Jade paddy fields, crystalline waters, majestic mountains and forests teeming with life – Langkawi bears all the hallmarks of a dream island destination, minus the crowds. With so much to see and do here, we put together a quick-and-essential list of experiences for couples on a romantic escape in this exotic Malaysian destination. And boy, they're seriously impressive.
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Hit the beach
A cluster of 99 enchanting islands just off the coast of Malaysia, Langkawi is where you'll find spectacular beaches – especially on the main island. Arguably the most popular, Pantai Cenang Beach (also known as Langkawi Beach) on the western coastline is great for going straight from your accommodation to the sand, with many hotels, resorts and restaurants nearby.
If you're looking for something a little more secluded, wander through a palm-filled parkland to reach Tengkorak Beach (also known as Sandy Skulls Beach thanks to a local legend) on the northern shoreline. Tanjung Rhu Beach at the island's far northeastern end is also definitely worth a visit, with emerald waters, a wide stretch of sugar-white sand and views of smaller nearby islands. And don't miss taking a refreshing dip at Pantai Kok Beach on Langkawi's western coast. With crystal-clear waters, shady parklands and picture-perfect bay views, it's sure to give you that summer-year-round feeling.
Take to the skies
One of the best ways to see this dramatically scenic destination is in one of Langkawi's famous cable cars. The steepest cable car ride in the world, SkyCab takes you 708 metres above sea level to the island's second highest peak, Mt Machinchang. The views at the summit and along the way are real screensaver material, taking in waterfalls, forest-topped mountains and Langkawi's shimming turquoise surrounds.
Seeking a little white-knuckle adventure? If heights don't bother you, fit in time for a walk along the aptly named SkyBridge also on Mt Machinchang (feature image). Suspended from an 82-metre-high single pylon that hangs at roughly 100 metres above-ground, the curved pedestrian bridge spans out over the landscape, giving couples the feeling of walking on air – remember that leap of faith scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade? If you're more about culinary adventures, settle in for lunch at SkyBistro to pair breathtaking panoramas with relaxed (but still totally delicious) fare.
Explore Dayang Bunting Marble Geoforest Park
To really feel like you've stepped into an adventure-romance novel, add Dayang Bunting to your itinerary. The second largest island in the Langkawi archipelago, this postcard-perfect spot is accessible by boat and is home to a geoforest park with one of the world's most beautiful lakes.
Framed by magnificent jungle-topped karst limestone formations, Tasik Dayang Bunting (or Lake Guillemard) is known for its captivating natural beauty and folklore. Inspired by a grand rock formation that supposedly resembles a pregnant woman lying on her back, the story goes that a fairy princess mourning the death of her child laid the infant to rest in the lake's waters and blessed them with the power of fertility. Whether or not you believe the tale, Dayang Bunting is definitely blessed in one way. Boasting romantic scenery, it's perfect for days spent swimming, kayaking, wildlife-spotting or exploring its mysterious caves.
Discover tiny offshore islands
After ticking Dayang Bunting off your list, be sure to hop your way around Langkawi's other magnificent islands. Top picks include Pulau Beras Basah with its palm-fringed beaches and verdant mountains, the uninhabited Pulau Bumbon islands with their quiet coves, Pulau Payar Marine Park with its snorkelling and diving experiences, and Rebak Island (pictured above) with its exclusive private island resort. For an unforgettable getaway, hire a boat from one of the many local groups and cruise along Langkawi's coast, stopping at whichever island catches your eye.
From sumptuous accommodation to brilliant restaurants, Langkawi offers plenty for luxury-lovers. You'll come across some of the most romantic dining hotspots at the destination's glamorous resorts – foodies, book a table at The Planter's at The Danna or Float at The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa. And don't miss toasting the occasion at The Cliff Langkawi. Built over the azure Andaman Sea at the end of Pantai Cenang, it's a winner for sundowners and delectable seafood cooked with local flavours.
Seeking an intimate place to base yourselves? Beloved for its proximity to the beach, luxe villas and indulgent spa offerings, The Datai (pictured above) is utterly idyllic. Other opulent options include Berjaya Langkawi Resort, Four Seasons Resort Langkawi and The Andaman, a Luxury Collection Resort Langkawi. Wherever you spend your stay here, though, you're sure to be won over by Langkawi's charms from the moment you step off the plane to the moment you leave.
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