MalaysiaLangkawiBeaches

8 Best Beaches in Langkawi in 2020

Where to Swim, Sunbathe, and Enjoy Watersports

Like the hottest tropical islands in Southeast Asia, Langkawi is blessed with white sand, palm-tree-lined beaches, and translucent-turquoise waters.

Watersports and beach bars at popular tourist beach, Pantai Cenang, are one of the island's main draws, while Tanjung Rhu's luxury resorts and secluded shores attract those longing to lounge around in the sun.

Langkawi is part of an archipelago of 99 islands, so its beaches are often protected from the open sea. Its waters are calm, warm, and refreshing with gentle waves lapping at the shore.

Still, warm waters unfortunately attract jellyfish. Langkawi's western beaches, including Pantai Cenang and Pantai Tengah, are especially susceptible to small stingers between January and June while northern beaches like Tanjung Rhu and Sandy Skull Beach are usually jellyfish-free.

Pristine beaches accessible to the public are sprinkled around Langkawi's coastline, all providing uninterrupted views of the Andaman Sea and untouched islands nearby. Some are lined with hotels and guest houses while others are less developed and better suited to day trips and picnics.

Whether your Langkawi bucket list includes starting the morning with a refreshing swim, laying on the shore with a cocktail, or riding your first jet-ski, don't miss these 8 best beaches in Langkawi.

1.Tanjung Rhu Beach

langkawi_tanjung-rhu-beach-06341.jpg
Best for:

Quiet sunbathing & swimming

Beach Free

Ayer Hangat, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia

Price: Free Time spent: 1-3 hours

Hours: 24 hours, 7 days

Map... Directions... Book Mangrove Tour

This wide stretch of white, powder-fine sand on Langkawi's northern tip is surrounded by untouched jungle and mangrove forests. The beach provides panoramic views of nearby islands and, on clear days, the coast of Thailand to the north. These sultry views have attracted luxury hotels Four Seasons Resort and Tanjung Rhu Resort to the sandy shores.

Hire a beach chair or lay your towel out on the sand to sit back and soak up the sun. Then, cool off with a dip in water so clear you can see your toes. Hungry beachgoers can buy local snacks like pisang goreng (fried banana) from local food vendors at the beach entrance, or visit beachfront Eagle Nest Café for Western meals like burgers or fish & chips.

Tanjung Rhu is one of two entrances to Kilim Karst Geoforest Park and is a popular starting point for mangrove forest boat tours. Visit the beach as part of a tour or hire a car for a day trip.

Parking: Free

Tip: Rideshare drivers like Grab can drop passengers at Tanjung Rhu, but due to the distance from other tourist attractions, it's difficult to find a driver for the return journey. Its best to hire a car or scooter and drive yourself to the beach.

Turquoise waters surrounded by islandsTurquoise waters surrounded by islands
Tanjung Rhu Beach with Kilim Geoforest Park in the backgroundTanjung Rhu Beach with Kilim Geoforest Park in the background
Pisang goreng on the beachPisang goreng on the beach

2.Pantai Cenang (Chenang Beach)

langkawi_pantai-chenang-06638.jpg
Best for:

Cheaper watersports & pumping beach bars

Beach Free

Pantai Cenang, Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia

Price: Free Time spent: 1-3 hours

Hours: 24 hours, 7 days

Map... Directions... Book island-hopping tour

Lined with accommodation options from humble guesthouses to 5-star resorts, this 2-kilometer strip of beach is where most visitors to Langkawi choose to stay.

By day, the sandy shores are filled with beach vendors offering island-hopping tours, jet-ski rides, parasailing, and deckchair hire to those willing to brave the peak of Langkawi's humid, hot sunshine.

As the sun softly sets, the sky lights up in hues of purple, pink, and orange as visitors are treated to Langkawi's epic sunsets. Local children splash in lapping waves while smartphone-clasping tourists pose for selfies. This is when watersports vendors are replaced with cocktail bars as beanbags and tables come out for happy hour specials at bars like Yellow Beach Café, Kalut Bar, and Thirstday.

Just behind the beach is main road Jalan Pantai Cenang, popular for its international restaurant options, duty-free stores, and local street vendors selling clothing, accessories, and souvenirs.

Parking: Free

Tip: Swim between the flags to avoid being hit by jet-skis. Choose a reputable jet-ski vendor, like Mega Watersports, who provide evidence of insurances and accept advance bookings online.

