Langkawi

Travel Guide Asia Malaysia Kedah Langkawi

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Introduction

Andaman Sea, Langkawi

Andaman Sea, Langkawi

© 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.

The name "Langkawi" has two possible origins. First, it is believed to be related to the kingdom of Langkasuka, itself a version of the Malay negari alang-kah suka ("the land of all one's wishes"), centered in modern-day Kedah. The historical record is sparse, but a Chinese Liang Dynasty record (c. 500 AD) refers to the kingdom of "Langgasu" as being founded in the 1st century AD. Second, it could be a combination of the Malay words 'helang', meaning "eagle" and 'kawi', meaning "reddish-brown" or "strong", in old Malay.

Langkawi eventually came under the influence of the Sultanate of Kedah, but Kedah was conquered in 1821 by Siam and Langkawi along with it. The Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909 transferred power to the British, which held the state until independence, except for a brief period of Thai rule under the Japanese occupation of Malaya during World War II. Thai influences remain visible in the culture and food of Langkawi.

Langkawi remained a sleepy backwater until 1987, when the island was granted tax-free status with the intention of promoting tourism and improving the lives of the islanders. The following boom was spectacular and now Langkawi figures on most every European travel agency's radar.

Sheltered by the mountainous backbone of Peninsular Malaysia, Langkawi escapes the northeastern winter monsoon entirely and enjoys sunny skies in winter when the eastern provinces are flooded. Coupled with natural white sand beaches, lush jungle foliage and craggy mountain peaks - but hampered by inaccessibility - the island was at one time touted as "Malaysia's best-kept secret".

The 10,000 hectares of Langkawi and its 99 islands were declared a geopark by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 2007.

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Sights and Activities

Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls aka Seven Wells (Gunung Mat Cincang, Northwest corner of the island, 45 km from Kuah, walking distance from Oriental village and cable car (10 min)), ☏ +60 4 9667789. This waterfall is named after the seven natural pools along its path. Legend has it that fairies used to come down to the pools to bathe and frolic. There are 2 viewing areas at Telaga Tujuh. The lower area is at the base of the waterfall and the higher area is where the 7 pools are. You can bathe in the pools and even slide down the slick rock between them. Be warned, to get to the 7 pools, you have to climb 638 steps which can get quite slippery when wet. As with most Malaysian tourist sites, the toilet facilities are not maintained and rubbish is strewn everywhere.
There is also a jungle trekking course available at the site which will lead you through a trail of about 2,500 m, up 2 mountains. This trail is achievable with slippers, but it is best to wear comfortable hiking shoes or boots as some segments of the trail are nearly vertical. These trails are not recommended for family trips. edit
Gunung Raya (take the snaking paved road through the jungle). The tallest mountain on the island, at 881 m. Spectacular views from the lookout point on the top. There is a resort hotel serving meals and indifferent coffee at the summit. There is a lookout tower which one may climb for RM10. There is also a possibility to climb the mountain which requires good health as there are 4287 steps in the stairs.
Crocodile Adventureland, Jalan Datai, Mk. Ayer Hangat (on the way to Teluk Datai), ☏ +60 4 9592559. Daily, 09:00-18:00, show time: daily at 11:15 & 14:45, hourly feedings. Over 1,000 crocodiles and alligators. Witness a boxing match of man vs crocodile, or take a ride in a rickshaw drawn by a crocodile. This "attraction" is not for everyone as the crocodiles are inbred and deformed. Adult RM25, child RM18 (below 12 yrs), Malaysian: RM18/12.
Laman Padi Rice Garden (northern end of Pantai Cenang, opposite Casa Del Mar Hotel), ☏ +60 4 955 4312. Daily 10:00-18:00. Rice fields and nice landscaping. Museum in English details process of cultivating rice. Free.
Taman Lagenda (Legenda Park) (400 metres from Kuah Jetty beside the CHOGM Park and Al-Hana Mosque.), ☏ +60 4 9664223. Daily 08:00-23:00 daily. Beautiful garden located on 50 acres (20 hectares), designed based on Langkawi heritage. Adults: RM5, Children: RM2.50.
Underwater World (Pantai Cenang), ☏ +60 4 9556100. M-F 09:30-18:30; Sa Su 09:30-20:30. An indoor aquarium. Try to catch the feeding times (see website for details). RM38 for adults and RM28 for children.
Eagle Square. The square, featuring a giant eagle statue, is beautifully landscaped with scenic ponds, bridges and coverd terraces, and is especially beautiful when illuminated at night.
Oriental Village. Asian-themed village featuring restaurants, an exotic snake charmer, jugglers, silat displays, traditional music, kite flying demonstrations, palmistry, portrait painting. A miserable elephant is forced to offer rides to tourists. In the future, a tiger may be added into the collection of their non-native wildlife. Rent a segway to scoot around Oriental Village.
Galeria Perdana, ☏ +60 4 959 1498. Tu-Su 10:00-17:00. Museum featuring gifts Malaysia has received from foreign countries. RM10.
Wild Life Park (Taman Hidupan Liar), Jalan Ayer Hangat, ☏ +60 4966 5855, ✉ wildlifeplanet@gmail.com. Daily 08:30-18:00. A zoo with many wild animals. RM16–39.
Cable Car Ride & Sky Bridge (in Oriental village, close to Pantai Kok), ☏ +60 4 959 4225, ✉ info@panoramalangkawi.com. Daily 09:30-19:00. Ride the cable car to the top of Gunung Mat chinchang and walk across the 700-m high Sky Bridge for a spectacular view of the islands and Thailand. Includes a very steep section which is spectacular both going up and coming down. Doesn't operate in bad weather. Also it doesn't run during the regular maintenance days, check before you go. Officially you are not allowed to take food and drink on the cable car, but they seem not to be checking backpacks (when unlucky and all your water is taken by the security, you can buy one at the top). If they are not operating, or you are really into hiking, you can trek partway up the mountain through the jungle. To do this, from the parking lot at Telagah Tujuh Waterfalls go left just before the road goes really uphill and then turn left again at the water reservoir. The trek is very steep most of the way and in a pretty bad condition because the contractors laying down the piping for cables littered garbage all the way to the top. Only attempt this if you are fit and have good hiking boots. Temperatures at the top of the mountain are 4-5⁰C lower than at sea level RM30 Adult, RM20 child (cable car RM45 and bridge RM15 for adult foreigners as of May 2016).

