The busiest and most developed beach is the 2km-long strip of sand at Pantai Cenang. The beach is gorgeous: white sand, teal water and green palms. There are water sports on hand and the water is good for swimming, but beware of jellyfish and speeding jet skis ripping past.
There are some very fine top-end resorts at Cenang, as well as the bulk of Langkawi’s budget and midrange accommodation. Come night time, an odd mix of expats, domestic tourists, backpackers and package holidaymakers take to the main road to eat, drink, window shop and generally make merry.