Budget Island Life: Langkawi, Malaysia

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Rad’s Guide To Langkawi, Malaysia

When you think of Malaysia, travellers typically know three things: the inside of the airport, the bustling city life and the array of delicious food.

However, what’s been kept relatively under the radar is Malaysia’s beautiful islands that are far more tranquil and cheaper than it’s neighboring country of Thailand.

If you want to wake up to white sand beaches, hardly any crowds and a turquoise coast displaying an immaculate sunset each night with a duty-free beverage in hand; make your way to Langkawi Island for a budget friendly paradise.

Getting to Langkawi

Grab an ice cold beer for 50 cents and be sure not to miss sunset. Photo credit: Shannon Wolf

From Kuala Lumpur you have two options – air or land.

Flight:
If you plan ahead, you can easily find a flight for a mere 40-50 Ringgit by using the travel app Traveloka. The journey will take you only an hour and you will have more time to enjoy this island of paradise!

Bus & Ferry:
If you missed out on cheap flights like we did, your option is to resort to bus and ferry.

From TBS Station:
12am night bus to Kuala Kedah (47.50 Ringgit – 7hrs)
Walk to ferry from bus terminal (2 min)
Ferry to Kuah Port (18 Ringgit – 1hr, 45min.)

Getting Around:

There is no public transit but fear not. Forego the expensive taxis and rent a scooter to explore the island. Otherwise, Grab Car and Uber are affordable and won’t burn a hole in your wallet.

Where to Stay in Langkawi

With duty-free you can treat yourself to pina-o-clock any time of day!

Pantal Cenang (Main Tourist Area)

If you’d like to be within walking distance to Cenang Beach, bars and shopping, this is the spot for you.

Best budget accommodation: Vila Thai

At RM18/night, you can’t go wrong with Vila Thai guesthouse. A short walk will bring you to the main drag of Cenang Beach and is opposite of the Thursday Night Market.

The guesthouse provides a common area where you can easily meet other travellers and their dorm rooms are clean, equipped with a fan and shared bathroom.

Off the beaten path: Couchsurfing in Pantai Tanjung Rhu

Although accommodation is budget friendly on the island of Langkawi, couchsurfing is by far the best (and cheapest) option allowing you to delve into local culture, meet interesting people and see things from a different perspective.

We couchsurfed on the north of Langkawi in Tanjung Rhu where you’re surrounded by lush forest trails leading to beautiful waterfalls and steps to the nearly empty and pristine beach with the most magnificent sunset and views of the surrounding islands!

Adventures around Langkawi

From trekking to manmade islands and hidden beaches, theres an array of options to choose from. Photo credit: Shannon Wolf

For Beach Bums

If your idea of island life consists of floating in turquoise water and getting a tan while sipping on a tax free beer costing only 1.90 Ringgit or a fresh coconut for 5 Ringgit; you’ll have no problem finding room on the long stretch of white sand at Cenang Beach or the more tranquil Tanjung Rhu Beach.

Cenang Beach Chair & Umbrella Rental: 10 Ringgit

For Adventure Seekers

From Land to sea, there are a handful of options available on Cenang Beach for those of you who want some adrenaline pumping through their veins. Simply walk along the beach and you’ll spot plenty of tents sprung up offering the following:

Jet Ski: 120-150/person
Parasailing: Big Round – 120/person, Small Round 90/person
Island Hopping: 40/person or 320/boat
Snorkeling: 180/person
Diving: 350/person
4×4 Off Roading: 180/person
Fishing: 350/boat
Mangrove Tour: 150/person (sharing boat)
Banana Boat: 25/person
Island Drop: 180/per boat (4hrs)
Kayaking: 40/person (4hrs)

Gunung Raya Viewpoint Trek: Start your journey from lubuk semilang where there is a small waterfall and from there you pass through lush jungles and all the way up 890m to the stunning viewpoint of Gunung Raya.

Chasing Waterfalls: Langkawi has 3 picturesque waterfalls to explore such as Durian Perangin (A 14t tier waterfall), Telaga Tujuh also known as “7 Wells” where you can slide down the natural slides into the refreshing natural pool overlooking the mountain range and our favorite; Temurun’s 30m Waterfall reminiscent of the movie “The Beach”.

Temurun’s towering 30m waterfall will leave you utterly speechless. Photo credit: Shannon Wolf

Kok Beach And Lighthouse: if you haven’t had enough of the encompassing 99 islands, take a scooter journey over to Kok Beach lighthouse where two mammals islands have been built and get some R&R enjoying the white sanded beach.

Cable Car Top Station: For an immaculate view of the encompassing 99 islands, hop onto the cable car taking you to the peak of Manchincang mountain. From the top station you can take a 20min. walk up to an elevation of 708m to Langkawi Sky Bridge offering a panoramic view over the island.
Cable car: 55 Ringgit.
Sky Bridge: 5 Ringgit.
(Open 10am-7pm)

Horseback Riding: if you love galloping through the beach, jungle or mountain range, head to island horses for 1-2 hours of riding.
Open: 7-11am or 4-6pm
Island Horses

Kilim Karst Geoforest Park: Spend the day kayaking through mangroves and small canals while taking in the surrounding nature for 55 ringgit.

Ayer Hangat Saltwater Hot Springs: in the evening, treat yourself to a private Jacuzzi with ensure bathroom or get reflexology done paths and few sheltered areas for dipping the feet.

Canopy Walkway: With Langkawi being comprised of a massive jungle, don’t miss out on Skytrex Adventure Tour that will be sure to get your blood pumping as you fly, swing, glide and dangle on the various aerial obstacles above the rainforest.

Food Feasting at Langkawi’s Night Market

Go on an empty stomach to the night market and feast on a mountain of local cuisine costing a few cents a piece. Photo credit: Shannon Wolf

(Every night from 6-11pm)

Be sure you go with an empty stomach and fill up on local dishes such as Nasi Ayam, Kari Kambing, Pulut Dakap costing a few ringgit a piece!

Accommodation near Langkawi

Rad Season is providing you with hotels and Airbnbs at the lowest prices available online. Book your stay near Langkawi using the map below!

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Shannon Wolf

Born in Toronto, Canada, Shannon Wolf has lived and worked around the globe as a freelance writer and photographer. Over the years her work has been featured and published both in print and online in various publications. Shannon has travelled over 40+ countries on 4 continents in the last 3 years and is an avid food lover and adventurer with an open itinerary and no intent of stopping.

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