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Events and Festivals

  • Thaipusam - This annual Hindu festival commemorates the birthday of Lord Murugan. Over a million devotees and visitors throng Batu Caves on this eventful celebration, every year.
  • Chinese New Year - Chinese make up about a quarter of the total population and in honour of the Chinese New Year, Malaysia has declared the first two days as public holidays. In the Gregorian calendar, Chinese New Year falls on different dates each year, a date between 21 January and 20 February.
  • Hari Raya Aidil Fitri (Eid ul-Fitr) - This Muslim festival marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan and is celebrated by 60% of the population. The first two days are public holidays, and most people take extra days off to spend time with family and visit relatives and friends.
  • Mid-Autumn Festival - Alternatively known as the Lantern Festival or Mooncake Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the full moon day (15th day) of the eighth month of the Chinese calendar – usually in September.
  • Deepavali (or Diwali) - A significant Hindu festival also known as the Festival of Lights, celebrating the victory of good over evil. Based on the Hindu luni-solar calendar, Deepavali typically falls between mid-October and mid-November.
  • Christmas - This joyous day is declared a public holiday in Malaysia. Year 2000 census indicates that almost a tenth of the population are Christians.

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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 Boat

  • 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.

For a taste of simple Malay-style breakfast, just walk up to a small stall opposite the Underwater World in the mornings and feast on the famous freshly-prepared banana leaf-wrapped nasi lemak (steamed rice in coconut milk). The price is most affordable at less than RM 2 for a pack. Go local and enjoy this with a glass of hot teh tarik or really good local coffee. This very unassuming stall is just simple and great (clean too!) The nasi lemak comes with curried beef, squid in chili, friend salted fish or chicken.

