Top Langkawi Land Tours
By Taxi, Vans, Private Car, Coach
What to expect on a land tour
When you visit the Langkawi tourist sites by road, you will pass by villages (known locally as kampungs) and vast stretch of greenery on the way. Langkawi is mostly unspoiled although many development have taken place in the island. There are hardly any billboards or neon signs to spoil the natural beauty of the island.
As you drive along the northern, western or southern coastline areas, you will see the emerald blue waters of the Andaman Sea and in many places the lovely white sandy beaches. In some areas you will pass by dense rainforests full of colorful bird life and amazing flora & fauna, and from some places you will get lovely views of the Mat Cincang & Gunung mountains at a distance. Overall the island and its natural treasures add to the wonderful experience of touring around on road as you visit the attractions.
Langkawi Tour Van
Photo: Khalzuri Yazid, flickr, cc by-sa 2.0
There are no public buses in Langkawi except for some very limited services in few specific areas and they are no good for touring around the island. So if you are planning for a tour of the island by road, one of the best options is to hire a taxi by the hour or take a guided tour on a private car through an operator.
If you are in a larger group then you can go for a minivan or even a coach. A minivan can accommodate up to 7 persons, while coaches have larger capacity. Some taxis in Langkawi are minivans but most are small vehicle that can take up to 4 persons. Usually for a minivan or a coach, you need to go through an operator. In the last section I have discussed in details about how to book or arrange a land-based tour in Langkawi.
Here are the top and the most popular tours of Langkawi by taxi, mini van, private car or a coach. Some of them are half day (4 hours) and others are full day tours.
Half Day Island Tour-1 (4-hours)
This tour usually starts with a visit to Oriental Village in Pantai Kok area where you take the famous Cable Car Ride
to the top of Mount Mat Cincang and get a wonderful birds eye view of the rain forests, the islands on Andaman Sea below and the Seven Wells waterfall
. You will also get the opportunity to walk on the Sky Bridge
- one of the highest suspended bridges in the world on top of mount Mat Cincang and soak in the wonderful panoramic view of the mountain forests and the islands below.
The tour continues to Telaga Harbour Park
where the Perdana Quay
boardwalk complex is located full with boutique shops and upscale restaurants. Here you will also see a beautiful marina where many yachts and large sail boats are moored.
Walk along the boardwalk by the side of the harbor and soak in the view of the water area. Take some time to visit some of the shops and have some snack or beverages at one of the many great restaurants here. If you decide to have some food or snacks, choose one of the waterside eateries to enjoy the views.
Marina, Telaga Harbor Park
Photo: Khalzuri Yazid, flcikr, cc by-sa 2.0
The final destination is the Atma Alam Batik Art Village
which is a treasure trove of batik art and paintings. There are resident artists creating amazing batik artwork. There is a workshop and demonstration room where you can learn and even try your hand in Batik painting.
Usual Tour Schedule: 9am - 1pm (4 hours)
Indicative Operator Rate: RM75 per adult (includes guide, but no food or entry fees)
Half Day Island Tour-2 (4-hours)
A tour starts with a visit to Mahsuri's Tomb & Cultural Center
in Padang Matsirat where you will see the tomb of beautiful legendary lady Mahsuri and know about her story of how she was falsely accused of adultery and executed by the villagers. In the complex you will also see an old traditional Malay house made of wood, a musical room where folk instruments are played by Malay women, a Legend Museum depicting Mahsuri's life story, souvenir & gift store etc. It is more like a cultural complex.
Traditional Malay House, Mashsuri's Tomb
The tour continues to the popular family attraction - Underwater World
in Pantai Cenang, a huge indoor complex having over 5000 fresh & salt water fish and other marine creatures in over 100 large aqua tanks. Key attractions here include the rock hopper penguins, fur seal show and feeding session, great tunnel tanks full of sharks, sting rays and lot of other marine life.
Redtail Catfish. Photo: amrufm, flickr, cc by 2.0
The next visit is at a Gamat Healing Oil
factory where you can collect samples of healing oil made from sea cucumbers that is supposed to work magic on both external and internal body problems like aches, wounds, ulcers etc. Gamat means Sea Cumber in Malay. Malaysians have been firm believers in such traditional treatments using Gamat which has proven to be very effective.
Nusantra Gamat Factory, Langkawi
Photo: Abd Gani Atan, flickr, cc by 2.0
The final visit is to Eagle Square
at Kuah Town where a 50-foot tall structure of golden brown eagle stands majestically facing the waterfront. This is the main symbol of Langkawi and an important landmark of the island. The Eagle Square overlooks the bay and Andaman Sea. The sunset view from here is magnificent.
Photo: mynikfoto, flickr, cc by 2.0
Usual Tour Schedule: 2:30pm - 6:30pm (4 hours)
Indicative Operator Rate: RM75 per adult (includes guide, but no food or entry fees)
Note: If you decide to combine the above two packages by taking one in the first half and the other in the second half, then you will need to plan for lunch. There are cafes or restaurants in most of the places you would be visiting like in Oriental Village/Cable Car, Atma Alam Batik Art Village, Mahsuri's Tomb, Perdana Quay, Underwater World, Eagle Square etc. In Kuah Town, you will also get the options of Mc Donald and KFC. There is a Mc Donald outlet right next to Underwater World in Pantai Cenang as well.
