Langkawi Travel Tips

Langkawi is blessed with beautiful beaches, virgin rainforests and exotic wildlife. This tropical paradise is a pleasant tranquil retreat from the real world. It's the most ideal place for you to unwind in peace.

There is no doubt that you want to get the best of your Langkawi's visit... right? Here are some top tips of travelling to this lovely island.

When to visit

Travelling is possible year-round. Even during the rainy season (April-May and October-November).

The weather will be sunny & hot with a sudden downpour for a couple of hours in the evening. There is no heavy thunderstorm for the whole day. Just 2-3 hours of beautiful rain - then it will get sunny & hot again.

You will love the rain on this island. It is warm and spine-tingling. So, stop worrying about the rain. Just come to Langkawi & have fun.

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School Holidays

If you want to have a less crowded beach, consider avoiding the local school holidays. The school breaks normally fall during the later part of the months of March (1 week), May (2 weeks), August (1 week), and the middle of November to the end of December (7 weeks).

If you plan to visit during this peak period (November-December), we advise you to place your hotel reservation much earlier (3-4 months in advance).

Malaysians love Langkawi and most of them will go to this tropical island during the 2-month school holidays.

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Valid passport is a must for entry and they should be valid for a period of at least six months.

Visas are not required if you are a citizen of Commonwealth countries (except India and Sri Lanka), most European countries, United States, Japan, South Korea, Bahrin, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, North Yemen, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar United Arab Emirates and Turkey - provided that your stay does not exceed three months.

If you are a citizen of the Republic of China, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cuba, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, North Korea, Nepal, Myanmar, Taiwan and Vietnam, you must obtain a visa before entering Malaysia.

You only need one visa to travel in Malaysia.

You can get the visa from Malaysian Diplomatic Missions abroad or British Consulates which act for Malaysia in countries where no diplomatic representation of Malaysia is established.

We suggest that you inquire about the latest entry procedures and requirements at the nearest Malaysian Diplomatic Mission.

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Basic Things To Bring Along

Pack Light. A Backpack. T-shirts, Singlets, Shorts, Sandals, Swimwear and Pareo.

Mosquito repellant is a must! Get those spray on kind. Buy plenty of memory cards if you have a digital camera. They're pretty expensive over here.

If you love camping, bring your camp gear along. If you are not intend to stay in the 5-star hotels, be prepared to fight with the mosquito after dusk.

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Temperature rarely fluctuates throughout the year. Langkawi is very warm and humid with temperatures ranging from 25c to 35c. Humidity is high. Rain tends to occur between April to May and October to November.


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Langkawi is 8 hours ahead of GMT and 16 hours ahead of US Pacific Standard time.

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Langkawi's climate is sunny & hot almost year round. Wear light cotton clothes. Do not forget your sun block, sunglasses and hat.

Decent swimming suit is acceptable. Do not go topless - it is not acceptable here.

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When greeting a Muslim, offer your right hand then bring it towards you, fingertips lightly touching your heart. This is the traditional Salam or 'greeting of acceptance'. Hindus greet with a Namaste (in Hindi) or Vanakam (Tamil). Both palms are brought together as in prayer at mid-chest level. With a Chinese, you may shake hands.

If you are really unsure about all the different forms of greetings, just smile and nod your head slightly when introduced.

Here are some tips to avoid "cultural offenses":

  1. Remove your shoes when entering homes and places of worship.
  2. Dress neatly in a suitable attire which covers arms and legs when visiting places of worship.
  3. Handle food with your right hand.
  4. Do not point your foot at someone.
  5. Do not touch a local's head.
  6. Do not put up your feet on the table.
  7. Give or receive money/gifts with your right hand.

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Money Matters

The Malaysian dollar is the Ringgit (RM). One Ringgit is worth 100 sen.

Bank notes come in several denominations: RM1 (blue), RM2 (purple), RM5 (green), RM10 (red), RM50 (bluish green) and RM100(purple).

Coins come in denominations of: 50 sen, 20 sen, 10 sen, 5 sen and 1 sen.