Rainbow signage at main entranceRainbow signage at main entrance
Large white 'Langkawi' sign at south end of beachLarge white 'Langkawi' sign at south end of beach
Sunsets and palm treesSunsets and palm trees

3.Pantai Tengah

langkawi_pantai-tengah-drone-0032.jpg
Best for:

Chilled sunbathing & family-friendly watersports

Beach Free

Pantai Tengah, Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia 07000

Price: Free Time spent: 48-180 minutes

Hours: 24 hours, 7 days

Watch video Map... Directions...

Bordering the south of Pantai Cenang, Pantai Tengah offers cheaper, mid-range accommodation options compared to its popular neighbor. Streets have less souvenir and clothing stalls but still a few international and local restaurants, cafes, and bars.

The beach itself is a long stretch of seashell-dotted white sand where you'll find a handful of vendors offering jet-ski hire and island-hopping tours. The shores are far quieter here with a few strips of natural rock for children to climb and explore while parents sunbake on lounges attached to their beachfront hotel. The wide stretch of sand is the perfect place to bring buckets and spades to make sandcastles or set up for a game of beach football, cricket, or any other sport.

To best experience Pantai Tengah's relaxed vibe, buy a day pass at Dash Beach Club to hire a sun lounge on the beach or by the pool. Lounge hire comes with a free beer or soft drink, towel hire, and access to the hotel swimming pool.

Parking: Free

Tip: Most beach chairs are owned by hotels and can't be used by the public. If you see jellyfish washed up on the sand, don't swim as they'll likely be in the water too.

4.Pantai Pasir Tengkorak (Sandy Skull Beach)

langkawi_pantai-pasir-tengkorak-drone-0298.jpg
Best for:

Swimming & picnics

Beach Free

Jalan Datai, Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia 07000

Price: Free Time spent: 1-4 hours

Hours: 24 hours, 7 days

Watch video Map... Directions...

A favorite beach among locals but less popular with tourists due to its remote location in rainforest-laden Datai Bay. Sandy Skull Beach is small compared to other beaches in Langkawi and easily crowded on weekends. This doesn't stop the crystal-clear waters from being among the island's best for swimming. Rock groins at the end of the beach are popular for fishing and for children to climb and explore.

Choose a patch of shade or sun to lay out your towel and get comfy with a good book. Throughout your day at the beach, you'll likely see local fishermen set up on the rocky outcrops and birdlife like hornbills, sea eagles, and Brahminy kites.

Between the parking lot and beach is a large park area where monkeys often loiter for leftover food. As cute as they may seem, it's best not to feed them as they may become aggressive and try to steal from you. Paid toilets and showers are also located in the park, and it's common for food vendors to set up stalls selling cold drinks and local snacks.

Parking: Free

Tip: Don't visit on weekends (Friday & Saturday) as the beach is busier with locals. Ask your hotel to pack a picnic for you to enjoy on the beach. Most will be happy to help with enough notice.

5.Paradise 101

langkawi_101-paradise-drone-0837.jpg
Best for:

Premium watersports & luxury

Island $$$$$

Paradise 101 Langkawi, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah

Price: Adults: from RM35 (USD$8.56), Children (<7): Free Time spent: 3-6 hours

Hours: 9am-11pm, 7 days

website email +60 49650300

Map... Directions... Buy tickets

Originally constructed as a wave breaker to protect one of Langkawi's harbors from tsunamis, this man-made island has transformed into aptly named Paradise 101.

If your idea of paradise involves relaxing by the sea, pick a lounge chair on the shady northern beach or hire a cozy elevated daybed on the island's south side. Cocktails and food can be brought to you from the bar while you listen to the latest hits on the island's sound system. Relaxation continues when you book a sunset boat cruise to watch the golden sun light up the sky in previously-unknown shades of orange and pink as you sip a tasty beverage.

If you prefer watersports, book a kayak, jet-ski, banana boat, or parasailing adventure, then race your friends on the inflatable waterpark. You can even take a jet-ski island hopping tour from Paradise 101 and explore nearby islands like Dayang Bunting.

Never go hungry with classic pub meals and local Malay cuisine at OMG! Bar and Restaurant. Order your favorite drink, or try a signature cocktail crafted by a certified mixologist.

Whatever your idea of paradise, take a minute to pose in a series of Insta-friendly giant bird nests, a keepsake to remember your beachy vacation.

