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In order to book an accommodation on Langkawi enter the proper dates and do the hotel search. If needed, sort the found Langkawi hotels by price, star rating, property type, guest rating, hotel features, hotel theme or hotel chain. Then take a look at the found hotels on Langkawi map to estimate the distance from the main Langkawi attractions and sights. You can also read the guest reviews of Langkawi hotels and see their ratings.

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Hotels of Langkawi

A hotel on Langkawi is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger on Langkawi hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms on Langkawi are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Langkawi hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Langkawi hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels on Langkawi have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:

Upscale luxury hotels on Langkawi
An upscale full service hotel facility on Langkawi that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Langkawi hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.

Full service hotels on Langkawi
Full service Langkawi hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.

Historic inns and boutique hotels on Langkawi
Boutique hotels of Langkawi are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Langkawi boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels on Langkawi may be classified as luxury hotels.

Focused or select service hotels on Langkawi
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Langkawi travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Langkawi focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.

Economy and limited service hotels on Langkawi
Small to medium-sized Langkawi hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Langkawi traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Langkawi hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.

Guest houses and B&Bs on Langkawi
A bed and breakfast on Langkawi is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Langkawi bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Langkawi B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.

Hostels on Langkawi
Langkawi hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Langkawi hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.

Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels on Langkawi
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Langkawi hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels on Langkawi lack an on-site restaurant.

Timeshare and destination clubs on Langkawi
Langkawi timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts on Langkawi often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Langkawi on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.

Motels on Langkawi
A Langkawi motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Langkawi for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Langkawi motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.

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Travelling and vacation on Langkawi

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Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah
Langkawi Permata Kedah
لڠكاوي ڤرمات قدح
浮罗交怡
A view of Kuah town, the commercial centre of Langkawi Island
A view of Kuah town, the commercial centre of Langkawi Island
Motto: Bandaraya Pelancongan (English: City of Tourism)
Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah is located in Malaysia
Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah
Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah
Location of Langkawi
Coordinates:  / 6.350; 99.800
Country Malaysia
State Kedah
Establishment 1957
Granted
municipal status
2001
Government
• Yang Di-Pertua
(Mayor)
Abdul Bari bin Abdullah
Area
• Total 478.5 km (184.7 sq mi)
Population (2010)
• Total 94,777
• Density 200/km (510/sq mi)
Time zone MST (UTC+8)
• Summer (DST) Not observed (UTC)
Postal code 07xxx
International dialling code prefix +6049 (landline only)
Website mplbp.gov.my

Langkawi, officially known as Langkawi the Jewel of Kedah (Malay: Langkawi Permata Kedah), is an archipelago of 104 islands in the Andaman Sea, some 30km off the mainland coast of northwestern Malaysia. The islands are a part of the state of Kedah, which is adjacent to the Thai border. On 15 July 2008, Sultan Abdul Halim of Kedah had consented to the change of name to Langkawi Permata Kedah in conjunction with his Golden Jubilee Celebration. By far the largest of the islands is the eponymous Langkawi Island with a population of some 64,792, the only other inhabited island being nearby Tuba Island. Langkawi is also an administrative district with the town of Kuah as largest town. Langkawi is a duty-free island.

Langkawi: Etymology

Dataran Helang (Eagle Square)

The name Langkawi is thought to have existed by the early 15th century, although in the 16th century the island of Langkawi was also marked on maps variously as Langa, Langka, Lansura, and Langapura.

There are many suggestions for the origin of the name of Langkawi. According to one interpretation, Langkawi means island of the reddish-brown eagle in colloquial Malay. The Malay word for eagle is helang - which is shortened to "lang", while kawi is the name of a red stone used as a chalk to mark goods. This interpretation was used to create the landmark sculpture of an eagle as the symbol of Langkawi at Dataran Helang (Eagle Square) in Kuah.

However, some believed that Langkawi is the same as the Lanka or Langkapuri mentioned in Indian sources. The name is also thought to be related to Langkasuka, an old kingdom thought by some to have links with Kedah, and puri means a castle with a moat or a palace. "Puri" or "Puram" in Sanskrit means a town or city. Some also thought that Langkawi means "many beautiful islands", langka being a Sanskrit word meaning "island" while wi means "many".

In 2008, it was given the title of Langkawi Permata Kedah meaning "Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah" in 2008 by Kedah's Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah as part of his golden jubilee to impress upon tourists that Langkawi is part of Kedah.

