Thursday, 3 January 2019

Useful Tips For Living In Langkawi Island In Malaysia

Since my first visit to Malaysia in 1994, I've always been curious about Langkawi; an island very close to the border of Kingdom of Thailand. Back than my friends told me it would be empty because of rain season. So I've never been there. Than suddenly, a phone call while I was in Bangkok opened an opportunity to live in Langkawi.
I've arrived there in October, 2006 which was almost the beginning of high season. I've flew to Kuala Lumpur with Gulf Air and than to Langkawi with Air Asia. The airport is small, few shops and cafes, lots of car rental benches and taxis. It's clever to rent a car in Langkawi because taxi is more expensive than big cities. Also there are no public transports, if you want to go around, you always need a taxi. It's very easy to find a good deal for a small car or with a little more budget a Perodua jeep. More expensive cars are available but I don't think it's necessary.
There are lots of hotels and resorts in Langkawi. Most of them are stationed around Pantai Cenang area. But if you want to live there, you don't have many choices.
If you want to live in Langkawi, you might prefer a condo. There are 5 choices; Century Surya which is close to the west Kuah Town, almost in the middle of the town; Kondo Istana, Chogm Villa which is what I've chosen back than, Sri Lagenda is right at the opposite of Chogm Villa and in a very remote place between Pantai Cenang and Pantai Kok; Perdana Beach Resort. Also you can find Malay houses around Pantai Cenang or other areas. It's really hard to find a decent one and usually most of them need lots of repairs.
Prices vary between 1000rm (~$290) and 3500rm (~$1000). Kondo Istana and Century Suria looks very nice but they have poor pools and prices are high compared to others. I strongly recommend Chogm Villa which is a very beautiful place. Apartment quality is same as the other condos and it has a very big beautiful pool.
For shopping there are not much choices. You can go to Langkawi Fair which is the biggest shopping mall now. You can find a good supermarket here and lots of shops where you can buy nice souvenirs, furniture etc. Most of the good quality and brand shops are here. There is also Langkawi Parade at the west entrance of the town. It's the poorer version of Langkawi Fair. But it has a large supermarket at the bottom floor where you can find lots of goods. Other than these malls you can go to Trimula to buy mobile phones, some electronics and house accessories like curtains, window blinds.
Food in Langkawi is really good. There are lots of choices. You can find almost any type of cousine here; Thai, Japanese, Malay, Chinese, Indian, Italian and even Russian. Because of its touristic state, island has very good high quality restaurants. But for long term, you need to learn where to buy goods to cook by yourself. Other than buying from markets, there is a wet market in Padang Matsirat which is close to Langkawi International Airport. Here you can buy fresh fruits and vegetables as well as fish, crabs and lobster.
Going in and out of island is a little problem. Penang is quite close, you can go there by ferry but ferry hours for a round trip to Penang is not useful at all. From airport, you can fly to almost anywhere. Like any other Southeast Asia country, flights are really cheap. If you want to go to mainland by car, you must send your car one day before with freight service than take it there. If you bought your car in Langkawi, because of its duty free status, you can use it in mainland not more than one month.
Once you get your own car or bike, it's really easy to find your way around in Langkawi. People are quite friendly and most of them speak English. Also the foreign community of the island is really large and they are really willing to help.
Deniz Kumral is a Turkish citizen who lived in Penang/Malaysia for 7 months from 2004 to 2005 and than Langkawi/Malaysia for 6 months from 2006 to 2007. He is a professional photographer in advertisement business who enjoyed the life and people in Langkawi. He is running a Langkawi Island Life blog at and needs some motivation to continue.
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