Island Hopping in Langkawi - 5 Best Sites & Tips

Located off the northwest coast of Malaysia, Langkawi Island is fairly an untouched natural paradise. It boasts of gorgeous waterfalls, lush jungle trails, and pristine beaches where you can sunbathe and unwind. It comprises of over 90 small, mostly uninhabited islands.

Island hopping is a popular activity here where you can visit five of Langkawi’s most beautiful islands: Pulau Dayang Bunting, Pulau Beras Basah, Pulau Singa Besar, Pulau Payar Marine Park, and Pulau Tuba.

Reaching Langkawi

Langkawi
Source

By Air

Located at Padang Matsirat, Langkawi Airport not only connects the city to major Malaysian cities like Kuala Lumpur and Penang but international destinations like Thailand and Singapore as well. There are regular and direct connections to this airport.

By Ferry

Ferry, Langkawi
Ferry in Langkawi (Source)
Since there are no road connections to the island, you will need to take a ferry to arrive from mainland Malaysia. There are ferries available from Kuala Kedah, Kuala Perlis, and Penang. There are paid parking services at these ferry terminals for a price of MYR 15 each day.

1. Kuala Kedah
The ferry from Kuala Kedah to Langkawi takes approximately 1 hour 45 minutes.

TYPEADULT TICKETCHILD TICKET
One wayMYR 23MYR 17
Two daysMYR 46MYR 34

Ferry Timings - 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM every day.

2. Kuala Perlis
The ferry from Kuala Perlis to Langkawi takes approximately 1 hour 15 minutes.

TYPEADULT TICKETCHILD TICKET
One wayMYR 18MYR 13 
Two wayMYR 36MYR 26

Ferry Timings - 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM every day.

3. Penang
The ferry from Penang to Langkawi takes approximately 3 hours.

TYPEADULT TICKETCHILD TICKETINFANT TICKET
One wayMYR 60MYR 45MYR 25
Two wayMYR 120MYR 90MYR 50
These prices don’t include a ‘port handling charge’ of MYR 13 for adults and MYR 9.9 for children.

Ferry Timings - 8:30 AM and 2:00 PM every day (It leaves Langkawi at 10:30 AM and 3:00 PM every day)

4. Satun
There is also a ferry from Satun, Thailand to Langkawi. It takes approximately 1 hour 30 minutes.

TYPEADULT TICKETCHILD TICKET
One wayMYR 35MYR 28
Two wayMYR 70MYR 56

Ferry Timings - 10:00 AM and 4:30 PM (Departure from Langkawi is at 9:30 AM and 5:15 PM every day)

Where to Begin?

There aren’t individual ferries that operate between Langkawi’s islands so you will have to charter a boat. You can begin at Teluk Baru Jetty in Pantai Tengah or Kuah Jetty in Kuah Town, the capital of Langkawi. From these jetties, you can opt for a large boat (that accommodates 20 people) or a small boat (that accommodates 8-10 people).

You can go island hopping in Langkawi through the year as long as the weather permits, and it would typically be 3 hours to 4 hours long depending on how long you stay at each island.

Prices per person
Half-day island Hopping Tour - MYR 80 to MYR 100
Opting for a faster speedboat - MYR 650 and MYR 1200

A Guide to Island Hopping in Langkawi

1. Pulau Tuba

Pulau Tuba, Langkawi
Source
The first island to visit on your island-hopping in Langkawi is Pulau Tuba, the closest island to Kuah Jetty. It is just 5 kilometres or 20 minutes from the Jetty. Pulau Tuba is home to a traditional fishing village, making it one of the few inhabited islands apart from the main Langkawi island. Since it is less popular than the other islands of Langkawi, Pulau Tuba is not always included on island hopping tours. Hence, it receives lesser tourist footfall than the other islands.

Unique Experiences
A unique experience here is to stay with a host family who will introduce you to the fishing village lifestyle for a day or two.  This is an official activity coordinated by the Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia. You’ll get to fish, gather herbs, and farm with the locals of the island.

Other Activities
Apart from the homestay programme, Pulau Tuba also has bird-watching, jungle treks, and caves to explore. There are half-day tours to Pulau Tuba for around MYR 80 to 100 while a private speedboat would cost around MYR 600 to MYR 800.

