Let your cares drift away as you discover a level of relaxation that only holidays in Langkawi can provide...
Made up of 99 islands located off the north-west coast of Malaysia, the archipelago of Langkawi is lapped by the warm and calm waters of the Andaman Sea. Nearly all tourists stay on the main island, where there are plenty of hotels and some luxury resorts with private beaches that cater for holidaymakers who really want to get away from it all. For a more authentic experience, however, you may prefer to stay in one of the traditional Malaysian villas on stilts.
When it comes to getting around the island, following the locals' lead may also prove the best option. With their links to home, cars seem to spoil the atmosphere of Langkawi holidays, so most tourists hire mopeds to transport them from place to place. Rental is inexpensive and a quick lesson will soon have you on your way.
Malaysian food has enjoyed something of a renaissance over the past 20 years, and many of the restaurants of Langkawi – several of which back on to the paper-white beaches – are pioneers of this culinary revolution. Lobster is a local speciality, but be sure to study the menus carefully before making your choice. The talented chefs often offer a range of delights exclusive to their restaurants.
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Book a Langkawi holiday at any time – the islands aren’t as affected by monsoon season as the mainland...
Temperatures in Langkawi vary very little throughout the year. Daytime highs reach up to 35C, dropping to about 28C at night. Most of the annual rainfall occurs in September and October, which is regarded as monsoon season in this part of the world. However, Langkawi's sheltered geography means it isn't hit as hard as the Malaysian mainland.
The locals know how to make the most of their surroundings with a great calendar of events...
Langkawi International Water Festival; March: This highly amusing event involves a host of competitions all based around the sea. You can see anything from handmade canoe races to sandcastle building – if it's fun and involves sand or water, it's probably happening here.
Langkawi Wilderness Challenge; May: Super-tough athletes from all over the world train for months before descending upon Langkawi for this gruelling race, which involves hiking, running, mountain-biking, kayaking and swimming.
Hari Raya Aidilfitri; October: One of the biggest events in the Malaysian calendar, Hari Raya is a two-day national holiday marking the end of Ramadan. Locals put on huge feasts as large crowds take to the streets to party.
Although Langkawi is regarded as a laidback paradise, you’ll find there’s plenty on offer for the more active holidaymaker...
Grown-up families: Older children will enjoy scaling the 125m-high sky bridge for unrivalled views across the Gunung Mat Chinchang peaks and the jungle wilderness surrounding them.
Relaxing: The clear shallows around Langkawi are perfect for snorkelling or swimming, although it is sensible to take care in the deeper waters, as currents can be strong. The palm-lined white beaches, meanwhile, are even better for lazing about on.
Active types: Take a diving trip and see turtles or black-tip reef sharks up close and personal at the Pulau Payar Marine Park.