Langkawi Day Discovery Tour (Full Day - 6 Hours)
This is a day long land based tour by car that lets you discover some of the greatest attractions of Langkawi and get an all round flavor of the island including its culture, artwork, great rides and marine life.
The tour includes visit to visit to 1) Eagle Square 2) Shopping complexes in Kuah Town 3) Galeria Perdana showcasing thousands of personal gift & souvenir collection of Malaysia's 4th Prime Minister received from all over the world 4) Cable Car Ride to the peak of Mount Mat Concang and walking on the Sky Bridge 5) Underwater World. Go through Langkawi Day Discovery Tour
for complete details of the tour.
Langkawi Culture & Heritage Tours (Half Day: 3-4 Hours)
This tour is about getting an insight into the rich heritage and culture of Langkawi. You will understand how Langkawi's culture has evolved over time, get an opportunity to talk to some of the local people & villagers, see traditional Malaysian architecture and houses, know about the village life, visit buffalo farm to know how dairy products like cheese & yogurts are made and so on.
A Village Street in Langkawi
Photo: Alex L., flickr, cc by 2.0
Some tour packages also include visits to paddy fields in Laman Padi and understanding how rice cultivation has evolved in the island, know about the local art and handicraft like Batik painting, visit the night market where vendors put up stalls & sell all kinds of house hold & souvenir items etc.
How to book a land tour in Langkawi
There are several ways you can take the tours.
If you want a guided tour by a private car, like to book it conveniently online and at a reasonable price from the world's largest online tour agency, then check out this Viator site
for several sightseeing tours in Langkawi... you can filter, see the rates and choose one you like and book online.
You can also book a tour through one of the well known Land Tour Operators in the island. Most hotels in Langkawi organize the common tours. They usually provide air conditioned mini vans. Note that the taxis in Langkawi are also air conditioned. Go through Land Tour Operators
to get their offerings & contacts.
There are also many travel stalls (small tour operators) along the road of Pantai Cenang
offering all kinds of local packaged tours on sharing basis. They are the cheapest operators. However there are some unscrupulous ones you should be careful about. Some of them are only mediators, do not have vehicles or guides of their own and therefore may not be able keep their commitments.
The better ones have their own air conditioned mini vans or a private vehicles, and provide a knowledgeable guide. I have provided a link for the well known tour operators at the bottom of this page.
4) If you can design a tour of your own, you can easily take a taxi, go around the island and visit the attractions of your choice. This is the cheapest and quite convenient way of touring the island by road. You will get taxis at any taxi stands or can even stop an empty one on the fly. Almost all taxi drivers know the island well enough and can take you to the main tourist attractions. However you will need to hire the taxi for a minimum of 4 hours and pay an hourly rate of around RM25-30. You can extend the hours if you so need.
However there are few limitations with the taxi drivers. Most of them speak only the local Malay language and not English. Some can understand English, but very few can speak. And out of those who do, most can only speak in bits and pieces without using proper grammatical constructs. So if you are a foreigner, you will need to train your ears for a while before you start understanding what they actually mean. If you are taking a taxi from a stand, then ask them to get you a driver who can speak English, if you so need.
Another limitation with taxi drivers is that most do not have much knowledge (like background, history etc) about the tourist attractions and therefore are not good guides themselves. But fortunately, for most of the land based attractions in Langkawi you don't need a guide. They are either self explanatory, or there will be boards in English & Malay, signs, in-house guide and in some cases even audio-video rooms to explain the background and history of the attraction. So you can be easily on your own.
Taxis in Langkawi are air-conditioned. The standard taxis can accommodate up to 4 passengers (one in front and three at the back). However mini vans are also used in the island as taxis and they can accommodate 6-7 persons. The hourly rates in that case may be a little higher.
Chris Armstrong (December 2013)
Thank you for the very informative and helpful pages on your site. We shall be visiting Langkawi on a cruise in March, and I would like to know whether it would be practicable to pick up a taxi with an English speaking driver at the cruise terminal, or should I book one in advance. If the latter do you recommend any in particular?
Raj (langkawi-insight.com) December 2013
Hi, It'll be a matter of chance (odds against you) to get a driver who speaks English. Most don't. So if that's what you must have, then book a taxi in advance. You can try Langkawi Taxi Service (Email: [email protected]
). One of their offerings is Round Island Tour of Langkawi which includes pick up and drop. The 5-hour tour covers: Eagle Square, Underwater World, Cable Car, Birds Paradise (now Langkawi Wildlife Park), Crocodile Farm, Waterfalls, Mahsuri Tomb, Shopping at Kuah Town etc. The package cost is RM145 for up to 4 persons (RM25 for every extra hour) and does not include any admission fee. You can however choose to visit any other places you want. While sending the email, mention your requirement for an English speaking driver. Regards,
GV.Gowrisankar (May 2013)
Hello Mr. Raj, I have already booked the Hotel room in Bayview in Lankawi from 6th to 9th June. During this time I would like to explore Lankawi by either Private taxi or Minibus. So how can I book that private taxi or mini van before I reach there. Kindly advise for the same. Thanks and Regards.
Raj (langkawi-insight.com) May 2013
You need not book taxis in advance. You can just go down to the nearest taxi stand or stop an empty taxi, and hire it by the hour. They charge RM25 per hour and you will need to book for minimum 4 hours. Private vans are usually offered only by hotels or tour operators. Unless you are a local, one problem is the language. Very few taxi drivers speak or understand English. So at the taxi stand ask for one who can communicate properly. Go through the following link for more options: Land Tour Operators