Langkawi

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Langkawi,(Jawi:لانكاوي ) officially known as Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah (Malay: Langkawi Permata Kedah) is an archipelago of 99 islands (an extra 5 temporary islands are revealed at low tide) in the Andaman Sea, some 30 km off the mainland coast of northwestern Malaysia. The islands are a part of the state of Kedah, which is adjacent to the Thai border. In 2008, Sultan Abdul Halim of Kedah consented to the change of name to Langkawi Permata Kedah in conjunction with his Golden Jubilee Celebration. By far the largest of the islands is the eponymous Pulau Langkawi with a population of some 64,792, the only other inhabited island being nearby Pulau Tuba. Langkawi is also an administrative district with the town of Kuah as the capital and largest town. Langkawi is a duty-free island. (less...) (more...)

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  • Beach Beach
  • Business object Business object
  • Casino Casino
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  • Education Education
  • Entertainment Entertainment
  • Golf course Golf course
  • Green space Green space
  • Harbor Harbor
  • Historic site Historic site
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  • Medical Medical
  • Monument Monument
  • Museum Museum
  • Shopping Shopping
  • Skiing Skiing
  • Sports facility Sports facility
  • Theater Theater
  • Winery Winery

Points of Interest in Langkawi

  • Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls aka Seven Wells (Gunung Mat Cincang, Northwest corner of the island, 45 kms from Kuah, walking distance from Oriental village and cable car (10 min)),  +60 4 9667789. This waterfall is named after the seven natural pools along its path. Legend has it that fairies used to come down to the pools to bathe and frolic. There are 2 viewing areas at Telaga Tujuh. The lower area is at the base of the waterfall and the higher area is where the 7 pools are. You can bathe in the pools and even slide down the slick rock between them. Be warned, to get to the 7 pools, you have to climb 300+ steps which can get quite slippery when wet. As with most Malaysian tourist sites, the toilet facilities are not maintained and rubbish is strewn everywhere.

There is also a jungle trekking course available at the site which will lead you through a trail of up to 2,500 m, up 2 different mountains. This trail is achievable with slippers, but it is best to wear comfortable hiking shoes or boots as some segments of the trail are nearly vertical. Be warned that these trails are not recommended for family trips.

  • Gunung Raya (take the snaking paved road through the jungle). The tallest mountain on the island, at 881m. Spectacular views from the lookout point on the top. There is a resort hotel serving meals and indifferent coffee at the summit. There is a lookout tower which one may climb for RM 10.
  • Crocodile Adventureland, Jalan Datai, Mk. Ayer Hangat (on the way to Teluk Datai),  +60 4 9592559. Daily, 9AM-6PM, Show Time: Daily at 11.15am & 2:45PM, hourly feedings. Over 1,000 crocodiles and alligators. Witness a boxing match of man vs crocodile, or take a ride in a rickshaw drawn by a crocodile. this attraction will not be enjoyed by some visitors, the crocodiles are inbred and deformed. Adult RM15, child RM10 (below 12 yrs).
  • Laman Padi Rice Garden (northern end of Pantai Cenang, opposite Casa Del Mar Hotel),  +60 4 955 4312. 10am-6pm. Rice fields and nice landscaping. Museum in English details process of cultivating rice. Free.
  • Legend Garden (400 metres from Kuah Jetty beside the CHOGM Park and Al-Hana Mosque.),  +60 4 9664223. 8AM-11PM daily. Beautiful garden located on 50 acres, designed based on Langkawi heritage. Adults: RM5, Children: RM2.50.
  • Underwater World (Pantai Cenang),  +60 4 9556100. 9:30AM-6:30PM on weekdays and 9:30AM-8:30PM on weekends. An indoor aquarium. Try to catch the feeding times (see website for details). RM38 for adults and RM28 for children..
  • Eagle Square. The square, featuring a giant eagle statue, is beautifully landscaped with scenic ponds, bridges and coverd terraces, and is especially beautiful when illuminated at night
  • Oriental Village. Asian-themed village featuring restaurants, an exotic snake charmer, jugglers, silat displays, traditional music, kite flying demonstrations, palmistry, portrait painting. A miserable elephant is forced offer rides to tourists. In future, a tiger may be added into the collection of their non-native wildlife. Rent a segway to scoot around Oriental Village.
  • Galeria Perdana +60 4 959 1498. 10am to 5pm, closed Mondays. Museum featuring gifts Malaysia has received from foreign countries. RM10.
  • Summer Palace (Pantai Kok). The building was the set of the Hollywood film "Anna and the King". The building has now been closed off as it is in a state of disrepair and disintegration and is thus a danger to visitors. Adults RM5, Children RM3.50.
  • Wild Life Park. It is a zoo. Many wild animals to see.
  • Ibrahim Hussein Foundation Museum (Teluk Datai),  +60 4 959 4669. 10am-6pm. Abstract paintings RM12.

