Driving around Langkawi, Malaysia : Great way to see places & it’s inexpensive

Written by @Lan 
Photos by curiostraveller.com


Curious and need to see whole Langkawi Island on your own? Can’t afford that RM3800 Helicopter ride that last for only 30 Minutes? No worries as we are about to show you the most inexpensive way to see places in Langkawi, simply rent a car and go around the Island. Driving your own car in Langkawi Island gives you that freedom and flexibility to do things that you like. Unlike tour arrangement that only goes to certain places, this method gives you access to everything on the map! If there is any entrance fee, you decide whether to go in or skip and move.


The Plan


We suggest that you allocate at least one full day for this round-island trip. The larger your group is, the larger your car is and if you are coming alone or with a friend but need an adventurous way to go around, then rent that scooter, which obviously way much cheaper!

A blogger, Lotte, did this and should you choose this option, you need to be aware of the weather. If it rains, you will need to stop for a while. Here is the link to the itinerary of that said blogger, who went around with her partner.

Langkawi On A Scooter: 2 Day Itinerary Around The Island 


We rented a small car, VIVA at one of the many counters in Langkawi International Ferry Terminal. They rent cars of all sizes and will surely have something for your tight budget. This VIVA cost us about RM70 per day, it’s much cheaper during low-season, at times, as low as RM50!

If you are lazy enough to go to this terminal, ask for your hotel to connect you to any companies that rent cars. Mind you, fee will be applied to get your car sent to your hotel. We chose VIVA as there were only 2 of us and this model consume less petrol. We filled in RM20 petrol and by the time we returned the car, there’s leftover.


Since we’re staying at Adya Hotel Langkawi in Kuah Town, it is obviously our starting point. We woke up early at 7am and had big breakfast at Jelapang, Adya Hotel. Read our separate entries in regard to our experience at this particular hotel by clicking the links below.

Adya Hotel Langkawi: Our Experience at The Best Hotel in Langkawi, Malaysia 

Breakfast at Adya Hotel Langkawi 

We planned to head to the west side before heading north west and go along the road on the northern path before returning to Langkawi via Air Hangat Road. If you are staying at a different location, you may choose your preferred direction, based on your interest and instinct.

There are some places in this itinerary that need more time for you to visit. In case certain places are time consuming, decide on your own whether it is best to return to that specific places on the next day, doing a thorough tour. For this trip, we started at 8am from Adya Hotel.


Another crucial thing that you need is the physical map unless you are travelling with mobile that has unlimited internet access. Google Map should be able to help you but a physical map will help you to plan your trip in advance. A copy of this map is available at the International Airport and most places in Langkawi.


The map above shows the network of major and minor road and you are free to choose your own path. As mentioned earlier, we started from Kuah Town, moving towards Padang Matsirat Road and from there to Cenang area, followed by the north west part and move along Teluk Yu road until we reach Air Hangat Road that leads to Kuah Town. You may if you want, go into the Padang Gaong Road where you will be able to visit Gunung Raya.


The Places


1-Makam Mahsuri (Kota Mahsuri at Makam Mahsuri Road)


If you have the interest to learn more about Langkawi’s History and its legend (Mahsuri), this is a great place to visit and you will be able to see some amazing Malay architecture in the olden days setting. There is entrance fee, as high as RM17 for foreigners (adult) and RM7 (child). Malaysians pay lower entrance fee. Inside, you will be welcomed by traditional live music performance, Caklempong.

Further inside, you get to see some traditional houses, Mahsuri Tomb and some other interesting things related to the Legend of Mahsuri. Scroll down to see some images of this place.

Visit time: Approx. 1 Hour
Our rating: 3/5
Is it worth visiting?: Skip if history is not your interest

Further reading
The Legend of Mahsuri
Myth and Legends: Naturally Langkawi
Legends of Langkawi

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2-Have lovely brunch with a view at Nasi Dagang Pak Malau


Not that far from Makam Mahsuri is one great place for your breakfast, brunch or lunch. People come here not only for their delicious foods but for its stunning view, a great place to chill out, relaxing before continue your journey to other attractions. Read our experience at Nasi Dagang Pak Malau by clicking the link below.