AddaMaya Café (Pantai Cenang (near Haji Ramli's; or opposite Nadia's Comfort Inn)). Small, cosy place for meals and coffee. The chef can whip up great meals - from local dishes to western fast food easily (and in that little cabin of his). It can get a bit dusty as it is located fronting the main road. Locals like to come here for good food at reasonable prices.
Rafi's Place (sandwiched between Restoran Aliah's and Tomato Nasi Kandar on Pantai Cenang). Rustic shack. No visible signboard either but ask around and you will find Rafi's. Rafi is a Penangite but has been on the island since 1988 so he considers himself very much local. Ask him for recommendations and he'll happily tell you. Ample parking space in front of his 'shack'. Good ambiance especially early mornings. nasi lemak (RM3), local tea and coffee (RM1).
Tomato Nasi Kandar (Opposite Langkawi Boutique Hotel). Typical budget Indian food establishment with patrons all day (and night!) long. Very crowded even in the wee hours of the morning. They serve an enormous variety of dishes, from the flavoured roti varieties to naan, briyani and kebabs. The standard is quite high - to an extent where the meal is extremely value-for-money. The only problem is that their waiters are exceedingly bad at taking orders. RM1-3 for roti, RM 4-10 for main dishes.
Restoran Fatimah (near the Kampung Tok Senik Resort on the road to Ulu Melaka). Try this for really authentic Malay food. Their lunch spread is amazing - so amazing that they attract bus loads of Malaysian visitors. Just enjoy the food and leave your cultural baggage and complaints behind as you will be in a totally different ambiance but friendly, nevertheless.
Restoran Almaz, northern end of Pantai Cenang (Next door to the 'Laman Padi Rice Garden' and across the road from 'Casa Del Mar'). A really nice little restaurant with Roti and Indian food that is very tasty and cheap. RM0.80-12.
Artisans Pizza Cafe (Pantai Cenang). Offers freshly cooked pizzas with both traditional and Malaysian toppings. The satay pizza and sambal pizza are particularly good. You can dine in or takeaway and they also deliver to guesthouses and the beach. Their house specialties: Hungarian Goulash and Madam's Fishbake are particularly recommended. Tomato soup is also great. RM15 for main courses. RM30-38 for 11-inch pizzas.
Babylon Mat Lounge & BBQ (Right on Pantai Cenang). Mats are laid out on the sand for guests to sit on and there is a low table with a candle. They also have a live band or playlist that is passed off as a DJ. In contrast to the atmosphere, the staff are quite rude compared to other places.
Cenang Boat Quay, Pantai Cenang. Offers a variety of pizza, German sausages, pasta, local dishes, fusion food and a grilled fish hawker. The concept here is by individual hawker selling the different styles of food. Sunset view at the Quay.
Champor Champur, Pantai Cenang. Moderately wacky fusion food in a fusion setting courtesy of a Dutch-Malaysian couple with an affinity for Africa. Great ambiance - feels like eating in an outdoor garden.
Fat Mum Restaurant, Pantai Tengah, ☏ +60 2 4707863. Just up the road from Awana Resort. Great authentic local Chinese seafood restaurant, good food for a reasonable price.
Hole in the Wall Fishfarm & Restaurant, Kilim River, northeast part of the island (Call for free shuttle), ☏ +60 4 9675301. Floating on the river, part of the amazing scenery of the Kilim Mangrove Forest. They serve the freshest Malay style seafood you will be able to eat on Langkawi island. The traditional dishes of freshly caught fish, prawns, crab, lobster. are famous. Shuttle service from Kilim jetty to the fishfarm restaurant and return is free of charge for lunch and dinner guests (However, if your bill is less than RM50, you have to pay an absurd amount for the shuttle. The logical workaround here is to order the cheapest available item to make the bill RM50) If you book a Mangrove Tour, you will most definitely end up having your lunch here. However, you may want to give their package buffet a pass and try their dishes.
Mimi (A few min walk from Underwater World, on the opposite side of the road.). Greatest 'ikan bakar' or grilled fish with tantalizing self-made sauce. Also offers a variety of traditional Malay dishes like tomyam and 'ayam masak merah' (chicken cooked in non-spicy sauce). Snapper or grouper RM4/100 gram.
Orkid Ria Seafood Restaurant, Lot 1225 Jl Pantai Cenang, ☏ +60 4 9554128. Daily 11:00-15:00 and 18:00-23:00. Some tables having water views. They have fresh seafood displayed out front. Choose from a wide range of cuisines, including dishes prepared in Malay, Thai, Chinese and Western styles.
Rasa Restaurant (Pantai Cenang). Good Malaysian food with reasonable prices. Seating available outdoor in courtyard overlooking main road or inside.
