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Discover Langkawi

Langkawi is the jewel of the Andaman Sea made up of 99 islands surrounded by clear emerald waters.

This unique island combines Malaysia’s finest resorts, the most stunning beaches, UNESCO-listed natural beauty and a spectacular marine life. There is something for everybody, whether you are looking for a romantic getaway, rest and relaxation, a family-friendly holiday, water sports or a place to experience nature and wildlife.

Looking for a Langkawi Holiday?

Offering some of the world’s best kept secrets – secluded coves & long stretches of white sandy beaches, Langkawi is an escape from the hustle of city life.

Langkawi is located only 800km from the Equator and is blessed with year-round warm temperatures and warm waters. The archipelago is famous for its white beaches and the relaxed and its slow paced island life. However, the jewels in the tourism crown are also the Langkawi Geopark and its natural treasures of serrated mountains that are home to a vast array of birds, butterflies, reptiles and animals.

History
Centuries ago, skilled storytellers on the mainland made a living from spinning wondrous, spectacular tales of folklore, history, myths and legends of celestial beings, demons, warriors, giants, beautiful maidens and gallant heroes. Langkawi was inaccessible to local folk in those days and not many ventured to the islands and stories of these mysterious islands developed into legends. The Langkawi islands were frequented by pirates who made a living from plundering passing boats and travellers who chose to sail in their waters. The myths are still woven strongly into the lifestyle of the local people.

Langkawi is a duty free Island that makes for a great value holidaying.

Warm & calm, with easily accessible natural attractions, the islands of Langkawi are a stunning showcase. Myths & legends abound, interwoven with culture & folklore. Superb resorts& facilities provide a heaven for lovers of tropical hideaways.

Weather

One of the more confusing things about Langkawi weather is that it is the complete opposite to the East Coast of the peninsula. So when it’s raining there, the weather in Langkawi is normally good. However, Langkawi in general is a much drier rainforest that it’s East Coast counterpart even in the wet season as the islands are located well away from the main mountain ranges. Even during wet season it is very seldom that Langkawi experiences rain for extended periods of time. During these wetter periods, it rarely rains for more than 2-3 hours at a time.

Langkawi

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Av. Max Temp
(o C)

33

33

33

32

31

31

31

30

30

30

30

30

Av. Monthly Rain
(mm)

25

25

101

202

254

228

254

304

304

355

228

76

Tourism

Langkawi’s main tourist season is from Christmas through to the end of April. The island is often busy during domestic holiday periods such as Chinese New Year and Hari Raya. However, due to the warm year-round climate and low rainfall, Langkawi can be visited throughout the year.

Security

Luckily there have been no major recorded security breaches though it is advisable to use hotels with sound security measures in place. There are minimal reports of petty theft and care should be taken at all times to valuables and self.

Vaccinations

Whilst Langkawi has been fortunate in being a relatively virus-free and healthy destination, it is best to consult your medical practitioner or local travel advisory on any vaccinations that maybe required.

Getting Around

Being a small island, Langkawi is relatively easy to travel around. In Malaysia cars drive on the left side of the road. Direction signs tend to be in English as well as Bahasa Malaysia but many road signs are in Bahasa so it’s worth checking out the translations. Driving is quite relaxed although it’s best to drive carefully especially in rural areas.

Hire Cars

Roads in Langkawi are well signposted and in good condition so hiring a car for a self-drive adventure is a good option. You will need to watch out for motorbike riders and the occasional water buffalo that may wander on the road. It is recommended that you use a licensed and insured car rental company to prevent any unpleasant surprises in the event of an accident. While cars hired from resorts and hotels maybe more expensive than those elsewhere it can be assumed that they are insured.

Language Spoken

The official language of Malaysia is Bahasa Malaysia however English is widely spoken and usually to a high standard in the hospitality industry. In fact, visitors who wish to practice the local language can be frustrated by locals answering questions in English.

Currency

The currency of Malaysia is Malaysian Ringgit. Money can be changed in many places from the airport to the banks in Kuah which tend to have the best exchange rates. Exchange Rate Converter: www.xe.com

Duty Free Island

Langkawi is a duty free port which means you can find real savings on high taxed items such as cigarettes, alcohol and some electrical items.

