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Langkawi

Photo © Jibaro

Travel Guide Asia Malaysia Kedah Langkawi

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Introduction

Andaman Sea, Langkawi

Andaman Sea, Langkawi

© All Rights Reserved phalinn

Langkawi is a duty free island located far north of Peninsular Malaysia in the state of Kedah. There are ferries to this island from Penang and the mainland. If you are from Thailand, you may take the ferry from Satun for 45 minutes travel time.

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Sights and Activities

  • Cable car to Gunung Mat Cincang - This is definitely the highlight of the visit to Langkawi. The cable car ride starts from the Oriental Village. The return ticket costs 4 RM and is a lovely ride to the peak of the mountain and back with stops at two viewing stations. The winds are very rough up there and can be scary at times and the skybridge is closed for visitors when the winds get stronger. A visit to the oriental village and the cable car will take half day but the views from the top are worth the time.

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  • Private yacht sailing - For the ones who can afford to charter a private yacht, this is the best way to explore Langkawi's 99 islands.
  • Island hopping tours - At the airport terminal, numerous counters offer island hopping tours that visit a few of the islands like Pulau Daya Bunting (Isle of the pregnant maiden), Pulau Singa Besar etc.

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Getting There

By Plane

Langkawi International Airport (LGK) receives a range of flights. Air Asia operates flights to Langkawi and it costs around 160RM for a one-way flight from Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi if you book early. There are also flights from Singapore with them. Other (sometimes seasonal) destinations include Guangzhou, Subang Airport, Penang, Hat Yai and Phuket.

By Train

There are no trains to the island from the mainland.

By Boat

8 Langkawi Ferry operates fast air-con boats from Kuala Perlis (RM18, 75 minutes), Kuala Kedah (RM23, 105 minutes), Penang (RM60, 165 minutes) (the ferry is freezing cold, so bring warm clothes), and Satun (RM30 or THB300, 75 minutes), (Satun ferry to Langkawi: last boat departs Satun at 16:00.

  • Tropical Charters operates ferries from Kuah Jetty to Koh Lipe twice per day during the high season at 9.30am and 2.30pm from Langkawi and 11:00am and 4:00pm from Koh Lipe. During the low season, the company only has morning trips. Price is RM118 one way (RM100 if you book online), including the longtail boat transfer and Thai custom fee. Check in is at the inner entrance of the Jetty Point Food Court. Registration closes 30 minutes before departure. The trip takes 90 minutes. Arrival in Lipe is at the Bundhaya Resort.
  • Telaga Harbour operates speedboats from Ko Lipe, Thailand twice per day during the high season, at 09:30 and 14:30 (RM128 1-way, RM248 return, 75 minutes). These boats dock at the south end of Pattaya Beach. Bookings can be made online.

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Getting Around

Taxis are a good way of travelling around Langkawi. One can book the airport taxi service at the rate of 100 RM for 4 hours. Alternatively, taxis can be called for any hotel you stay at.

Renting a car or motorbike/scooter is highly recommended due to lack of public transport. This can be done at the airport, the port complex, or from shops on Pantai Cenang. Refrain yourself from renting from touts, as many are operating illegally without permits and usually without insurance. Remember that accidents happen to tourists on motorbikes/scooters every day, so be careful although the traffic is not as chaotic as e.g. in Penang.

Renting an air-conditioned mid-sized sedan costs RM70-RM150 per day (depending on model, condition and length of stay) and a 150cc motorbike/scooter costs RM40 to RM45 per day. Cheaper but usually very used and older are the semi-automatic 115cc bikes for RM25 a day. A tired Proton with in Pantai Cenang maybe around RM60-90/day.

Remember to have regularly check on your fuel level, petrol pump stations, (gas stations) are far from one another. However, rental agencies do not care how much fuel is in the tank when the vehicle is returned so do not spend more on fuel than you have to. Fuel only costs about RM1.90 a litre and you should return the bikes with the same filling level as you picked it up. Some rentals do check the level and mark it when you sign the slip.

At the gas/petrol station for the first time will confuse you. You will need to guess how much fuel you need and pay first. Most saloon cars if empty are RM50 to fill up and motorbikes are approximately RM5. Sometimes you fill up your car/bike and you haven't used what you have paid for not to worry you can claim this back at the counter.