Brunch with a view at Nasi Dagang Pak Malau

Visit time: Approx. 1 Hour
Our rating: 5/5
Is it worth visiting?: Don’t miss it. Highly recommended.


3-Drive around Cenang area towards south
(Do this if you are not staying at this area)


The reason we suggest that you go this area for a quick tour is for you to see some amazing attractions in Pantai Cenang, Pantai Tengah and that many beautiful Hotels/Resorts as well eateries with scrumptious foods. Langkawi Underwater World, Element Mall and many other interesting places are located in this area. Drive to the most southern part, particularly the The Resort World Langkawi. If there is anything particular that you want to visit again, do it the next day where you can spend the whole day at your favorite places.

Visit time: Approx. 1-2 Hours
Our rating: 5/5
Is it worth visiting?: Don’t miss it. Highly recommended.


Read what we think of Pantai Cenang, Langkawi, click HERE


4-Lunch at D’Lima Cafe at Pantai Cenang

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If you are still hungry or missed seeing that Nasi Dagang Pak Malau, no worries. There are plenty of eateries along Pantai Cenang Road. Indulge in Malay Thai cuisine by having some delicious foods such as Nasi Goreng Daging Merah at D’Lima Cafe. This restaurant is listed by curiostraveller.com in Malaysia Delicious 100 Food 2017-2018, making it one of the best eateries in Malaysia. They serve your food in a cooking pan!

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Visit time: Approx. 1 Hour
Our rating: 5/5
Is it worth visiting?: Don’t miss it. Highly recommended.


5-Beras Terbakar (Field of Burnt Rice)

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Drive up north to Kampung Raja, Mukim Padang Matsirat and locate the Field of Burnt Rice. It is located in the compound of a house belonging to Ku Halim Ku Hassan. Parking is available and to get here you need to go through an alley with many souvenir shops. There is no entrance fee to go into this area. It’s free but there’s nothing much to do here, except if you are a person who deeply in love with history, particularly  about Langkawi’s.

“When a battle broke out between Siam and Langkawi at Pancur Straits, Dato Kemboja, as chief of the Langkawi army felt that they might fall into the enemy’s hand. Immediately he sent a messenger to Padang Mat Sirat to get all the Village Folks to collect all their paddy harvest to a place and burn them.  They dug a hole in the ground and put all the collected paddy into it. This was done so that the Siamese would not be able to get hold of the paddy which would be the main source of supply to get a foothold in Langkawi Island. From this incident, until now, there are still traces of burnt rice which can be clearly seen from Ku Halim Ku Hassan’s house.”

Further reading:
Field of Burnt Rice Langkawi
What to do in Padang Matsirat

Visit time: 30 minutes is sufficient, probably less
Our rating: 2.5/5
Is it worth visiting?: Skip if you are not interested in history


6-Oriental Village (SkyCab and SkyBridge)


This particular attraction will need about 3-4 hours to complete depending on the crowd on the day you visit. The main purpose for people to come here is mainly to ride on that SkyCab and walk on the SkyBridge. The base, Oriental Village does have some other attractions but not that great as SkyCab and SkyBridge. There is no entrance fee going into Oriental Village except if you want to enjoy the base attractions and the SkyCab/SkyBridge.


For this reason, we suggest you to walk around the Oriental Village and if the crowd proved to be too much for your patience in lining up for SkyCab and SkyBridge, come again the next day, early in the morning before they start the operation. Use this opportunity to get familiar with the base. If you can handle the crowd and if there is sufficient time, buy your combo tickets and start lining up for the SKyCab and SkyBridge.


Read our experience being on top of Machincang via SkyCab and SkyBridge, click HERE

Visit time: 1 Hour if only visiting the base and 3-4 hours if going up the mountain via SkyCab and SkyBridge
Our rating: 5/5 (SkyCab and SkyBridge) 2/5 (Oriental Village)
Is it worth visiting?: Absolutely yes for the SkyCab and SkyBridge. The base is average, visit it in advance to get familiar for your next day visit.


