Langkawi Traveller’s Guide

What to Do In Langkawi – A Guide for First-Time Travellers
Langkawi is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful islands situated on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The charming ‘jewel of Kedah” is covered in dense jungle and surrounded by a turquoise sea. It’s a preferred tourist destination by locals and foreign visitors alike. For beach lovers, Langkawi is home to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. 

Some visitors like to spend their vacation sightseeing, others like the beach. Whether you like either or both-your vacation is complete in Langkawi, the island is a duty-free zone so that you can spoil yourself with some holiday shopping! Also, the locals are friendly and welcoming, and learning the local Malay authentic culture is a major highlight for visitors. 

For food lovers, Langkawi is a food haven that boasts the best in regional culinary delights. Visitors can find traditional Malay food in hotels around the island. Ayer Hangat, for instance, focuses on authentic traditional dishes cooked using ingredients that can be easily found around the island. The menu is composed primarily of organic, locally-grown, and plant-based ingredients. There are plenty of choices to suit varying tastes and preferences. 

The magical island of Langkawi is not short of things to do-from adrenaline-filled water sports and waterfalls picnics, to basking on the white sand beaches. The island has an array of exciting attractions to keep you busy and intrigued during your trip. Also, there are plenty of free activities for you to enjoy. We highly recommend exploring all of its points of interest to experience the raw beauty of the island fully. 

Are you an adrenaline enthusiast? You can take a zip line across the island and enjoy breathtaking views. Also, you can hire a jet ski and ride into the crystal blue seas. There is no better way to finish your day by having a traditional wellness experience at Ayer Hangat, then watching the sunset along the shores. In case you are travelling with your partner, you can experience a romantic dining experience, and even take a boat cruise while sipping on cocktails. There is something for everyone to have fun on Langkawi!

Natural Hot Springs
The crown jewel of it all is the Ayer Hangat Hot springs. When you think of a natural spa, you imagine pictures of streaming turquoise waters in a Japanese onsen bath overlooking a bamboo grove. Langkawi has its natural saltwater spa that will beautify as you unwind with some of the best ambiences you can find. The view around Ayer Hangat is unbelievable and represents the best in the tropical island experience.

Ayer Hangat hot springs are super secluded in a tranquil location, thus perfect place if you want to do your geothermal soaking somewhere private and serene. The water is just the right temperature and isn’t too hot, either. Apart from the hot springs, the village complex has some private Jacuzzis and wellness spas. 

If you need a bit more privacy, private areas comprising of twelve separate private Jacuzzis, equipped with toilets, baths and gazebo. Each of the units can accommodate a group or family of up to eight people. It’s a highly preferred option for guests travelling as a group. 

While there are other natural hot salt water spas ( only three others in the world), the Ayer Hangat experience is different in that we take a unique holistic approach and focuses on Malay wellness and healing aspects. Like so many things in Langkawi, the culture of the Ayer Hangat Village is steeped in tradition and ritual. In case you are visiting the island, you absolutely cannot skip the natural hot spa experience. 

What’s so enjoyable about the experience? Ayer Hangat Village offers an authentic Malay experience. Domestic tourists and foreigners, young and old journey to the village for a relaxing day out. Guests who experience the saltwater hot springs are immediately hooked to the relaxing experience and the healing properties of the water. The natural spa is highly recommended for the skin. So stay awhile, rejuvenate and soak up the Langkawi tradition like a local.

You will certainly feel cleansed, both in body and spirit. It’s an awesome experience, and you will feel the glory of nature in its finest. There is a private spa where you can experience a traditional Malay massage. With body exfoliated, pores steamed and muscles relaxed, you will feel pure, inside and out. 

Ayer Hangat offers custom packages for Langkawi travellers, so it’s not unusual for transiting tourists to spend their time here for some relaxation and rejuvenation. As you relax in the water and breathe in the fresh air, your muscles relax, and your mind unwinds. The natural water springs seem to bring on a meditative mood.

Spa etiquette
We recommend basic etiquette while enjoying the hot springs. In this regard, clean your body before bathing in the hot spring. Also, guests should not scrub the body or use cleaning products. Finally, the hot springs are slippery, so watch your step.

Outdoor spas typically have a tranquil atmosphere. In this regard, overenthusiastic behaviours such as diving or splashing may not be tolerated. When you enter the spa, just sit, relax, and have fun (you definitely will).

While outdoor spas are social environments, this is also where people visit for relaxation and soothe themselves in healthy waters and tranquillity. It’s okay to chat with your friends and family while enjoying the spa. However, it’s polite to do so at a low volume. Never been to a natural spa before? The staff at Ayer Hangat is always at hand to help when in doubt. Don’t fret! You will blend right in! 

Nature trail
Tourists can see a little bit more of Langkawi by following nature trails around the island. That being said, we highly recommend exploring with the right guides who understand the ins and out of the island, especially with regards to the best routes for exploration. Some nature trails may not be passable during heavy rains. 

En route to Ayer Hangat Village, you can pass by traditional Malay-style buildings that create a village-like environment on the lushly landscaped grounds. Also, you can check out scheduled cultural shows and other activities such as pottery making classes there. 