The Ringgit is fixed at RM 3.80 to USD 1.

The Universal Currency Converter

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Banks & Money Changers

Seven major banks are available in Langkawi: Maybank, Public Bank, RHB Bank, Bumiputera Commerce, Perwira Affin Bank, Bank Islam and Bank Simpanan Nasional.

Withdrawal from overseas accounts is easy as most ATMs are linked to international banking networks such as Cirrus, Maestro and Plus and not forgetting Visa and Mastercard. ATMs are available at the Langkawi Airport, Kuah Town and the Jetty Point Shopping Complex.

License Money Changers can be found all over the island such as at the Langkawi International Airport, Jetty Point Complex, Kuah Town, Pantai Chenang, Padang Matsirat and Langkawi Fair.

Banks and most hotel do provide money changing facilities. Credit cards such as American Express, Diners Club, Master Card and Visa Card are widely accepted.

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Medical Care

There is a modern government hospital (Langkawi District Hospital) with some specialist services and capable of handling most emergencies. If patients need more advanced care, they can be transported 24 hours a day by helicopter to Alor Setar Hospital on the mainland. Blood transfusions are free, and you can help the needy by donating at the hospital's Blood Bank.

Private medical practitioners and qualified dental surgeons clinics are available at Padang Matsirat (near Langkawi Airport) and Kuah Town. Registered pharmacists also available at Kuah Town and controlled drugs are sold only by prescription.

There are also rural clinics (Klinik Desa) which are scattered throughout Langkawi and on the other populated islands of Pulau Tuba and Pulau Dayang Bunting. Staffed by nurses, and visited by doctors on a weekly basis, these clinics mostly provide maternal and child health care, but will treat minor injuries.

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Electric Supply

Electricity supplies are reliable throughout the island. Power supply is 220 to 240v at 50Hz cycle. Most places use the three-pin flat pronged plugs and most hotels also have 110v shaving sockets.

International conversion socket/plug could be borrowed from most hotel or you could purchased it from many shops around the island.

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English Language newspapers are available such as The New Straits Times, The Star, Business Times and Malay Mail.

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Internet Access

There's a couple internet cafes in central Kuah town, also one in the Langkawi Fair shopping centre, another near the main intersection in Matsirat, and more at the beaches of Pantai Cenang and Pantai Tenguh. At Rebak, there is a small internet cafe, plus you can connect your laptop to phone lines in the Hard Dock Cafe and in the resort bar. Prices start at RM2.50 an hour, up to RM5 at Rebak.

Some outlets are using dial-up and there are also using digital line like ISDN. If you are using you own computer take note that most phone jacks here accept standard - wired RJ11 plugs.

Most hotels provide internet access facilities.

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Working Hours

Government Business Hours

From 8.00 am to 4.30 pm Saturday to Wednesday
From 8.00 am to 1.00 pm Thursday
- Off Day - Friday
(1st week and 3rd week of the month) OFF Day - Saturday

Bank Business Hours

From 10.00 am to 4.00pm Monday to Friday
From 9.30 am to 11.30 am Saturday
- Off Day - Sunday
(1st week and 3rd week of the month) OFF DAY - Saturday

Others Private sectors / Companies

From 8.30 am to 5.00 pm Saturday to Wednesday
From 8.00 am to 1.30 pm Thursday
- Off Day - Friday

Department Stores / Shopping Complexes / Shops / Travel Agencies mostly open daily.

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Photography and Video

Colour films and slide films are available and can be developed instantly and at good prices. There are few shops that's do digital prints and digital imaging services such as CD copying and CD storage.

You can get reliable and professional services at Di-Shoppe - the leading camera and photography shop in Langkawi. It has three branches located at the Jetty Point Shopping Complex, Kuah Town center and at the Langkawi Airport.

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There are varieties of lip-smacking food that you can choose from. Western, local Malay, Chinese, Indian, Japanese or Thai - they are all delicious.