7-Pantai Pasir Tengkorak (Skull Beach)


Accessible via Datai Road, on the north west of Langkawi Island, is Pantai Pasir Tengkorak or Skull Beach. This area is a bit isolated and not so many people will come to this place probably for its distance. It’s less crowded than Pantai Cenang, a perfect place to relax before continuing the journey. In the distance, about 5km away from the beach is Ko Tarutao of Thailand. There is no entrance fee, parking is available but we highly recommend that you bring your own food and drinks if you are spending your time here as vendors are said to be available only during weekends.


“A local legend mentioned about a sea demon or giant whirlpool that swallowed countless numbers of ships and deposited the victims skull here. Hence, the name is Skull Beach. According to another legend, the fierce battle between the mystical creatures of Garuda and Jentayu took place in nearby island and resulted in mass casualties. A more factual but less colorful explanation is that, there was a prison located in the Island of Tarutao. Many had attempted to escape with difficulties, considering the water here was once infested with sharks. Those who failed were either drowned or killed by these sharks and their bodies were eventually washed away to this shore.”  

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Further reading:
Tengkorak Beach Langkawi 

Visit time: 40 minutes-1 hour
Our rating: 5/5
Is it worth visiting?: Highly recommended

For more beautiful setting of Langkawi, naturally speaking with specific reference to beach view that face Andaman Sea, head to Datai Bay, a bit further than Skull Beach. Due to time constraints and since we’re not guests of The Datai and Andaman, we did not but we have prepared a link for you to read about Datai Bay.

Datai Bay: Everything you need to know about Datai Langkawi
Datai Bay Beach Langkawi: Pantai Teluk Datai 


8-Pantai Pasir Hitam (Black Sand Beach) 


Head back to Teluk Yu Road and drive towards east of Langkawi until you reach Pantai Pasir Hitam or Black Sand Beach. Just before you reach this beach, you will get to see Langkawi Craft Complex on your right. Proceed going in if you are into craft. We did not and instead went straight to Pantai Pasir Hitam. No entrance fee, parking lots available and tons of eateries.

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“Large amount of tourmaline and ilmenite in the granite of Gunung Raya causes this dark-hued sand. Ilmenite, the basic mineral for the production of titanium dioxide, which is usually ground into fine powder, is a highly white substance used as base in a number of products including the high-quality paint, paper and plastic applications.”

“According to local folklore, the black sand at this beach was the outcome of an ancient civil war between the Land Kingdom and the Underwater Kingdom. The war started when a mermaid princess from the Underwater Kingdom fell in love and ran away with the prince of the Land Kingdom. The war was basically a one-sided affair, since the Underwater Kingdom had more troops than the Land Kingdom. However, the Land Kingdom possessed one advantage: it had a wise man who gave brilliant advice to help secure their victory. “

“The wise man instructed the people of the Land Kingdom to collect firewood and stack it up along the seashore. Before dawn, all the firewood was burnt and the flames could be seen miles away. When the troops of the Underwater Kingdom saw the flames, they thought it was the flames of thousand soldiers. Hence, they fled away. When the wood had cool after been burnt down, it left marks which can still be seen today, though not black as before. ” 

Further reading: 
Black Sand Beach Langkawi
Black Sand Beach at Langkawi Island
A walk to remember: Black Sand Beach, Langkawi

Visit time: 40 minutes-1 hour
Our rating: 4/5
Is it worth visiting?: Recommended

There are some other interesting places that you can visit while driving along Teluk Yu Road, Padang Gaong Road and Ayer Hangat Road. However, you might need more time in order to visit these places. We did not visit these places during this road trip due to time factor as we need to be at Langkawi International Ferry Terminal before 6pm. We will be visiting these places in our next visit to Langkawi.

Tanjung Rhu Beach
Gunung Raya, Langkawi
Langkawi Wildlife Park
Air Hangat Village
Perdana Gallery
Langkawi Lucky Temple 


9-Dataran Lang (Eagle Square)


Its an Eagle Square, landmark of Langkawi. It’s about this type of bird that Langkawi got its name. The square is a short walk from Langkawi Jetty Terminal, east side of Kuah Town. While there are not so many things to do in this square, it is a must for visitors to come and snap photos of the eagle statue as creatively as they can be. Eagle in Malay Language means Helang. It is that LANG from Helang word that partly formed the name of Langkawi. The eagle statue is of 12-meter tall and it’s in pre-flight pose. Some creative tourists took great photos of this place and the statue.

