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The main attractions of Maylasia's sprawling, paradisiacal archipelago of Langkawi are its beautiful sandy beaches, and lots of experienced tourists consider this is the best place in the whole country for diving, snorkeling, sunbathing, and relaxation. And they are absolutely right: the beaches of Langkawi are so diverse that anyone can find one (or more) to satisfy a range of needs and desires. My top five:
A long, wide beach with soft white sand, surrounded by ancient limestone caves, mangrove forests, and magnificent cliffs, its amazing views of the neighboring islands make it a real paradise for nature lovers. Tanjung Rhu is also considered to be one of Langkawi's quietest beaches, so you won’t see a lot of people here even during high season.
The shallow beach is also ideal for families with children. But the water near the coast is not very clear sometimes because of the nearby mangrove swamps. It’s recommended to visit Tanjung Rhu early in the morning or after 16:00, as there is no place to hide from the sun. Apart from a few hotels, there are several shops and restaurants.
The waters around Tanjung Rhu are also excellent for swimming and snorkeling, and you can see many kinds of fish there. Coordinates: 6.447471, 99.806511
Pantai Pasir Tengorak
A rather small beach, but one of Langkawi's most beautiful, boasting clear water and beautiful views of the nearby islands and mountains, and on its right side, some incredible rock formations. Mostly quiet on weekdays, Pasir Tengorak can get crowded on weekends.
Pantai Pasir Tengkorak is one of the few beaches of the archipelago offering toilets and showers, and the surrounding area is equipped with a plenty of places to relax, including cozy bowers to escape from the sun. You won’t find any restaurant or café, here, but on weekends and public holidays there are locals selling food from pop-up kiosks.
By the way, watch out for monkeys! They seem harmless and cute at first glance, but are known to become aggressive, often trying to grab food, water, and other items left unattended. Coordinates: 6.430703, 99.725754
With two kilometres of snow-white sand, Pantai Cenang is probably Langkawi's the most visited beach. If you want to sunbathe there, you can easily rent a beach umbrella and a sunbed, and plenty of activities are available, such as water skiing, parasailing, banana boat rides, and water cycling. You can also take interesting boat trips to the neighboring islands and to some great scuba diving spots. This is also quite the center of nightlife and shopping, as well as a variety of restaurants specializing in Malay, Chinese, Indian, and Western cuisine, many with very attractive prices. Coordinates: 6.292564, 99.725112
This 700-meter strand offers a much more relaxed atmosphere than its noisier neighbor Pantai Cenang (with almost no bars, eateries, or hotels), but they're separated only by a small rocky headland, so it’s easy to walk from one beach to another. The sand is very clean, as is the water - though sometimes jellyfish may appear, so have a care!
You'll find all kinds of water activities and boat trips to nearby islands, but unlike at Pantai Cenang, it can be hard to find sunbeds and umbrellas here - you'll pretty much have to rely on the shadow of the coconut palms and the soft sand! Coordinates: 6.281068, 99.729720
A beautiful bay situated in the southwest of Langkawi, 12 kilometers from Pantai Tengah, it's surrounded by limestone hills and green jungle, it's famous for its white sand and warm sea, and offers plenty of attractions all around. The beach is well maintained, clean, perfect for families with small children, and also located right near the major sights/attractions of Langkawi, such as its cable car, Sky Bridge, and Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls. Coordinates: 6.366474, 99.679805
Well, it’s obvious that Langkawi’s beaches are the best way to relax during your trip to this amazing archipelago. Some are more suitable for sunbathing and diving, the other ones offer great opportunities to enjoy different water activities. So it’s very easy to find a spot to relax according to your own preferences.
Unfortunately, it can be really hard to reach these beaches using Langkawi’s public transport, because its quality leaves much to be desired. The only reliable way of getting around Langkawi is a rental car. You can easily pick it up at most of the major spots of the island.