Updated: Jan2013

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Langkawi is another of those wonderful "duty free" islands that Malaysia has to offer. Located off of the north-west coast. It is so easy to spend a month on this island, relaxing on its glorious beaches and every now and then heading off on a moped to explore the island. 

There's plenty to do on the island, with some glorious waterfalls, mangroves, an abundance of wildlife and the very beautiful Cloudy Faced Leaf Monkey.


There are a lot of budget options in Langkawi though it's well worth checking them out before you check-in. There's an ever-growing scene for back-packers as well as a series of higher-priced accommodation on the beach front.

Featrured Accommodation

Rainbow Lodge

Address: Lorong Surau, Pantai Cenang

Tel: +604 955 8103

Web: www.rainbowlangkawi.yolasite.com

Rainbow Lodge is one of the most popular places to stay in the area, dorms, fan rooms, AC rooms and long-stay accommodation. With a relaxing bar/ dining area that affords travellers of all types a great place to relax and meet... [more]

    Amzar's Guest House
Address: Jalan Pantai Cenang
Prices from: Double RM35 - 75
Includes: Fan, TV, ensuite, upper price includes AC and larger room
Tel: +60 4 955 1354
Chalet style rooms as well as a hotel building located on the main road through Pantai Cenang. Close to local shops and across the road from the beach.

Cenang Valley Inn
Address: Jalan Pantai Cenang
Prices from:
Tel: +604 955 3558 Email: CenangValleyInn@gmail.com

    Daddy's Guest House
Address: Jalan Pantai Cenang
Prices from: Dorm RM15, Double RM30 - 50
Includes: Fan, Shared bathroom, upper price includes ensuite
Tel: +60 4 955 5811 Email: 
Budhet backapcker accomodation close to Cenang Beach, rooms have hammocks out the front for relaxing away from the sand.

    Gecko Guest House
Address: Jalan Pantai Cenang
Prices from: Dorm RM 15, Double RM35 - 55
Includes: Fan, shared bathroom, upper price includes ensuite.
Tel: +60 19 428 3801Email: 
Laid-back backpacker guesthouse with a bar only a 5 minute walk from Cenang Beach.

    Huda Inn
Address: Jalan Pantai Cenang
Prices from: Double RM100
Includes: Wi-Fi, AC, TV, cold shower
Tel: 019 428 2012
New build across the road from Rainbow.

Eating and Drinking
All the restaurants and bars are situated along Jalan Pantai Cenang, the main road that runs along the beach. On a Thursday the weekly night market arrives in town where you can eat like a king for only a few ringetts. Bad news is that the best bar in town has closed down - Babylon's has be "re-opened" at the same location as Sugar's NIght Club. No longer the same vibe nor the same price. Still a few bars on the beach though for enjoying sun-downers. Or bring a cool bag along and hit one of the many shops on the main road and take your own to the beach?

    Aritsan's Cafe
Breakfast from RM3.50, Sandwiches from RM3, Mains from RM20. No alcohol.

Serving full English breakfast, sandwiches, pizzas and burgers Artisan's is a good spot if you need a change from rice and noodles. Service can be a little slow but it is open 24 hours and breakfast is served all day.

    Dhaka's Restaurant
Meat dishes from RM 12, vegetable dishes from RM 10. No alcohol

Reasonable curries are available here although the portion sizes are a little small. Add and extra RM1.50 for rice.
    Haji Ramli's
Meat dishes from RM 10, vegetable dishes from RM6, bbq fish by weight. No alochol
A locals hangout admist the tourist restaurants, the flavours are authentic and the food is tasty.

    Idaman Snack Bar
Wraps RM 4, fish and chips RM 8, waffles from RM3.

Excellent take out food next to the Idaman Motel on the beach. Chicken and fish are freshly battered in front of you and they even make their own tartar sauce. Perfect for fish and chips on the beach at sunset.

    Joe's Bar
Beer from RM 2
An English run 'pub' this place has the cheapest beer on the street druing their happy hour (6 - 8pm) but there is little in the way of atmosphere and it cannot compete with the bars that are actually on the beach.

    Little Lyla's
Beer RM5, soft drinks RM 4, mains from RM 12
Situated on the beach this bar/restaurant has a great location. They serve good cold draught beer and have a mix of western and Asian food and at a reasonable price.

    Mann's Cafe
Mains from RM8. No alcohol
Although the food here is cheap it s somewhat lacking in taste. In fact the night we went they ahd run out of garlic! They do have a good selection of sandwiches from RM6 if you are just looking for something light.

