Getting to Langkawi, Malaysia

John Vedua Picture
Jeremias Padilla Picture
by John Vedua, Jeremias Padilla
updated about 2 years ago

Officially known as Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah, is a district and an archipelago of 99 islands in the Andaman Sea some 30 km off the mainland coast of northwestern Malaysia. Arriving to this travel destination by air is the best option with flights coming in from Kuala Lumpur starting at $100. A Bus + Ferry Combination is also possible from $8. Moving around is a bit tricky without public transportation but still manageable when renting a bike or scooter from $6 per day, or a car from $20 per day.

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Langkawi Key Information

Best known as The Jewel of Kedah, Langkawi, is the one of the best tourist’s places to visit. It is part of the state of Kedah, which is adjacent to the Thai border.

Like most Southeast Asian countries, the cost of living in Malaysia is low. Around $72 (300RM Malaysian Ringgit) per day should be sufficient.

Make sure that you have local currency (Malaysian Ringgit) in your pocket. The best place to exchange foreign currency is at the bank and license money exchange centers.

Langkawi is a duty free port so you may want to bring extra money if you wish to go on a shopping spree.

Photo by Sahil Khurana from Pixabay

The tricky part

Public transportation on the island is not available and finding an available taxi on the streets is difficult.

Malaysia imposes driving on the left side of the street and it takes some times to get used to this if coming from a country where it is customary to drive on the right side of the street.

Langkawi is generally safe but always exercise due diligence and always keep your valuables in sight. Avoid parking on remote and unsupervised parking spaces. Petty crimes like theft and robbery are always a concern, so exercise caution at all times.

photo by Photosforyou from Pixabay

Getting to Langkawi

Travel to Langkawi from Kuala Lumpur by air is probably the easiest choice available. It only takes between 45 minutes to an hour to reach Langkawi International Airport from Kuala Lumpur International Airport by plane. Serviced by several airlines, the route has frequent flights adjusted to different budgets and itineraries.

Since there are no roads or railroads connecting Malaysia’s mainland to Langkawi Island, a combination of buses and ferries is possible from Kuala Lumpur International Airport. However, this option is quite time consuming and expensive.

Some people may consider a combination of train and ferry to arrive from Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi. However, we advise against this option taking into account the long journey time (approximately 10 hours) and the high cost involved.

The busiest town in Langkawi is Pantai Cenang and it is chosen by the majority of tourists wishing to visit this destination. A main hub for many restaurants, souvenir shops, beautiful beaches, high-end resorts, and budget hotels. Exploring Langkawi is easy since it is an island and there are various way to explore its beauty.

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The Frugal Options

By Plane

Travelling by plane is the fastest most convenient way to reach Langkawi. There are three airline companies that run the route on a daily basis from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to Langkawi International Airport: AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines, and Malindo Air.

AirAsia, offers the cheapest price with tickets starting at $100 for an economy class round trip ticket for one person.

Tourists coming from Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, India, and China may book through Scoot Tigerair or AirAsia. Both airlines offer the cheapest deals which starts at $200 round trip per person.

Qatar Airways, Malaysia Airlines and Ethihad Airways are the go-to airline companies for low-cost flights from travelers from Europe and the USA to Langkawi. With prices starting at $850 to $1300 for a round trip per person.

You can also fly from Australia to Langkawi via Cathay Pacific or Singapore Airlines, prices go from $850 to $1400 round trip per person.

It only takes 45 minutes to an hour to reach Langkawi via plane.

Airport taxis are located outside the baggage claim area. Proceed to the airport taxi counter and purchase a coupon. One-way taxi fares from the airport are fixed and monitored by Airport Authorities.

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By Bus + Ferry

It is also possible to arrive to Langkawi by a combination of bus and ferry from Kuala Lumpur International Airport with an estimated ride time around 4 to 5 hours.

Bus Service is provided by Jetbus. You will find Jetbus's ticketing kiosk on Terminal 2 at the Transportation Hub (on Level 1 of Mall 2). Once you exit from the Arrival Hall which is connected to level 2 of the Gateway@klia2 mall, just walk straight and follow the signboards. Take the exit across the ticket kiosk once you have your ticket and you will find the boarding platform of Jetbus.

Tickets are $3 per passenger for a one-way ride to Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) with a journey time of approximately one to one and a half hours.

A Ferry serviced by Langkawi Ferry Services will take you from Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) to Langkawi. Tickets start at $5 per passenger for a one-way ride which usually takes between one and one and a half hours to reach Langkawi, Kuah jetty from TBS.

  • Once you reached TBS, just walk to the end of the bus station (away from the ticket counters) until you reach the walkway leading to the ticket counters for Kuala Perlis jetty.
  • When you arrive at Kuah jetty, you will take a 15 minute walk to get outside as the jetty is located within Jetting Point Shopping Complex.

There’s no public transportation in Langkawi Island, you will either need to walk (if you hotel is near the jetty) or hail a taxi or Grab ride to reach your destination in Langkawi.

