The island of Langkawi, known as the “Jewel of Kedah,” is an archipelago off the northwest coast of Malaysia. A duty-free paradise with waterfalls, mangroves, lush forests, and white sandy beaches where everyone can enjoy something.
We were fortunate enough to spend eight nights on the lovely island of Langkawi over Christmas and New Year. Here are all you need to know about visiting this beautiful island if you’re planning a trip.
How To Get There
The island of Pulau Langkawi, which is less than an hour by air from Kuala Lumpur, is the main one. There are several daily domestic flights with Malaysia Airlines and Air Asia at reasonable rates available on PULAU LANGGUAY.
If you don’t have much time, consider catching a ferry from Penang or Perlis to the islands of Langkawi. For up-to-date prices and schedules for ferries to Langkawi Island, click here. (If you’re backpacking through South East Asia, it’s worth noting that Thailand is served by several ships.)
You’ll find the airport taxi counter near the baggage claim area after you’ve arrived. One-way taxi fares from the airport are determined, so there’s no need to bargain. It takes around 10 minutes to get to Cenang Beach and costs between 20 and 30 MYR per person, with more passengers.
When to Go?
The dry season in Langkawi runs from December to February, and the rainy season from March to November.
The island’s climate is one of the most consistent in Malaysia, with day time temperatures ranging from 30-35 degrees Celsius and night temperatures ranging from 28-31 degrees Celsius, making it a great holiday spot all year. So, whether you visit during summer or winter, you can expect to feel heat (yay!).
The ideal spot to go if you want some Winter sun is Langkawi island, which we visited at the end of December and which was extremely hot and sunny for the majority of our stay. The clouds vanished by noon, although mornings were a bit overcast. Late afternoon it rained for about an hour or so, but the weather was fantastic.
How Long Should I Stay?
The island of Langkawi is only approximately 24 kilometers long. You can get from one end to the other in less than 45 minutes, making it a very tiny region. We stayed on the island for a week, which felt like just enough time to explore while still relaxing.
Given the island’s vastness, there are several activities available, such as island hopping and jungle trekking, so we recommend a stay here for a week to see as much of the island as possible. If you’re short on time, 4-5 nights should be sufficient.
Where to Stay?
Pantai Cenang (pronounced Chenang) is the most popular beach destination on Langkawi, and it’s also a fantastic location from which to explore the island. It’s located in the center of all of Pantai Cenang’s restaurants, hotels, and shops.
There are a plethora of hotels to select from, including budget options like hostels and low-cost resorts. We stayed at the Cenang Plaza Beach Hotel, which is an inexpensive mid-range hotel located on the main street and less than a minute’s walk to the beach.
We had a lovely couple of days at the hotel, which is in a great spot for bars and restaurants if you want to be close to them. Our room was cleaned every day, and the staff were nice and helpful. If you’re searching for something quieter, consider Pantai Tengah or Pantai Kok’s neighboring regions.
If you don’t want to stay on the beach, Kuah is the primary town on Langkawi and has lots of restaurants and duty-free shops. Keep in mind that taxi or motorbike transportation between any part of the Island is cheap and simple.
How Much Money Will I Need?
Langkawi is, like the rest of South-East Asia, relatively inexpensive when compared to Western countries. If you’re on a budget and looking for a low-cost hotel near the beach, want to relax on the beach and eat local Malaysian cuisine, spend as much as $100 per day is typical.
Of course, if money is no object on your journey, you may enjoy a meal at one of the island’s more expensive restaurants or stay in one of its luxury hotels.
Transportation on Langkawi Island
If you want to see the island in a quick and easy manner, we recommend hiring a car or motorbike. When you arrive at the airport, there are several vehicle rental agencies to select from.
For only 35 MYR, we rented a motorbike for 24 hours. It was a lot of fun and very inexpensive way for us to discover the island at our leisure. We’d strongly advise it. For more information on how to hire a bike on Langkawi Island, see here .
If you don’t want to drive, you may hire a taxi with a personal driver for the duration of your stay; a four-hour journey will set you back 140 MYR. All taxi fares are predetermined and fair; at any taxi station on the island, you will see the rates clearly displayed.
