The whole of Langkawi, like many islands in Malaysia, is duty free. Being duty free, beer is cheap in town. We kept this in mind and bought our beers in town and took them back to our accommodation rather than drink them at the hotel which would cost more than double the price. There are a few large duty free shops in Kuah where everything was so cheap! I bought a good bottle of scotch for less than half the price back home.
My favourite place for shopping was Pentai Cenang. The main street has lots of nice clothing shops and my favourite jewelry shop - CinnamOn's. You simply must check this shop out. You'll see a pic of it here along with another one of Jesse holding this friendly cat in the shop that had the most amazing coloured bright green eyes.
The main attraction of Pulau Langkawi is a huge eagle located near Kuha Jetty. I just managed to get a quick snap as we came off the ferry from Pulau Payer.
The name Langkawi comes from the eagle "helang" and "kawi" which means reddish brown. Langkawi is home of a numerous amount of these magnificant reddish brown eagles amongst various other wildlife like monkeys, crocodiles, bats etc.
Just read these fun facts about Malaysia from Emily Young from the internet, posted April 2010
1.They drive on the Left side of the road.
2.Islam is the official religion of the country.
3.Shoes must always be removed when entering a Malaysian home. Sometimes even in shops you had to take your shoes off upon entering.
4.Never use your finger to point at things. You must point with your thumb.
5.It is considered rude to not try something when offered.
6.The official language is Malay (Bahasa Melayu).
7.The average temperature is between 70F to 90F; however, in the jungle the temperature was 105-115F.
8.Most of the coffees and teas are sweetened with TONS of sugar.
9.Times Square Mall is the largest mall in Malaysia with 15 floors, a rollercoaster, bowling alley, 3 Starbucks, a Wendy's, and a hotel.
10.Singapore is just a 5 hour bus ride away from Kuala Lumpur (capital city).
11.Tons and tons of rice is consumed everyday in Malaysia.
Favorite thing: Well, if you choose to come to Langkawi, November is the perfect time of the year and Foxhill is a charming Malay village resort with 3 kampong houses and a tree house and Langkawi has 3 UNESCO Geoparks/mangroves/rainforests/unspoilt beaches. And you can propose at sunset on Burau Bay beach or the Skybridge on Matchinchang Hill! Maria told me of a newly wedded couple posing for pics there :-)
> I want lush jungle and adventure, she wants spa, white beaches and relaxation.
If you are not still averse to the long flight, Langkawi will give each of you what you want and Nov is a good time of year for it! Let me know if you decide to come and I can even recommend where to stay (Malay houses with four poster beds) and which beaches to go to for the sunset (to see the whole 'ball' of the sun 'disappear' 'into the sea' horizon etc etc!
I was in Langkawi two weekends ago and must find time to post the glorious sunset/beach for just the two of you for most parts of it, hmm.. must post the pic of that young couple in the water with no one else nearby (except me and my viewfinder catching them as they slipped into the water!).
Favorite thing: i note the advice against using banks, however, it is my experience that in lgk the maybank gives a rate as good, if not better, than monychangers. in particular, the maybank branch in the airport does not load its rates when compared to off-airport branches. so you can change money as soon as you arrive to pay your cab or hire car. in addition, the best deals for car hire in the island are at the airport, and for cash.
Favorite thing: A good way to see the wildlife we found, was to do a boat trip on on the river. Here we saw the wild Eagles, [heaps of them],Bats, Lace Moniters in the water and on river side branches, and plenty of Monkeys.
Fondest memory: Lying lazily on the deck chair, sipping a chilly imported beer, munching some mixed nuts, caressing by the night breeze, counting the stars. Wow, it's really an unforgettable experience with my hubby !