Red Tomato Restaurant and Lounge, 5 Casa Fina Ave (Pantai Cenang, in front of Underwaterworld tel), ☏ +60 12 5136046. Daily 09:00-22:30. Charm and great dishes. Look out for the owner's red VW Beetle parked in front of the place. Has great western breakfast and lunch menus, and pasta and tasteless pizza for dinner. Homemade bread, good choice of cheeses. Gluten-free pasta is available. Air-con and terrace seating, Free WiFi and a red piano. Owned by a German lady.
Rose Tea 2 (Pantai Cenang). Closed on Friday. Thai food. Great service.
Sun Cafe (Pantai Tengah). A friendly and relaxing restaurant that offers a variety of Western food, Italian food, and Malaysian food. Hot and cold beverages, cappuccino to milkshake, fruit juice, mocktail. If you love fish, try their fillet of barracuda. They are also open for dinner too. Also famous for the very nice restrooms.
Taj Mahal, Landcon Square (opposit Zon Shopping Mall). Huge open-sided restaurant, also has an air-con room opposite for hot days. Specialises in Arabic and North Indian dishes all of which are very healthy, very tasty and very cheap. Very popular with locals and with Indian and Arabic holidaymakers. Great place to just sit around for a few hours occasionally ordering another batch of fresh flat breads and dips.
T. Jay's Italian Bistro & Pizzeria (Pantai Cenang, 0pposite Underwater World), ☏ +60 4 9553995. Daily 08:00-23:00. Though this place looks a little sleepy, they make some great wood-fired pizzas.
Telaga Arabic Cafe and Restaurant (Pantai Cenang). The same kitchen serves an indoor dining area and a large outdoor area across the street. Good good with reasonable prices. Stay and enjoy some of the best hookah/shisha (tobacco water pipe) smoking anywhere. While good, the food is not as great as some Middle Eastern restaurants in Kuala Lumpur.
Tulsi Garden, Pantai Tengah. Good Indian food (northern and southern). Quiet place to have dinner and chat with friends. You can ask the chef to tone down the chili or spiciness levels.
USSR Restaurant (Telaga Harbour Park). Russian fare. Waterside restaurant with tables overlooking the harbor. Managed by Russian expats who serve up the real deal.
Wonderland, Lot 179, 180, 181 Pusat Perniagaan Kelana Mas (Kuah), ☏ +60 12 6230441. Daily 17:30–23:30. Locals claim that Wonderland serves up the best seafood on Langkawi Island; offering local favourites of traditionally cooked seafood entrees, the chilli crab is especially flavorsome. Service is friendly and prompt and the atmosphere is lovely.
Feast @ Sheraton. International buffet and ala carte menu. A varieties menu from unique local cuisine to western dishes. Choose to dine inside in air-conditioned environment or having your dine at terrace while enjoying the nature environment overlooking the Andaman Sea.
La Sal at Casa del Mar (Pantai Cenang, on the beach). As expected on holiday, dining is a relaxed, quality experience at your Home by the Sea. Food offers the best in Modern Asian and Western Cuisine with a focus high quality fresh produce and is served by attentive and friendly staff. The bar offers a wide variety of wine from the old and new worlds. The cocktail list is exciting and innovative with themed cocktails around our sunset, pool side relaxation and post dinner period. edit
The Light House (The edge of Pantai Tengah). Fantastic food on the beach wonderful views.
The Loaf, Lot No. C9 Perdana Quay (Telaga Harbour Park), ☏ +60 4 9594866. F-W 08:00-23:00. Japanese style bakery & bistro owned by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed, ex-Prime Minister of Malaysia. Quality breads and full meals. Amazing view of the harbour and the yachts especially if you have your breakfast al-fresco outside. Attentive staff. Try Tun's Favourite Breakfast set (2 softboiled eggs, a bowl of mutton curry and thick toasted bread) with coffee and orange juice. Good place to have a leisurely breakfast. Bread from RM4.
Mare Blu (Perdana Quay, Telaga Harbour Park), ☏ +60 4 9593830. The only authentic Italian restaurant on Langkawi island. The restaurant offers typical Italian food, good wines and draft beer. The Mediterranean style surrounding is just beautiful and the tables are set up right on the waterfront.
Papadam (Pantai Cenang (near Underwater World)). Indian restaurant that also serves Arabic food.
Sunsutra, Jl Teluk Baru (Pantai Tengah). Fine dining restaurant that serves great Western food too. If you're a big fan of lamb, you must try their lamb shank. Tender and full of flavours. Its portion is huge too! Good for someone who wants a hearty meal.
Unkaizan, Lot395 Jl Telok Baru Pantai (Near to Awana Porto Malai), ☏ +60 4 9554118. Th-Tu 18:00-23:00. Japanese restaurant, with excellent food and wonderful service.