Religion

Langkawi is predominately made up of Malays who are Muslims. There is however a small percentage of Buddhists, Hindus and Christians on the island and most religious holidays are celebrated.

Working Hours

Due to the importance of Friday prayers for Muslims the business week for most activities in Langkawi is from Sunday to Thursday. Many shops and businesses will be closed on Fridays, reopening after midday on Saturday. However this does not apply to banks which are open the Malaysian wide hours of Monday to Friday.

Public Holidays 2016

January 1 New Year’s Day
January 17  Sultan of Kedah’s Birthday
January 24  Thaipusam
February 8   Chinese New Year
February 9 Chinese New Year 2nd day
May 1  Labour Day
May 5 Israk & Mikraj
May 21 Wesak Day
June 4  Agongs Birthday
June 6 Awal Ramadan
July 6  Hari Raya Aidilfitri
July 7 Hari Raya Aidilfitri 2nd day
August 31 National Day
September 12  Hari Raya Haji
September 12  Hari Raya Haji 2nd day
September 16 Malaysia Day
October 2 Awal Muharram
October 29  Deepavali
December 12 Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday
December 25  Christmas Day

History

Centuries ago, skilled storytellers on the mainland made a living from spinning wondrous, spectacular tales of folklore, history, myths and legends of celestial beings, demons, warriors, giants, beautiful maidens and gallant heroes. Langkawi was inaccessible to local folk in those days and not many ventured to the islands and stories of these mysterious islands developed into legends. The Langkawi islands were frequented by pirates who made a living from plundering passing boats and travellers who chose to sail in their waters. The myths are still woven strongly into the lifestyle of the local people.

Police

There are a number of police stations on Langkawi and the police are generally helpful to tourists. Below are the contact numbers;

Langkawi Police Station – Kuah T: 604 966 6222
Marine Police – Kuah T: 604 966 8672
Ayer Hangat – Tanjung Rhu T: 604 959 1223
Airport – Matsirat T: 604 955 1090
Pantai Cenang T: 604 955 1090
Telaga Harbour – Pantai Kok T: 604 959 1223

Ambulance

Langkawi Ambulance Station T: 604 966 3333

Hospital

There is reasonably well-equipped hospital on the island which can cope with minor emergencies. Anyone with a more serious illness or injury is transported by ferry to the mainland to the Alor Star Hospital. A helicopter evacuation service is currently in the process of applying for operational licenses.

Langkawi Base Hospital T: 604 966 3333
Alor Star Base Hospital T: 604 740 6233

Dentists

There are numerous dentists on the Island performing high quality work as well as very affordable prices. Many visitors to Langkawi do take advantage of these services.

Dr Chew Dental Clinic in Kuah T:  604 966 0661
Dr Rosila Dental Clinic in Kuah T:  604 966 1580

Optometrist

Similar to dental, the staff are well trained with good testing equipment. Frames and glasses are definitely much cheaper that Europe and normally glasses can be completed within 48 hours depending on public holidays etc. This is popular with many European guests who can save a large amount of money on their glasses. Mr Lim at Jetty Point has a great reputation. There are also creditable opticians in Pantai Cenang and Langkawi Parade Shopping malls.

Clinics

There are a number of medical clinics on the island serviced by GP’s who can deal with moderate illnesses. Klinik Delima: T – 604 955 5545

Chemist / Pharmacy

There are three excellent pharmacies on the island which can provide medication for most minor illnesses and topical injuries. They are located in Pantai Cenang, Kuah and Padang Matsirat.

Banking

Banking services are available in Kuah through a number of different banks. Foreign exchanges operate at the airport, ferry terminal and in various locations throughout popular tourist areas.

Boat Harbours

Langkawi is a popular sailing destination and as such there are four marinas in Langkawi, The Royal Langkawi Yacht Club in Kuah, Telaga Harbour near Pantai Kok, Awana Porto Malai near Pantai Tengah and Rebak Marina situated on Rebak Island. Aside from this you will also find many boats moored around the islands.