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Private Transfer Options

From Langkawi International Airport and prebooked through Mozio, local provider Book Taxi Group offers All Inclusive service on different private options catering different budgets and numbers of passengers. With Meet and Greet service, a professional driver waits for you for an hour after your plane has landed with a sign with your name on it at the arrivals hall. On a private van for up to six passengers with one piece of luggage each, or on a private sedan for three passengers with one piece of luggage each from $50.

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The Mozio Recommendation

The most practical and convenient way to reach Langkawi from Kuala Lumpur is by air. You save time and are not subject to changing bus and ferry schedules and correspondences between both means of transport. Once you have arrived at Langkawi Airport, take the airport taxi or hail a Grab ride to reach your hotel destination. The price for the airport taxi and Grab seems on equal grounds at $5 to $7 from the airport going Pantai Cenang, the island's most popular area.

Moving AROUND Langkawi

Exploring Langkawi is not a hard task considering the island's main attractions and touristic destinations are accessible by land. A number of options connect them with ease for your convenience. Bikes, motorcicles, and cars are available for rental if you wish to move around at your own will. If you prefer to relax and let the driving to someone else, there are transportation service options sucho as taxi or the rideshare app Grab available.

Photo by Kevin Rohan Thomas from Pixabay

The Frugal Option

When exploring Langkawi, one must bear in mind public transportation is not available and that taking a cab or Grab frequently can be costly, especially if you are travelling long distances. Langkawi maybe a small island but it is still too big to walk to your destination. A good option is renting a scooter or a bike.

There are many scooter rental shops in Langkawi, head to Pantai Tengah or Pantain Cenang to bargain for the best deals. T Shoppe and Uncle B Langkawi Motor Sewa & Bike Rental are pretty popular when it comes to scooter and bike rentals.

Daily scooter rental fees start at $6. You only need to show your passport at the store.

If you are planning to exploring different areas of the island each day and move frequently, renting a car may be the most suitable choice for you. There is nothing more romantic than driving a car along the lovely coast line and the stopping whenever you wish. You can check EZ Car Rental Langkawi for their car rent service. The price to rent a regular sedan starts at $20 per day.

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Are Rideshare & TaxiApps Readily Available In Langkawi?

Available On-Demand Providers

  1. grab

Not Available Options

  1. cabify

  2. uber

  3. lyft

  4. freenow

  5. gojek

  6. didi

  7. bolt

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Car Rental Options

There are no complications when renting a car in Langkawi. All you need is your passport and a deposit fee ($50 or more depending on the car rental agency). Parking spots are widely available and fuel is cheap ($0.50 per liter).

A number of agencies are available to choose from the main ones being:

Prices for a regular sedan start at $20.

Car rentals in Langkawi provide a comprehensive insurance coverage which is included in the daily rental fee. The insurance coverage includes theft protection, third party coverage, vehicle collision damage waiver, and a maximum liability of $450.

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Day Trips Around Langkawi

Dataran Lang

Located at the southeast corner of Pulau Langkaw (30 kilometers from Pantai Cenang), Dataran Lang is one of the most popular places to visit in Langkawi. Also known as Eagle Square, a sight that welcomes visitors to the island via ferry. From Pantai Cenang to Pulau Langkaw it takes 30 minutes to reach this location by car. A regular taxi will cost you around $18 so it is often better to take a Grab for $10.

The Legenda Park is also worth visiting when you're in Dataran Lang. The park was first opened in April 1996 and is located next to the Eagle Square (10 minute walk). The entrance of the park is through a Gondowana stone wall. There are sculptures and statues across the park. You will also find the pathway romantic as the trees form an arch as you go along the way and explore the part.

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Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls

Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls (also known as Seven Wells Waterfall) is the most picturesque waterfall in the island. The name was coined on how seven natural pools are formed at different levels of water streams that flows down mount Mat Cincang.

If your hotel is located in Pantai Cenang or the surrounding area, you can take a Grab for $6 each way. Taking a taxi will cost you $15 each way. The travel time may vary depending on traffic conditions; normally it is a 30 minute ride.

Prebooked through Mozio's local partner Book Taxi Group offering All Inclusive service, a professional chauffeur can take you there on a private sedan (for up to three passengers) from $72 or on a private van (for up to six passengers) from $84.

Photo by Jylling from Pixabay

Langkawi Cable Car Ride

Langkawi Cable Car is one of the major tourist spots in the island.Experience nature from above with an aerial view of the waterfalls and the rainforest. Linking Burau Bay Resort going to the peak of Gunung Machinchang which is also the location of Langkawi Sky Bridge.

Langkawi Cable Car is located north western side of Langkawi in Patai Kok area. One way taxi fare from Pantai Cenang to Oriental Village will cost $8 and a Grab ride will cost $5. It’s a 20 minute ride from Pantai Cenang to the cable car location.

Prebooked through Mozio's local partner Book Taxi Group offering All Inclusive service, a professional chauffeur can take you there on a private sedan (for up to three passengers) from $70 or on a private van (for up to six passengers) from $80.

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