MalaysiaLangkawiDronesDrone Photography

14 Best Places to Fly Your Drone in Langkawi

There's no doubt about it, Langkawi is a landscape photographer's dream.

With white sandy beaches and iridescent turquoise waters, winding rivers lined with tall, luxuriant rainforests, humble rice farms, and powerful waterfalls gushing down primeval mountains, photographers are spoilt for choice.

And, like many diverse landscapes, Langkawi's hues of blue, green, and every shade in between, are best experienced from a bird's eye view.

Enter drone photography.

Fortunately, Malaysia's drone regulations are fairly lenient. As long as you stay away from airports, flight paths, and private residences, you're usually ok to fly.

That becomes a bit tricky in Langkawi as the small island's airport is centrally located near tourism hot-spot Pantai Cenang.

In order to create an aerial photography or videography masterpiece, you need to venture further, into the jungle or to the island's northern beaches. Nearby islands like Pulau Tuba and Dayang Bunting also offer enticing opportunities for drone pilots.

However, since many attractions can only be reached via water, there are a few tricks to bear in mind before sending up your precious quadcopter over the deep blue. Boat-based flights will involve asking the boat captain to stop for your launch, then channel your inner Yogi Berra for a catch-landing. Others might involve a friend riding a jet-ski so your drone can follow them around gorgeous locations such as watersport island, Paradise 101. And always keep a spare battery (or two) with you, so you don't run out of juice at the worst possible time.

Whichever artistic aerial angles you're aiming to capture, you'll find them at these best places to fly your drone in Langkawi.

1.Kilim Karst Geoforest Park

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Geopark $$$$$

Mukim Kilim River Tourism Jetty, Kampung Kilim, Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia

Price: Two - hour tour: RM350 per boat ($85.05), three - hour tour: RM450 per boat ($109.36), four - hour tour: RM500 per boat ($121.51) Time spent: 2-4 hours

Hours: 9am-5pm, 7 days

website email +60 49592323

Map... Directions... Book Tour

The 100 square kilometer Kilim Karst Geoforest Park centers around the winding Kilim River with thriving mangrove forests and fascinating setul rock formations dating back 490 million years. The region is best explored on a boat tour, which covers a selection of 14 attractions including caves, beaches, islands, and a floating fish farm. At the river's mouth, the landscape dramatically shifts from muddy mangroves to idyllic beaches and towering limestone islands.

Send your drone up at least once from the river to capture its snake-like formation, then again from the open sea for views over rocky cliffs and the iconic white sign.

Kilim Karst Geoforest park is one of 3 accredited geoforest parks within Langkawi's UNESCO Global Geopark Status.

Parking: Free

Tip: Book a private boat tour and ask your captain to pause on the river while you take off near Gorilla Peak, then restart the boat to capture it in motion.

Island stops on boat toursIsland stops on boat tours
Kilim River entrance from the Andaman SeaKilim River entrance from the Andaman Sea
Kilim River & mangrove forestKilim River & mangrove forest

2.Tanjung Rhu Beach

langkawi_drone-tanjung-rhu-sunrise-0394.jpg
Beach Free

Ayer Hangat, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia

Price: Free Time spent: 1-3 hours

Hours: 24 hours, 7 days

Map... Directions...

Tucked away at Langkawi's north-eastern point, Tanjung Rhu's famous views over the turquoise Andaman Sea are usually reserved for 2 luxury resorts perched on its shores. Visitors to the public section of beach are rewarded with refreshing waters, soft white sand and shady trees to lay a towel under.

No watersports are allowed at Tanjung Rhu, meaning the waters are usually super clear and calm, perfect to photograph from the sky. The towering limestone islands north of the beach are best captured during golden hour or sunrise, when the sun creates dreamy reflections in the sea. Late morning on mostly clear days is the best time for almost-unbelievable shades of turquoise in the sea.

Parking: Free

Tip: Be mindful of guests at nearby luxury resorts, The Four Seasons Resort and Tanjung Rhu Resort and try to keep noise to a minimum - especially early in the morning. Tanjung Rhu is a popular stop for boat tours from Kilim Geoforest Park.

Tanjung Rhu Beach and Kilim River at sunriseTanjung Rhu Beach and Kilim River at sunrise
View towards Tanjung Rhu, from behind islands at sunriseView towards Tanjung Rhu, from behind islands at sunrise
Islands off the coast of Tanjung RhuIslands off the coast of Tanjung Rhu
Public stretch of beachPublic stretch of beach
Boats for mangrove toursBoats for mangrove tours
Bay surrounding beachBay surrounding beach

3.Dataran Lang (Eagle Square)

langkawi_drone-dataran-lang-sunrise-0617.jpg

Langkawi's iconic eagle statue stands majestically at 12 meters (39.3 feet) high in the center of Dataran Lang, a star-shaped plaza located at the east end of Kuah Bay. It's one of the first sights to greet visitors arriving to Langkawi via ferry or cruise ship.