Telaga Harbour:  www.telagaharbour.com, T – 604 959 2202
Kuah Harbour: www.langkawiyachtclub.com, T – 604 966 4078
Rebak Marina: www.rebakmarina.com, T -604 966 5566
Awana Porto Malai www.awana.com.my/Langkawi T – 604 955 5111(ext 6672)

Consulates

There is a Thai Consulate located at Bayview Hotel in Kuah. All other foreign consulates or embassies are located in Kuala Lumpur or Penang.

Power

Power in Langkawi is provided by TNB. It is 220 volts and a three square pin plug is used.

Internet

Most established hotels & resorts provide a broad range of high speed broadband and wireless internet.

Water

Tap water in Langkawi is potable by local authority recommendation though it is advisable to drink bottled water.

Natural Highlights

Whilst many of our guests come to relax on the beach to work on their tan, Langkawi’s natural beauty and amazing flora and fauna are the major draw cards and therefore important assets to the region. Guests are welcomed to the area to experience its beauty but are encouraged to assist in maintaining the land through sustainable tourism.

Langkawi has been awarded UNESCO Geopark status for its beautiful geo-heritage features dating back 500 million years. Our island is blessed with amazing flora and fauna, below are some points that you may find interesting.

  • Langkawi has 238 species of birds, which is double the number in the UK, and 354 recorded species of butterfly
  • While certain studies of lowland tropical rainforest in Malaysia have revealed many tree species, the forests of Langkawi are not as species rich but they also contain large numbers of species.
  • Langkawi is home to an unusual flying mammal called a colugo or flying lemur. The island is also the habitat of squirrels, dusky-leaf monkey and long-tailed macaque.
  • In terms of marine life, over the course of the year, three whale species visit the island, along with the whale shark which is found year round, four species of dolphins and sea otters can also be spotted.
  • The monitor lizard also calls Langkawi home, and it can grow to similar lengths as the Komodo dragon.
  • The mangroves are simply beautiful and we highly recommend that you take the opportunity to explore them. If you are feeling up to a little exercise, definitely consider the sea kayak through the mangroves.
  • The Langkawi Cable Car is a, deservedly, award winning and popular tourist attraction. It has the longest single span and is the steepest in the world.

Geopark

Langkawi Geopark is Malaysia’s first geopark and is located in the far northern corner of peninsular Malaysia with a total land area of about 478km.  Langkawi has been dubbed the birthplace of the region. Much of Langkawi’s geological history was linked to occurrences in the old super continent Pangea and southern hemispheric Gondwanaland dating back 550 million years ago.

The Langkawi archipelago with so many islands has gone through many geological, botanical and zoological changes. Being next to the Isthmus of Kra in Thailand and, being connected and disconnected to the mainland by rising and falling water levels, a great morphology has happened to shape present day Langkawi. A variety of birds visits the islands and, through their droppings, introduce new species of plants. Reptilian species, high up on the food chain, reign here with the absence of their wild feline neighbours and have become bigger. This has afforded Langkawi many unique features which are seen best in the Geopark. Mangroves are an essential part of keeping the ecosystem in balance as they act as a nursery for large number of animal fish and shellfish species. A trip through the mangroves presents a chance to see giant monitor lizards, snakes, bats, a variety of birdlife and maybe even sea otters and dolphins.

Beaches

Langkawi’s beaches are what draw thousands of visitors to Langkawi every year. They are renowned for their bright white colour and fine softness. They are mostly clean and safe and have the added benefit of not being over-run with hawkers disturbing those relaxing on the beach. Most beaches are accessible to the public and have food outlets nearby.

The waters around Langkawi can be slightly cloudy due to the sand base and shallow waters but are warm and relatively safe. There are only mild currents, though generally no surf and in the area and only small numbers of unpleasant sea creatures. However there are some things to be aware of for your safety and the conservation of the natural environment?

We do not recommend picking up and removing shells from the beach. Without these shells we will not have a beach and hermit crabs will not have homes.