Eagle Square

Kuah Jetty

Langkawi Sky Bridge

Rice Museum Langkawi

Cenang Mall

Oriental Village

Langkawi Cable Car

Pantai Cenang Beach

CHOGM Park

Laman Padi Langkawi

Night Market

Underwater World

Al-Hana Mosque

Langkawi Terminal Ferry

Tanjung Rhu Beach

Lagenda Park

Langkawi Beach

Telaga Harbor

Pantai Kok Beach

Seven Wells Waterfall

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About Langkawi

Background

The name "Langkawi" has two possible origins. First, it is believed to be related to the kingdom of Langkasuka, itself a version of the Malay negari alang-kah suka ("the land of all one's wishes"), centered in modern-day Kedah. The historical record is sparse, but a Chinese Liang Dynasty record (c. 500 AD) refers to the kingdom of "Langgasu" as being founded in the 1st century AD. Second, it could be a combination of the Malay words 'helang', meaning "eagle" and 'kawi', meaning "reddish-brown" or "strong", in old Malay.

Langkawi eventually came under the influence of the Sultanate of Kedah, but Kedah was conquered in 1821 by Siam and Langkawi along with it. The Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909 transferred power to the British, which held the state until independence, except for a brief period of Thai rule under the Japanese occupation of Malaya during World War II. Thai influences remain visible in the culture and food of Langkawi.

Langkawi remained a sleepy backwater until 1987, when the island was granted tax-free status with the intention of promoting tourism and improving the lives of the islanders. The following boom was spectacular and now Langkawi figures on most every European travel agency's radar.

This spectacular boom was also due to the fact that Mahsuri's curse was lifted with the birth of her 7th generation descendant.

Sheltered by the mountainous backbone of Peninsular Malaysia, Langkawi escapes the northeastern winter monsoon entirely and enjoys sunny skies in winter when the eastern provinces are flooded. Coupled with natural white sand beaches, lush jungle foliage and craggy mountain peaks - but hampered by inaccessibility - the island was at one time touted as "Malaysia's best-kept secret".

The 10,000 hectares of Langkawi and its 99 islands were declared a Geopark by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 2007.

Activities

  • Langkawi Cineplex, A-14-15 Pokok Asam, Kuah 10th floor of Langkawi Parade Shopping Complex (Level 10, Langkawi Parade Megamall),  +60 4 9661006, e-mail: feedback@langkawicineplex.com. Only movie theatre in Langkawi. Current Hollywood and local films. RM11.
  • Go-Karting, Lot67, Jl Pantai Cenang,  +60 4 955 5827, +60 4 955 5792. Morac International Karting features a 1,000m track. RM35 for 10min in Swiss Hutless Kart or RM100 for 15min in faster YamahaKart.
  • Golf (Northern part of the island),  +60 4 959 2620. There is a world-class, 18-hole golf course located near the Datai resort. RM400 for 18 holes or RM300 for 9 holes.
  • Yoga Now, 15 Lorong Keramat, Pantai Cenang (Follow the signboards for Yoga Now on the road behind Rasa Restaurant - 10min walk from the beach.),  +60 16 2715 082, e-mail: yoganow@hotmail.com. Daily yoga classes 09:00-11:00 & 16:00-18:00. Traditional Hatha Yoga classes in English (also French, Dutch and Chinese). Run by an Irish/Malaysian couple. Yoga retreats and workshops are also available. RM50 for a 2hr drop in class, RM400 for a 10 class pass..