You can find these savory food served at hotels, fine dinning restaurants, street stalls or hawkers. You should really try the hawker's food. They serve a variety of authentic local dishes at very reasonable prices.

Open-air hawker centres are scattered all over the island, and come alive every evening on most street corners. Still missing McDonald, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Kenny Rogers? No worry.. you can find them at Kuah Town.

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Safety and Security

Langkawi is a very safe place. The island lifestyle has been very easy going and relaxed. Local people are very friendly and helpful. However, don't push it. It pays to keep a close eye on your belongings.

The emergency number for police is 999, ambulance is 991 and fire department is 994.

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The official language is Bahasa Melayu, however English is commonly used and spoken by all. Besides the two languages, there are also Chinese, Tamil and Thai.

The locals are very friendly especially if you know a few simple words in Bahasa Melayu like terima kasih (thank you), or tolong (please).

Click here to learn some useful Malay words & phrases.
It may become handy during your visit to Langkawi.

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Land-line service in Malaysia is good. You can find modern and well-maintained roadside public phones throughout the island. International calls can be made from most public telephones, easiest from the newer card phones and credit card phones. Cards are available from many outlets, including most small shops selling groceries. There are several international calling cards with good rates, though they don't work from public pay phones. You can direct-dial long distance calls from local payphone and IDD phone.

To make an IDD call from a payphone, you just dial the international access code, "00" followed by the your country code and area code and number or you may arrange reverse charge calls .

Malaysia area codes Langkawi and Penang 04, Kuala Lumpur 03, Johor Baru 07, Melaka 06, Kota Bahru and Cameron Highlands 09, Kuching 082, Kota Kinabalu 088.

Local calls cost 10 sen for 3 minutes. The card phone comes in denominations of RM10, RM20, RM50 and RM100.

Most mobile phones with international roaming work in Malaysia. But, if you're staying on for a while, you'll probably want to switch to a Malaysian sim card or buy a phone. The cell phone market is quite competitive in Malaysia, with about a half-dozen companies, several with decent coverage in Langkawi. Maxis (with 012 prefix) and Celcom (019) provide reliable service and both offer pre-paid packs, from as low as RM8.80.

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Post Office

Langkawi has two post offices: one in Kuah, on the road to the ferry terminal, and another in the town of Matsirat. Both have poste restante and postbox rental.

Operation hours from 8am to 5pm. It closes on Friday and Public Holidays. Aerogram and Postcards cost 50sen to any destinations.

You can have mail sent to either Royal Langkawi and Rebak marinas. The friendly copy shop, S.K. Intertrade, in downtown Kuah (8 Jalan Pandak Mayah 1, Pekan Kuah, 07000 Langkawi) will hold mail and small packages for yachties. DHL has an office in Langkawi for quick and secure delivery of important items.

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Langkawi's airport is an international status airport. There are several flights daily from KLIA to Langkawi, Penang to Langkawi and Singapore to Langkawi and vice-versa. You can take Malaysia Airlines Systems, Air Asia or Silk Air.

Ferries services are also available from Penang, Kuala Kedah, Kuala Perlis and Satun, Thailand to Langkawi and vice-versa. Ferry terminal at Langkawi is located at Jetty Point Complex, Kuah Town. There is no public buses service and taxi is the main way of getting around.

But, the easiest way for you to get around is by hiring a car/motorcycle or even bicycle. You can rent cheap vehicles from the local registered travel agents or the beach resorts.

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Driving in Langkawi

Cars in Langkawi and Malaysia are right hand drive. When driving on the road, always keep to the left side of the road. Do not forget to fasten your seat belts as it's mandatory to do so for the driver and front passenger. For motorcyclist, you are required to wear helmets.

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Shopping is fun and quite a bargain on this duty-free island. You can get significantly cheaper designer fashions, perfumes and electronic goods at Kuah and some hotel boutique. Must-buy souveniers: Traditional batiks and pewter crafts.

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Tourism Radio Langkawi broadcasts on FM 103.5 from 0600 until midnight with news and talk shows.


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