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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.

Chime Nightclub @ Sheraton. Takes on a complete personality change and is Langkawi’s hottest night spot, starting with “sun-downers” on the terrace. Features night live entertainment with stunning performance from musician band while DJ spinning the music all night long.
Sunba Retro Bar, Jalan Teluk Baru (Pantai Tengah), ☏ +60 4 9531801. Until 03:00.

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Sleep

If you are looking for budget accommodation, your best bet would be to walk along the beach and adjacent road at Pantai Cenang. It is hard to find budget accommodation in other beaches in Langkawi, except Pantai Cenang and Kuah town. Prices there normally range from RM50 to RM150 per room per night, on or next to the beach. Langkawi actually does cater to budget single travellers although the type of chic backpackers' hostels available in Kuala Lumpur and Penang are not to be found here. Dormitory rooms are available on booking sites and hostel sites, but some dorms don't appear on all of them, so it's worth checking a few.

Rainbow Lodge (Kampung Haji Maidin, Pentai Cenang). 20 beds RM18, for a single bed in a mixed dorm. Each bed has its own cubicle room with curtain and directional fan. An outstanding bargain but no aircon or hot water. Google Maps location is correct.
AB Motel (Pantai Cenang), ☏ +60 4 9551300, ✉ abmotel@hotmail.com. 30 rooms RM120, sleeps 4.
Cenang Beach Motel (Northern end of Pantai Cenang), ☏ +60 4 955 1395. Good value. Clean rooms with fan or air-con directly on the beach. RM55-75. Nice rooms, but must drive to beach RM89-120.
Daddy's Guesthouse (Northern end of Pantai Cenang. Take the small road across from Orkid Ria restaurant), ☏ +60 13-8181711. Check-out: 10:00 (late checkout possible). Not-so-clean but spacious rooms. Uncle Jay is really nice caring person. Wifi available in the receiption Dorm: RM15; Fan rooms: RM45-60; A/C: RM70.
Gecko Guesthouse (Northern end of Pantai Cenang. Take the small road across from Orkid Ria restaurant). Bar on site. Nice lobby — comfy couch, wi-fi access, Astro TV playing, aquarium and friendly cats. They also have a few monkeys around one tree. Computers with internet access in the nearby Swiss Inn. Dorm: RM15; Fan rooms: RM45-50 (shared bath RM35).
The Cabin Langkawi (Southern end of Pantai Cenang. Near to Underwaterworld Langkawi), ☏ +60 12 417 8499, ✉ reservation@thecabin.com.my. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Room with balcony, A/C, 32" LCD TV. Mini-fridge (50 lt), hot shower, local TV selected satellite TV (Astro), WiFi. Standard RM160.
GeoPark Hotel & Dormitory (Part of the Oriental Village). 30 rooms. WiFi access in lobby. Outdoor pool. You will need to rent transportation as this is in a secluded area. Dorm beds:RM23; Rooms RM245-480.
Melati Tanjung Motel (Pantai Cenang). Managed by a local family. All rooms have air-conditioning. RM120-180.
The Palms Guest House (Pantai Cenang). 8 rooms with queen beds (no twin rooms). Attached bathrooms with hot and cold shower. Mini-fridge. Free WiFi. Fan room RM55, Aircon room RM85. Peak season fan RM75, air-con RM95.
Senari Bay Resort (near Pantai Cenang), ☏ +60 17 469 39 77, ✉ senaribay@yahoo.com. 12 clean rooms with queen beds and twin rooms), run by a lovely local couple. Attached bathrooms with hot and cold shower. Mini-fridge, TV, Private Beach, Free WiFi, Motor Scooter Rental, Fishing/boating trips with the owner. If you are looking for somewhere quiet and comfortable to get away from it all, without breaking the bank, then Senari Bay Resort is a good option. 15 min walk from Pantai Cenang. air-con room RM150.
Zackry Guest House, Lot.735 Jl Teluk Baru (Pantai Tengah). Great place for young and single backpackers. Family-run guest house. Free wi-fi, TV & DVDs at the common area. Common kitchen. Free coffee and tea. Free refill drinking water facility. Fan shared bathroom and ensuite aircond room available. Not suitable for family with children below twelve and or elderly. RM35-90.
Hajah Homestay, 396, Taman Nilam, Mukim Kuah,i (Kuah), ☏ +60 13 5000063. From RM180.
Bumi Langkawi Homestay, No.70,Taman Cenderawasih, ☏ +60 12 4752880, +60 19 7208708, fax: +60 4 9559677, ✉ bumilangkawi@gmail.com, muhdnasarudin@gmail.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. 15 min drive from jetty at Kuah. The homestay has 4 rooms, 2 bathrooms and kitchen complete with electric appliances such as TV with Astro, refrigerator, washing machine, and water heater. Air-con and fan and provides blankets and towels. This homestay is spacious and suitable for a large group vacation trip (max 15 person including children; additional charges will apply for extra blankets, towels and pillows). RM350-450/day (vary during peak season).
Bougainvillea Holiday Homes, Pantai Cenang (Pantai Cenang), ✉ bougainvillea.langkawi@gmail.com. 3 self-catering holiday homes for weekly or long term rental. Situated in a quiet location, near Underwater World. 2 fully furnished, 1-bedroom houses (houses 1 and 2 double bed + single bed or roll out sofa ) and one chalet/studio, (house 3 - double bed). Air-con, self-catering kitchen, fully furnished, clean and comfortable amenities & quality linen, cleaning products provided, good security, mosquito nets, smoke alarms and fire extinguishers. Houses 1 and 2 have secluded and covered gardens. House 3 has covered seating area at front with table and chairs. Outside parking. Weekly rates (7 nights) from approx. RM1,200 and longer term prices are negotiable.