Due to its imposing size, the life-like statue of a Brahminy Kite is best captured with a drone, so you can fly out over the water rather than pointing a hand-held camera up, which distorts the perspective.

For the best views of the statue and bold "Langkawi" signage, visit in the 20 minutes before sunrise to capture the ever-changing hues around Kuah with the statue set against the backdrop of Langkawi's tallest mountain, Gunung Raya.

Parking: .RM30 (USD$0.07)

Tip: Bring a spare battery because one flight will not be enough!

Dataran Lang at sunrise
Close-up of eagle statue at sunriseClose-up of eagle statue at sunrise
Eagle statue at sunriseEagle statue at sunrise
Dataran Lang from behind just after sunriseDataran Lang from behind just after sunrise
Dataran Lang facing Jetty Point complexDataran Lang facing Jetty Point complex
Eagle statue from aboveEagle statue from above
Pentagon-shaped public squarePentagon-shaped public square

4.Paradise 101

langkawi_drone-paradise-101-0837.jpg
Island $$$$$

Paradise 101 Langkawi, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah

Price: Adults: from RM35 (USD$8.51), Children (<7): Free Time spent: 3-6 hours

Hours: 9am-11pm, 7 days

website email +60 49650300

Map... Directions... Book Tickets

Only 1km from the shoreline of Pantai Kok, man-made island Paradise 101 provides the ultimate hub for adventure, leisure, and relaxation. Watersport options range from jet-ski and banana boat rides, to kayaking, to an inflatable aquapark, while relaxation opportunities abound on beach lounges, private daybeds, or at OMG! Restaurant and Bar.

Photography options aren't limited to the series of Instagram-worthy birds' nests on the island. It's also the ideal place to launch your drone for shots of the banana-shaped island and Langkawi's north-western coastline.

Get a friend to jump on a jet-ski or banana boat so your drone can follow them around, capturing unique patterns in the turquoise water.

Parking: Free

Tip: Be mindful of other visitors' privacy when flying a drone. The best aerial angles of the island are from the northwest side. Late morning will provide deep turquoise tones in the water, whereas the golden light of early evening creates a dreamy mood.

North side of islandNorth side of island
Above island, jetty & aqua parkAbove island, jetty & aqua park
Aqua parkAqua park
South side - one of the private daybedsSouth side - one of the private daybeds

5.Pantai Kok

langkawi_drone-pantai-kok-0748.jpg
Beach Free

Jalan Pantai Kok, Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia 07000

Price: Free Time spent: 45 minutes

Hours: 24 hours, 7 days

Watch video Map... Directions...

Across the bay from Paradise 101, this concave stretch of sandy beach is lined with leaning palm trees. It remains quiet most of the day, and is usually only visited by tourists around sunsets for the lone food truck dishing up local cuisine.

The best time to shoot is definitely sunset - or more accurately, just before the sun passes behind the Machichang mountain range to the west. When cloud cover is just right, the sky lights up in every shade of grapefruit pink, deep orange, and purple blush.

Fly east beyond the Perdana Quay lighthouse, as it creates a strong foreground for a panorama of Pantai Kok smothered by a surreal amber glow.

Parking: Free

Tip: Use a bracketed exposure (AEB mode) to shoot 3 or 5 images for later blending during post-processing.

Telaga Harbour at sunsetTelaga Harbour at sunset
Perdana Quay lighthouse and Paradise 101Perdana Quay lighthouse and Paradise 101

6.Seven Wells Waterfall (Telaga Tujuh)

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One of Langkawi's most popular tourist attractions is Seven Wells Waterfall, a series of interconnected pools split over 2 levels and joined by a 91-meter high vertical waterfall. Due to its multi-level nature, the best view of these falls is from above.

Many visitors battle Langkawi's heat and humidity to climb a total of 638 steps to reach the famous upper pools.

Save your energy and climb only 200 steps to the lower pools. Here, you'll find the best view of the vertical waterfall, a large plunge pool, and a couple of gazebos providing the perfect spot to launch your drone.

Send it up over the vertical waterfall to snap photos of the upper pools. If you position your drone south of the falls, facing north, you'll be able to capture both levels of pools in one shot.

Parking: Car: RM2 (USD$0.49), Motorbike: RM1 ($0.24)

Tip: The waterfall is only worth photographing during wet season, typically from July to December. Water levels are usually highest during September and October. Try to avoid visiting in the early morning and late afternoon, as the surrounding tree canopy will cast a strong shadow in the absence of cloud cover.

