The best guide to Langkawi for families

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There is so much to do in Langkawi for families that sometimes the actual family travel essentials get lost in the where to swim and the what to do’s of it all. When planning a family trip to Langkawi there are so many things to consider.

Not only things like where to stay in Langkawi with kids but also where is the best place to stay in Langkawi for families, what are some of the best attractions in Langkawi for children, what are all the best Langkawi sightseeing places and what are some of the top travel tips for Langkawi by other family travellers.

An elevated view of a cable car with the town and ocean below in Langkawi

As we had never visited Langkawi before I had no idea what it would be like when we first got there. We chose to stay at Pantai Cenang even though it is one of the most visited places on Langkawi. After spending some time on the magnificent island of Langkawi I thought I would put this post together about what will make your stay in Pantai Cenang easier for you on your family trip to Langkawi.

Here are all the essential must-knows when you are visiting Langkawi with family.

drone shot of Langkawi from above taking in the beach, ocean and resorts

Where is Pantai Cenang?

Pantai Cenang is a gorgeous little piece of Langkawi and it is where a lot for the tourists end up. It sort of made us think of what Kuta in Bali may have been like 20 years ago before the hordes of tourists arrived. The beachfront is full of hotels, resorts and villas that are great for families visiting Langkawi. This makes Pantai Cenang the best place in Langkawi for families.

Are all the essentials available in Pantai Cenang for families?

You will find almost everything you will need here and it is all very easy to find especially if you are visiting Langkawi with family. We found the area to be very safe with many people walking the streets at night eating out on the footpaths or in a restaurant and generally having a great time with very little rowdy stuff going on.

Even the beach was a great place to just sit and watch the sun go down with people enjoying water sports, para-gliding, jet skies, a leisurely walk and sandcastle building. With all of this Pantai Cenang has to be the best area to find one of the family-friendly hotels in Langkawi and relax!

*At no point where we harassed on the beach to buy items or anything like that which you may have experienced in some other places.

white sands  blue waters people on the beach at Pantai Cenang in Langkawi

Shopping in Pantai Cenang

Like many coastal places, there is an abundance of the little market like shops that line the main street and Pantai Cenang Beach Langkawi is exactly the same. Prices do differ slightly from shop to shop but you will mainly find they are relatively the same price. You may be able to find things a little bit cheaper if you venture off the main strip. In these little market stalls you can buy:

  • clothes
  • all the beach essentials: beach toys, floaties, goggles and hats
  • bags
  • all the souvenirs you need to take home
  • sunglasses
  • towels

*If you are a larger lady like myself you may struggle to find clothes that fit you. Some stretch really well and I asked for ‘big size, to fit me’ most of the shirts that did had Starbucks and things like that written on them which was not really what I was looking for. There are plenty of very free-flowing dresses though that would have fit easily. The ladies in the shops are really helpful and so kind about it. I did not at all feel pressured into buying something that did not fit me (which I did feel in other places) and they were very apologetic that they had nothing that did fit. They were all so lovely.

Langkawi family accommodation

There are so many different types of Langkawi family accommodation from budget stays in Langkawi all the way up to 5-star resorts in Langkawi.

There is an abundance of places to stay in Pantai Cenang that your mind will boggle at where is the best place to stay in Langkawi for families. Here we have listed some places for all budgets for you to pick from on your Langkawi family vacation.

Budget accommodation in Langkawi – Pantai Cenang Beach

Being so close to the main tourist area in Langkawi you would think finding some budget stays in Pantai Cenang would be difficult but there are more than enough places to stay in Pantai Cenang on a budget.

Malibest Resort Langkawi:

Rating a 7.1 from over 2409 reviews and starting at $44US per night for a family room with 2 double beds. Malibest Resort is right on the main street of Cenang and has beach access with a location score of 8.3. There is also a pool on-site with a waterslide, you have free wi-fi, toiletries and private bathrooms.

*We stayed at the Malibest Resort during our stay in Langkawi. We did have an issue with the internet in our first room which was not part of the main complex it was over the road and further back from the actual resort. We upgraded rooms to one in the main complex. Our sink smelt a fair bit (we just shut the bathroom door) but the room was cleaned, serviced daily and was much easier to get to the pool and beach from. We felt safe here and there was very easy access to restaurants and mini-marts. If you are travelling to Langkawi with family on a budget this is an ideal place for your stay in Langkawi.

Check for the latest prices and booking information at The Malibest today

Landcons Hotel and Resort:

Rated a 6.9 from 898 reviews and starting at $37US per night for a Superior Triple room. Landcons Hotel and Resort has a location score of 8.0 and they offer guests an outdoor pool on-site, open-air restaurant, free wi-fi, cable tv and private bathrooms.