One of the memorable images of Langkawi is the natural beauty and landscapes.The best way to enjoy and see this is by cycling around the backroads with a knowlegable guide.You can't do this in a car or motorbike.Langkawi has got one of the most ideal cycling trails in the whole of Malaysia.The backroads is free from normal traffic unlike that of the Pantai Cenang and Tengah roads.You can rent a bike and go through these backroads by yourself but the downside is you don't know where you are heading.You loose a great deal of information on the local lifestyle,culture,flora n fauna and also the history of the people of.A guided tour with a knowlegable guide is the best thing you can do.He will take you to trails that has got landscapes that will amaze you that it existed on this island.You can't do these things if you are one of those on a guided driven Toyota Unser packages or renting a scooter.Communication with villages on these backroads can be a problem because a majority of them do not understand basic English what more if you speak French,German or Dutch.So a guided tour is the logical thing to do.You'll never get lost or run dry of your mineral water if you need some.
Fondest memory: What I normally miss when I'm away from Langkawi is the wide open spaces of clear blue skies and hills surrounding Mount Raya and the cable car area.There is a total absence of skyscapers or horrible giant billboards when you look up on the horizon.During the rainy season you can actually see the rain coming from the hills or the Andaman sea and sometimes it just misses the spot where you are standing.The skies will be a masterpiece of God's artwork with different shades of grey .black and white.The natural artwork continues into the rainy nights where streaks of lightning flashes down in every direction across the hills and mountains.What a sight!
Kuah has night markets twice a week on Wednesday and Saturday nights. The market is not big but it has a lot of atmosphere. On sale are everyday household items and food, food, food. It seems that people can't seem to get enough of the food and by all account it is cheap, hot and delicious. The Malaysian satay can be found here at 30 cents a stick and it is a steal.
Kuah is about 40kms from Pantain Cenang and you can either choose to drive there or get hired transport like a taxi. There are plenty of waiting taxis near the night market in Kuah so there are no worries about getting a ride back home.
The market is situated across from the river which is accessible from a bridge. It starts as early as 6pm into the late night and it is well-worth a visit to catch a traditional slice of the Malaysian life and sample the food.
If you want to catch scenic views of the island not from the heights of Gunung Mat Chinchang, then a drive around the northern, sparsely populated area around Langkawi is a must. You can catch beautiful seas, islands and breathtaking sceneries from the beaches and cliffs off the northern part of the island.
The best scenic spot is just a kilometre right off the rest area. At the rest area, you will find a local food restaurant and several outdoor eating spots. But the view there is not as enticing.
Favorite thing: On any given day, there would be road checks around the island so it is better to be on your best behaviour as you drive. On the same day we encountered 2 road checks around the island as we made a 360 navigational drive around Langkawi. One was on the scenic route to Kuah and the other was the northern route of the island. It seems that the police are doing their job in Langkawi.
Langkawi is an island full of legends - fantastic and mysterious tales that, however fascinating, are just words, not sights. Most places connected with these legends have been turned to tourists sights thanks to urban development and infrastructure: the result is that those places have ended up being real tourists traps, with very little or nothing to see, but with a surrounding of cheap and tacky tourist shops.
Fondest memory: Langkawi is the main island of the 99 (I think) larger and smaller islands that form the Langkawi archipelago. It is heaven for people enjoying a relaxing sun-soaked holiday. The quality of the water is really not very good, but the beaches are heavenly and in general it's very low-key and relaxing. The landscape is beautifully green (there's a fab rainforest there) and I enjoyed my stay very much. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a place to relax their batteries, but for swimming/snorkeling I can think of hundreds of much better places.
Favorite thing: Basically if you arrive to the airport or jetthy and would like to rent a car, you better not get it with the hoocker there, but go to cenang area and there are a lots of shops or travel agent rent their bikes or car in cheap price, if it in a normal day you can get it like car rental for RM60/day or motobike RM15-20/day. sometimes in a pick seasons the price will be higher, sometimes can reach to RM80-RM100/day.
Langkawi - Main town is Kuah. It is part of State of Kedah and observes Friday as an off day for government offices.
There is an international airport.
As an island, there are ferry services from Kuala Perlis (Perlis), Kuala Kedah (Kedah), George Town (Penang) and Satun (Thailand).
It has become a major tourist destination for the unspoilt natural enviroment of hills, jungles, beaches, caves, waterfalls and islands. Also granted tax free for selective items.