Upper poolsUpper pools
Observation platform at upper poolsObservation platform at upper pools

7.Dayang Bunting (Lake of the Pregnant Maiden)

langkawi_drone-dayang-bunting-0981.jpg
Island $$$$$

Pulau Dayang Bunting, Kedah, Malaysia

Price: International: Adult: RM6 (USD$1.46), Child: RM3 ($0.73), Malay: Adult: RM4 ($0.97), Child: RM1 ($0.24) Time spent: 1-2 hours

Hours: 6am-8pm, 7 days

website +60 49667789

Map... Directions... Book Tour

The second-largest island in the Langkawi archipelago, Dayang Bunting is one of 3 distinct geoforest parks within Langkawi's UNESCO Global Geopark accreditation, thanks to its 290-million-year-old marble rock formations.

The island is best known for the 4,354-hectare natural lake in its southwest, known as Lake of the Pregnant Maiden. The mostly-freshwater lake is steeped in mystical legend and said to aid fertility in those who swim in or drink its waters.

Without a doubt, the best view of the lake is from above. Fly high and position your drone on the east side of the lake, facing west to capture islands dotting the sea in the background. The lake itself will require a panorama to capture its size, equivalent to 2 football stadiums.

For an interesting subject, get a friend to hire a paddle boat or canoe for your drone to follow around the lake.

Parking: Free

Tip: To avoid a "fly away", don't send your drone beyond the surrounding limestone mountains - the rock is 10 meters thick and the drone signal will drop out quickly.

Lake of the Pregnant Maiden
Lake and ocean separated by rock wallLake and ocean separated by rock wall
Lake near swimming area and paddle boat jettyLake near swimming area and paddle boat jetty

8.Kubang Badak Mangrove Reserve

langkawi_drone-kubang-badak-101_0051.jpg
Geopark $$$$$

Kampung Kelubi, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia

Price: RM250-RM550 (1-4 hours, private boat tour) (USD$60.75 - $133.66) Time spent: 1-4 hours

Hours: 9am-5pm, 7 days

email +60 134455644

Map... Directions... Book Tour

Less touristed than Kilim Karst Geoforest Park, the Kubang Badak BioGeo Trail is another opportunity to witness unique mangrove habitats and explore remote islands. The area is best visited by booking a boat tour, where up to 12 stops can be explored covering the history of early Siamese settlers, caves, beaches, and even snorkeling.

Send your drone up over the river to capture the calm waters reflecting like a mirror, then again over Pulau Jemaruk, where Langkawi's oldest rock formation hides underneath pristine white beach sands.

Parking: Free

Tip: A drone flight over Pulau Jemuruk is essential - just ask your captain to stop on the sandy beach at the southeast corner of the island. Set your drone camera to panorama mode to capture the full glory of this scene that seems to have been lifted from a postcard.

Pulau Jemuruk

9.Tuba Island (Pulau Tuba)

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Island Free

Pulau Tuba, Kedah, Malaysia

Price: Free Time spent: 4-48 hours

Hours: 24 hours, 7 days

website email +61 049600600

Map... Directions...

Connected to Dayang Bunting via road bridge, Tuba island is part of the Dayang Bunting Marble Geoforest Park and one of only 4 populated islands in the Langkawi archipelago.

Popular attractions include Bukit Kecik, meaning "small hill", with twisted and stacked rock patterns formed over 290 million years ago; a series of caves, and world-class seafood restaurants.

The sleepy fishing island is like stepping back in time before Langkawi had modern resorts, shopping complexes, and sports cars galore. The center of the island is filled with abandoned rice farms and grazing water buffalo. These meandering beasts make interesting subjects for drone pilots.

The island's rocky beaches, like Tanjung Pandan, are also excellent subjects for drone photography, with rickety jetties lined with modest fishing boats.

Parking: Free

Tip: Stay overnight at Tuba Beach Resort to send your drone out for sunrise shots from Pemandangan Indah beach or Batu Hampar.

Jetty near Tuba Beach ResortJetty near Tuba Beach Resort
View of east side of island near Tuba Beach ResortView of east side of island near Tuba Beach Resort
Gazebo at Tanjung PandanGazebo at Tanjung Pandan

10.Durian Perangin Waterfall (Sona Waterfall)

langkawi_drone-durian-perangin-0514.jpg
Waterfall $$$$$

Jalan Durian Perangin, 162, Langkawi 07000, Kedah, Malaysia

Price: RM2 (USD$0.49) Time spent: 1-3 hours

Hours: 24 hours, 7 days

Map... Directions...

A 14-tiered waterfall with a series of shallow natural rock pools surrounded by lush jungle-like greenery and picnic grounds.

The main attraction is a vertical stream gushing down the northern slope of Langkawi's tallest mountain, Gunung Raya. This section can be reached after climbing the 200-meter long rocky stairs to reach a flat rock surface overlooking the waterfall.

