So… we planned to spend 3 full days at LGK (langkawi) so flew out from KL on a Friday morning flight via Malindo Airlines, early this year. For more information on the what, where of the island, read this. Airasia, MAS and Malindo fly to Langkawi everyday, check for promo fares on these sites before you book. Here are some pointers to note before you fly.
People flying out of KL, especially expats living in Malaysia, please keep your passports with you, it has become mandatory now due to recent turn of events (earlier IDs were not necessary to be carried along in domestic flight travel). We have an i-pass and also carried our passports but the police did not ask for our passports, the i-pass was good enough for them.
Edited to add: I-pass is no longer issued, for domestic travel, expats can use what is now known as the i-Kad. It is similar to the i-pass. An identification card that you can use anywhere, so get one, it will help you when visiting other tourist attractions and let you get “local” rates as well 😉
The flight is about an hour long, it was a good flight – food and water served on board. Upon reaching LGK, we called up the guy with whom we had fixed up on the “rent-a-car” . In LGK, it is better to drive a rented car because you can see things at your own pace; go wherever you want, whenever you want and also taxis are slightly hard to find on the island. Indian licence is valid in Malaysia so not necessary to bother about getting an IDP or getting the Indian licence endorsed by JPJ. Off-peak rates for car rentals can go as low as RM 70 per day for a Toyota Vios.
Peak rates can be double this even for a Myvi or a Mitsubishi Mirage.
What are some must-haves in your suitcase?
Extra plastic bags/bags to keep your soiled clothes
Where to book your stay?
Both times we visited Langkawi, we stayed at the Century Helang Hotel. It is a nice accomodation, might seem to be a slightly old property but well within budget. We were 5 people – 4 adults (incl 2 senior citizens) and one child. We had booked the family room at this hotel, so it came with 2 queen beds – the room size is huge around 42 sq m.Read this post for details on why we chose this hotel. There are some amazing properties in Langkawi, each having its own private beach, depending on the location. You could try using Agoda to compare the rates.
Last time we visited Century Helang, they told us we could use the private beach and pool at Four Seasons just across the road. We didnt know this earlier and could only spend a short time there.
Being Indian, most of us Indians looks for our own food. One thing that has to be kept in mind is food is expensive in Langkawi. You could either carry ready-to-eat stuff or precooked items like roti, thepla, if you are very specific about your food. Carrying a rice cooker will be helpful for such families.
Some good indian restaurants in Langkawi, are at Pantai Cenang and Pantai Tengah. Sagar, Tulsi Garden are among the fine dining restaurants, a meal for 4 can be double of what you normally pay. Some other restaurants include Bombay Palace (it is a Pakistani resto, not very great, but keep it as an option if you dont find anything)
At Sagar restaurant, please request the waiters to light up a few coils near you. The place is notorious for mosquitoes, any time of the day.
There is also a mexican outlet, looks like a ranch house, we didnt try it but looks kinda cool. Of course, local food is available everywhere, so if you are game enough, do give it a try.
Fried ice-cream is sold on the road to Pantai Cenang, an ice-cream truck and seen mostly late evening. Must-try.
Hope this will help you plan the basic part of your trip. Do check the other posts for what you can visit in Langkawi.