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Visit time: 40 minutes-1 hour
Our rating: 4/5
Is it worth visiting?: Recommended


10-Have a snack at Chef Zack Restaurant, Dataran Lang, Kuah


Not that far from Dataran Lang or Eagle Square, is Chef Zack Restaurant. We were a bit hungry and needed something light, so we decided to tried that delicious Thai Mango Salad with Fried Chicken at Chef Zack’s restaurant. It was amazingly delicious. We had awesome beverages as well; Iced Lychee and Iced Lemon Tea.

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Visit time: 30 Minutes
Our rating: 5/5
Is it worth visiting?: Highly Recommended


11-Kuah Night Market (Wednesdays and Saturdays)


For Malaysians, it might be a common night market as it is almost the same as in other night markets across Malaysia. However, a visit to this Kuah Night Market is quite interesting as you get to see and buy cheap but delicious foods. Kuah Night Market is on every Wednesday and Saturday. The rest of the week, it’s at other districts in Langkawi.

To locate this night market is easy, just find Hotel Baron Langkawi and the night market will be along the roadside in front of the hotel.  Best time to come is probably around 6pm after you visit the Eagle Square which is not that far, even if you walk! Other than foods, there are clothes, raw food such as seafood and proteins, vegetables, souvenirs and many more.

It’s a straight one way, pretty long market. If you get thirsty, fret not, there are many stalls selling drinks. Perhaps the next best thing to do after visiting this market is to wander around Kuah Town and see what the town has to offer. There are plenty of eateries around that you can visit for dinner.

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Visit time: 1 Hour
Our rating: 5/5
Is it worth visiting?: Highly Recommended


12-Dinner at EE Burger, Kuah Town

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We conclude our trip (driving around the Island) by having yum delicious dinner at EE Burger, Kuah Town. This eatery operates from early evening to late and the prices of foods here are amazingly cheap! A giant glass of freshly squeezed watermelon cost just RM4! We had Tom Yum and Char Keoy Teow and both dishes were amazing in taste.

Visit time: 1 Hour or more if you wish.
Our rating: 5/5
Is it worth visiting?: Highly Recommended


The itinerary given by us is just an example of how you can get the best of Langkawi by driving around the Island. Renting a car and drive around is one of the best and cheapest way to see places.

Depending on your budget and time, you can always include other major attractions or even purposely make yourself lost along the road, who knows you will discover greater place that is secluded, isolated from the touristy places.

We started our trip around the Island at 8am and finished our dinner at 9pm. That’s more than 12 hours. Yes, a bit tiring but we’re satisfied with what we saw and experienced. We had the liberty to arrange our own tour without being bothered by ‘bossy’ tour guide and arrogant tourists in a bus! All this for less than RM100 (Petrol, Food, Drinks and bits of entrance fees).

We had a ride on SkyCab and walk on SkyBridge the next day as we knew that we’re going to need more time so the 1st visit to Oriental Village was about to make us familiar with the entry point, enabling us to be mentally and physically prepared for the long SkyCab’s line-up the next day.

We’re glad that we did allocate one full day for the round-island trip as we have completed 12 activities in 12 hours. It’s from this trip alone that made us well-prepared in the sense that we knew exactly which places we’re going to fully concentrate for the next 2 days.

Next time you come to Langkawi, rent a car or a scooter as it is indeed the wisest and inexpensive way to see places in Langkawi, Malaysia! 


5 thoughts on “Driving around Langkawi, Malaysia : Great way to see places & it’s inexpensive

  1. WAHAB

    dear Lan,hi
    we were confused as to how to go around langkawi during our 5 day stay in coming january.
    thanks for your wonderfully written article, ALL CONFUSION REMOVED.

    Thank you again

    1. Lan

      Hi Ayesha and Wahab
      Glad that this article helped you both. Wish you two a pleasant and safe journey. You may contact us at anytime should you need more opinions.
      Lan and Joe

  2. I love a good road trip. But best with adventurous people, not the whiny type 😂. I think I have been to Langkawi when I was younger but I vaguely remembers it now. Prolly need this itinerary if I happen to plan to visit. 👍

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