    Rafii's Bar
Draught beer Rm4
On the beach next door to Little Lyla's. Great for sunset this place has a proper bar to sit at... and a large screen for the football. Spot on!

    Snack Lady
4 pieces for RM1
From 1pm on most days (not Thursday or any other day she fancies a break!) this lady and her family set up shop near to Babylon on the road. She sells, curry puffs, waddies, sardien rolls, cakes and other small sweet and savoury snacks. She also has a selction of nasi lemak but don't leave it too late because once it's gone it's gone.

Curries from RM10, rotis from RM 2, rice/noodles from RM 4, buffet priced per dish. No alcohol
An excellent selection of Indian and Malaysian food including a buffet where you can pile up rice, vegetable, meat and fish dishes for less than RM10. Best place on the strip.

    Yellow Cafe
Beer RM 7, Soft drinks RM 7. Western mains from RM 20
Situated on the beach the is a little pricey than the other bars but has a nice chilled out vibe. Food is expensive but is also good quality, so if you are missing steak or pasta then this is the place to go.

Health & Safety - The Long-Tailed Macaques
This mothers hand is trapped inside the top of a drinks can. She has obviously chewed away at the rest of the can after trapping her hand, trying to get at the sugary drink inside. She will lose her hand.
Be mindful of the Long-tailed Macaques (monkeys) in and around Langkawi. Lots of local tourists foolishly feed them, so they have become quite confident when it comes to "taking ownership" of peoples bags and food. If you leave a carrier bag unattended, the chances are it'll belong to the monkeys! Please me mindful about taking rubbish away with you. There are several monkeys that have lost hands because they have been trapped inside empty drinks cans.

The Beaches of Langkawi
The beaches are lush here and the sea is overall very clean and safe. No real issue with the sand-flies, though there are jelly fish at times. The smaller translucent ones have no sting but the larger ones do. If you get stung, then don't rub the sting. Remove it with a stiff card by scraping it off. Pour on any acidic/vinegar-like solution (or a soft drink if that's all you've got). Don't pour on fresh or bottled water. There are several pharmacies on the main road if you need immediate attention. We've warned you about the Long-Tailed macaque monkeys but you'll have no concern about them at the main beaches.

Pantai Cenang
This is a great beach for a swim at high or low tide and is closest to the main tourist area. There's a very special atmosphere here at sunset with people playing volleyball and football and couples enjoying a sunset drink on the beach or in one of the several beach-side restaurants (try Babylon on one of the nights in high season with live music playing for an unforgettable experience). Cenang beach is the liveliest and most sociable place on the whole island, but at high season it might be to frenzied for some people. There are quite a few water-sports operators here so be mindful of the speeding jet-skis at low tide.

Pantai Tengah
This beach is much less crowded and noisy than Cenang. There are very beautiful islands off-shore, making this one of the most popular beaches. At certain times of the year, Pantai Tengah has big waves and strong currents on the both side of the beach from Under-Water World to around the Frangipani Resort. Be careful when the waves are high.

Pantai Kok
Pantai Kok is secluded and one of the best public beaches in Langkawi to chill out or have a picnic. The scenery here is gorgeous, especially at the huge boulders at the west-side. Unfortunately  this beach is not recommended for swimming because of reports of sharp rocks underwater.

Mangrove Tour
You can do this as an organised tour or under your own steam. Tour prices range from Rm50 to Rm90 per person with return transportation. The upper price should include lunch at one of the many fish farms in the area. Or if you're in a large enough group already you can hire a private boat to do the tour for around Rm180. A boat will hold 12 adults comfortably which means you can all hire a bike a enjoy the coastal road-ride there for the same price as a budget tour. There are two Jetty's available - the one to the north near ?? hotel includes a boat trip around the islands as well as the mangroves for the same price. This really is one of the nicest beaches to relax on as well. Be mindful of the tidal currents. 

Waterfalls of Langkawi
Langkawi features several cascading waterfalls that are spectacularly beautiful during the rainy season between August and October. The three main ones are: 

Seven-Wells Waterfall (Telaga Tujuh)
Admission: Free, Moped parking RM1 
A most spectacular waterfall, seven-wells is a must see for those that have the stamina to climb the exhausting 600 steps to the top. Even the approach to the steps is steep! At the top are natural jacuzzi like pools made out of smooth rocks. During the rainy season soaking in these swirling pools overlooking the panoramic view of the valley is an unforgettable experience. During dry spells, the pools can become a little stagnant, but you can still climb up for the nature hike above the seven-wells and for the staggering views of the valley. The lower falls also offer great swimming. If you're lucky you may get to see horn-bill! Long-tailed macaques are resident at the lower part of the climb.

