Langkawi

View from a beach in a tropical island, Langkawi in Malaysia : blue sky, blue water and sand.Langkawi is not only the largest island of the archipelago of the same name, but also the most popular resort in the country, where countless numbers of people come every year from all over the world, including Russia. The main reason for this popularity is the unique unspoiled landscapes, white beaches with white sand and clear sea. By the way, the sand of local beaches contains a large amount of minerals and is recognized as very useful for health, for example, it has been proven that it cures osteochondrosis, rheumatism and bronchitis. The magnificent thermal springs and the clean air of the island are no less useful. Langkawi is also famous for its natural and man-made sights, which are covered with many legends and myths. The most romantic myth tells of Princess Mahsuri, who was executed on false charges of adultery and cursed the island.

The Malaysian government is positioning Langkawi as a destination for wealthy vacationers, but of course this is not the case in practice. Of course, there are several beaches on the island with luxury hotels that the average tourist will not get to. However, most of the beaches, including the most popular beaches of Pantai Tengah and Pantai Cenang, are very democratic in cost and, moreover, are the busiest places. In general, Langkawi is just an ideal place, which is suitable for both a fun pastime and a secluded getaway.

Region
state of Kedah
Population 64 792 people
Square 478.5 km 2
Population density 140 people / km 2
Currency Malaysian ringgit (MYR)
Timezone UTS + 8
Postal code 07XXX
International dialing code + 60-49

Climate and weather

Langkawi lies in the equatorial climate zone, so it is always sunny and hot here. The average air island warms to + 26 … + 30 C ° , and water – up to +29 ° C .

It is generally believed that the best time to relax in Langkawi is the dry period from November to April, during which there is practically no rain. However, in general, the weather on the island is excellent throughout the year, so you can relax here in any season. Of course, in Langkawi, as in the entire territory of this region, there is a wet season (May – September), but the weather during this period is rather unpredictable: precipitation may be absent for many days in a row, but the showers themselves are often warm and short-lived.

Nature

Langkawi Island is part of the archipelago of the same name, which consists of 104 islands scattered in the Andaman Sea along the northwestern coast of mainland Malaysia. The island itself is located in the Strait of Malacca , near the border with Thailand. Langkawi is surrounded by many small islands that create a very beautiful and picturesque seascape.

The nature in Langkawi is truly unique, since, despite the honorable age of the island (more than 5 million years), it has been preserved almost in its original form. For this reason, in 2007 UNESCO declared this paradise island a Geopark. Here you can see the rarest species of animals and plants, beaches with healing sand, caves with stalagmites, wild landscapes and centuries-old trees. The main inhabitants of the island are monkeys, mouse deer, hornbills, colorful butterflies and eagles. We should also mention the rare chocolate brown eagle, which is the symbol of the island.

sights

Most of the attractions of the island of Langkawi are unique natural sites (mountains, parks, hot springs, waterfalls, etc.), although there are also some very noteworthy historical buildings and museums.

The most famous attraction of the main city of Kuah is the Eagle Square , which is decorated with artificial reservoirs with bridges and the figure of a red-brown eagle. Next to the square is the Legends Park , the exhibits of which tell about the legends and myths of the archipelago. Also in the city are the golden baths of the largest and most popular mosque on the island – the Al-Khan Mosque . And not far from Kuah is the Perdana Gallery with an extensive collection of awards and souvenirs that were presented to the former Prime Minister of the country, Mahathir Mohamad.

Among other man-made attractions, the only Hindu temple on the island, Hindu Temple, is worth highlighting . It is also recommended to visit the Langkawi handicraft complex , the tomb and house-museum of Princess Mahsuri and the Underwater World Oceanarium , as well as the Museum and Cultural Fund with paintings by the country’s most famous artist, Ibrahim Hussein. No less interesting excursion objects are:

  • black beach Pantai-Pasir-Hitam,
  • waterfalls Temurun,
  • Durian,
  • “Seven Wells”
  • snake and crocodile farms,
  • “Rice Compound” with the Rice Museum.

The tourist complex East Village is also noteworthy , where you can get acquainted with the life of typical Malaysians, buy many souvenirs, taste exotic dishes and see theatrical performances or performances of folk performers.

Other famous and popular sites in Langkawi include:

  • the caves of Gua Chrita and Gua Kelavar,
  • observation decks on the Mat-Chinchang mountain,
  • hot springs in the village of Air Khangat,
  • cable car with Skybridge suspension bridge,
  • the mythical Lake of the Pregnant Maiden, which is located on a neighboring island.