Transport
Langkawi Island has a relatively small population and thus doesn’t have a mass transportation system. Majority of locals move by either private car or by motorbike. However, Langkawi has an impressive infrastructure network compared to other islands in Malaysia. The island is connected to other regions in Malaysia such as Kuala Lumpur and Penang, besides other overseas cities like Singapore, Seoul, Phuket, and cities of Australia, China, and Japan etc. with regular and direct air connections. 

If you are planning to travel by air, you can use several airlines, including Malaysia Airlines, Air Asia, and Silk Air, etc. Langkawi Airport, situated near the coast of the Malaysia peninsular is an ideal example of its kind; modern, well designed, and easy to find your way around. A gift shop at the airport offers a comprehensive range of locally-made products.

Langkawi is accessible via regular ferry services from Kuala Kedah, Kuala Perlis, and Penang. There is also a daily ferry service between Kuah of Langkawi and Satun of Thailand. You can browse through the Langkawi ferry services website to know about the specific routes, operators, schedules, journey duration, and other information. 

Although using a taxi can be a convenient way to travel around Langkawi, driving is a highly preferred way to explore the region. You will enjoy the experience as you get to know the different places around the island. For tourists visiting Langkawi, the options range from renting a car or motorbike, or using a taxi. The taxi can be found in strategic areas around the island and are safe and cheap.

Taxis are safe and cheap. Some tourists prefer having a private driver and vehicle. In case you are wondering, it’s incredibly convenient to have a private car in Langkawi. You may opt for self-drive for convenience moving around, especially if you are staying for more than a week. 
Several rental car services are available at different locations on the island, for example, at Langkawi airport. However, overseas visitors should have the right permits. The variety of rental companies provides an ideal way to explore the width and breadth of Langkawi. We recommend looking for car rental locations outside the airport, as they may be cheaper. You can take a taxi from the airport to an offsite location. 

When flying to Langkawi, some airlines may provide reward programs such as discounted prices at car rental companies. This can offer some huge savings. In case you are travelling to Langkawi on a budget, you can compare deals across different rental car brands. The minimum age to drive in Langkawi is 18 years. Just like it’s the case in other parts of the world, drunk-driving is prohibited on the island, and the penalties are severe. 

Langkawi’s road network is generally well maintained, and comparatively easy to negotiate. Malaysian drivers are mostly polite and easy companions on the road. For foreign visitors, you might expect some inevitable differences in other driving environments. Drivers on the island are overwhelmingly well mannered and respectful. Use of horns is very uncommon. 

The public roads in Langkawi are free to use. Understandably, some very remote roads around the island may not have a pavement rendering vehicle access less viable than is ideal. The road signs and rules around the island are based on international standards. There are a number of fuel stations strategically situated across Langkawi. A fuel attendant should be on hand to assist you. 

Cycling in Langkawi
Langkawi is a mostly mountainous region. As a general rule, the back roads around the island may be hilly but most picturesque. Some of the remote roads may not be the easiest environment to navigate using a bicycle. However, the main roads are incredibly well connected and recommended for passage. 

Given the rugged nature of the island, we recommend cycling enthusiasts to use bicycles that are fitted with low gear ratios, and disc brakes. It’s worth mentioning that some rental services may not provide bikes for children. Nevertheless, cycling will not only keep you active during the vacation but is also an excellent chance to explore and appreciate the raw beauty of Langkawi. 

Required Travel Documents
Are you a foreigner visiting Langkawi? You have to carry a valid passport. Also, you might need a Malaysia entry visa, depending on your nationality. However, in case you have gone through the relevant customs and immigration clearances at other ports of entry in Malaysia, no further formalities are necessary on your arrival in Langkawi. 

Are you wondering about the customs duty and duty-free status? The island is one of the few places in Malaysia with duty-free status. In this regard, unlike most of Malaysia, customs duty and sales tax are exempted for most items that you bring into Langkawi. That being said, there are a few exceptions that you can confirm from the Langkawi customs duty policy. 

How much money should you expect to spend Langkawi?
Langkawi is relatively cheap, especially compared to other island destinations in South East Asia. During your vacation, the bulk of your expenses will go to accommodation, transport (hiring a car/ motorbike) and food. If you need everything modestly, you can expect to have a fun-filled vacation without breaking the bank.

We encourage splitting the cost with your travelling partner(s). You can expect to spend more, depending on the number of activities you do. By pre-planning your activities before the visit, you have a good idea of how much money to carry. As mentioned before, Langkawi has a duty free status, so you might want to have some extra cash for shopping! 

When it comes to the tipping etiquette, tipping is generally not expected in Langkawi. Ultimately, it’s your decision whether to tip or not. Should you choose to tip after excellent service, it’s perfectly okay and will be appreciated.

Ayer Hangat Village

Jalan Air Hangat, Mukim Air Hangat, 07000, Langkawi, Kedah
[email protected] (Reservations) or [email protected] (Groups)
Telephone: +60 11-1950 6460 (Reservations)