World's Sexiest Affordable Destinations
Why Go Now: This cluster of 99 islands off Malaysia’s northwestern coast is a relative neophyte when it comes to tourism. Most of the main island remains a nature-lover’s paradise, swathed in mangrove and tropical rain forests, and it was recently designated a UNESCO Geopark—the first in Southeast Asia.
The Details: The name Langkawi refers to the archipelago in general and to its largest island specifically. On the southwestern coast of the main isle you’ll find Pantai Cenang beach, lined with guesthouses and bars under coconut palms. Locals flock to a beachside food truck called Tsunami Laksa for asam laksa (hot-and-sour fish soup with rice noodles). At the northern tip of the island, Tanjung Rhu is a tranquil oasis: two miles of silver sand and calm water. Back in the early 1990’s, it was the Datai (
doubles from $488), a luxury resort fronting a pristine cove, that first put this area on the map. Other developments have followed since, including the Four Seasons Resort Langkawi (
doubles from $410), on a 40-acre wetland, where naturalists lead boat tours of the mangrove forests. But much of Langkawi retains its traditional charm, on view in Pantai Cenang at the Bon Ton Resort (