Langkawi: History

Langkawi had long been at the periphery of, but closely associated with, the domain of the old kingdom of Kedah. Legend tells of a great snake ular-besar, the custodian of the Langkawi Islands, to which a new king of Kedah must sacrifice a virgin daughter whenever he first ascended the throne, or when a war was declared with another state.

Mao Kun map from Wubei Zhi which is derived from the 15th century navigation maps of Zheng He showing Langkawi (龍牙交椅) next to Penang island (梹榔嶼)

The island of Langkawi was recorded in history by various travellers to the region. It was called Long-ya-pu-ti (龍牙菩提) in the 14th century by the Yuan Dynasty traveller Wang Dayuan, and when the Ming Dynasty admiral Zheng He visited the region the island was marked as Long-ya-jiao-yi (龍牙交椅) in his map. In the 15th century, it was known to Acehnese as Pulau Lada or Pepper Island as they came over to plant pepper. In 1691, the French general Augustin de Beaulieu recorded going to the island of "Lancahui" (Langkawi) to buy pepper, and de Beaulieu was required to obtain a license from Kedah's heir apparent then in Perlis before the penghulu or chief of Langkawi would sell pepper to him.

Langkawi was historically home to seafarers, such as the Orang Laut (sea people) originally from the southern part of the Malay peninsula, as well as pirates and fishermen. It had been thought to be cursed for a couple of centuries - according to local legend, in the late 18th century, a woman named Mahsuri was wrongfully accused of adultery and put to death, and she placed a curse on the island that would last for seven generations. Not long after Mahsuri's death, in 1821, the Siamese army invaded Kedah, and attacked Langkawi. In the first attack, the locals decided to burn down the granary at Padang Matsirat to starve and drive out the Siamese army. The Siamese nevertheless finally captured the island in May 1822, killed its leaders, and many of the islanders were taken as slaves, while others were forced to flee. Before the Siamese invasion, there was an estimated island population of 3,000–5,000, and only a small proportion was left after the invasion.

The island was recaptured from Siamese rule in a campaign against the Siamese in 1837. In 1840–1841, the Sultan of Kedah, who went into exile after the Siamese attacks, was allowed to return by the Siamese, and the population of Langkawi islands recovered afterwards mainly due to settlement of immigrants from Sumatra. However, the Orang Laut who fled after the Siamese attacks did not returned. In 1909, the islands came under British rule under the Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909. The middle of the channel between Tarutao and Langkawi would become the Siamese border, and Tarutao would be part of Siam while all the Langkawi islands to the south would come under British rule. During the Second World War, Siam took control briefly as Malaya fell to the Japanese.

Langkawi had been a haven for pirates which affected the northern part of the Malacca Strait. In a series of operations, between December 1945 and March 1946, the British cleared the pirates' land base in Langkawi and Tarutao. The British continued to rule until Malaya gained its independence in 1957.

Langkawi remained as a quiet backwater until 1986, when the then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad decided to transform it into a major tourist resort, helping to plan many of the islands buildings himself. The island rapidly grew as a tourist destination, and by 2012, it had received over 3 million tourists a year.

Langkawi: Geography

Map of Langkawi

Langkawi, a cluster of 99 islands separated from mainland Malaysia by the Straits of Malacca, is a district of the state of Kedah in Northern Malaysia and lies approximately 51 km west of Kedah. The total land mass of the islands is 47,848 hectares. The main island spans about 25 km from north to south and slightly more for east and west. The coastal areas consist of flat, alluvial plains punctuated with limestone ridges. Two-thirds of the island is dominated by forest-covered mountains, hills and natural vegetation.

The island's oldest geological formation, Gunung Matchincang, was the first part of South-East Asia to rise from the seabed in the Cambrian period more than half a billion years ago. The oldest part of the formation is observable at Teluk Datai to the north-west of the island, where the exposed outcrop consists of mainly sandstone (quartzite) in the upper parts and shale and mudstone in the lower parts of the sequence.

Langkawi: Climate

Parasailing and Dawn

Langkawi receives more than 2,400 mm (94 in) of rain annually. Langkawi has a true dry season from December until February while March to November is a long raining season. September is the wettest month, when it normally receives more than 500 mm (20 in).