Check for the latest prices and booking information at Landcons today

You might like this related article on the best Langkawi activities for kids. We have 11 great ideas for your family vacation in Langkawi

Mid-range accommodation at Pantai Cenang

If you are looking for some different Langkawi family accommodation there are plenty of options here as well. You can find some of the best hotels in Langkawi that are mid-range and offer families on holiday in Langkawi some magnificent facilities.

Destini Akef Villa

Rated an 8.0 from 1718 reviews and starting at $40.00 US per night for a family room. Destini has a location score of 7.6 and they offer guests an outdoor swimming pool, free breakfast, and a short 5-minute walk to the beach

Check for the latest prices and booking information at Deastini Akef Villa today

Camar Resort Langkawi

Rated a 9.0 from 1841 reviews and starting at $206US per night for a Terrace Villa. Camar Resort has a location score of 8.8 and they offer guests a private beach, outdoor swimming pool, fitness centre, tour desk and buffet breakfast.

Check for the latest prices and booking information at Camar Resort today

Luxury Accommodation at Pantai Cenang

For those once in a life-time experience, staying in one of the 5-star family hotels in Langkawi would be top of the list. There are some brilliant family suites in Langkawi and we are sure you will find a stunning room in one of the best parts of Langkawi to stay.

Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort and Spa

Rated an 8.4 from 1926 reviews and starting at $330 per night for a Superior Double or Twin Room with Garden Terrace rooms. Meritus Pelangi has a location score of 9.0 and they offer guests a private beach, a restaurant, free parking, 2 outdoor pools and satellite tv.

*We have put Meritus Pelangi in the luxury section of this post due to the cost of having to get two rooms for a family of four.

Check for the latest prices and booking information at The Meritus Pelangi today

Resorts World Langkawi

Rated an 8.4 from 754 reviews and starting at $707US for a Signature Suite. Resorts World Langkawi has a location score of 7.7 and offers guests buffet breakfast, outdoor pool, fitness centre, free scheduled shuttle to Cenang Mall, a spa and Satelite television.

*We took a Grab (Asian Uber) out to Resorts world from Malibest Resort and it cost us RM12 for about a 10-minute drive from the heart of Cenang.

Check for the latest prices and booking information at Resorts World Langkawi today

Best Family Resort in Langkawi

Finding a family resort in Langkawi is easy. For families in Langkawi that are all about relaxation, kids club and all-inclusive there are a few options that will make your family trip to Langkawi unforgettable.

beach at Langkawi with Resort

The Berjaya Langkawi Resort 

The five-star Berjaya resort is surrounded by the beach on one side and forest on the other. This resort offers Bungalows both over water and ground. It gives you the perfect sense of isolation and luxury. The Berjaya is a top choice for one of the best luxury beachfront hotels in Langkawi.

On-site facilities at this Langkawi family-friendly resort includes an amazing swimming pool, day spa, gym, table tennis, beach volleyball, playground, kids club. If you have older children they offer Jungle trekking and fishing. The resort has a tour desk and shuttle service to the town.  You will plenty of choice for food and drinks with four restaurants and 3 bars on site

Check for the latest prices and booking information at Berjaya Langkawi Resort today

One more suggestion for Langkawi for families accommodation

If you are looking for a place that is quiet and out of Pantai Cenang after you have had your touristy time in Pantai Cenang we can highly recommend The Ocean Residence in Kuah. One of the most amazing things about this awesome accommodation is that it is made out of recycled shipping containers and we can highly recommend it as one of the best family hotels in Langkawi.

Rating an 8.4 from 926 reviews and starting at $125US per night for a two-bedroom container room. The Ocean Residence has a location score of 7.7 and offers guests in-house dining, a small on-site shop, free airport shuttle, 2 outdoor pools, organic toiletries and ocean views. Ocean Residences is an amazing Langkawi family accommodation option.

Langkawi for families airbnb alternative

If you prefer a home away from home-style accommodation then an AirBnB in Langkawi is the best choice for family travel. There are so many options for singles, families and budget-friendly options as well. Check out the map below to 

” target=”_blank”>find the perfect Langkawi Airbnb.