Depending on the time of year and prevailing tides we sometimes have jellyfish close to shore. This period is generally from January to March and it is believed that these are not life threatening but you may receive a painful sting. There are over 2,000 species of jellyfish worldwide and approximately 80% of these have no effect on humans. For protection in these periods, we recommend you swim in safely nets or use jellyfish protective suites.

On some islands coral reefs are forming and it is recommended that you avoid standing on the coral as it can give you a nasty cut. Avoid sea urchins (black spiky creatures) as they have a painful sting.

Be aware of tides and currents and keep an eye on your distance from the beach at all times.

Check that your jet skis and parasailing operator is licensed with appropriate insurance cover.

Pantai Cenang

Pantai Cenang is probably the liveliest beach with an abundance of white sand and an array of restaurants, bars, live music venues and watersport activities. It is also a favourite place to relax at days end to watch the sunset.

Pantai Tengah

Pantai Tengah is a peaceful beach with a slightly steeper gradient and deeper water. This is a favourite for relaxing with an array of watersports, restaurants and bars.

Pantai Tanjung Rhu

Tanjung Rhu is one of the most beautiful beaches lined with casuarinas and 22km from Kuah. It is generally quite peaceful with the occasional fishing and tour boat sailing past.

Pantai Datai Bay

Pantai Datai bay is only accessible or through the Andaman and the Datai Resorts and access is only for in-house guests unless you arrive by the sea. With less development here, the waters tend to be clearer than those of Pantai Cenang and Pantai Tengah.

Other Beaches in Langkawi

There are numerous other beaches (or pantai) such as Pantai Kok, Pantai Burau Bay, Pantai Yuluk Yu, Pantai Teluk Baru & Pantai Senari near Rebak Island which is used exclusively by Antara Resort Langkawi – A Taj Hotel. As the archipelago has so many islands, some guests like to be dropped off for the day at one of several idyllic remote island beaches for a picnic, walk and a swim.

Flora

Langkawi’s distinct wet and dry seasons have produced some unique and fascinating plant life. During the wet season the island is a lush tropical paradise that has huge growing capabilities but during dry season when it doesn’t rain for months, the plant life adapts often by shedding leaves.
Another interesting phenomenon that has occurred over thousands of years is that the plants have learned to communicate with each other and have scheduled non-conflicting flowering periods so that they all have the opportunity to be fertilised and propagated by the birds, bees and the wind.
Some particular features of the Langkawi flora are the incredibly slow-growing cycads (Cycas clivicola), slipper orchids and, rattans that grow up to 175m in length. In fact one square kilometre of Langkawi’s rainforest maybe home to up to 150 different tree species.

Fauna

Langkawi has a diverse range of animals, reptiles and birds. Reptiles and birds on the island can grow up to 20% bigger than on the mainland and this is displayed well by the water monitor lizard which can be spotted growing up to 2.5m in length! Bird watching in Langkawi is fantastic with up to 230 species calling Langkawi home throughout the year. Of note is the great hornbill with a wing span of up to 1.5m.

Other Activities

Underwater World

Underwater World is one of the largest marine and freshwater aquariums in South East Asia. The concept and theme of the aquarium is geared towards knowledge, education and environment.

Laman Padi

Located on Pantai Cenang, Laman Padi showcases the history, heritage and development of the nation’s rice growing industry. Among the attractions here is a rice museum displaying artefacts, charts and photographs and for the uninitiated, try your hand at padi planting using both traditional as well as modern methods of cultivation.

Kota Mahsuri

The legend of Mahsuri is one of Langkawi’s most famous legends. This mausoleum in the centre of the island marks the spot where Mahsuri, the fair maiden, who was unjustly accused of adultery, was buried. Mahsuri’s story is Langkawi’s most famous legend. In the museum you can see a very impressive recorded interpretation of the legend. The grounds of the complex have a number of traditional Malay houses, local entertainment, traditional cooking demonstration & live theatre of the legend of Matsuri .

