Just over the Thailand border and surrounded by turquoise water you’ll find the Malaysian island of Langkawi. Langkawi is an archipelago of 99 islands scattered throughout the Andaman Sea. From beautiful beaches to stunning views and duty free shopping, Langkawi makes a perfect getaway for anyone. We’re here to give you the ultimate travel guide to Langkawi, Malaysia so you can make the absolute most of your visit.
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When To Visit Langkawi, Malaysia
Just like other Southeast Asian islands, Langkawi has their dry and rainy seasons.
- November – April: Plenty of blue skies and sunshine
- May – August: The southwest monsoon starts. This means afternoon thunderstorm and choppy sea conditions.
- September – October: These two months are considered Langkawi’s rainy season. However, even though showers are heavier, it is possible to experience a short tropical downpour versus an all day thunderstorm.
We visited the first week in July and didn’t have one single thunderstorm. The weather was lovely and it wasn’t as crowded.
How To Get To Langkawi, Malaysia
You have two options on how to get to Langkawi 1) by plane or 2) by ferry
The island of Langkawi has many services and amenities one of which is a airport. Langkawi International Airport is located on the northwestern part of the island and depending on where you are coming from, direct flights to the island are available.
Depending on where you are coming from, Thailand or Malaysia, you have some options on how to get to Langkawi.
Ferry Coming From Thailand
There are a few ways you can get to Langkawi from Thailand. We wrote a whole separate post on what options you have and which route we took. To read about how to get to Langkawi from Thailand, check out post out here: “How To Get To Langkawi, Malaysia from Thailand”
Ferry Coming From Malaysia
There are three ferry options when coming from Malaysia but the most popular route for tourists is through Penang.
The ferry ride from Penang to Langkawi is direct and leaves from Swettenham Pier on the north-easternmost corner of Penang island. The ferries themselves are comfortable with cushioned seats, air condition and have a TV upfront that play movies.
The ferry ride from Penang costs about 70RM ($17ish USD) and takes about 3 hours.
There are two daily departures, one in the morning at 8:30am and the other one in the afternoon at 2:00pm.
The best way to book is through your accommodation. They can book your ticket, print it out for you and arrange transfer to Swettenham Pier. We highly recommend buying your ticket at least 1 to 2 days prior to your departing date to ensure you get the date and time you want.
TIP: Overall, the ferry ride from Penang to Langkawi is comfortable but be warned, if you travel during the cusp of rainy season, the seas can be rough! If you are prone to motion sickness, take medicine with you and a little bag just in case you get sick.
Ferry Terminals to Langkawi, Malaysia
Outside of the popular Penang to Langkawi ferry route, we created the map below to give you a better idea of the ferry ports and routes you can take to get to Langkawi island in Malaysia.
How To Get Around Langkawi, Malaysia
Public transport is lacking on Langkawi so our recommend is to rent a car or scooter! For us, a car was more economical as we had three other people traveling with us at the time. We rented a car through our accommodation, The Tokmann Inn.
You can go this route or look at booking through Langkawi Airport Car Rental.
What To Do In Langkawi, Malaysia
We could give you a list of everything there is to do on Langkawi. Sure, it would be enjoyable but we really wanted to focus on giving you the list we consider the “must sees” when you visit Langkawi.
1) Waste Away The Day on Pantai Cenang
Pantai Cenang is the most popular beach in Langkawi. From white sandy beaches to beachfront restaurants and bars, you have everything you need to be set for the day.
Pantai Cenang is 2km long beach that has vendors renting every water sport you could imagine. If water sports aren’t your thing, rent a chair and umbrella from one of the cafes and soak up some vitamin “sea” for the rest of the day.
2) Ride the Langkawi SkyCab
Looking for some pretty epic views? Then make your way to the Langkawi SkyCab.
The Langkawi SkyCab is one of if not THE major attraction of Langkawi. The cost is 55RM ($13 USD) per non-Malaysian adult and the ride takes about 15 minutes to get to the top.
After your 15 minute ride is done, you’ll exit and be at “Middle Station. Once at the Middle Station, which is 650m above sea level, you have the option to walk the viewing platforms or walk higher to the Top Station which is 708m above sea level.
Both stations offer absolute insane panoramic views of the island! Totally worth the trip.
You can book online or buy your ticket once you arrive to the SkyCab station.
3) Take a Swim on Tanjung Rhu Beach
Looking for something a little less crowded beach than Pantai Cenang? Head to the northernmost tip of the island. Here, you’ll find the quiet Tanjung Rhu beach with beautiful limestone karsts jutting out from the water. A few mom & pop cafes are along the beach but for the most part, it’ll be just you and the sea breeze.
4) Take a Walk Around
If you want a break from lounging on the beaches of Langkawi, our tip is to just walk around. Jalan Pantai Cenang is the street just opposite Pantai Cenang Beach. This strip offers loads of duty free shops and cafes for you to explore.
Also, Langkawi is home to some beautiful fields that if you get off the main streets, you can find tucked away.
5) Eat Fresh Seafood
No island visit is complete without stuffing your face with some fresh seafood, right? Langkawi has fresh seafood brought in daily so whether you want lobster or crab, prawns or grouper, one of the tasty seafood cafes and restaurants will give you your fix.
Below are our top three recommendations for you to check out and they are in no particular order.
6) Watch the Sunset on Pantai Cenang BeachShort and sweet, end your day at Pantai Cenang Beach with a White Tiger beer in hand and watch the most epic Malaysian sunset. Cheers to good times and beautiful vibes!
For The Budget Conscious: If you are wanting to stay with a sweet family, you need to book your stay at Tokmann Inn. Yati and Mas are kind, amazing hosts who will take absolute care of you during your time on Langkawi. Their accommodation is clean and a short walk to the a Pantai beach and one you soon wont forget.
For The Luxury Inclined: Looking for a beach front resort & spa? Look no further than Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort And Spa is your spot. From cozy seaside chalets to beautiful gardens and a pool, Meritus is luxury waiting for you.
For Something In Between: The Smith House is tucked away from the beach, but no worries, the pool on site makes up for it along with the amazing breakfast and friendly staff.
For more places to stay on Langkawi you can check out the latest places and prices here.
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– Lauren & Jesse Stuart (The Stüs)