Rumours Guesthouse and Cafe, Jalan Pantai Cenang, 07000 Langkawi Kedah Darul Aman (Opposite side of the road to Duty Free Mall Zon, and about 100m north. It is down a little road about 50-100m), ☏ +60 4 9552632 , +60 175600803 (Awie), ✉ awieahmad@yahoo.com. Really nice little guesthouse. Chilled atmosphere and very reasonable prices. The rooms are basic and clean, only cold water but in this place that is fine. Free WiFi and the loung area is comfortable enough. They have dorms from RM15, rooms with shared bathrooms for RM40, rooms with attached bathrooms for RM60 and rooms with air-con and hot showers from RM80.
Eylizar Homestay Langkawi (Eylizar Homestay), No.490 Taman Nilam,07000 Langkawi (Jalan Ayer Hangat), ☏ +60 174256796, +60 195640251 (Whatsapp), ✉ langkawihomestay490@gmail.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Provides more than 15 units home stays, 10 units Serviced apartments with swimming pool in Kuah town, guest house and chalet with swimming pool as well. Car rentals and local tours can be arranged. Most of the home stay have 3 bedrooms and 2 bathroom, full kitchen with electric appliances such as TV with Astro, refrigerator, washing machine, Air con, ceiling fan, blankets, towel. The home stay and serviced Apartment is suitable for large family group vacation trip (max 15 persons including children; no charge for extra pillow and blankets. RM150-250.
Awana Porto Malai (Southern tip of Langkawi). 208 spacious rooms and suites offer panoramic views of the lagoon and nearby islands and equipped with modern amenities and facilities. Fun swimming pool with fountains and slide for kids. RM245-4,800 w/breakfast; up to 15% off for booking online.
Bayview Langkawi (Downtown Kuah), ☏ +60 4 9661818, ✉ bayviewlangkawi@bayviewhotels.com. High-rise hotel with 282 rooms. RM240-530 w/breakfast.
Bella Vista Hotel, Jalan Kuala Muda, 07100 Padang Matsirat (western part of Langkawi), ☏ +60 4-9533000. All rooms are equipped with in room safe, air-conditioning, television and refrigerator. Some of its services and facilities are restaurants, shops, coffee shop, meeting facilities, laundry, laundry service/dry cleaning and concierge. From RM128.
Best Star Resort, Lot PT 892, Jalan Pantai Cenang (Pantai Cenang, next to AB Motel), ☏ +60 4 9551808, ✉ info@beststarresort.com. Beach front resort. Clean, comfortable and friendly. Coffee Garden. Air-conditioned rooms. Somehow, the hotel room TV sets are not equipped with remote control. And, make sure you get a room with a beach view, otherwise it might not be worth staying. RM150-250.
Charlie Motel (Pantai Tengah), ☏ +60 4 9551200. Dialysis treatment also available RM85-145.
Citin Hotel Langkawi by Compass Hospitality, No. 3, Jl Pekan (in Kuah town), ☏ +60 3 966 9000, fax: +60 3 966 9001, ✉ enquiry@citinlangkawi.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Renovated, 46 cozy rooms, clean, air-con, 22" LCD flat screen TV, ensuite bathroom. There is a cafe which provides a decent breakfast and the lobby is with WiFi. The friendly staff are well informed about the island. From RM90.
CoCoTop Hotel (Kelibang Kuah Langkawi, 5-10 min to town and jetty.), ☏ +60 4 9672559. Quiet, Clean, air-con, friendly Environment with a hint of bakery fragrant every morning from a local owned bakery, 30 room hotel with, attached bathroom (hot and cold shower) and two single beds and TV. Ranging from RM70-100 or approximately US$25-$40.
Eaglebay Hotel Langkawi, No. 33 Persiaran Putera, Kuah, ☏ +60 4 9668585, +60 19 4499880, ✉ info@eaglebay.com.my. 132 rooms with air-con. The hotel's Central Park Restaurant has Malay, Chinese and Western cuisine. from RM225-550.
Federal Villa Beach Resort (end of Pantai Tengah). 88-room 3-star beach resort on 4 acres (1.6 hectares) of land with a view of the sea. Cozily tucked against a backdrop of majestic green hills fronting a white sandy beach. RM230-1,000.
Helang Hotel, Jalan Lima (southwestern part of Langkawi, 5 min walking distance from the airport and 3 min walking distance to the Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre), ☏ +60 4 9553030, ✉ hotelhelang@po.jaring.my. 232 spaciously large rooms averaging 480 sq ft. Langkawi's premier convention hotel. From RM155.
Holiday Villa Resort. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. 2 swimming pools, 3 tennis courts. 258 sea-facing guest-rooms and luxurious suites TV, in-house movies, air-con, fridge, mini bar, in-room coffee/tea-making facilities and in-room safe deposit box. RM300-1,400.
Hotel Langkasuka Langkawi (Langkasuka Hotel), Batu 3/4, A-14-15 Pokok Asam (in Kuah, 20 min from Langkawi International Airport and 10 mins from Kuah Jetty), ☏ +60 4 9666828, fax: +60 4 9661371, ✉ inquiries@hotellangkasuka.com. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. 168 spacious rooms and suites. All rooms with air-con, heated showers and mini refrigerator. From RM125 w/breakfast; year round discounts if booked online.
Kampung Tok Senik Resort, Lot 1577, Kawasan Mata Air, Mukim Ulu Melaka (Along the road to Ulu Melaka). Full facility resort. No beaches here but a truly green surrounding. RM150-350 + tax.
Kondo Istana Langkawi, Lot 575, Jalan Penarak, Kampung Padang Lalang, Mukin Kuah, ☏ +60 4 9661118. 15 budget rooms, all of which have air-con, cableTV, and refrigerator. Fitness room/gym, internet, and room service. From RM125.
Langkawi Seaview Hotel, Langkawi Seaview Hotel (Kuah), ☏ +60 4 9660600, ✉ sales@lseaview.com. 143 rooms. WiFi.
Mutiara Burau Bay. Sprawling resort the tropical rainforest. 4 restaurants and 150 cabanas. There's a long stretch of beach and plenty of space for you to stake your own private spot if you don't mind swimming in the sewage outfall. The Seashell Beach and Cafe is a nice little place you can while away the evening with a couple of drinks and a pretty good live band. Go early to get a table as it can fill up pretty quickly after dinner. RM270-1,700.