Langkawi: Administrative divisions

Langkawi District is divided into 6 mukims, which are:

  • Ayer Hangat
  • Bohor
  • Kedawang
  • Kuah
  • Padang Matsirat
  • Ulu Melaka

Langkawi: Demographics

Only four of the 99 islands are inhabited - Langkawi (the main island), Tuba, Rebak and Dayang Bunting. The population is approximately 99,000, around 65,000 of them in Langkawi, of which 90% are Malays. The other ethnic groups consist mainly of Chinese, Indians and Thais.

Islam is practised primarily by ethnic Malays. Other major religions are Hinduism (mainly among Indians), Buddhism (mainly among Chinese and Thai) and Christianity (mostly Chinese).

Standard Malay is the official language and is used in formal occasions. English is widely spoken and understood by the locals. Most natives speak a Langkawi variant of Kedah Malay with minorities speaking Chinese, Siamese and various Indian languages.

Ethnic Group 2010
Number %
Malay 79,146 83.51%
Other Bumiputras 153 0.16%
Chinese 4,325 4.56%
Indian 1,747 1.84%
Others 217 0.23%
Non-Malaysian 9,189 9.70%
Total 94,777 100.00%

Langkawi: Politics

Langkawi: Federal parliament

Langkawi district representatives in the Federal Parliament of Malaysia (Dewan Rakyat):

Parliament Seat Name Member of Parliament Party
P4 Langkawi YB. Datuk IR. Nawawi Hj Ahmad Barisan Nasional (BN)

Langkawi: State assembly seats

List of Langkawi district representatives in the State Legislative Assembly (Dewan Undangan Negeri)

Parliament State Seat Name State Assemblyman Party
P4 N1 Ayer Hangat YB Mohd. Rawi Abdul Hamid Barisan Nasional (BN)
P4 N2 Kuah YB Nor Saidi Bin Nayan Barisan Nasional (BN)

Langkawi: Economy

Boat Ride at Langkawi Island

An agro-based economy of paddy and rubber cultivation and fisheries is fast being overtaken by a tourism-driven economy, taking into consideration the natural, unspoiled, ecological beauty of the island and major governmental emphasis.

The Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) development program is a Malaysia Government initiative to accelerate economic growth in the north of Peninsular Malaysia – encompassing the states of Perlis, Kedah, Penang and the north of Perak.

The target for NCER is to achieve increased tourism receipts per visitor from MYR1,890 (US$600) in 2005 to MYR3,034 (US$963) by 2012.

Annual tourist expenditure is targeted to increase from MYR9.0 billion (US$2.86 billion) in 2005 to MYR21.8 billion (US$6.9 billion) in 2012 and MYR64.5 billion (US$20.4 billion) in 2020.

Langkawi: Tourism

Islands of Langkawi

On 1 June 2007, Langkawi Island was given a World Geopark status by UNESCO. Three of its main conservation areas in Langkawi Geopark are Machincang Cambrian Geoforest Park, Kilim Karst Geoforest Park and Dayang Bunting Marble Geoforest park (Island of the Pregnant Maiden Lake). These three parks are the most popular tourism area within Langkawi Geopark. In 2014 Unesco allegedly issued a 'yellow card' warning threatening the status of the Geopark.

Sunset at Langkawi Island

The Langkawi UNESCO Global Geopark status was due for renewal in 2015, of which upon thorough inspection by the appointed Geopark Inspectors, Langkawi was issued the Certificate of Membership dubbed the Green Card by Asia Pacific Geoparks Network, under the auspices of the Global Geopark Network (GGN).

Tourists can enter the island via ferry from Kuala Kedah, Kuala Perlis and Penang. Or by domestic flight from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) via Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, Malindo Air, Rayani Air, or Subang Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport (SZB) via Malindo Air and Fireflyz providing budget connection to the island. International connection is available from Singapore via Tigerair and AirAsia, as well as from Guangzhou via AirAsia.

Langkawi: Islands and beaches

Sunset at Chenang Beach (Pantai Cenang)

There are two main island areas: the Southern Islands, with a heavier tourist population and the islands to the north east which are more secluded with little tourist traffic. Langun Island has a fresh-water lake like Pregnant Maiden Lake only without the tourists and has Sand Spit Beach on its south-facing orientation. Dendang Island next to it forms a bay popular with Langkawi sailing yacht tour operators who favour the area for its natural beauty and peace.