Beaches

Pantai Cenang - The most popular beach in Langkawi, features fine powdery sand and many beachfront restaurants and bars. Located at the south-western tip of the island, 2km long.

Pantai Tengah - Located just south of and contiguously with Pantai Cenang. 1km long. Means ‘Middle Beach’. Peaceful and tranquil alternative to the hustle and bustle of Pantai Cenang. All inclusive resorts popular with families.

Pantai Kok - Isolated, relatively undisturbed stretch of beach in the western part of Langkawi Island, 12km north of Pantai Cenang. Telaga Harbour as well cable-car ride to the peak of Mat Cincang Mountain and the Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls are located here.

Tanjung Rhu - northernmost tip of the island. Centuries-old limestone caves, mangroves, waterways, limestone crags and sandy beaches make it a nature lover's paradise. This beach is made up of 2 long stretches that include Tanjong Rhu Resort and Four Seasons..

Datai Bay - The most expensive resorts are located here.

Burau Bay - Beach lined with rocky outcrops located at the West Coast of Langkawi. Nearby Burau island is also a roosting place for migratory birds.

Pantai Pasir Hitam - Means ‘Black Sand’. The sand is mixed in white and black shades, due to rich tin and iron ore deposits.

Pasir Tengkorak - Very beautiful small beach in the North of the island.

Tours

Tours can be arranged via any hotel or a multitude of online agencies. Prices vary, the ones given here are averages.

  • Exclusive Private & Sharing Yacht Charter Cruises +60 13 407 3166. by leading yacht charter company offering carefree cruise packages for sunset, full day or overnight cruises around Langkawi and in the Andaman Sea.
  • Mangrove Tour Langkawi +60 12 578 5408. Educational and recreational tour. The tour slowly cruises the river and you will able to watch animals like birds, monkeys and eagles actively searching for food. You can experience for yourself the mangrove trees on your left and right banks of the river.
  • Stardust Sailing Yacht +60 12 4050649. Combined mangrove and sailing yacht tour incorporating eagle watching, sting ray feeding, a traditional fish farm excursion and a mangrove speedboat safari for 1 hour plus a 6 hour sailing yacht cruise to the Langun Island Sand Spit Beach and incorporating the Pirate Lagoon as well as fishing, salt water jacuzzi, join in sailing, dolphin spotting, tunnel cave. RM325 for an adult includes a big buffet, beverages and hotel transfers.
  • Island Hopping Tours. You will be brought to several islands around Langkawi, usually the Pregnant Maiden Island and Pulau Beras Basah. A dive into the cool deep Pregnant Maiden Lake is a must. The tours take 4 hours and leave at 9.30AM and 2.30PM. They have pick-up service and can be booked from any hostel/motel at lower rates. RM25-40.
  • Jet Ski Island Tours or Jet Ski Safari +60 12 2002155. Breathtaking view touring the islands of Langkawi on a jet ski. You will be given a choice of three different tours. Private tours can be arranged. The tours take approximately 4 hours and leave at 9.00AM ending 1.00PM. They have pick up service and can depart from Pantai Cenang or Sheraton Langkawi Beach Resort.
  • Birdwatching Tours. There are over 200 species of birds on the islands. The best times to watch them are the early mornings or early evenings. RM200 Adult, RM120 child.
  • Marinas. Four first-class marinas provide berths for many international yachts.
  • Kayaking & Swimming Adventure. 4 hour tour. Paddle along the mangrove forest. Opportunities to see kingfishers, sea eagles, kites, plovers, herons, fiddler crabs and mud skippers. RM250 Adult, RM120 child.
  • Jungle Trekking in the Rainforest. 4 hour tour. Pick up from your hotel. Lots of monkeys and birds. Junglewalla also offers tours suitable for families or advanced hikers.

