6 reasons why Langkawi is the perfect quick getaway

If you haven’t been to Langkawi already, you’re really missing out. It’s only an hour and a half away from Singapore by plane, and it’s got the best of both beaches/watersports and rainforest/trekking—not to mention some fantastic resorts. Here are six great reasons to book that flight. 

, 6 reasons why Langkawi is the perfect quick getaway
Cenang Beach

1. The beaches are amazing
Langkawi’s beaches are the Platonic ideal: powdery white sand and crystal clear waters against a backdrop of lush rainforests. One of the most popular beaches is the Cenang Beach: it’s got lots of of watersports, with the caveat that it’s quite close to the backpacker belt. For something quieter, there’s the Datai Bay that’s been named one of the top 10 beaches in the world by National Geographic. But it’s only open to guests of the Datai Langkawi and the Andaman.    

, 6 reasons why Langkawi is the perfect quick getaway
Nature walk with Irshad Mobarak

2. There are easy and rewarding hikes
Langkawi is home to 10-million year old rainforests and the Gunung Machinchang Mountain, which rose from the seabed half a billion years ago. Most resorts conduct nature walks with experienced naturalists so you won’t have to worry about venturing into the wild by yourself. A short, but relatively intense, hike is the multi-tiered Telaga Tujuh Waterfall (aka Seven Wells Waterfall) on Mount Mat Cincang. It’s 2km from the Pantai Kok Beach. You start from the car park and get to the top an hour later. If you just want to pretend like you’re a hiker, check out Crystal Creek. It’s a five-minute drive from Datai Bay, and a 15-minute trek through the rainforest will get you to a cool stream that’s perfect for an afternoon dip.

, 6 reasons why Langkawi is the perfect quick getaway
The Els Club

3. It’s a haven for water (and land) sports
You’ll find everything from snorkelling and diving to parasailing, jet skiing and wake boarding. But the fact that Langkawi is surrounded by 99 islands opens up even more options. You can go island hopping on a jet ski, with companies like Seeman Water Sports offering three-hour tours that cover eight islands with lots of limestone rocks and caves. Prices start at RM550 ($203).

For something more hands-on, Skytrex is a zip-lining and adventure course packed with rope and obstacle courses. A beginners’ course takes two hours to complete and comes with 18 obstacles. Walk-in rates start at RM50 ($18) but do book your ticket online as it can get pretty busy.

Alternatively, you can also try your hand at golf. The Els Club Teluk Datai serves up stunning views of the Andaman Sea and is flanked by the Mat Cincang mountains. Green fees start at RM450 ($166).

, 6 reasons why Langkawi is the perfect quick getaway
Laman Padi Langkawi

4. You can pretend you’re a rice farmer
The rice fields at Laman Padi Langkawi (Jalan Pantai Cenang, +60 1 9477-0289) are fully operational and open to visitors. It’s RM10 ($3) to get in, and you can see buffalos at work, fish traps and scarecrows. You can also do a guided tours for RM25 ($9). There’s a rice museum on premises, as well as a herb garden and an art gallery that houses the works of local artists and doubles up as a working studio.

If you’d like to stay, the very affordable The Gemalai Village Resort ets you wake up to views of the lush rice fields. Rooms start at $100 per night.

, 6 reasons why Langkawi is the perfect quick getaway
The Datai Langkawi

5. There are nice perks and affordable deals at the luxe resorts
We stayed at the 125-room The Datai Langkawi that overlooks the Andaman Sea and sits along the beautiful Datai Bay. Don’t miss the free nature walks that happen twice a day, hosted by well-known resident naturalist Irshad Mobarak. From now until Dec 22, they’ve got a special deal for Singapore and Malaysian residents that includes 15% off spa treatments and 10% off food and drink. Rooms start at RM955 ($356) per night. Other plush options include The Westin Langkawi that’s got a special deal from now until Jun 31, 2015 with rooms starting at $300 per night. The Andaman that has rooms starting at RM749 ($277) a night.

6. It’s a short and cheap flight
All this action, adventure and nature is a mere hour and a half away by plane. AirAsia flies there direct six times a week, with tickets as low as $90. But if you’re looking to get away on a regular weekend, take a half-day on Friday and catch the 3:55pm Silkair flight, which puts you in Langkawi well before dinner time. After lunch on Sunday, you can fly back on AirAsia (4pm), TigerAir (6pm) or SilkAir (8:45pm) and still be ready for work in the morning.