Langkawi Island is a place to be! I said that not because I have a place on this tropical island, but Langkawi offers one of the best vacation spots in the tropic, all year round. This island is located on the Northern part of Malaysia. It is a popular destination for local and foreign tourists. The island was declared as a Duty-Free island by Malaysian government in the 90s. So, aside from its white sandy beaches, Langkawi’s another big attraction is duty-free shopping for items such as dining-wares, perfumes, leather goods, spirits and tobacco. It is hard to ignore the fact that visiting Langkawi is very affordable too.
It is not a surprise to anyone that local tourists visit Langkawi generally for duty-free shopping, while foreign visitors come the sun, sea and sand. These two distinctive groups however, heading for the restaurants at dinner hours, enjoying local Malay or Chinese cuisines.
The best mode of transport to the island is via air. There are plenty of AirAsia flights from capital city of Kuala Lumpur. Also, you can take ferry boats from several ports from mainland, like Kuala Perlis, Kuala Kedah, and Penang. The growing trend, initiated by Russian tourist agencies, is to charter direct flights from several cities in Russia, straight to the island. On any given day, there are a good mix of beach goers from many different countries. Often times, I could hear people speaking in French, Chinese, Russian and Arabic, among many other language of the world.
Chenang Beach, located on the south-western side of the island is one of the most popular ones. This is simply because there are plenty of shops and restaurants located along the beach. It is also not that far from the airport. There is no specific time of the year to visit the beach. The water is always warm (about 85˚F) and blue. The air temperature is around 90˚F day time, and mid 70s at night. Most people wear t-shirt, shorts, and a pair of flip-flop.
Depending on your budget, there are plenty of accommodations on the island to choose from. It ranges from 5-star hotels to basic chalets. All offers a wide variety of services to make your vacation pleasurable and fun. Local tourists often go for home-stay, where they could rent the whole house of several rooms and has kitchen to prepare meals.
You might ask about the best length of stay in Langkawi. If you enjoy the sun and the water, and you have plenty of holidays to spend, stay as long as you can. My first trip to Langkawi was a-week long. It was getting longer each time I return and eventually, I bought a vacation home on the island! I would spend about three months in a year, usually from December to February, staying in Langkawi.
There is plenty of information online about Langkawi. Sites like Trip Advisor and Lonely Planet offer many reviews from people who have visited the island and shared their personal experiences. Better yet, check out the island of Langkawi for yourself!