The popular and cheap three-island boat tour covers three islands - Pulau Dayang Bunting, Pulau Singa Besar and Pulau Beras Basah - to the south of the main island in Langkawi, off the north-west coast of Malaysia. Tourists get the chance to swim in a fertility lake, watch eagles catching fish and enjoy an unspoilt beach.
Island Hopping: Three-island tour on Langkawi, Malaysia
A review of a Langkawi island hopping tour taking in Pulau Dayang Bunting, Pulau Singa Besar and Pulau Beras Basah.
The beach at Pulau Beras Basah
Photo by Steve Rogerson
There are more than 100 islands that make up the archipelago of Langkawi Permata Kedah off the north-west coast of Malaysia, yet most tourists only ever visit the main island. This is a pity, because many of the other islands have some of the best unspoilt jungles and beaches.
There are a number of companies offering island-hopping tours, and most are very reasonably priced. This review looks at a tour covering three islands – Pulau Dayang Bunting, Pulau Singa Besar and Pulau Beras Basah – just to the south of the main island.
Pulau Dayang Bunting
This is the second largest of the islands that make up Langkawi and is famous for a hill top that looks like a pregnant woman lying on her back. The boat stopped on the way at a point where that shape could be seen. It then docked ready for a walk to Dayang Bunting Lake (the Lake of the Pregnant Maiden). To reach the lake, you walk up stairs through the jungle and then down the other side – it takes about ten minutes and watch out for the monkeys. Once at the lake, you can swim but at your own risk, the main one being its reputation for getting you pregnant, the other is that it is ten metres deep and there are no lifeguards. Once in though, the water is lovely, but save some energy for the climb back to the boat.
Pulau Singa Besar
The boat doesn’t actually dock at the second island but stops in a bay just off the coast where you can watch the eagles flying overhead and swooping down into the water to catch fish. There are lots of eagles and lots of opportunities to take good photographs.
Pulau Beras Basah
The final island is a sea swimming treat. The boat stops by a beach lapped gently by a calm sea and everyone is given an hour to enjoy the water. There are a couple of shops selling soft drinks and watersports gear, but apart from those the beach is unspoilt. The only danger is theft, not from fellow tourists but from monkeys who will steal unattended belongings while their owners swim.
Where to buy
Most hotels and travel shops along the Cenang and Tengah beaches will sell an island hopping tour for the remarkably low price of RM25 per person (this review is based on a tour bought from AB Marine & Watersport). There are two tours a day, beginning at 9am and 2pm, and they start from where you buy the ticket. You are driven by minibus to the dock where you have to walk in shallow water out to the boat, so take appropriate footwear. The complete tour from being picked up to dropped off takes about four hours.