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Langkawi - sunset - m.r. photo

,, Langkawi is excellent, we loved it, as the beach vacation part of our Malaysia-tour. Yes, Penang has more cultural attraction, more city life, but Langkawi offered more for a holiday, and natural beauties. (aji, 2017)

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“The big deal about Langkawi is apparently the beach, and it’s true that it isn’t bad, but to me Phuket is still unbeatable for sands. What’s more, Langkawi is overrun with tiny crabs, which swarm the shore in sizes ranging from pea to walnut. We chased a few of them into their holes, then stuck a twig in and wrested with them. In quieter parts of the beach our every step displaced dozens of little scissor-snapping, sideways-scuttling soup-fillers, while every wave washed up shellfish with immediately dug themselves back into the wet sand. These were comparatively entertaining, but the same can’t be said for the stinging-jellyfish carcasses which are regularly washed up. The guide book claimed that they were merely unpleasant, rather than dangerously poisonous, but whatever the truth, at the sight of them we lost our enthusiasm for a swim in the sea.”

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“Langkawi is gorgeous, but the turquoise water isn’t especially good for snorkeling. On the other hand, there are also many wonderful beaches, waterfalls, monkeys and monitor lizards running along the road. 🤩 Highly recommended! (k.a., 2019)

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Likes: the mangrove forest at Langkawi + bats + the many types and huge number of fish which we saw during our boat cruise, which we thoroughly enjoyed (skate feeding, piranha feeding, crab spotting etc.). We took another boat trip on a freshwater lake, called the Lake of Pregnant Women, and I was enthralled by the tall mountains which encircled it, as well as by the little monkeys which leapt about on the winding road which led to it… 😊 (nono, 2019)

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“Travelling between Penang and Langkawi on a fast but slightly uncomfortable boat took 3 hours, and cost about $15 one-way. The trip by Air Asia took just 35 minutes, and cost about the same (ok, you have to go through check-in etc., but I’d still take a short flight over a crowded boat with no real windows).

The island itself is a very attractive holiday destination, with rainforests, lots of hotels, shops and shopping malls. It is also a duty-free zone, so you can get chocolate, beer, cigarettes etc. at great prices. There are many, many tiny islets around Langkawi, which give added beauty to the scene. The beaches are beautiful too, with lots of greenery, and holidaymakers will have no shortage of things to see and do: the cable car, Skybridge, the mangrove forest, waterfalls, a 3D exhibition, and plenty of other things popular in Asia.

In addition to humans, there are plenty of close animal relatives: macaques and grey langurs live here. It’s worth watching out for the former – they steal – but the latter seemed shy.

Langkawi is an excellent holiday destination, whether for an active holiday or a relaxing break, as it has beautiful beaches, lush, tropical vegetation, and friendly locals. The island is clean, and the traffic situation is not as chaotic as elsewhere. It’s easy to find the right accommodation for you, whether it’s a cute guest house or luxury villas and hotels. (b.k., 2018)

Practicals

Transport

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Langkawi - Sky Bridge - m.r. photo

Langkawi - free-rider - m.r. photo

Food

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Langkawi - street food - fried chicken - l.l. photo

Shopping

Tourists enjoy that the island is a duty-free zone, meaning there are no taxes or duties. Alcohol, for example, is much cheaper than in other parts of Malaysia. Not even a 5 percent state tax is levied.

Fun

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Langkawi - the audience at sunset - m.r. photo

Health

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Langkawi - environment of the massage - m.r. photo

Others

“It’s worth being aware that stinging jellyfish are, thanks to global warming, and ever more serious problem around the island. Warning signs have been put up in several places, but I’m still not convinced they do enough to inform people of this danger (it’s true, however, that I didn’t see big crowds of bathers).

Many species of jellyfish can be found in the seas here, from the totally harmless to the potentially deadly (box jellyfish). The main priority should be to avoid getting stung in the first place, of course, but if you or someone with you is stung then you should pour vinegar or cola on it as soon as possible, and, depending on the degree of pain, seek medical assistance. It should not be rinsed with fresh water, and if the sting is severe enough to cause excruciating pain, nausea, or dizziness, the victim should be taken to a medical clinic or hospital at once.

Don’t expect serious medical care, though. Hospitals are well equipped, but Thai medics aren’t easily rushed, and they don’t take jellyfish stings particularly seriously.

The period from January to May is considered ‘jellyfish season’ but increasingly it is a year-round phenomenon.” (2017)

Langkawi - Instruction - Andras Schmied's photo

Background

Langkawi - The archipelago's official name is Langkawi Permata Kedah, which means ,,Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah" (Kedah is the name of the federal state) - m.r. photo

Destination in brief

Langkawi Island - Pulau Langkawi in Malay - is located near the northwest coast of Malaysia. Langkawi is the largest island of an archipelago, also called Langkawi. The archipelago consists of precisely a hundred limestone islands.Langkawi is close to the Thai border.

The central city of the island is Kuah, located in the southeastern part of Langkawi.

Size: 478.5 km²  (184.7 mi²) - less than half the size of the nearby Penang - It is 25 km (15,5 mi) long from north to south and 40 km (25 mi) east-west. Sixty percent of the island is a mountain, mangrove forest, other woodland types, or bush.

Population (in 2020): 65,000


The two most important islands in northern Malaysia, Langkawi, and Penang differ significantly in character. Penang is highly urbanized and has already lost much of its authenticity.  Langkawi is more sparsely populated, and the many untouched jungle forests lend some mystery to the island. The locals often call their island "Little Heaven."

Langkawi is the most important holiday destination in Malaysia.
Langkawi's most important beach is Panta Cenang, which is located west of Kuah, from there approx. 20 kilometers.

Geography

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Langkawi - Kilim Geoforest Park - m.r. photo

Langkawi - Lo! Mangrove - m.r. photo

People

“The sky is gray, but the water is a pleasant temperature. There are not many others on the beach and almost nobody else in the water. During our walk along the beach, we see two other couples, which hardly counts as a lot. I will better understand the reason for this later. The sand is pale white in some places, while in other places it is mixed with black sand. There is a part of the island where the beach is made entirely of black sand, but we didn’t go there. We got by with what I recount here. The black sand is a leftover from volcanic activity.

Ladies sit on the shore in black clothes or climb into motorboats in life jackets. It is still surprising to me that while I can enjoy the soft breeze in a bikini, these women have to come to the beach dressed head to toe in black.
Instead of looking at them judgmentally, I feel a desire to learn more about these women’s own thoughts and feelings on the matter. This dress is part of the everyday lives of many Muslims and seeing this made me reflect on how much freedom we enjoy.

Nobody obliged me to cover up my bikini-clad body, but I still felt much better when I had my scarf on. Even when walking the streets, I always wore a scarf, which was not mandatory, but it did mean that fewer men stared at me.
Even when it comes to bathing, the situation is no different. Men wear swimming shorts, while women are dressed head to foot in a covering reminiscent of a wetsuit.” (2016)

Attractions

Mangrove forest tours

Langkawi - Mangrove safari boat tour - m.r. photo

Cable car

Langkawi - cable car - m.r. photo

Langkawi - cable car - m.r. photo

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