Remember to drive safely and slowly on the island and on the left side of the road. There are tourists, children and animals like chickens, cows and even buffaloes crossing. Take care not to run over the beautiful snakes or monitors. Cattle and snakes like to lie on the road at night; the blacktop radiates heat.

You can rent bicycles in many of the hotels. Expect to pay RM10-30 per day.

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Eat

Practically all resorts have their own restaurants and many tourists choose to eat in, but there are lots of other options as well. Be adventurous and strike out on your own to savour the numerous foods at the stalls and restaurants all over Langkawi.

Generally, restaurants are expensive and the portions are smaller there than at stalls, so you may want to order more than just a main dish at a restaurant. Also, if you don't like spicy food, watch out: Langkawi people like their food hot, and even if they tone things down at your request, you may still find your food challenging to eat. Try one of the many seafood restaurants, but beware of certain restaurants advertised in the brochures targeting tourists. An example of such restaurant is the 'Coco Beach Restaurant', close to the airport.

If you choose to order seafood or fish, take note if the price is by weight or by a set price for the dish. The unwary can be hit with a much larger bill than expected. Also, beware of restaurants telling you that they only have the bigger size lobsters available, as that is what they tell everyone (a common practice at Coco Beach Restaurant and Palm View Restaurant, at Pantai Cenang). When your lobster or crab is served, you will discover that you will definitely be paying for 900g of shell instead of meat! To counter this, order fish, squid and prawns, to be safe.

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Drink

Because of Langkawi's tax-free status, alcohol is much cheaper than in the rest of Malaysia. Religious Muslims do not consume alcoholic drinks, and while they do tolerate non Muslims who do, try not to behave in a rowdy imbibed manner near them, their houses, mosques, and please respect local culture and communal sensitivities. For those living on a budget, you can obtain alcohol at cheap prices from the local duty-free shops - the larger the outlets, the lower the prices. Expect to pay RM25 for 1L Absolut, RM45 for 1L Kahlua, RM60 for 1L Bailey's, and RM5-12 for a 330 ml can of beer.

Despite low alcohol prices, Langkawi is predominantly popular with couples and families. Single travellers and backpackers may therefore be disappointed with the lack of nightlife. Most bars remain empty, particularly in the low season, and the 1-2 nightclubs may only seem worthwhile in the peak season, and even then only on Friday or Saturday nights. Overall, Langkawi provides a family-friendly alternative to Thai locations such as Phuket and Koh Samui.

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Sleep

Pantai Cenang beach area is highly touristy and has the most number of guesthouses and hotels concentrated within its small area. For those seeking a little quiet, it might be better to go further along the coast towards the Oriental Village or inland.

Mid-Range

Upscale

View our map of accommodation in Langkawi

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafés are available in cities and major towns. Wi-Fi hotspots can be found in shopping malls, restaurants, food courts and cafés. Many of these hotspots are provided free-of-charge. Internet cafés can also be found in cities and towns.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

Malaysia is on the GSM 900/1800 and UMTS (3G) mobile network. If you have an "unlocked" GSM band mobile phone, you can buy a prepaid SIM card and use it with your phone here for cheaper rates instead of roaming here. Prepaid mobile SIM cards are available cheaply at mobile phone shops and 24-hour convenience stores.

Post

Pos Malaysia is the national postal service of Malaysia. Rates for sending a standard letter locally is 30 sen (20 gram) to 40 sen (up to 50 gram). International airmail has minimum rates ranging from RM1.00 to RM2.00, depending on destination. It costs 20 sen to send a postcard or aerogramme locally, or 50 sen to send a postcard or aerogramme to anywhere in the world.

Expedited Mail Service (EMS), branded locally as Poslaju, is available for both domestic and international destinations. Domestic EMS has a next day delivery guarantee. International EMS guarantees mails and parcels to be delivered out of the country by the following day. The time required to arrive at its destination will depend on clearance by authorities and the postal service of the destination country. For most countries, delivery of documents can be done in 3 to 5 days.

Generally, post offices are open from 8:30am to 5:00pm Monday to Saturday, except the first Saturday of the month. They are closed on Sundays and Public Holidays.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 6.3237
  • Longitude: 99.848007

Accommodation in Langkawi

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Langkawi searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Langkawi and areas nearby.

Contributors

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