Nutrition

Langkawi’s culinary traditions are influenced by Chinese, Thai and Indian traditions. Therefore, it is not surprising that a characteristic feature of local dishes is a large amount of pepper and spices. At the same time, you can easily find restaurants with European cuisine on the island. They are mainly concentrated in the city of Kuah .

If we talk directly about the national cuisine of Malaysia, then it is based on rice, which is included in most Malay dishes, as well as vegetables, exotic fruits and coconut milk. The most common treats that you can try in any restaurant are rice noodles with eggs and shrimp ” cha quai tju “, fish curry with rice ” nasi dagang “, fried rice ” nasi goreng ” and rice with chicken and noodles. It is also recommended to try gado gado vegetable salad with peanut sauce and coconut milk or rojak pineapple salad with cucumber and shrimp pancakes.

Local chefs rarely use meat, most often on holidays. Rendang meat stewed in coconut milk , sati ayam chicken skewers with sweet and sour sauce, pancakes with murtabak meat and noodles with chicken and curry laksa sauce are most often served among the national meat dishes . Also, Malay cuisine is replete with interesting seafood dishes: shark fin soup, fried scallops, anchovies, cuttlefish salad and much more.

In addition, guests of the island are advised to try local street food, which is sold in the evenings along the Chenang coast and in the capital. Branded “street” dishes include noodles in a curry “laksa-sneakers”, mutton soup with herbs ” con-EKOR ” and small barbecue ” sate “, which are sold with rice pudding and peanut sauce and chili.

Residence

Langkawi offers a wide range of hotels and lodging for all tastes, from luxurious world-class resorts to budget guesthouses. Many of the island’s hotels are stylized as traditional campung villages, where you can stay in both bungalow chalets and cozy rooms.

In total, there are 30 hotels on the island, of which more than half are five-star. One of the most popular places is Pantai Cenang Beach , where the large Pelangi Beach resort is located with many cottages and inexpensive hotels. Although for families with children, the quieter Pantai Tengah beach is better suited . In this place, the Langkawi Village hotel is famous for the most convenient location and quality service . Fans of an expensive and eventful holiday will like the Pantai Kok beach with the most expensive hotels, restaurants, duty-free shops, etc. The famous hotel Berjaya Langkawi Beach Resort & SRA is also located here.which is quite popular with foreign tourists. Also great hotels can be found on the beaches of T Anjung Ru, Datai and elsewhere.

Entertainment and recreation

The most popular pastime in Langkawi is beach vacations and water sports. The best beaches of the island, which boast white sand and excellent infrastructure, are:

  • Pantai Chenang,
  • Pantai Tentah,
  • Pantai Kok,
  • Tanjung Ru,
  • Pantai Pasir-Hitam.

Beautiful nature and clear water have turned these places into magnificent resorts, where a lot of celebrities rested, including Margaret Thatcher and Elizabeth II. Sports such as windsurfing, snorkeling, boating, yachting, catamarans and boating, beach volleyball, fishing and much more are available on almost all beaches.

Due to its high popularity, Langkawi boasts a large number of resort hotels where any type of recreation is available, as well as many interesting tourist sites where you can have great fun and relaxation. Of these, the most important is the Eastern Village , which is a very colorful place with many duty-free shops, Asian restaurants and souvenir shops. Here you can also see theatrical performances and performances of folk performers, or listen to traditional music. No less interesting and popular tourist attractions are the grandiose cable car with a suspension bridge, the huge Langkawi Underwater World Oceanarium and the village of Air Hangat, which is an entertainment complex with hot springs.

Nightlife lovers will also have plenty to do, as there are some great places to dance, drink and listen to live music. Most of these establishments are located on Pantai Cenang and Pantai Tents , where, in addition to clubs, there is a huge variety of restaurants and eateries.

Shopping

The island of Langkawi is a free (duty-free) trade zone, so alcohol, cigarettes, bags, clothes, shoes, textiles and souvenirs are sold here at fairly low prices. Of course, the most popular among tourists are “duty-free” shops, which look like souvenir shops. Duty-free shops operate almost wherever there are tourists, but most of them are concentrated in the East Village and the Chenang Beach area . Well, the main shopping centers of the island are located in the main city of Langkawi – Kuah . Here, shopping should go to Teow Soon Huat Duty Free Supermarket & Department Store, on the territory of which there are a lot of shops, 12 restaurants and a large supermarket. Also, one cannot ignore the Saga Shopping Center and Langkawi Fair Shopping Mall , where the only McDonalds on the island is located.