Parking: Free

Tip: Transfers from Jetty 101 are included with all activity bookings. You cannot visit Paradise 101 without booking activities. You must wear life jackets for all activities, including swimming.

Bird nest overlooking Andaman SeaBird nest overlooking Andaman Sea
Bucket of cidersBucket of ciders
BananaboatBananaboat

6.Pantai Kok

langkawi_pantai-kok-drone-0748.jpg
Best for:

Calm waters & watching sunsets

Beach Free

Jalan Pantai Kok, Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia 07000

Price: Free Time spent: 1-3 hours

Hours: 24 hours, 7 days

Watch video Map... Directions...

Directly opposite Paradise 101 and beside Telaga Harbour is Pantai Kok, a sandy beach bordered by leaning palm trees. This beach differs from other in Langkawi due to the commanding lighthouse at its eastern edge and the array of yachts berthed in its silky-smooth waters.

Visit just before sunset to buy a tasty meal of fried rice or laksa from a local food vendor by the parking lot. Lean against a swaying palm to get comfy and watch the golden sunset transform the lighthouse and yachts into mere silhouettes.

Trendy bars and international restaurants abound at neighboring Telabour Harbour park, a modern marina complex. Pantai Kok's luxury hotels, like The Danna, and are a popular accommodation choice among tourists due to their close proximity to Langkawi's best-known attractions, the SkyCab cable car, and Sky Bridge.

Parking: Free

Tip: Only swim in the sectioned off area to avoided coming into contact with boats.

Telaga Harbour in the foreground, Pantai Kok in the background, and Paradise 101 in the upper leftTelaga Harbour in the foreground, Pantai Kok in the background, and Paradise 101 in the upper left
Leaning palm trees lining the beachLeaning palm trees lining the beach
Eating on the beachEating on the beach

7.Black Sand Beach (Pantai Pasir Hitam)

langkawi_black-sand-beach-06318.jpg
Best for:

Local legends

Beach Free

07000 Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia

Price: Free Time spent: 20-60 minutes

Hours: 24 hours, 7 days

Map... Directions...

A quiet beach on Langkawi's northern coast, famous for its marble-textured black and white sand. The beach is more popular with picnicking locals than tourists, who usually make a quick stop to witness a local fable up close.

According to folklore, the black sand is left over burn marks from a fiery battle between land and underwater kingdoms. Scientists, on the other hand, say the dark sand is the result of granite minerals washed down to the beach from Langkawi's tallest mountain, Gunung Raya.

Escape the hot sun under a handful of shady trees while watching local fishing boats and taking in serene views of nearby islands. The views are somewhat hindered by an industrial concrete factory visible towards the west.

2 playgrounds are located between the beach and parking lot, while the footpath is lined with vendors selling drinks, local snacks, clothing, and souvenirs.

Parking: Free

Tip: The black beach sand can get very hot. Wear flip-flops to protect your feet and always sit or lie on a blanket, towel, or sarong.

8.Pantai Rekreasi Kastam

langkawi_pantai-rekreasi-kastam-06334.jpg
Best for:

Cheaper watersports & sun bathing without the crowds

Beach Free

Jalan Tanjung Rhu, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah

Price: Free Time spent: 1-3 hours

Hours: 24 hours, 7 days

Map... Directions...

Only a 10-minute drive from Tanjung Rhu Beach, Pantai Rekreasi Kastam enjoys similarly spell-binding views of the shimmering Andaman Sea and uninhabited islands nearby.

Unlike Tanjung Rhu, the beach isn't restricted by luxury resorts on its shores, so watersport vendors are welcome. Visitors to this small beach can negotiate a reasonable price for jet-ski hire, parasailing, island-hopping tours, and mangrove tours. It's a happy medium between Tanjung Rhu and Pantai Cenang.

Other vendors lease sun lounges underneath rainbow-colored beach umbrellas, so you can comfortably relax between swims in the crystal-clear sea. A small shack near the carpark sells snacks like popcorn and chips, local meals like laksa, and cold drinks like fresh coconuts.

Pantai Rekreasi Kastam is a popular choice with tourists as its location is slightly less remote than Tanjung Rhu Beach.

Parking: Free

Tip: Sun lounge hire costs RM50 (USD$12.22) for 2 chairs and 1 umbrella, but negotiating should get you a better price.

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