Introducing the city

£1.00 | RM5.46

GBP | MYR

Gasoline £0.39 | RM2.14

One-way ticket £0.46 | RM2.51

Beer £2.21 | RM12.05

Main Course £1.84 | RM10.04

About Langkawi

An archipelago of 99 islands nestled in the Andaman Sea, duty-free Langkawi, known as 'The Jewel of Kedah' is home to lush mangroves, white sand beaches, bustling beach bars and mouth-watering Malaysian street food.

Offering everything you could want from a tropical beach escape, Langkawi, off the coast of western Malaysia is an oft-bypassed paradise with plenty of natural beauty and cultural charm. The capital is quirky and bohemian Palau Langkawi (home to 65,000 residents) is a laid-back mish-mash of traditional Malay houses, high-end hotels and backpacker digs.

Days are best spent on the beach - Pentai Cenang is the liveliest of the lot with ample water sports clubs, ramshackle cocktail bars and a vibrant after-hours scene that's reminiscent of some of the quieter Thai party islands. As a duty-free region there are plenty of shopping opportunities around the port town of Kuah, although the night markets that traverse the island offer a more unique experience. Make time to check out the cable car and sky bridge near the Air Terjun Telaga Tujuh waterfalls for incredible views, hit the secluded beach at Tanjung Rhu for some down time or hop on a boat to Dayang Bunting island for a serene lake swim.

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Weather

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When Should You Visit?

February, for guaranteed sunshine and tropical days.

Langkawi has a tropical climate with hot, humid conditions all year round. Because of its protected location between mainland Malaysia and Sumatra, it enjoys more stable weather than the rest of Malaysia. Temperatures are fairly constant all year round; the hottest month is February with an average temperature of 29 degrees Celsius and the coolest is July with an average of 27 degrees Celsius. The wettest month is October, although the rainy season begins from April.

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Travioor top tips

Jet Ski
Car Rental
Happy Hour

Insider Info

  • Jet ski tours are worth the spend; you get to explore surrounding islands which, as many are uninhabited, works out as good value for money - eagle and monkey spotting add to the experience.

  • The island's public transport system is poor. Taxis are available and reasonably priced but the best way to explore is by hiring a car. The roads are good and prices are cheap.

  • Nearly all the bars along Pentai Cenang offer early evening happy hour drinks deals (from around 4pm); expect two for one cocktails and purse-friendly pints.

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Food and drink

Main Course £1.84 | RM10.04

3-Course Meal £9.20 | RM50.21

Cappuccino £1.37 | RM7.50

Beer £2.21 | RM12.05

The Scene

Thanks to its tourist-friendly status, Langkawi has pretty much every kind of cuisine possible; from gourmet pizzas to fish and chips. Despite catering for the masses, this is an island that takes pride in its food - there's an emphasis on diversity and quality. As a Muslim country you'll be hard pushed to find pork, but you won't miss it. Instead, opt for one of the region's specialties, such as beef rendang (a coconut and milk based curry), nasi tomato (a rice, spice and tomato dish) or ayam masak (stewed chicken in a red curry sauce). You're also spoilt for choice with the abundance of fresh seafood on offer - ikan bakar (grilled fish spiced with sambal, turmeric, chili and wrapped in a banana leaf) is one for the bucket list. The night market (which moves around the island) is the best place to browse food stalls.

Drinks-wise, you'll do well to make the most of the island's duty free status - beers are pennies and plenty of the beach bars offer good happy-hour discounts on cocktails. There's plenty of fresh fruit on offer too, from juicy watermelons to alien-esque ambutan, mangosteen and durian. Cakes and pastries are widely available from the local bakeries - bingka ubi (tapioca, coconut milk, sugar and pine leaf custard cake) is the one to pick if you can't decide.

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History

Langkawi’s Story

Palau Langkawi and its surrounding islands - which are part of the Kedah region of Malaysia - were initially inhabited by seafaring Malaysians (Orang Laut) who travelled up the coast from the south. Local legend has it that the island was cursed for seven generations in the 18th century by a women called Mahsuri who was accused (wrongly) of adultery and executed. Dayang Bunting Island is said to be formed in the outline of her shape.

In 1821 the Siamese invaded Kedah and subsequently attacked and took control of Langkawi in 1822. Consequently, many of the islanders were killed or taken as slaves. In 1841, the Sultan of Kedah was allowed to return which was followed in 1909 by Langkawi coming under British rule thanks to a British-Siam treaty. In1957, along with the rest of the Federated Malay States, Langkawi was granted independence. Since then, it has grown into a popular tourist destination and remains an area of protected natural beauty. It receives around three million tourists annually.

Language

Selamat pagi (Good morning) | Hello
Terima kasih | Thank you

Malaysian

The official language spoken in Kuala Lumpur is Malaysian (Malay) although many people also speak very good English. You should have no problem at tourist attractions, hotels and when using public transport. However it's always good to try the local lingo, so the following might be useful:

  • Good afternoon: Selamat tengah hari (the phrase to greet someone varies and depends on the time of the day.)
  • Bye: Selamat tinggal
  • Please: Sila
  • Excuse me: Maaf
  • Do you speak English: Bolehkah anda cakap Bahasa Inggeris?

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Need to know

+60 Dialling Code
999 Emergency Services

Get The Low-Down

  • Malaysia is a predominately Muslim country; dress modestly and avoid public displays of affection. 
  • Ferries to and from the mainland don't always run in bad weather - check before you go. 
  • The island is duty-free, with booze prices to match - by all means enjoy but avoid rowdy behaviour, particularly around mosques. 
  • Rabies and dengue fever occurs - invest in vaccinations and mosquito spray before you travel. 

 

VISA INFORMATION

Find out about the visa requirements for Malaysia here.

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Travioor Recommends

1. Cable Car

Take to the skies in Langkawi's SkyCab Cable Car for panoramic views of the Andaman Sea and the island's lush mangrove forests.

2. Tropical Islands

Head to Dayang Bunting Island, home to a magical swimming lake, impish monkeys and ancient celestial legends.

3. Beach Paradise

Looking for a slice of Robinson Crusoe Paradise? Tanjung Phu Beach in the north has all the white sand and turquoise waters you could ask for.

4. Food Market

Enjoy freshly caught catch of the day or spiced noodle soups at one of the island's street food markets.

5. Beach Bars

Sip a sundowner, smoke shisha, listen to a bongo or just soak up the tranquil tealight-filled atmosphere at one of Pentai Cenang's laid-back beach bars.


See What's On In Langkawi  


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