The island of Langkawi is generally associated with cheap alcohol and tobacco because of its duty free stores, and whilst a cheap beer is always welcomed my main plan was to go hiking in Langkawi!
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I spent a couple of nights in Langkawi as I used it as my final stop in Malaysia before moving on to Thailand.
I arrived by ferry from Georgetown (Rm100-120) and you can find flights for a similar price as well.
When I was camping in Penang a friend I met there recommended to stay at the Bed Attitude Hostel. This place is really close to Kuah’s Ferry Terminal (15min walk) and has a really good vibe, it was only opened in Aug ’18 and Harry, the owner, is a super nice guy.
It’s a really nice hostel and was decently cheap as well (Rm23/night) with a generous and varied breakfast instead of just the regular toast with butter/jam. I’d surely stay there again! check out here some more hostels in Langkawi!
MY HIKING ESSENTIALS
Perhaps the most important thing to point out is that Langkawi has no public transport so unless you want to take taxis everywhere (the Grab app works there, which is like Malaysia’s Uber) you’re better off renting a scooter.
Compared with other places in SE Asia, is more expensive to rent a scooter in Langkawi, I asked in quite a few places and the cheapest I found was the one offered by Harry at the hostel, Rm40 for 24 hours.
I rented it together with a friend from 11:00am so we’d still have time on the following morning to go for another spin around the island.
The chosen place for hiking in Langkawi was the oldest rock formation in the whole of SE Asia, at 701m of altitude, Gunung Mat Chinchang was formed some 550 million years ago.
To start the hike you need to go towards the parking of the Seven Wells Waterfall. From the hostel it took us almost 40min to get there and you get to see some pretty sights on the way, I particularly liked the rice fields.
Once you park (Rm1 to park for the whole day), you start climbing some paved steps towards the Seven Wells. When you get to the natural pools, the start of the hike will be discreetly signalled at the far end of the walking area.
At this point you will pretty much stop seeing people for the next couple of hours as this hike is a fantastic hidden gem, I counted only 3 people all the way up and down!
The entire hike is easy to follow, with the first half being a mix of flatland and gentle climbs, in some areas you find a few concrete steps but is mostly all natural paths.
At around half way, you find an U-Turn sign, this point is marked on maps.me as “end of easy trail” and the app shows no further path, but you can certainly continue and this is when the fun begins!
Just after the sign, the path will descend a little bit to then suddenly have a constant climb where at times you get some support ropes. They’re not really necessary, unless the terrain is wet where they come handy.
Most of this climb is done on a nice shade but make sure to bring water with you as there are no streams crossing the path once you leave it behind at the Seven Wells.
There’s a point that you think you’re reaching the summit but you will be walking across ridges for little bit, once you get a viewpoint of the Sky Bridge you will be only about 5 minutes away from the summit.
At 701m of altitude, Gunung Mat Chinchang is not the highest point in Langkawi, this honour is for Gunung Raya at 881m. But you definitely get better views from this lower peak and cars cannot get to the top as in Gunung Raya, so it’s a lot more rugged and natural.
It took us about 1 hour 25 minutes to get to the top and this was one of those summits that you don’t want to climb down as the views are breathtaking, even with some clouds that didn’t allowed us to see far in the horizon.
If there’s something I love when hiking is when the route has an option to take a bath or a swim, and this has not one but two of those!!
Once you go down again towards the parking, you get the chance to take a refreshing bath with a fantastic view at the Seven Wells, no man-made infinity pool can surpass what nature has carefully been carving for millions of years!
You can also slide a little bit on the rocks for a bit of extra fun. The second bathing option is at the waterfall, I liked the pools at the top better because of the views.
One thing we noticed when undressing to enter the water was that we had leeches on our socks. I didn’t see them on the path but it was probably because I was admiring the scenery more than worrying about them.
A precautionary measure that has worked for me in the past is to put some repellent over your socks.
I cannot recommend highly enough this hike, it’s not strenuous but will make you sweat, not super technical but really good fun, it has the perfect ingredients for a short hike that can be done by anyone with a minimum level of fitness. Go for it and you’ll love it!
If you’re planning to go hiking in Langkawi and want to know more feel free to drop a comment below! check out the rest of my posts backpacking in Malaysia for more ideas on your next adventure!