Takeaway food in Langkawi

There are so many lovely spots to eat on the Cenang strip that you won’t really need to worry about having a dose of Maccas or KFC but they are there just in case. You can have a look at some restaurants and their menus as you walk down the street. We ate at:

  • BBQ Station- a little kebab hut on the main street. A kebab was costing around RM10
  • Telegar Seafood- A massive array of meals starting from as low as RM10 and as high as RM120. We also paid a service tax here of 10%
  • A little warung we could not get the name of. We all had a main and rice and it cost RM47 with drinks.
  • One night we ate at Pizza Hut and that cost RM80 with a service tax of 10% as well.

Another great local food option is to check out where the Langkawi Night Markets . We went twice and we just wandered around trying all different types of food and it was all delicious. It is definitely one of the most interesting places in Langkawi to visit and must be on your Langkawi itinerary!<

bowls of malaysian food

You can wander the market forever trying all the food you possibly can. We loved so much of it BUT there is nowhere to sit down and enjoy your food. It gets very chaotic and can be hard for little kids but it will be delicious and it is a must during your Langkawi family trip.

*Just one more tip for the Langkawi Night Market:

Many of the stallholders found larger bills hard to change with the cost of the food being so small. So if you can make sure you take smaller bills with you to make it easier on the stallholders.

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Where is the location of the Langkawi night market?

The funny and confusing thing about the Langkawi night market is that i changes location every night. In the table below we have put the current locations of the night market for you.

food lined up for sale at the Langkawi night market

Getting to the Langkawi Night Markets

If you are getting a Taxi or a Grab most of the drivers will know exactly where to got to get you to the night market. You do need to be careful if you are going to the Langkawi night market with kids as the roads around them can be very busy.

When is the Langkawi night market open?

The night market in Langkawi runs from 7 pm until 10 pm. If you, like us, found a few favourite stalls be aware that some do have nights off and don’t attend a market on a certain night. If you really like their food just check with them as to when they have a night off.

Food- cook yourself

If you are looking for Langkawi hotels for families where you can cook you may find getting the type of food you are used to difficult. We found finding a big supermarket quite hard when we were staying on Pantai Cenang. There was a bigger one outside of the town itself and we went there to get plastic Tupperware containers for our breakfast bowls.

You are mainly going to shop at the duty-free stores for alcohol and at little mini-marts. We did not see a place where you could buy any fresh meat other than the night market or anything other than noodle cups really. This may be different if you chose to stay in a hostel in Langkawi and get some insider tips on where to purchase food.

*If you love fresh fish and you do have cooking facilities at your Langkawi accommodation you will find a large assortment at the Langkawi night market for you to purchase and cook at home.

What should I pack to wear in Langkawi with kids?

Langkawi weather is warm so you can leave the cardi’s and long pants at home! We recommend you should take

  • Bathers – a good durable pair that you can wear both in saltwater and a pool
  • A rashie with UV protection from the sun
  • Lightweight t-shirts
  • A nice free-flowing dress to keep cool
  • Sunglasses to protect your eyes
  • Lightweight shorts
  • A good pair of sandals to support your feet
  • A good hat to keep the sun off your face
Girl crouching down on the beach at Langkawi taking a picture of the sunset

Laundry service in Langkawi

We used two services when we were in Langkawi Pantai Cenang. Both were on the main street but one’s hours were a little hard to predict so we used one closer to our accommodation. At the first laundry, we paid RM6 per kilo and at the second we paid RM4. Both were similar services with the second being slightly faster.

Some of the family hotels in Langkawi will offer a laundry service but it may be significantly more expensive. If you are happy to drop off your washing to have it done you can save a lot of money. Your family holiday in Langkawi is meant to be stress-free but as many know travelling with kids there is always a load of washing to do.

Grab rideshare in Langkawi

Grab is the Asian form of Uber and we have used it so often on our travels. You can download the app and order the car you want. Unlike taxis you know the price you have to pay before you even get in the car.

We have found Grab a cheap, hassle-free mode of transport paying as little as RM4 for little trips in a small car up to RM30 to get us and our luggage around.

Alcohol in Langkawi

This was a real surprise for us. We did not know that Langkawi is in a Tax-free area so alcohol was so cheap. We bought or got prices for:

  • 1 slab (24 cans) of Tiger beer for RM54.87
  • 1-litre bottle of Molly’s (like Bailey’s) RM40
  • 1 litre of Smirnoff vodka RM50
  • 1 litre of Scotch RM30
  • Bottle of wine RM67

Tips for buying alcohol in Pantai Cenang Langkawi:

  • You must have your passport with you to purchase at the duty free shops.
  • There are many brands you will know and some you may not
  • You get these prices at the Duty free shops

Water activities in Langkawi

There are so many Langkawi family attractions that it will be hard to choose which ones to do but water activities in Langkawi rate highly. There are many different companies you can go with to enjoy water sports in Langkawi. At Pantai Cenang Beach you can:

  • hire a jet ski
  • para-sail
  • ride the banana behind a boat

We really recommend that you choose a company to go with during your holiday in Langkawi Malaysia. There are many scams that happen after someone rents a jet ski where they are ‘damaged’ upon return. They are then expected to pay a massive amount to fix that jet ski. If you go with a company you will most likely have insurance as well that will cover you if anything happens while you are Pantai Cenang water activities.