Sandy Beach Resort (Pantai Cenang), ☏ +60 4 9551308, ✉ LangkawiSandyBeachResort@BlueHyppo.com. Has been there for quite sometime. Rather sprawling, straddling both sides of the Pantai Cenang road. The beach-facing rooms are most popular. The regular beachside barbeque is great.
Shirin Villa (Pantai Cenang). 3 bedrooms (2 air-cond + 1 fan). For 6 people, suitable for couple, friends &amp family gathering. Fully furnished, AstroTV, Kitchen, fridge. From RM150 w/breakfast.
Sunset Beach Resort, Jalan Pantai Cenang (Pantai Tengah, south-west tip of the island), ☏ +604 955 1751, ✉ info@sungrouplangkawi.com. Quiet getaway nestled in a carefully landscaped tropical garden and waterscape RM175-320.
Tropical Resort (Pantai Tengah, opposite Sun Café), ☏ +60 4 9554075. Quiet and clean chalets. Owned by Musa and his German wife, Laila. Rooms come with fan or air-con, attached bathroom (hot and cold shower) and two single beds and TV. Short walk from the beach, convenience shops, Malay style eateries, car rentals, stylish cafés, spa. Long term stays at discounted rates are available. No alcohol is permitted. RM80.
Azio Hotel, 1-19 Jalan Pandak Maya 7 (Located in Kuah, 20 min from Langkawi International Airport and 10 mins from Kuah Jetty), ✉ info@aziohotel.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Rooms with LCD TV, air-con, WiFi, heated showers, hair drier but no refrigerator. Clean. From RM95-125 w/o breakfast.
The Andaman, ☏ +60 4 9591088, ✉ theandaman@luxurycollection.com. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Built in the middle of virgin tropical rainforest, between the Mat Cincang mountain range and the Andaman Sea. Centuries-old trees, many with huge buttress roots and jungle creepers envelope the resort. 186 rooms and suites. From RM690.
Sang Ria, Jl Tasik Anak (Pantai Tengah). A tastefully designed beach villa in a contemporary Asian style. Their breakfast is delicious but must be booked in advance. Near great restaurants, bars and cafes.
Berjaya Langkawi Resort, Karong Berkunci 200, Burau Bay (5 min walk to the Cable Car station at the Oriental Village), ☏ +60 (4) 959 1888, toll-free: +1 800 88 3236 (Malaysia only), ✉ langkawi.rsvn@berjayahotel.com. Biggest hotel on the island, with 424 rooms and suites. There are 9 F&B outlets including the Sunken Pool Bar and Boat House Bar. Nature walks with a qualified guide are provided free of charge to guests. Beach football, kiddie pool, watersports. This resort has abundant wildlife, some unique to the island.
Bon Ton. One of the island's most stylish and intimate resorts. 8 individually styled antique Malay villas. Nam Restaurant at Bon Ton is regarded as one of the best on the island. RM490-1,190.
Casa del Mar (Pantai Cenang). Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Boutique resort with 34 sea-facing rooms. Day spa, gymnasium, non-motorised watersports facilities. Restaurant & cocktail bar on the beach. Suitable for couples and adults. RM980.
Century Suria Suites (Kuah). 3-star apartment hotel just outside of Kuah, proudly proclaims itself as having the first glass elevator in Langkawi.
The Danna Langkawi, Telaga Harbour Park, Pantai Kok, ☏ +60 4 959 3288, fax: +60 4 959 3188, ✉ sales@thedanna.com. Check-out: 12:00. 5-star resort of 125 rooms and suites, opened in December 2010. Constructed in British Colonial style. 5 levels with big, richly decorated rooms. Gymnasium, business centre, child care centre, billiards room and spa. Outside, a three tiered infinity pool overlooks a private beach, bordered by lounges. From RM1,250.
Four Seasons Resort, Jl Tanjung Rhu, ☏ +60 4 950 8888. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Middle Eastern influenced resort set on the beautiful Tanjung Rhu beach. Probably the best place to spot a billionaire on the island. From RM1,850, 4th night is free.
Holiday Villa Beach Resort & Spa (Pantai Tengah). 4-star 258-room picturesque resort covering 13 acres of land. Large swimming pool with open air jacuzzi, an indoor pool for ladies and the Amoras spa. From RM420, promotional rate: RM525 and up for 2 nights.
Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa. 350 rooms are spread over 51 clusters of elegant wooden chalets offering pool, sea or lake views. The Meritus offers seven F&B outlets including two pool bars and the excellent Niyom Thai Restaurant. From RM2070 plus 10% service charge.
Rebak Island Resort - Vivanta by Taj Langkawi (On privately-owned 390 acres (160 hectares) Rebak Besar Island, a 15 min ferry ride from Port Langkasuka jetty), ☏ +60 4 9665566, ✉ rmresv.malaysia@tajhotels.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. 94 rooms. Managed by India's Taj Group of Hotels, Resorts and Palaces. It consists of clusters of timber chalets. The hotel has the only fully equipped marina in Malaysia. From RM525.
Sheraton Langkawi Beach Resort, Teluk Nibong (2 miles south of telaga harbour), ☏ +60 4 9528000. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. In 38 acres of spacious, lush tropical surroundings with private beach coves. From RM500.
Tanjung Rhu Resort. A resort on what most people consider to be the best beach on the island. It has been built to minimize any environmental damage and to blend in well with its surroundings. 60 m pool, abundant gardens, restaurants, very well maintained. Standard rooms from RM1,400/night.
Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa. 202 rooms and 400 villas From RM700.