2. Pulau Dayang Bunting

Pulau Dayang Bunting, Langkawi
Source
Less than 3 kilometres west of Pulau Tuba is the next island to visit, Pulau Dayang Bunting. Known as ‘Isle of the Pregnant Maiden’ for of its silhouette from afar, Pulau Dayang Bunting is Langkawi’s second largest uninhabited island. Locals believe that female visitors to the island will become fertile after swimming in the island’s lake.

Unique Experiences
The major attraction on this section of island-hopping in Langkawi is the freshwater lake formed by limestone and surrounded by mangrove trees. It has an average depth of 10 metres (around 32 feet) which makes it ideal for swimming. For families with children, there are life jackets available for rent along with paddleboats. To enter the lake, there is an additional fee of MYR 6 per person.

Other Activities
Part of UNESCO World Heritage Geoparks, Pulau Dayang Bunting has beautiful limestone caves to explore and fantastic wildlife like kingfishers and hornbills. Adventure junkies will enjoy exploring Gua Langsir (meaning Cave of the Banshee) that is at an incline, offering a challenge to enter.

3. Pulau Singa Besar

Pulau Singa Besar, Langkawi
Source
Pulau Singa Besar, a wildlife sanctuary of Langkawi, is the next island on the adventure of island-hopping in Langkawi. It is located west of Pulau Dayang Bunting.

Unique Experiences
Although the name means Giant Lion Island, Pulau Singa Besar is more famous for monkeys, snakes, monitor lizards, peacocks and most importantly, eagles. Eagle feeding is a popular activity here where guides throw vast pieces of chicken into the sea, and within seconds, hundreds of kite eagles and fish eagles swoop down to grab them. It’s estimated that there are over 300 eagles on this island.

Other Activities
Other activities at Pulau Singa Besar include jungle treks and swimming on its beautiful beaches.

4. Pulau Beras Basah

Pulau Beras Basah, Langkawi
Source
The fourth stop while island hopping in Langkawi should be to Pulau Beras Basah which translates to ‘Wet Rice Island’.

Unique Experiences
It is known for its jungle-trekking, picnicking, and swimming opportunities. The water is shallow, making it an ideal stop for families with children. There are also jet-skis, parasails, and banana boats available to rent.

Other Activities
If you enjoy snorkelling, the beaches of Pulau Beras Basah offer amazing snorkelling opportunities although you will have to bring your own equipment. Keep in mind that the island is fairly under-developed so there aren’t public toilets or food stalls available.

Since it is a reasonably popular island destination, there are speedboats available straight to Pulau Beras Basah for a day trip. They are priced at around MYR 600 to MYR 900 for the day. From here, you can return inland to Teluk Baru Jetty, Kuah Jetty, or move onwards to Pulau Payar Marine Park.

5. Pulau Payar Marine Park

Pulau Marine Park, Langkawi
Source
Finally, the last island to explore while island-hopping in Langkawi is Pulau Payar Marine Park. It is accessible by private boats with prior planning with Langkawi Coral, the official tour operator to the island. It is 30 kilometres south of Langkawi and 45 minutes from Kuah Jetty.

Other Activities
Pulau Payar Marine Park is well-known for its crystal clear waters and pristine beaches. It’s an excellent site for snorkelling and scuba diving where you can see the Coral Garden, home to a well-protected coral system. You do require prior permission from the park authorities before you can take part in any activities in the water here. A trip to Pulau Payar Marine Park is usually MYR 300 for adults and MYR 200 for children.

Tips While Island Hopping in Langkawi

  • Not every island is equipped with facilities like food stalls, equipment rental stalls, and public bathrooms. If they are, they are usually priced much higher than the market rate, so it’s a good idea to carry some snacks and your own beverages.
  • Be sure to carry plenty of sunscreen, a hat for sun protection, and a change of clothes in case you’d like to go for a swim. If you’re opting for activities like jungle treks, wear comfortable walking shoes with good grip.
  • Although island hopping in Langkawi is available throughout the year, keep in mind that they are less likely to be held in the monsoon months from July to September when the water can get choppy and dangerous.
With plenty of locations to be explored, island hopping is a must in Langkawi. There are marine parks, wildlife sanctuaries, jungle trails, limestone caves, and secluded beaches just beckoning you to come on over!

This post was published by Rhea Nath

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