Jungle trekking is free if you follow any of the numerous jungle trek routes available throughout Langkawi. The vegetation is not dense and will be a memorable experience. RM150.

  • Mangrove & Limestone Cruise. 4 hour tour. Explore the mangroves forest and the ancient limestone outcrops and rock formations and possibly walking fish, Kingfishers, and Eagles.

Prices vary, depending on the quality of the guide as well as the package components. It can range anywhere from 70-200rm for adults. Alternately, you can charter the boat for 300RM if you are more than 2 people. RM200 Adult, RM120 child.

  • Nature Walk. 2 hour tour. At sunrise or at dusk. See monkeys, insects, and flying squirrels. RM40 Adult, RM20 child.
  • Scuba Diving & Snorkelling. Best around Pulau Payar Marine Park (20km south of Langkawi). There is a viewing platform for relaxation between underwater adventures. While Pulau Payar Marine Park does boast healthy coral and a good variety of fish, you will not be issued fins with your snorkel and the lunch the various tour operators supply is well below par. RM120-200.
  • Eagle Feeding. While you are on one of the various boat tours, the tour operators will toss pieces of chicken to the eagles. This is a wonderful display, but encourages the eagles to rely on tourists for food, and not to hunt on their own. As a result, it is very destructive to the eagle population. Please do not support eagle feeding. Tell the boatman to keep the chicken for himself.
  • Helicopter Joyrides, Pekan Baru, Kuah Town,  +60 4 9699690. See Langkawi from Aerial View at a very afforable price. A new excitement in Langkawi. as low as 150 $.
  • Cable Car Ride & Hanging Bridge (in Oriental village, close to Pantai Kok),  +60 4 959 4225. Ride the cable car to the top of Gunung Mat chinchang and walk across the 700m high Sky Bridge for a spectacular view of the islands and Thailand. Includes a very steep section which is spectacular both going up and coming down. Doesn't operate in bad weather. Also it doesn't run during the regular maintenance days, check before you go. Officially you are not allowed to take food and drink on the cable car, but they seem not to be checking backpacks (when unlucky and all your water is taken by the security, you can buy one at the top). If they are not operating, or you are really into hiking, you can trek partway up the mountain through the jungle. To do this, from the parking lot at Telagah Tujuh Waterfalls go left just before the road goes really uphill and then turn left again at the water reservoir. The trek is very steep most of the way and in a pretty bad condition because the contractors laying down the piping for cables littered garbage all the way to the top. Only attempt this if you are fit and have good hiking boots. Temperatures at the top of the mountain are 4-5⁰C lower than at sea level RM30 Adult, RM20 child.

Food

Practically all resorts have their own restaurants and many tourists choose to eat in, but there are lots of other options as well. Be adventurous and strike out on your own to savour the numerous foods at the stalls and restaurants all over Langkawi.

Generally, restaurants are expensive and the portions are smaller there than at stalls, so you may want to order more than just a main dish at a restaurant. Also, if you don't like spicy food, watch out: Langkawi people like their food hot, and even if they tone things down at your request, you may still find your food challenging to eat. Try one of the many seafood restaurants, but beware of certain restaurants advertised in the brochures targeting tourists. An example of such restaurant is the 'Coco Beach Restaurant', close to the airport.

