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Pantai Cenang (Cenang Beach) is the most popular beach area in Langkawi among local tourists and international visitors, located at the south-western tip of Langkawi island, Kedah district, Malaysia. The area stretches for 2 kilometres long, featuring sparkling clear blue water and pearly white sands. The beach is also nicknamed as The Hawaii of Malaysia, overlooking the magnificent Andaman Sea.
Atypical of well-known beach area, Pantai Cenang is populated with a number of mid-range and budget hostels, as it is mainly roamed by backpackers. Though so, there are still a few luxurious resorts to a more upscale choice on vacationing. Upon dusk, numerous night entertainment such as shopping stalls and restaurants light up the beach area. Located conveniently in the duty-free island, possessing unruly beautiful and rather spacey beach and water sports, Pantai Cenang is a definite choice for weekend getaway relaxation and fun.
The main gateway to Pantai Cenang from any other cities in Malaysia and other countries are through Langkawi’s airport and harbour. However, there is no public transportation in Langkawi Island.
Langkawi International Airport (LGK) is located on the northwestern part of Langkawi island, serving flights to and from Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Singapore, Hat Yai, and Phuket.
To reach Pantai Cenang from Langkawi International Airport, coupon for taxi can be bought on the airport, costing about RM20.00. All taxis in Langkawi work on fixed price system.
Langkawi is served by Kuah Jetty, servicing boats, mainly ferries, from nearby islands and mainland as well as to Thailand.
To go to Pantai Cenang from Kuah Jetty, coupon taxi will cost RM24.00.
Pantai Cenang is home to a list of exciting activities and sightseeing spots.
Being the main attraction and centre of liveliness on the area, Pantai Cenang Beach boasts off its powdery white sand and popularity among other beaches for the varieties of activities to do while relaxing. Main caterings to water activities offer jet skiing, banana boating, speed boating, and kayaking. Due to serious accidents, parasailing is unfortunately banned by the town’s government currently.
The most interesting activity to do is ‘island hopping boat tours’, which allows you to explore Pulau Dayang Bunting, part of UNESCO World Heritage Geoparks featuring the fresh water Lake of Pregnant Woman to swim or explore the tiny island; Pulau Singa Besar to feed eagles, and Pulau Beras Basah offering one of the best snorkelling spots and picnic. The tour package ranges from RM35.00 to RM50.00 per person, and can be booked from the kiosks at Pantai Cenang or through the hotel.
To spice up your relaxation, try varieties of spa around the beach area, including fish spa and Thai spa. While walking along the main street, you can find many shops selling handicrafts, such as at Paradise Craft, to apparels and foods ranging from the budget price to upscale ones.
Upon dusk, pubs and restaurants would light the beach area, from Irish pub to seafood/barbecue lounge and snack bars. For hawkers and market wanderers, Temoyong Night Market is set every Thursday, open from 19:00 until 22:00, selling souvenirs and cheap local food. The long nights at Pantai Cenang ensure tight schedules for activities to any kind of tourists.
Located at Pantai Cenang’s southern end beside Zon shopping centre, Underwater World Langkawi is a marine and freshwater aquatic animal’s exhibition, spread in the huge six acres building. Inside the huge complex are three sections: Tropical Rainforest, Temperate, and Sub-Antarctic, which is very popular for the rockhopper and black-footed penguins in its penguinarium. Other sections are Freshwater, Marine life, and Coral. Featured inside as well is a giant structure of 15-metre-long walkthrough tunnel, and Educational Resource Centre, which comprises of cafeteria and 3D theatre. For shopping, the souvenir shop offers both souvenirs and seafood foodstuffs and delicacies. Do come at the feeding times for fun time interacting with the animals.
Laman Padi Rice Garden is a unique rice museum located on Pantai Cenang road, opposite Meritus Pelangi Resort. The word ‘laman’ means field, and ‘padi’ translates to rice, in which the museum literally displays the rice fields as well as herb gardens and rice cultivation and harvesting process and transformation. Established in 1999, the museum is exhibited in 8-acre lot of real rice farm and is one of Langkawi’s best tourist attractions, especially for visitors who are not familiar with paddy and rice. The museum features rice field to wander around, with scarecrows, and the Heritage Gallery, exhibiting equipments and tools related to the harvesting activities. It is best to get the free guide to take you around and explain most of the things, and it will be free of charge. In addition, do not miss to try dipping your knees into the paddy fields and experience planting the rice or harvesting it.
Laman Padi Rice Garden is open daily (except Friday and public holidays) from 10:00 to 18:00 without admission fee. There is a spa featuring treatment with fresh ingredients picked from the herbal garden and two restaurants; Laman Ria features Japanese, Chinese, Malay, and Thai food; Jimmy’s Café, serving tandoor (earthen oven cooked) dishes.