Acquaint yourself with Langkawi
Langkawi Island belongs to a group of islands located about 31miles (51 kilometers) from the Northwest shores of Peninsular Malaysia. The island has a population of around 65,000 and the capital is Kuah with a population of only 14,000. For an island of its size and a population of only 65,000, Langkawi is not a very populated island.
This was once a sleepy island and its main activity was fishing and farming but today receives over 2 million tourists each year, attracted by the island’s sandy beaches and sunny skies. However, the island never seems crowded with tourists since many of the accommodations are spread out around the island.
Langkawi International Airport is about 20 minutes by car from Kuah and not more than 10 minutes from Pantai Cenang, being the closest beach. I always stay at The Laguna Langkawi Rental Properties, close to the airport, yet handy for beaches and all amenities and nightlife. Most flights to Langkawi are domestic flights served by low cost airlines Air Asia, Firefly or use Malaysia Airlines if you have the budget. They fly from either (KLIA) the International Airport or KLIA2 used by the budget Airlines. You can also fly from another Kuala Lumpur airport Subang. I have never used but appears popular, the flight time is around, 50 minutes from each airport to Langkawi. Flying from Penang is approximately 20 minutes to Langkawi.
If you decide to use a ferry services, departing from the mainland, Kuala Perlis or Kuala Kedah to the ferry terminal in Langkawi, I believe the travel time is about 60 and 90 minutes respectively. There are also ferry services from the island of Penang (3 hours) and the Thai border town of Satun. Sadly, you would need to confirm all of the above as its not my chosen mode of transport. Put me on a flight any day.
The journey by road from Kuala Lumpur to the ferry terminals is more than 250 miles (400 kilometers). Therefore it’s clearly best to fly rather than take to the road and then ferry to Langkawi
Apartment or Hotel
There has been a recent rush in building many property types around the island, consequently there are now many 2 to 3-star hotels in Kuah and being away from any beach, are usually cheaper than those near any beaches. Visitors staying in Kuah Town generally have duty-free shopping in mind rather than beaches and nightlife in mind.
Those preferring accommodations closer to the beach, along Pantai Cenang, or alternatively Pantai Tengah, accommodations available vary from, backpack accommodation to 2 to 4 -star hotels, only some have facilities such as swimming pools, restaurants, and bars. There are very limited accommodations along the beaches of Burau Bay, Pantai Rhu and Datai Bay as they are occupied mainly by 4 to 5-star resorts and expect to pay for the privilege of a quiet beach.
Being a regular visitor to Langkawi for many years, I always return to The Laguna Langkawi Rental Apartments. Their facilities rival any 5* hotel, including a magnificent pool, Spa, Gym and superb restaurant “Sopranos” and “Saby’s Café”, both superb. On my last visit, the restaurant and café even offered delivery to your apartment. With those sorts of facilities and their general attention to detail, you can see why it’s my chosen home from home. It’s well worth a look, especially if you are visiting Langkawi on an extend stay.
Any public transport on the island is very limited non – existent. Taxis are clearly available, mostly found waiting at the airport and ferry terminal. A good option for traveling in a group is to hire a van either with a driver for half a day or the whole day, alternatively hire a car yourself and have the freedom of the island.
There are plenty of car, scooter, and motorbike rentals in Langkawi and companies offering these services can be found at the airport, hotels, ferry terminal, and along the beaches. A valid driving license is required and many foreign licenses including those from Europe and North America are accepted. I fully recommend you hire a car in Langkawi, please just make sure you are covered for insurance by using a dealership.