Atma Alam Batik Art Village

Start your visit with the batik workshop, where you are invited to take part in and then from here take your time to enjoy the original batik and other artwork that adorns the gallery walls. Browse the showrooms for wonderful silk and cotton household items, clothing and accessories as well as other regional mementos. This very welcoming art village and gallery is situated in Padang Matsirat and they also have a showroom at Oriental Village.

Langkawi Wildlife Park

Get to know some animal and bird species in a lush tropical garden setting. They have covered walkways between displays and also have a shop selling natural stones, crystals and pearl jewellery.

Cooking Classes

These are offered at some of the larger hotels such as The Sheraton, The Andaman, Four Seasons & Rebak Island Resort. Check with reception for times and the style of food they are showcasing on the day.

Langkawi Elephant Adventures

At the turn of the 19th century, elephants were still part of Malaysia’s heritage. Langkawi Elephant Adventures offers jungle rides, feeding sessions and bathing sessions. Located at the Oriental Village it makes a pleasant combined tour with a visit to the cable car.

Umgawa Adventure Course

The course features 12 individual ziplines with two lines traversing past Seven Wells waterfalls, which features a vertical drop of 91m (298ft). A double zipline allows two to fly together.
There are 3 hanging sky bridges suspended between trees and a steep bridge descent from the final platform that features a spectacular view of the Andaman Sea.
While soaring on the course, guests enjoy views of Langkawi’s famous SkyCab cable ride located 708m (2323ft) above sea level.
It takes about 2.5 hours to complete the course. The attraction is located within 30 minutes or less by taxi from anywhere on the island and minutes from the SkyCab.

Craft and Cultural Centre

Just passed Gunung Raya is the Craft Centre which offers an array of local handicrafts at very reasonable prices. It also showcases talented artisans making handicrafts and an interactive display of batik making. Also within the complex is a room dedicated to the fascinating legends and folklores of the island.

Restaurants

In Malaysia eating is a national past-time. So follows that Langkawi has a large variety of restaurants ranging from local stalls with plastic chairs and limited kitchens to high end five-star restaurants. Malaysian food is varied with the three main styles being Malay, Chinese and Indian but within each styles there is a lot of variation.

The most popular eating areas on the island are Pantai Cenang and Pantai Tengah. Wandering along the street you can find traditional Malay food, Chinese cuisine and of course, many Western delights. There are excellent Italian, Japanese and Indian restaurants as well as cafe food. Some of these are even located right on the beach. Kuah also offers many outlets, particularly for local seafood dishes.

For something special many hotels offer exclusive beach dining experiences with multi-course menus and extensive wine menus.

Bars and Entertainment

Langkawi is not generally known for its wild night life but there are a number of bars throughout the island. Popular are beachside bars which vary from simple bars for a quiet drink and a chat to premium cocktail bars. There are a few late night clubs on the island located in Pantai Tangah as well as in various hotels and resorts.

Shopping

Langkawi has some small shopping malls as well as a variety of local or tourist shopping strips. Most basic products are available on the island and souvenirs abound. There are a number of duty free stores that offer competitive prices on confectionary, alcohol, cigarettes and electronic products.

Markets

There are local markets every evening on Langkawi but in a different location. These markets offer an insight into local life with fresh fruit and vegetable stalls as well as hawker stalls that offer a taste of many local specialities.

Spas

There is an abundance of spas on Langkawi offering a variety of treatments from local Malay massage to Thai massage and from body treatments to manicure and pedicures. The experiences offered are from all-day, five-star therapies in tropical surroundings or a foot massage on top of Machincang at the cable car to traditional Ayurvedic medicine treatments.

 

 

 

 

 


What To See/Do


 

  • Geopark
  • Underwater World
  • Laman Padi Rice Museum
  • Kota Mahsuri Muesum around the legend of the maiden Mahsuri
  • Atma Alam Batik Art Village
  • Oriental Village
  • Cable Car
  • Wildlife Park
  • Cooking class in the rice fields
  • Cycling
  • Elephant Adventure
  • Craft & Cultural Centre

Travel Tips


We have put together some travel tips that will help you prepare and make sure you enjoy your holiday!

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