Outside of Kuah, there are also many shopping centers and shops, mostly concentrated near hotels and main attractions. For example, the De ‘Zone Gallery Shop is the island’s largest shopping center, selling souvenirs and local artisan goods such as traditional items of silver, pewter, precious stones and batik. A wide selection of interesting souvenirs is available in the Skydeep souvenir shop (Pantai Tengah resort area) and Cinnamon`s (Pantai Cenang resort area), as well as in the magnificent Atma Ala batik shop…. In the latter, you can get acquainted with the process of making and painting this fabric, and then buy yourself something as a keepsake, for example, a bag, wallet, pillow, scarf, painting and much more.

Transport

Langkawi International Airport is located just 20 km from the capital of the island. It receives flights from Kuala Lumpur several times a day. Langkawi is also connected by regular flights with all major cities of Malaysia, London, Osaka, Singapore and Taipei (Taiwan). In addition, there is a continuous ferry service between Langkawi and Penang Island.

Public transport in Langkawi is not very developed and is mainly represented by taxis and buses. Bus service connects the main areas – the marina, airport, Pantai Cenang beach and Kuah city. However, local buses run quite rarely, and stopping points are not marked in any way. Therefore, if your own time is precious to you, it is worth taking a taxi or renting a car. Taxis on the island do not work by meter, but at fixed rates, which are quite high here.

You can rent a car or motorcycle in the city of Kuah, on Patnai Chenang Beach, at the airport or near the marina. The cost of renting a car will cost from $ 23 per day, and a motorcycle or scooter – from $ 5 per day. Bicycle rental is available in most hotels ($ 3-10).

Ferries are another way to get around and around the island.

Connection

Mobile communication, which is provided by several local operators, works in the GSM standard. However, roaming rates are quite high here. Broadband internet is available at internet cafes in Kuah city and in almost all resorts on the island (about $ 3 per hour). If you have a laptop, wireless internet is available at some resorts.

International calls can be made from any hotel, although it is much more economical to use one of the pay phones that are installed in the capital of the island, at the airport and in other most crowded places. There are telephone card machines that can be bought at any large store or kiosk.

Safety

In terms of security, Langkawi is a fairly calm place. Tourists here, as a rule, are faced only with the theft of wallets, handbags and photographic equipment. Most of these crimes occur in crowded places (shopping areas, beaches, etc.). Of course, if you follow reasonable precautions, no trouble will happen.

Vaccinations against hepatitis A and B, as well as polio and malaria are recommended before the trip. It is advised to take with you the necessary set of medicines and medicines. Tap water should be avoided and only boiled or bottled water should be used.

It must be remembered that Malaysia is a Muslim country, so here you must adhere to some rules, for example, women outside the resort areas should give preference to modest clothing.

Business

Langkawi is an important economic and tourist center of the country, as well as a free trade zone, so the business climate here is very favorable and promises considerable benefits. For example, to organize your own business, the number of shares of a representative of a country and a foreign investor can be distributed 30 to 70%, and not 50 to 50% as in most other countries. Well, the local tax system is simple and has many benefits, for example, there is no need to calculate VAT and pay many types of taxes that are required in other countries. The main tax of local businessmen and entrepreneurs is income (corporate) tax, which has many benefits.

Accommodation

Today Langkawi is the most popular resort in the country, so there is a high demand for any property. At the same time, despite some excitement, the prices here are quite democratic. For example, buying an apartment, a good villa or a cottage will cost from $ 70 thousand, and a one-story bungalow – from $ 32 thousand. Although there are also very expensive elite objects here. In general, the local real estate market is characterized by stability and high potential, as well as the possibility of year-round rent.

Travel tips

Currency exchange in Langkawi is not a problem, but the rate here is lower than on Penang Island or in Kuala Lumpur , for this reason it is better to take care of money in the capital. In general, you can exchange currency in almost any hotel, albeit at a rather low rate. Also, numerous exchange offices are located at the airport, in the city of Kuah, on Pantai Cenang and in some resort areas. The most favorable exchange rates can be found in the shopping centers of Kuah city.