Eating & Drinking
Malaysian cuisine reflects the country’s multiethnic population; a really delectable blend of Malaysian, Chinese, and Indian foods – we had some great cuisine here. There are several restaurants on this little island that cater to all budgets; during our stay, we ate out for every meal – see the places to eat that we enjoy the most by clicking.
The typical cost for a main meal at a restaurant was around 30 MYR, whereas Western cuisine was more expensive. If you want to fill your stomach for less than 10 MYR, eat with the locals is the way to go. With a large Muslim population, drinking on the island turned out to be an unexpected problem for us because many restaurants.
You may also visit the beach and have a beverage, which comes to life after dark. On the sand, makeshift bars operate selling low-cost cocktails, beer, and shisha into the early hours.
If you enjoy lazing on the beach, you’ll love Langkawi. Cenang Beach is unquestionably the most visited beach on the island, lined with hotels and restaurants, and sun beds are available for 10-15 RM per day.
There is a watersports facility in the center of the beach where you can hire jet skis, banana boats, and book boat trips. The beach is lovely, but be aware that it may get crowded and noisy due to development work along the coast during our visit in 2016.
You may walk south for about 15-20 minutes to reach Tengah Beach, which is generally less crowded than its neighbor but finding sun beds might be a challenge. If you want something quieter, we recommend a visit to Tanjung Rhu Beach, which was our favorite in the island.
The Tanjung Rhu Resort and Four Seasons Resort are the only two private properties on this beach, which is surrounded by lush jungle. It’s mistaken for a secret beach by many, but it’s only the Tanjung Rhu Resort and Four Seasons Resort that are private; the general public can freely use the Eastern Side of Tanjung Rhu beach, which is just as lovely. There are a couple of roadside stalls selling beverages and street food, but there aren’t any sun beds for rent.
Other activities include kayaking at Stoupa, which is located on Stoupa Beach, and hiking to the Bagavan waterfall, which is located four miles away. Alternatively, take a stroll around the beautiful natural reserve of Batu Buratori. The Burau Bay Resort & Marina offers tours to nearby sites including Titik Forest Zoo (2 hours), Puncak Jaya Village (1 hour) and Mount Kinabalu National Park (3 hours). If you have time, go to Pasir Tengkorak Beach or Batu Buratori Forest Reserve.
Excursions and Activities
We were shocked by the amount of things to do on such a tiny island. Outdoor activities include traveling on the famous Langkawi Cable Car & Skybridge, island excursions via boat/jet ski, mangrove and kayaking expeditions in KILIM Geoforest Park, jungle trekking and sailing as examples. To view what activities we undertook during our trip and what we’d recommend.
There are several waterfalls on the island, which are particularly beautiful. Telaga Tujuh (known as Seven Wells Waterfall) and Temurun Waterfall are two of our favorites.
If this sounds a little too daring for you, consider making a day of it and visiting one of the island’s duty-free shops. If you want to pamper yourself, there are several inexpensive spas and massage parlours where you may treat yourself to a 30 minute neck and back massage for around 25 MYR.
What to expect during Christmas & New Year
We spent Christmas and New Year on the island with our relatives in 2016; it was a fantastic time and everything was open and functioning as normal. Although many individuals on the island do not celebrate Christmas, they still acknowledged the holiday period with wishes of ‘Merry Christmas’ throughout the day.
We had a lovely Christmas dinner at The Cliff, a more expensive restaurant with stunning views of the beach that we highly recommend if you’re searching for something more unique on Christmas Day. About a month before Christmas, we booked a table through their website.
On New Year’s Eve, we spent the night on Cenang Beach, and it was one of the finest New Year’s celebrations we’ve ever had; the beach was bustling with people lighting lanterns into the sky. You could purchase tickets for events at some of the larger beach-front bars, but these were pricey, so we wouldn’t advise it.
The atmosphere was ideal; there were fireworks displays at midnight and plenty of music to keep you dancing until the early hours.