness tablets (if you get seasick on ferries)
Dry bag for storing things in on days to the beach
Where to Stay in Langkawi
Cenang beach, Langkawi, Malaysia
If you’re looking for a great family-friendly resort in Langkawi for kids, then the Berjaya Langkawi Resort is a great option.
The property is set between the coastline of the Andaman Sea and tropical rainforest. All rooms are Chalets that either face the sea or are set in the jungle in the forest.
There are swift makeshift golf carts that act as a shuttle to bring you to and from the main lodge from your chalet, where you will find dining options and a few bars.
At the foot of the main lodge are the private beach and the luxurious large pool.
There is wildlife everywhere, the most predominant are monkeys and monitor lizards. As opposed to taking the shuttle, we, as a family, opted to walk down the hill from our chalet daily and usually bump into one or two creatures.
Not to worry, they are not aggressive, just keep some distance.
The grounds are well maintained, and there is security everywhere, which makes the guests feel very comfortable.
The best option for food on the property is a Thai Restaurant set a few meters out into the sea called, Phan Thai. The food is good, the prices fair, and the view and vibe are everything one can ask for in a resort setting.
And when mum and dad need a break, there is a kid’s club and indoor play area for the kids to enjoy.
The Berjaya is a perfect choice of accommodation in Langkwai for kids of all ages.
Read TripAdvisor reviews for the Berjaya Langkawi here.
Book your stay at Berjaya Langkawi through Booking.com here
For more places to stay in Langkawi choose from the largest range of hotels, apartments, and guesthouses with our partner Booking.com. You get free cancelation on most rooms, and in most cases you only pay when you stay.
Food in Langkawi
Those visiting Langkawi with kids who are fussy eaters, don’t worry, we have your back. There are great food offerings from inexpensive hawker food stalls to high-end options at some of the 5-star resorts.
Our favorite spot is a local favorite named, Seashells Restaurant, where you sit crossed-legged and eat with your hands, outside, under a wooden gazebo.
The cuisine served is absolutely delicious. Order the fried chicken and the crabs which are their specialty, and don’t forget to get some coconut rice to go along with it.
However, if there is one quintessential dish that needs to be tried, it is a soup called, Laksa. It’s Malaysia in a soup bowl.
The taste profile is a fine mix of Chinese and Indian cuisine. The broth is a fish and tamarind base and has an almost cream-like texture created by coconut milk. The protein of choice is usually fish or chicken.
Watch out, though, it can be very spicy if not modified to taste. The locals love it really hot!
Final Thoughts on Visiting Langkawi With Kids
If you and your family are looking for a place where you can enjoy nature and all its wildlife, along with some beach time, Langkawi is a great place for this.
As you can see from the attractions on this list, there is so much more to see and do than just sit on a beach. The island is packed with adventures and family-friendly entertainment, so make sure you leave your resort and go exploring.
We hope this guide helped you to see that Langkawi is the perfect family holiday and resort destination, and gave you many reasons not to overlook Langkawi.
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Can you share any other tips for a visit to Langkawi with kids? Let us know in the comments!