If you choose to order seafood or fish, take note if the price is by weight or by a set price for the dish. The unwary can be hit with a much larger bill than expected. Also, beware of restaurants telling you that they only have the bigger size lobsters available, as that is what they tell everyone (a common practice at Coco Beach Restaurant and Palm View Restaurant, at Pantai Cenang). When your lobster or crab is served, you will discover that you will definitely be paying for 900g of shell instead of meat! To counter this, order fish, squid and prawns, to be safe.

Budget

For a taste of simple Malay-style breakfast, just walk up to a small stall opposite the Underwater World in the mornings and feast on the famous freshly-prepared banana leaf-wrapped nasi lemak (steamed rice in coconut milk). The price is most affordable at less than RM 2 for a pack. Go local and enjoy this with a glass of hot teh tarik or really good local coffee. This very unassuming stall is just simple and great (clean too!) The nasi lemak comes with curried beef, squid in chili, friend salted fish or chicken.

  • AddaMaya Café (Pantai Cenang (near Haji Ramli's; or opposite Nadia's Comfort Inn)). Small, cosy place for meals and coffee. The chef can whip up great meals - from local dishes to western fast food easily (and in that little cabin of his). Problem is, it can get a bit dusty as it is located fronting the main road. Locals like to come here for good food at reasonable prices.
  • Rafi's Place (sandwiched between Restoran Aliah's and Tomato Nasi Kandar on Pantai Cenang). Rustic shack. No visible signboard either but ask around and you will find Rafi's. Rafi is a Penangite but has been on the island since 1988 so he considers himself very much local. Ask him for recommendations and he'll happily tell you. Ample parking space in front of his 'shack'. Good ambiance especially early mornings. nasi lemak (RM3), local tea and coffee (RM1).
  • Tomato Nasi Kandar (Opposite Langkawi Boutique Hotel). Typical budget Indian food establishment with patrons all day (and night!) long. Very crowded even in the wee hours of the morning. They serve an enormous variety of dishes, from the flavoured roti varieties to naan, briyani and kebabs. The standard is quite high - to an extent where the meal is extremely value-for-money. The only problem is that their waiters are exceedingly bad at taking orders. RM1-3 for roti, RM 4-10 for main dishes.
  • Restoran Fatimah (near the Kampung Tok Senik Resort on the road to Ulu Melaka). Try this for really authentic Malay food. Their lunch spread is amazing - so amazing that they attract bus loads of Malaysian visitors. Just enjoy the food and leave your cultural baggage and complaints behind as you will be in a totally different ambiance but friendly, nevertheless.
  • Restoran Almaz, northern end of Pantai Cenang (Next door to the 'Laman Padi Rice Garden' and across the road from 'Casa Del Mar'). A really nice little restaurant with Roti and Indian food that is very tasty and cheap. We were incredibly impressed with the food and were over the moon with the price. 0.80-12RM.