Send your drone up from this rocky ledge to capture the steep vertical fall and series of shallow falls surrounded by rainforest foliage. You can even fly higher for a glimpse of Gunung Raya's peak.

Parking: Free

Tip: You don't have to fly very high to get a dramatic selfie in front of the waterall.

11.Laman Padi Langkawi

langkawi_drone-laman-padi-0918.jpg

Most tourists visit Laman Padi to learn about Langkawi's rice farming history and culture from the museum galleries.

Drone pilots visit for the rice paddies located between Laman Padi and neighboring hotel, Gemalai Village. For an interesting subject, find a grazing buffalo, usually accompanied by white egrets.

The fields are best photographed at sunset, when the sky's hues of yellow, orange, and pink reflect in the rice field's water. Dedicated photographers will book a stay at Gemalai Village for easy access to the rice fields in a range of lighting conditions.

Parking: Free

Tip: Due to its close proximity to the airport your drone may flag a warning requiring you to provide assurance that you have permission to fly. It's especially important to keep your altitude below the tree line.

Rice field at sunsetRice field at sunset
Rice field at sunsetRice field at sunset
Rice field facing Gemalai Village at sunsetRice field facing Gemalai Village at sunset
Gemalai VillageGemalai Village
Boardwalk at Gemalai VillageBoardwalk at Gemalai Village
2-story chalet at Gemalai Village2-story chalet at Gemalai Village

12.Temurun Waterfall (Air Terjun Temurun)

langkawi_drone-temurun-waterfall-0251.jpg
Waterfall Free

161, Jalan Datai, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah

Price: Free Time spent: 30-90 minutes

Hours: 7am-7pm, 7 days

website

Map... Directions...

Langkawi's tallest waterfall with 3 cascading tiers towering 200 meters (656 feet) in height. The stream ends in a natural rock pool where locals swim and picnic on shady rocks. Adventurous visitors follow a handrail-less rock staircase to the upper pool, where another refreshing pool awaits.

Due to the fall's majestic height, the best photographs are achieved from a distance. Even with a drone, you'll likely need a vertorama to capture the entire waterfall. Due to the safety of other visitors and your non-waterproof drone, be careful not to fly too close to the falls as fine spray may damage your quadcopter.

Temurun is a seasonal waterfall, meaning its stream and pools are almost empty during dry season. For the best effect, visit during or just after wet season (April-November).

Parking: Free

Tip: Local monkeys think anything wrapped in a plastic bag as food and fair game for their thieving fingers. Transport your drone in a backpack or other fabric bag to protect it from monkeys.

Temurun Waterfall vertoramaTemurun Waterfall vertorama
Temurun Waterfall and mountainous backgroundTemurun Waterfall and mountainous background

13.Pantai Pasir Tengkorak (Sandy Skull Beach)

langkawi_drone-pantai-pasir-tengkorak-0298.jpg
Beach Free

Jalan Datai, Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia 07000

Price: Free Time spent: 30-90 minutes

Hours: 24 hours, 7 days

Watch video Map... Directions...

A serene section of public beach in the northern region of Datai Bay, known for private beaches attached to luxury resorts. Sandy Skull Beach boasts some of the clearest waters and whitest sands in Langkawi, making it a popular picnic spot among locals.

Rocky outcrops at the ends of the small stretch of beach are frequented by fishermen but also make an interesting subject for aerial photography, as does the winding road behind the beach, shrouded by jungle.

Parking: Free

Tip: It's best to visit during the week as locals tend to flock to this beach on Friday and Saturday.

Winding, jungle-lined road west of the beachWinding, jungle-lined road west of the beach
Sandy beach from aboveSandy beach from above
Clear, swim-friendly watersClear, swim-friendly waters

14.Resorts World Langkawi

langkawi_drone-resortsworld-0240.jpg
Hotel $$$$$

Jalan Teluk Baru, Tanjung Malai, Langkawi 07000, Kedah, Malaysia

Price: Pool access, drink & towel hire: RM30 per person ($7.29) Time spent: 2 hours

Hours: 7am-12am, 7 days (Infinity Pool)

website email +60 49555111

Watch video Map... Directions... Book Hotel Stay

At the far southwest corner of Langkawi, this large resort complex is home to restaurants and a marina. Outside guests are welcome to use the infinity pool and sun lounges for a small fee (which includes towel and a drink).

On a sunny day, the view of Dayang Bunting across the bay is spellbinding at ground level. Take this up a few meters, mix in the perfectly curved edge of the infinity pool and you've got a winning formula for drone magic!

Parking: Free

Tip: You don't need to go too high or too far for the best drone shot. Use a subject in the swimming pool to keep a central focus for your frame and position your drone to the north.

Resorts World infinity pool with Pulau Dayang Bunting in the backgroundResorts World infinity pool with Pulau Dayang Bunting in the background
Swimmer and symmetrySwimmer and symmetry

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