Why visit Langkawi?
Langkawi is actually an island archipelago, made up of 99 individual islands, but Langkawi Island itself is the most visited, with the city of Kuah known by locals as 'The City of Tourism.' In 2008, the Sultan of Kedah changed the official name of Langkawi, bestowing the title 'Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah.'
The best beach on Langkawi Island is called Cenang, in a lovely district located about 20km from the centre of Kuah. There are many attractions over Langkawi Island, from natural landmarks to museums, amusement parks, zoos and shopping malls — enough to satisfy any tastes, and to keep everyone in your family happy!
However, the best thing to do on Langkawi is to sit and watch the sunset with a cocktail containing an unreasonable amount of alcohol, for a very reasonable price — as Langkawi is a duty-free island!
How to get to Langkawi
Langkawi Island has an international airport that connects the island with many Malaysian cities like Kuala Lumpur, Mellaca, Penang, Senai. Also, Singapore, the Chinese city Guangzhou and the popular Thai island Phuket. Plane tickets are very affordable at just about €25 (one-way) to Singapore, €15 to Kuala-Lumpur and €15 to Penang — a similar price to the ferry.
Arriving by plane may be quicker than the ferry, however, this spectacular view of Langkawi's eagle statue — 'Langkawi' translates as 'The Eagle' — is only visible if arriving at Kuah by boat...
Speed boat and ferry operators serve Langkawi from the surrounding islands, and even from further afield like Phuket or Phi Phi in Thailand.
Popular destinations within easy reach of Langkawi by speed boat include the islands of Koh Lipe, Koh Bulon, Koh Tarutao, Koh Libong, Koh Kraden and Pak Bara Pier (Thailand). To get to Langkawi Island from the mainland of Malaysia, you have several options: Kuala Perlis, Kuala Kedah or Penang.
If visiting Langkawi from Thailand, the shortest route is from Satun (at just 1h15min) and costs about €10. There are also boats between Langkawi and the Thai island of Koh Lipe, taking 90 minutes and with prices starting at around €50. The low season, which starts in June and ends in November, limits the number of boats running from Koh Lipe and Satun during this period.
When travelling between Malaysia and Thailand it is important to remember that the countries are in different timezones, with Malaysia one hour ahead, which makes a significant difference on short journey times!
Some example journey times and prices:
- Kuala Pelis to Langkawi: 1h15, €4
- Kuala Kedah to Langkawi: 1h45, €5
- Penang to Langkawi: 3 hours, €13
- Satun to Langkawi: 1h15, €8
- Koh Lipe to Langkawi: 1h30, €26