Mid-range

  • Artisans Pizza Cafe (Pantai Cenang). Offers freshly cooked pizzas with both traditional and Malaysian toppings. The satay pizza and sambal pizza are particularly good. You can dine in or takeaway and they also deliver to guesthouses and the beach. Their house specialties: Hungarian Goulash and Madam's Fishbake are particularly recommended. Tomato soup is also great. RM 15 for main courses. RM 30-38 for 11 inch pizzas.
  • Babylon Mat Lounge & BBQ (Right on Pantai Cenang). Mats are laid out on the sand for guests to sit on and there is a low table with a candle. They also have a live band or playlist that is passed off as a DJ. In contrast to the atmosphere, the staff are quite rude compared to other places.
  • Breakfast Station (A couple of min walk from Restoran Haji Ramli). Lunch starts/breakfast ends at 12PM. Great Balinese decor, rustic with cozy ambiance. Fantastic and fantastic Nasi Lemak. The Western spread is a pleasant surprise. Best omelette in town. Lavazza Coffee from RM5.
  • Beach Garden Resort's Beer Garden. Happy hour from 15:00 - 19:00PM. Offers 1st class Western & Malay dishes in a stylish holiday - beach atmosphere. Superb wine selection, draft beer and German wheat beer as well as cocktails.
  • Cenang Boat Quay, Pantai Cenang. Offers a variety of pizza, German sausages, pasta, local dishes and fusion food. Opening in April 2009 is a grill fish hawker. The concept here is by individual hawker selling the different styles of food. Sunset view at the Quay.
  • Champor Champur, Pantai Cenang. Moderately wacky fusion food in a fusion setting courtesy of a Dutch-Malaysian couple with an affinity for Africa. Great ambiance - feels like eating in an outdoor garden.
  • Difiqa (Pantai Cenang, close to Red Tomato). Great for tasting Roti Canai at breakfast with some very spicy dips as accompaniment, Less than RM5 for 2. Great tasting local coffee and fresh fish too.
  • Fat Mum Restaurant, Pantai Tengah,  +60 2 4707863. Just up the road from Awana Resort. Great authentic local Chinese seafood restaurant, good food for a reasonable price.
  • Hole in the Wall Fishfarm & Restaurant, Kilim River, northeast part of the island (Call for free shuttle),  049675301. Floating on the river, part of the amazing scenery of the Kilim Mangrove Forest. They serve the freshest Malay style seafood you will be able to eat on Langkawi island. The traditional dishes of freshly caught fish, prawns, crab, lobster. are famous. Shuttle service from Kilim jetty to the fishfarm restaurant and return is free of charge for lunch and dinner guests (However, if your bill is less than RM50, you have to pay an absurd amount for the shuttle. The logical workaround here is to order the cheapest available item to make the bill RM50) If you book a Mangrove Tour, you will most definitely end up having your lunch here. However, you may want to give their package buffet a pass and try their dishes.
  • Restoran Haji Ramli (Pantai Cenang). Open till 1AM. Your Nasi Campur haunt by day and run-of-the-mill Tom Yam shack by night. 'Ikan Bakar' - Grilled fish and other fresh seafood a'la carte after 3PM. Fresh terubuk (shad) which is unheard off in the mainland! Grab a couple of fist-sized prawns and cuttlefish (squid) cooked Tom Yam style for a gastronomical lesson in local seafood. Their seafood dishes average RM4-4.5 per 100 g, and they can be cooked in a myriad of different styles that will surely suit your tastes. Meat dishes vary from RM6-12. RM 10-20 for a complete meal.
  • Mimi (A few min walk from Underwater World, on the opposite side of the road.). Greatest 'ikan bakar' or grilled fish with tantalizing self-made sauce. Also offers a variety of traditional Malay dishes like tomyam and 'ayam masak merah' (chicken cooked in non-spicy sauce). Snapper or grouper RM4/100 gram.
  • Oasis (Pantai Tengah/Cenang). A great beach hangout serving western meals and drinks. It comes alive in the evenings.
  • Orkid Ria Seafood Restaurant, Lot 1225 Jl Pantai Cenang,  +60 4 9554128. 11AM-3PM. Dinner: 6PM-11PM. Some tables having water views. They have fresh seafood displayed out front. Choose from a wide range of cuisines, including dishes prepared in Malay, Thai, Chinese and Western styles.
  • Rasa Restaurant (Pantai Cenang). Good Malaysian food with reasonable prices. Seating available outdoor in courtyard overlooking main road or inside.
  • Red Tomato Restaurant and Lounge, 5 Casa Fina Avenue (Pantai Cenang, in front of Underwaterworld tel),  +60 12 5136046. Every day from 9AM-10:30PM. Red Tomato Garden Cafe used to be opposite AB Motel but moved 800 m down the road in May 2011. Now it has become Red Tomato Restaurant and Lounge and has still retained its charm and great dishes. Look out for the owner's red VW Beetle parked in front of the place. Has great western breakfast and lunch menus, and pasta and tasteless pizza for dinner. Home made bread, good choice of cheeses. Gluten free pasta is available. Air-con and terrace seating, Free WiFi and a red piano. Owned by a German lady.
  • Rose Tea 2 (Pantai Cenang). Closed on Friday. Thai food. Great service.
  • Sun Cafe (Pantai Tengah). A friendly and relaxing restaurant that offers a variety of Western food, Italian food, and Malaysian food. Hot and cold beverages, cappuccino to milkshake, fruit juice, mocktail. If you love fish, try their fillet of barracuda. They are also open for dinner too.
  • Taj Mahal, Landcon Square (opposit Zon Shopping Mall). Huge open sided restaurant, also has an air-con room opposite for hot days. Specialises in Arabic and North Indian dishes all of which are very healthy, very tasty and very cheap. Very popular with locals and with Indian and Arabic holidaymakers. Great place to just sit around for a few hours occasionally ordering another batch of fresh flat breads and dips.
  • T. Jay's Italian Bistro & Pizzeria (Pantai Cenang, 0pposite Underwater World),  +60 4 9553995. 8AM-11PM. Though this place looks a little sleepy, they make some great wood-fired pizzas.
  • Telaga Arabic Cafe and Restaurant (Pantai Cenang). The same kitchen serves an indoor dining area and a large outdoor area across the street. Good good with reasonable prices. Stay and enjoy some of the best hookah/shisha (tobacco water pipe) smoking anywhere. While good, the food is not as great as some Middle Eastern restaurants in Kuala Lumpur.
  • Tulsi Garden, Pantai Tengah. Good Indian food (northern and southern). Quiet place to have dinner and chat with friends. You can ask the chef to tone down the chili or spiciness levels.
  • USSR Restaurant (Telaga Harbour Park). Russian fare. Waterside restaurant with tables overlooking the harbor. Managed by Russian expats who serve up the real deal.
  • Wonderland, Lot 179, 180, 181 Pusat Perniagaan Kelana Mas (Kuah),  +60 12 6230441. 5:30PM – 11:30PM. Locals claim that Wonderland serves up the best seafood on Langkawi Island; offering local favourites of traditionally cooked seafood entrees, the chilli crab is especially flavorsome. Service is friendly and prompt and the atmosphere is lovely.