Cenang Beach sunny view

Some of the most popular beaches are Pantai Cenang, Pantai Tengah, Burau Bay, Pantai Kok, and Datai Bay. Pantai Cenang is a picturesque beach with long stretches of fine white sand. It has numerous restaurants and bars for evening entertainment, several hosting live music and for watching the sun set. The beach is lined with tall coconut and casuarina trees. Pantai Tengah is separated from Cenang by a small cape. It too faces the setting sun and is populated more by hotels than bars, making it less busy in the evening. Burau Bay, fringed by rocky outcrops, is the favourite place of migratory birds in Langkawi. Pantai Kok is a quiet beach against a backdrop of limestone hills. Datai Bay has a combination of forests and sea, its white sandy beach is backed by lush forest.

The Langkawi Sky Bridge above the rainforest canopy

Langkawi: Cable car and Sky Bridge

The Langkawi Cable Car takes visitors up to the peak of Gunung Mat Chinchang, where the Langkawi Sky Bridge is located. The Sky Bridge was closed in 2012 for maintenance and upgrading, but reopened in February 2015, although work on the bridge is still ongoing as of September 2015.

The start of cable car ride is located in the Oriental Village where there are a number of attractions, including a 3-Dimensional art museum known as Art in Paradise.

Langkawi: The Kilim Karst Geoforest Park (The Kilim River)

This area actually consists of three river estuaries that stretch from the Kisap village approximately 10 km to Tanjung Rhu and they are all interconnected. They are rich in wildlife and tourists may see hairy nosed sea otters, brown winged kingfishers, monitor lizards and swimming macaque monkeys. Limestone, inherently porous, forms caves and there are several in the mangroves. One of Langkawi's natural beauty spots is the Pirate Lagoon just outside the river. Technically this is a collapsed cave (hong) consisting of a cave entrance from the sea emerging into a hidden lagoon with towering, limestone escarpments and smaller caves.

Langkawi: Activities

With Langkawi surrounded by the sea, there are various water-based activities to indulge in. For those that love cruises, there are various cruises that can accommodate for individuals that love the morning sun or individuals that would like to have dinner on a yacht. Tourists can also choose to go for island hopping tours with different options:

  • Slow: Travelling and spending time on selective private islands / beaches
  • Fast: Sitting on a speedboat for a quick spin around the various islands available in Langkawi

Langkawi: Shopping

Kuah Jetty, for ferries and shopping
  • Langkawi Parade(Teow Soon Huat)
  • Cenang Mall
  • Langkawi Fair (Billion Duty Free)
  • Langkawi Saga Supermarket
  • Jetty Point
  • Coco Valley Duty-Free Supermarket
  • Idaman Suri Langkawi Mall
  • Kompleks Haji Ismail Group (HIG)

Langkawi: Transportation

Boarding flight at Langkawi International Airport
A Nissan Sylphy taxi in Langkawi.

The island of Langkawi can be reached by sea and air. The Langkawi Jetty Point connects the island to main destinations like Kuala Perlis, Kuala Kedah, Penang and Tamalang. There's also ferry service to Satun town and to Ko Lipe island in Thailand. The Langkawi International Airport is one of 7 international airports in Malaysia and connects the island to Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Penang and also Subang. The main island is well-served by a number of roads.

Langkawi: Education

Langkawi: Secondary

SMK Mahsuri
  • SMK Ayer Hangat
  • SMK Kedawang
  • SMK Kelibang
  • SMK Langkawi Pulau Tuba
  • SMK Mahsuri
  • SMK Tunku Putra
  • SM Teknik Langkawi
  • Maktab Mahmud Langkawi
  • Maktab Rendah Sains Mara Langkawi (owned by MARA, a development agency of the government of Malaysia)

Langkawi: Tertiary

  • Kolej Komuniti Langkawi

Langkawi: Media

The television and radio in Langkawi can be received from Gunung Raya.and RTM Kuah.

Langkawi: Television

  • TV1 (Ch35; from Gunung Raya)
  • TV2 (Ch39; from Gunung Raya)
  • TV3 (Ch33; from Gunung Raya)

Langkawi: FM Radio

  • Langkawi FM FM 87.50 MHz (RTM Kuah)
  • Era FM FM 90.70 MHz (Gunung Raya)
  • Hitz.FM FM 92.40 MHz (Gunung Raya)
  • MY FM FM 100.10 MHz (Gunung Raya)
  • Sinar FM FM 100.90 MHz (Gunung Raya)
  • THR Raaga FM 101.90 MHz (Gunung Raya)
  • Langkawi FM FM 104.80 MHz (Gunung Raya)
  • Kedah FM FM 105.70 MHz (Gunung Raya)

Langkawi: See also

  • Langkawi International Maritime and Air Show

 / 6.350; 99.800

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