Langkawi is located on the western side of the northern peninsular of Malaysia. For this reason, it has a very different climate and rainfall patterns to Sabah, the Eastern States and even Kuala Lumpur. Langkawi is approximately 500km's from Kuala Lumpur and 800km's from Singapore and is actually located closer to the Sothern Thailand Islands than mainland Malaysia.
Visitors to Malaysia must hold a valid passport or travel document with a minimum validity of six months beyond the intended visiting period. Most nationalities do not require visas for social or business visits. For further information, please refer www.imi.gov.my
Most international guests come through the hubs of Kuala Lumpur and Singapore or from Pulau Penang into Langkawi international airport. Flights are available from Kuala Lumpur by Malaysian Airlines, Air Asia and Firefly and from Singapore by Singapore Airlines (Silk Air), Air Asia and Tiger Airways and from Phuket by Happy Air. If you are coming via Penang, Firefly current offers daily flights. Ferries are available from Penang, Kuala Perlis and Satun in Thailand.
Taxis are readily available and offer flat fee tarrifs The cars tend to be in quite good condition, mostly complete with air conditioning. Hire cars and motorbikes are available though we recommend you use operators with the correct licenses and insurances to protect yourself in any event. Please ensure you bring along your license in order to hire a car.
The official Language in Malaysia is Bahasa Malayu however English is widely accepted and understood by those working in tourism and the younger generation.
The official religion is Islam, though there is proportion of Buddhists, Hindu's and Christians as well. Mosques, churches and temples can all be found in Langkawi. Most of the religious festivals are gazette public holidays and are celebrated regardless of race.
Langkawi practices slightly different office hours from most of the states in Malaysia. Government offices are open From Saturday to Thursday at 8.15 am and close at 4.45 pm. They are closed on Friday and during public holidays. Banks are open for business at 9.30 am and close at 3.30 pm from Monday to Friday and on Saturday banking hours are from 9.30 am to 12.00 noon.
Money changers in Pantai Cenang and at the airport are open every day. However the private businesses and most of the shops in Kuah close on Friday and Saturday morning.
The Malaysian currency is called Malaysian Ringgit (RM) and comes in notes from RM1 to 100 and cents from 1 to 50. Most currencies are accepted for exchange into Ringgit. Major credit cards are accepted at most major shopping complexes, restaurants and hotels. Tourists are reminded to have their passports ready when they wish to exchange traveler's cheques.
Emergency Facilities & Health Services
Langkawi is home to a modern hospital and there are numerous private doctors locally all of which are linked with pharmacies nearby. There is also an ambulance, fire brigade, local police and army and navy bases located on the island. Tsunami warning systems are installed and notification systems are in place.
Voltage is 220 - 240 volts AC at 50 cycles per second. Standard 3-pin square plugs and sockets.
The seasons in Langkawi are opposite to the Eastern side of Peninsular Malaysia, Malaysian Borneo, Singapore and Kuala Lumpuer. So when it is raining there, it is normally good weather on our side. In general Langkawi has a much dryer rainforest that it's East coast cousins. Even in wet season the average rainfall is less than other nearby destinations as we are located well away from the mainland's mountain ranges. Even during wet season it is seldom we see continuous rain for extended periods. During these wetter periods, it rarely rains for more than 2-3 hours at a time.