Splurge

  • Feast @ Sheraton. International buffet and ala carte menu. A varieties menu from unique local cuisine to western dishes. Choose to dine inside in air-conditioned environment or having your dine at terrace while enjoying the nature environment overlooking the Andaman Sea.
  • La Sal at Casa del Mar (Pantai Cenang, on the beach). As expected on holiday, dining is a relaxed, quality experience at your Home by the Sea. Food offers the best in Modern Asian and Western Cuisine with a focus high quality fresh produce and is served by attentive and friendly staff. The bar offers a wide variety of wine from the old and new worlds. The cocktail list is exciting and innovative with themed cocktails around our sunset, pool side relaxation and post dinner period.
  • The Light House (The edge of Pantai Tengah). Fantastic food on the beach wonderful views.
  • The Loaf, Lot No. C9 Perdana Quay (Telaga Harbour Park),  +60 4 9594866. 8AM-11PM; closed Thursday. Japanese style bakery & bistro owned by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed, ex-Prime Minister of Malaysia. Quality breads and full meals. Amazing view of the harbour and the yachts especially if you have your breakfast al-fresco outside. Attentive staff. Try Tun's Favourite Breakfast set (2 softboiled eggs, a bowl of mutton curry and thick toasted bread) with coffee and orange juice. Good place to have a leisurely breakfast. Bread from RM4.
  • Mare Blu (Perdana Quay, Telaga Harbour Park),  +60 4 9593830. The only authentic Italian restaurant on Langkawi island. The restaurant offers typical Italian food, good wines and draft beer. The Mediterranean style surrounding is just beautiful and the tables are set up right on the waterfront.
  • Papadam (Pantai Cenang (near Underwater World)). Indian restaurant that also serves Arabic food.
  • Sunsutra, Jl Teluk Baru (Pantai Tengah). Fine dining restaurant that serves great Western food too. If you're a big fan of lamb, you must try their lamb shank. Tender and full of flavours. Its portion is huge too! Good for someone who wants a hearty meal.
  • Unkaizan, Lot395 Jl Telok Baru Pantai (Near to Awana Porto Malai),  +60 4 9554118. 6PM-11PM. Japanese restaurant, with excellent food and wonderful service.