*We recommend you use Mega Water Sports for your jet ski tour and hire when you are staying in Langkawi.

Cruises around the Langkawi Islands

One way to get away from it all is to enjoy a boat cruise around the Islands of Langkawi and it is a great way to see Langkawi with children in tow. They are a great way to see the sights from the water and take in some of the local birds especially the eagles. Watching them from the comfort of a boat is awesome as the soar above you searching for food. We enjoyed 2 cruises during our family trip to Langkawi.

Tropical Charters Day Cruise

The Tropical Charters Day cruise was amazing. We sat on the catamaran and just relaxed. We had drinks provided and lunch as well. We were taken around the Islands and the captain pointed out eagles to us and landmarks like the Pregnant Lady Lake. It was one of the best activities in Langkawi for families.

Tips for the Tropical Charters day cruise.

  • Take plenty of sunscreen
  • Don’t forget your bathers!
  • Take shoes you can take off easily as it is easier to walk around the boat bare-foot
girl standing on the deck of a boat looking towards Langkawi

Crystal Yacht Holidays sunset cruise

We got to enjoy this awesome sunset cruise with 2 other families and it was a great experience for us all. The kids were able to chat to other kids and we had some time to talk to other travelling parents.

We were taken around the Islands of Langkawi and shown all of the sights. We then enjoyed dinner before sitting down to watch the sunset over the water. We highly suggest you do a Langkawi Sunset cruise during your Langkawi stay.

Tips for the Crystal yacht holidays sunset cruise

  • Bring plenty of sunscreens
  • I took a lightweight top to protect me from the sun
  • Bring easy to remove shoes as it is easier to walk around the boat with bare feet
  • A cap or hat you can adjust as it can blow off your head when you really get going

Beach tips for Langkawi

One of the most popular things to do in Langkawi is to visit Pantai Cenang Beach. If being at the beach is a thing you want to do then you are in the right place in Langkawi. Langkawi beach time is a must for any visit to Langkawi.

Good things about Pantai Cenang Beach

  • The beach is calm
  • It is patrolled in places
  • There is a section fenced off for swimmers
  • You can hire a sunbed to relax on
  • It is close to the street and shops if you need anything

Not so great things about Pantai Cenang Beach

  • It can get busy with boats and jet skis
  • Some people can get itchy from the water
  • Cars drive on the beach to drop off and pick up equipment

Marley and Mark became seriously itchy after swimming in the water in Langkawi. This can be common throughout the year and nothing to be really worried about. We were told to:

  • Immediately wash the itchy skin in freshwater
  • If the itching continues wash with soap
  • If you are still struggling with itchy skin douse the skin with vinegar and leave for a minute or until the itching does stop.
  • Rinse the vinegar off with more freshwater

As we said there is nothing to worry about as it is normally little sea lice. Marley did have some hives from the bites (her skin is prone to breaking out in hives if it is bothered by something) but Mark just found he was uncomfortable and the itch went away pretty quickly for him. It took a little longer for it to go away for Marley.

Other Langkawi attractions for family

So now that you have all of the essentials organised for your Langkawi family trip you need to know what to do in Langkawi with kids and there are so many Langkawi family attractions for kids. Here we have included some of the best things to do in Langkawi with children that you should include in your Langkawi itinerary.

Top Langkawi activities for family:

Langkawi Cable Car

Oriental Village

Geo Park Zip Line

Langkawi Sky Bridge

Langkawi Underwater World

Our visit to Langkawi was both relaxing and fun. We had never really been water activity, people, before but our time in Langkawi certainly changed that. We think these are the best things to do in Langkawi for families and we hope you get to try them out on your next visit to Langkawi. Langkawi is best accessed from Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia.

We hope this article from us here at Wyld Family Travel has you inspired to plan a trip to Langkawi for a relaxing beachside holiday when you visit Malaysia. For more amazing ideas on where to holiday in Malaysia click through to our Malaysia Destination Guide page for more brilliant inspiration.

Some more travel inspiration for your trip to Malaysia

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