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.

Below are the area codes in Malaysia:

01Mobile Phones (nationwide)
02Singapore (special access code to call Singapore)
03Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Selangor
04Penang, Perlis, Kedah
05Perak
06Negeri Sembilan, Malacca
07Johor
080Brunei (special access code for use in Sabah and Sarawak only)
08xSabah, Sarawak (x determines the region)
09Pahang, Terengganu, Kelantan
1-300Non-geographical numbers (local call rate)
1-800Non-geographical numbers (free call from landline, local call rate from mobile phone)

Area code is not required when calling a number of the same area code. However, it is mandatory when calling from a mobile phone.

There is no charge for receiving calls on any Malaysian phones. Only the caller is charged for the call made. However, if you're on mobile phone roaming service, you will also be charged for any calls received, by your operator.

To dial out of Malaysia, use the international access code 00 (zero zero), followed by the country code, followed by the area code (remove the preceding 0, if any), and finally the telephone number.
e.g. To call London, United Kingdom, dial 00-44-20-xxxx xxxx; or to call Dallas, Texas, United States, dial 00-1-214-xxx xxxx.
For mobile phones, the plus sign "+" can be used as the international access code.
e.g. Using the previous scenario, type +44-20-xxxx xxxx or +1-214-xxx xxxx and press the call button.

The country code for Malaysia is 60. To receive calls from overseas, that person will have to dial the country's international access code, followed by 60 for Malaysia, followed by the area code (remove the preceding 0), followed by the phone number.
e.g. If your prepaid mobile number is 012-1234567, and someone in the United Kingdom were to call you, the number to dial is 00-60-12-1234567. Those calling you from the United States and Canada will have to dial 011-60-12-1234567.

The emergency number is 999 and can be dialled from any phone, free of charge. The worldwide standard emergency number for GSM mobile phones, 112, can also be used on a mobile phone, even without a SIM card. Calls to 112 will be routed to 999 centres.

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.

If you need to receive mails or packages from home, there is Poste Restante service available at all General Post Offices (GPO) in the country. There is one GPO in almost every capital city of every state, and in all federal territories. Mails sent from Singapore and Brunei will be retained for one month while mails from all other places will be kept for two months, after which if unclaimed, will be sent to the Dead Letter Office.

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.

Electricity

Electricity voltage in Malaysia is 240V AC 50Hz. The UK 3-pin plug is the standard used in Malaysia. European 2-pin plug can also be used on the 3-pin socket by inserting a screwdriver (or any hard object that fits) into the earth pin hole to open the live and neutral shutters. However, this practice can be hazardous.

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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.

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This is version 32. Last edited at 9:34 on Nov 5, 19 by Utrecht. 10 articles link to this page.

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