Drinks

Because of Langkawi's tax-free status, alcohol is much cheaper than in the rest of Malaysia. Religious Muslims do not consume alcoholic drinks, and while they do tolerate non Muslims who do, try not to behave in a rowdy imbibed manner near them, their houses, mosques, and please respect local culture and communal sensitivities. For those living on a budget, you can obtain alcohol at cheap prices from the local duty free shops - the larger the outlets, the lower the prices. Expect to pay RM25 for 1L Absolut, RM45 for 1L Kahlua, RM60 for 1L Bailey's, and RM5-12for 330 ml can beer.

Despite low alcohol prices, Langkawi is predominantly popular with couples and families. Single travellers and backpackers may therefore be disappointed with the lack of nightlife. Most bars remain empty, particularly in the low season, and the 1-2 nightclubs may only seem worthwhile in the peak season, and even then only on Friday or Saturday nights. Overall, Langkawi provides a family-friendly alternative to Thai locations such as Phuket and Koh Samui.

  • Chime Nightclub @ Sheraton. Takes on a complete personality change and is Langkawi’s hottest night spot, starting with “sun-downers” on the terrace. Features night live entertainment with stunning performance from musician band while DJ spinning the music all night long.
  • Little Lylias Langkawi. Beach Bar
  • Sunba Retro Bar, Jalan Teluk Baru (Pantai Tengah),  +60 4 9531801. Until 3AM.

Shopping

ATMs and Money Exchange booths are available at the Langkawi Airport, at Langkawi Parade Shopping Complex and next to Underwater World at Pantai Cenang.

Langkawi is a duty-free island, and alcohol is significantly cheaper here than in the rest of Malaysia.

Hotel tariffs and retail goods are exempt from government duty. Visitors with more than 48 hr stay in Langkawi are exempt on items like wines and liquor (1 liter), tobacco (200 cigarettes), apparel, cosmetics, souvenirs and gifts, food and food preparations and portable electronic items (one item).

Shop around before buying: the airport is probably the most expensive place to buy anything. Shop in Kuah town for batik, tobacco products and chocolate confectioneries.

  • Langkawi Parade Megamall (Langkawi Parade Shopping Complex), A-14-15 Pokok Asam, Kuah (In Kuah, 10 min ride from the Kuah Jetty),  +60 4 9667528. Daily, 10AM-10PM. One of the largest duty-free shopping complexes in Langkawi. A one-stop shopping location for wines & liquors, chocolates, local souvenirs, clothing & beachwear, luggage, home decor, electronics and much more. Grocery store on bottom level offering fresh and frozen foods.
  • The Zon Duty-Free Shopping Complex (Pantai Cenang, next to Underwater World),  +60 4 9555300. Daily, 9AM-7PM. Cheap place to buy cigars, cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, clothing, electronics, chocolates, and biscuits.
  • Kompleks Budaya Kraf (Northeastern Coast). Enormous handicrafts centre built in neo-Islamic style
  • KV Tobacco, 136, Kompleks Kelana Mas (5 min walk away from Kuah, in an area called the Trimula),  +60 19 5422558. Daily, 1:30PM-8:30PM. Well stocked tobacco and cigar shop. Easily recognisable by a big orange signboard, and door painting by the left. Has a variety of Cuban cigars, rare European smoking pipes and packed tobaccos. Knowledgeable and friendly shop owner.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Langkawi on Wikivoyage.

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