My Langkawi tips and tricks to enjoying on a budget:
1. Always visit Penang island before Langkawi. Enjoy both beauties.
2. Langkawi has an international airport. Also, Langkawi is accessible by ferry from Penang. I guess the cheaper option is to go to the mainland, take a bus/hitchhike to Kuala Kedah/ Kuala Perlis pier for the ferry to Langkawi. Since I had less time, I took a direct ferry from Penang.
3. Kuah Pier area is the settlement area where usually Malaysian residents stay. Avoid this. The happening area is Cenang beach. Choose any place to stay here.
4. A taxi will get you to Cenang. But it’s expensive.
5. Bikes are everything here. Bike rentals are available right outside the Pier. Agents will approach as you reach the Ferry Arrival terminal. I made the mistake of trying to find the best deal of the lot and also having lunch. All good bikes got rented in those 45 mins. Ultimately I had to settle for an old 100cc bike for 25 ringgits. Don’t make my mistake.
6. The petrol pump is located a little far away. So ensure there is enough fuel.
7. The main roads are exceptionally good for an island. You have to really drive here to even understand what I am talking about. Speeds of 90kmph on a 110cc bike are really safe.
8. The moment you are at the hotel/hostel, just drop your bags and head straight to Cenang. Any time of the day and any tide, it’s one of the longest and widest and cleanest beaches I have come across. It is very touristy and there will be a lot of people.
9. Find a variety of water sports here. Please haggle a lot, especially for jet skis. People forget that jet skis come in 2/3 different power modes from 600cc up to 1500cc. So please understand what you are bargaining for. There is also a scuba school on Cenang beach.
10. Please reach Cenang beach at 6-8 am when no one is around. With the harsh sun at these times, watch the planes take off and land as you relax in the shade in the part of the beach outside Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort. It’s not a private beach.
11. Enjoy free fire dances on Cenang beach at night. Please do check timings.
12. On the way to the airport, 3-4kms from Cenang beach, there is another small yet beautiful beach. It has no name but is easy to find. Enjoy cheap seafood served at the shacks there. I had fried crabs right on the beach.
12. Enjoy driving on the island. Do the island roundabout tour using highway 114, 113, 112. This will also take you close to Tanjung Rhu beach, also very beautiful.
13. Go to Tanjung Rhu in low tide as then you can walk more than a kilometer into the sea. People can easily walk to the neighboring islands as water is around waist high. It takes time but its fun.
14. Reach the Gunung Raya viewpoint well in time as weather changes very quickly and the road to the top is really really long and winding. The view is awesome and it was really chilly when we reached.
15. There some nice waterfalls, but I would recommend visiting the 7 wells waterfall. It has waterfalls, a nice pool and also a water slide. Good fun.
16. Langkawi is not a cheap place to shop at all. All shopping must be done in KL.
17. However, the entire island is duty-free. Hence Liquor, chocolates, cigarettes, perfumes, etc at designated malls and shopping centers are at duty-free rates. Also, there are offers on top of duty-free. Don’t miss the shopping.
PS: There is a shop on Cenang beach road that rents bikes for 20 ringgits/ day. I forgot their name, but you cant miss their board. But they have only 1-2 bikes and they have to be booked a day in advance. This is the lowest rate on the island.