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Over these past few weeks we had the opportunity to visit the beautiful island of Langkawi. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t treat us all that well, but we did get the chance to take an island hopping Langkawi tour. Island hopping is one of the most popular activities to do in Langkawi.
Found off the north western coast of Malaysia, Langkawi is actually closer to the Thai islands than it is to the mainland. Featuring huge limestone karsts and stunning white sand beaches, the tropical scenery is quite similar to that which you find in Thailand.
To really experience the best of Langkawi, you should definitely hit the water and join an island hopping tour. Langkawi is made up of 99 different islands, but most of them are uninhabited. If you’re looking for a dose of tropical adventure, this little archipelago is where it’s at.
Five Things To Know About The Island Hopping Langkawi Tour
1. There are an endless number of tour operators
There are many different tour operators to choose from, but essentially they all offer exactly the same thing. So shop around a bit and find the one that works best for you. All you need to do is take a walk down the beachfront and you will come across dozens of Langkawi island hopping operators.
All of these tours leave from the Teluk Baru jetty. If you are staying in the Cenang beach area, a mini bus will pick you up from your hotel and transport you to the Teluk Baru port area. If you’re not staying in the area, just make your way down to the tour office on the Cenang beach road – the minivan will pick you up here.
2. There are two tours a day
Typically there are two island hopping Langkawi tours a day. The first is a morning tour that leaves at 09:00 am and the afternoon trip departs at 14:00 pm. The trips are between 3.5 to 4 hours in duration.
At the end of the tour you will be dropped off at the Baru jetty and the minivan will pick you up from here. You will then be transported back to your hotel or the Pantai Cenang beach area.
It’s worth noting that there is a boat tour, as well as a jet ski tour option. Jet ski island hopping is an awesome way to see Langkawi. However, it is a lot more expensive than the boat tour and you will visit exactly the same islands as you do via boat. There are shorter jet ski experiences available.
3. Most Island hopping Langkawi tours include three stops
The standard island hopping Langkawi tour will make three stops. These are Pulau Dayang Bunting, Pulau Singa Besar, and Beras Basah Island. Here’s what you can expect at each:
- Pulau Dayang Bunting: The main attraction here is the Pregnant Maiden Lake. The name originates from the view seen at the hill surrounding the lake. It looks like there is a pregnant lady laying on her back. The fresh water lake has been set up with a floating pontoon, and offers kayaking, swimming, and paddle boats. The boat will drop you off here for an hour. It’s a five to ten minute walk along quite a steep path and a few steps to reach the lake.
- Pulau Singa Besar: The next stop is Pulau Singa where you can do some eagle watching. You will see dozens of eagles dipping and diving into the water to grab food as the eagle feeding takes place. You will stay on the boat for this.
- Beras Basah Island: The last stop is to a tropical island where you will have about an hour to relax. It’s a beautiful beach and a great place for a swim. Although the tide was really far out during our visit so you could walk forever with the water only coming up to your knees. But you can expect turquoise waters and white sands here at Pulau Beras Basah.
4. The cost of an island hopping Langkawi tour
The going per person rate for a Langkawi boat tour is between RM45 and RM55 depending on the season and tour operator. If you book through your hotel you will probably pay more. The travel stalls on the Cenang beachfront road are the best and cheapest place to book. The cost of a jet ski tour starts at around RM650.
What they didn’t mention was that entrance to Tasik Dayang Bunting was not included. If you wish to enter the Pregnant Maiden Lake area it will cost you RM6. If you want to kayak, swim, or paddle boat here it will cost an extra RM10 – so a total of RM16. I wasn’t all that impressed by the lake, but it’s definitely worth checking out since you will be dropped off here for an hour anyway.
5. There is no need to book in advance
There are so many different tours on offer, that there really is no need to book in advance. On our first day in Langkawi we enquired at one of the tour companies – for more information – and we asked about booking. They told us that we could even just arrive 15 minutes before the scheduled tour on the day and there should be space.
Since the weather wasn’t great during our trip we didn’t want to make a prior booking. So one afternoon when the sun came out we decided it was a great time for island hopping Langkawi. We made our way down to the beachfront at about 13:30 and sure enough there was a place for us for the 2 pm tour.
Of course, if you prefer, you are able to book in advance. But it is nice to have the option to book a last minute tour. Just keep in mind that during peak season things may be a bit different since it will be a lot busier.
Other Langkawi Island Tours
Another very popular tour to do in Langkawi is the Mangrove tour. As part of this tour you will be taken to Kilim Nature Park, which is like escaping to another world.
It’s a four hour boat safari where you will be drifting through the mangroves with a nature guide. The guide will point out diverse fauna and flora, and explain the importance of mangroves to the ecosystem.
You can expect a journey of discovering exotic plants and animal species, while taking in the beautiful scenery.
Tip: If you’re in Thailand you should check out the Phi Phi Island tour
Where To Stay In Langkawi
There are plenty of 5-star hotels, resorts, guesthouses, hostels, and other Airbnb options to choose from. Boutique hotels in Langkawi are also very popular.
We stayed in a guesthouse in the Pantai Cenang area. The location was perfect. We were about a 5 minute walk from the beach and there was no shortage of restaurants in the area. We almost always book our accommodation through Airbnb.
If you haven’t yet signed up on Airbnb you can follow my link here and get £33 off your first home booking. You will also get £12 to use towards an experience worth £40 or more. We did a tour to Phi Phi island which was absolutely incredible and highly recommended. There are also tons of other things to do in Phuket.
Tip: 2 Days in Langkawi is a good amount of time to vistit
When To Visit Langkawi
Langkawi is said to be a great destination to visit all-year round – unlike the islands on the east side of Malaysia that experience a strong monsoon season. But there is a wet season in Langkawi which is typically between September and October.
Typically, even during the rainy season, it only rains for a few hours (often at night) and then clears up. However, we visited at the beginning of August and experienced some really bad weather. A hectic storm hit Langkawi, Penang and some parts of Thailand during our stay. It was apparently caused by a typhoon in China. Thankfully we spent quite a bit of time in Langkawi and we did enjoy a few days of sunshine.
If you want to maximize your chance of sunshine, the dry season is between January to March. This is said to be the best time to visit Langkawi. But keep in mind that this is peak season, so prices will be higher. It’s also very hot during this time, with temperatures averaging well over 30 degrees Celsius.
Malaysia Visa Requirements
If you’re planning a trip to Malaysia and need help with visa information, I would suggest checking out iVisa.com. The visa process can be very time-consuming, not to mention confusing, and iVisa strive to make the whole process simpler for travellers by taking care of all the nitty gritty details.
Just follow my iVisa application link here and you can do a quick check to see what is required and proceed with an application if necessary.
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