Beaches in Asia: Discover the Langkawi Islands


Brazilian tourists have finally begun to discover the largest of continents. Now that we've been to Europe, skied in Chile, invaded Buenos Aires and shopped in Miami, there's the other side of the world left. “And what are Brazilians going to do in Asia?” The most common answer, at least according to #360meridians statistics, is simple: he goes to Thailand.

Since the series about Thailand appeared on the blog, it has broken records. And, judging by what Google Analytics tells us, Brazilians want to go to Thailand mainly because of the country's paradisiacal beaches. Which brings us to the topic of this post: Going to Southeast Asia? Discover the beaches of Thailand, of course. But visit the ones in Malaysia too. Why?

Island of Langkawi

A hundred answers: Langkawi Islands – an archipelago with 104 islands that a few years ago received the title of the first geopark in Southeast Asia from UNESCO. According to UNESCO's own definition, a geopark is a territory with one or more places of scientific importance, as they have geological, archaeological or cultural value. Confused? So let's let the photos below explain it to you.

Langkawi Islands, Malaysia

Ihas Langkawi, Malaysia

Yes, Langkawi is a beautiful place. But it goes beyond that. The archipelago has tourist infrastructure. And the best part: it offers attractive prices. We took a low-budget trip there with just US$25 per day, much lower than what we spent on the beaches in Thailand.

To finish convincing you that Langkawi is the next destination for Brazilians to discover, it is worth mentioning that there you will find equatorial forests, crocodile farms, deserted islands, temples, a cable car and an extraordinary bridge. See everything there is to do in the post Langkawi, blessed by God and beautiful by nature, which we did when we were there, in May this year.

Langkawi Islands, Malaysia

But where are the Langkawi islands?

The Langkawi islands are located in the Andaman Sea – the same area that borders Phuket and Phi Phi, some of the most famous Thai beach destinations. Langkawi is around 300 kilometers from Phuket, which makes it possible to complete the journey in a few hours and by sea.

There are daily ferries connecting the two islands. In other words: if you're already visiting Phuket, planning a few days in Malaysia isn't that complicated. And remember that the requirements to enter Malaysia are the same as those in Thailand. You must have international proof of vaccination against yellow fever, but a visa is not required. More details in the post Malaysia: step by step to plan your trip.

Where should I stay in Langkawi?

There are five main areas (on the largest of the islands): Datai Bay, Pantai Kok, Padang Matsirat, Kuah, Pantai Tengah and Pantai Cenang. We divided our time in Langkawi between the last two on this list and we advise you do the same. These are the busiest areas, where there are many hotels and restaurants, as well as beautiful beaches. From the map below you can also see that Pantai Tengah and Pantai Cenang, the yellow icons, are right next to each other – you can get to know both beaches by walking.

The airport is in Padang Matsirat, while Kuah is the most important city on the island and where the port is located. In other words, if you arrive or leave by ferry, you will pass through there. Datai Bay is a more remote area with few entertainment options other than the beach and some luxury resorts. Read our full post on this subject.

Are you going to Langkawi and want luxury? As our trip unfortunately had a limited budget, we cannot give accommodation tips, but here is the list of the best resorts, according to Booking.

And Langkawi also fits into the backpacker's budget. We stayed in two hostels, in private rooms, practically on the beach. We didn't pay more than US$10. In Pantai Tengah we stayed at Zackry Guest House. In Pantai Cenang we chose the Cenang Guest House, which is practically on the sand of the beach. For other more affordable hosting options, click here.

Langkawi Islands, Malaysia

When is the best time to go to the Langkawi Islands?

The rainy season is in September and October. But that's it – it rains more than usual, but it doesn't interfere with the holidays and isn't dangerous, as it happens in other parts of Southeast Asia, because of the monsoons. From December to March there is practically no rain.

Temperatures vary little throughout the year: minimums around 24°C and maximums around 33°C. More details in the graph below, from World Weather. Remember that December and January are high season and hotels are usually full, so it is wise to book in advance.

Chuva in Langkawi

Langkawi and what else?

When we were planning our trip around the world, we found practically no information about Malaysia. The few blogs that talked about the country limited themselves to saying that Kuala Lumpur is not worth it. We almost didn't fall for it – we left Malaysia out of the original planning and it only came in because we changed the length of stay in India.

It was luck. After all, we love Malaysia, including Kuala Lumpur, which is a modern, culturally interesting city and home to very friendly people. In other words, it's worth going there. And also in Malacca. Another place that looks interesting, but we didn't go to, is Georgetown.

Langkawi Skybridge

How to get to Langkawi Islands?

Langkawi has an international airport that is 25 minutes from Kuah, the central region of the island. Millions of passengers pass through there every year. There are flights to Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and other parts of Malaysia.

It is also possible to reach Langkawi by land from Kuala Lumpur or other parts of Malaysia. To do this you need to go to Kuala Perlis, from where you can take a ferry to the islands. As already mentioned, ferries connect Langkawi and Ko Lipe and Phuket, both in Thailand, which makes traveling between the two countries even easier.

Are you going to travel? Travel insurance is mandatory in dozens of countries and essential on vacation. Don't be left unprotected in Malaysia. See how to get insurance with the best cost/benefit for the country – and with a discount coupon.

Discover the 6 typical Chinese dishes click here.

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