Temurun Falls
Admission: Free
When there's enough rain, Temurun rivals Seven-wells as Langkawi's most beautiful cascading waterfall. The path tot he falls is relatively easy to walk. Three ugly concrete dams were recently built to create bigger swimming pools but they've been covered now (thank fully!) with nicer stone mosaics. The top pool has a gorgeous 100 foot waterfall coming over an unusual wall of black rock. There are sections that you can climb to jump into the pool, but as always be careful. You have to be careful of the powerful churning currents after heavy rains. The concrete dams do create very nice swimming pools beneath the falls after a good downpour. Long-tailed Macaques are resident here as well as the more cautious and reserved dusk-faced leaf monkeys.

Durian Perangin Falls
Admission: Free
 Compared to the other waterfalls, Durian Peragin is the least appealing natural falls for swimming but the surrounding scenery is more majestic than those at Temurun and Seven-Wells. This is a great place to come for a quick hike to appreciate the mutli-level falls and the surrounding rainforest. The main pool at the top provides a nice swim but the rocky slope leading to the pool is at a very scary angle! Watch you step.  

Island Hopping Tour
Island hopping boat tours are cheap boat tours that you can take of the scenic southern islands for about RM25-50 per person depending on the season. The standard tour usually includes the following. Eagle feeding a Pulau Singa Basah, get dropped off for a swim at Pulau Beras Basah and then to Pulau Dayang Bunting for swimming orpaddle boating at the fresh water lake. The whole excursion takes about 3.5 hours.

Pulau Beras Basah has some of the clearest waters around southern Langkawi. Although not a top diving spot (then nowhere is really that great in Langkawi) you can still have fun snorkelling here and see shoals of small fish. 

Pulau Dayang Bunting has the famous lake of The Pregnant Maiden, which is a very unusual geological feature of Langkawi. With soaring Brahimy Kites above, it is a deep fresh water lake separated from the sea water by a very narrow wall of rock. There are solar powered paddle boats that you can rent to explore the lake without exhausting yourself. The swimming area is extremely deep and because it is fresh water there is very little buoyancy given. There are some quite shy Macaques here and look out for the fresh water otter when you get to the lake.

Langkawi Cable Car
Admission: Adult RM30, Children RM20
This is a cable car ride that few places in the world can rival. The incredible views of the mountain range are unforgettable. The sky bridge at the upped platform offers even more breath taking views. For safety reasons though, this bridge is generally shut-down for maintenance (which is most of the year it seems!).  You can see the cable car from Pantai Cenang beach. The admission is reduced when the bridge is closed.

Culture and History

Kota Mahasuri (Mahsuri's Tomb)
Admission: Adult RM10, Child RM5
A cultural centre a mausoleum honouring the memory of Mahsuri, a folk heroin who 200 years ago withstood brutal torture after being falsely accused of adultery. Beside her bravery in the face of torture  Mahsuri is famous for the curse that she laid on the family that murdered her. Most of Langkawi's legends in the tourist brochures are half-baked PR gimmicks but the Mahsuri legend has actual historical roots. Virtually all of the locals regard it as true. This very moving story is laid out in the mini-museum at Makam Mahsuri. There are cultural performance here on both Friday and Saturday at 3pm.

Wat Wanararm Buddhist temple
Admission: Free
If you haven't seen a Buddhist temple and you're taking the loop around the island, then this diversion pop in, but otherwise we wouldn't make the effort to go. Although the temple has been there for some time, there are additions being made to it at the time of writing. 

Laman Padi (Rice Museum) 
Admission: Free
Within walking distance of Pantai Cenang beach area, this is a cultural museum showcasing the history of rice cultivation in Malaysia with a real working rice farm attached. A guide is usually on standby and it's best to get a guided tour of the museum and grounds and rice field. There might be a small charge whenever they have a rice planting demo if you don't mind being knee deep in muddy water. For us, the rice planting was the highlight, otherwise unless it's raining or you have a Phd. in the "Evolution of Rice" (you really can get one!) we'd skip this. 
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  • Malaysia, simply Asia.

    Kuala Lumpur on the cheap

    "Is possible?"

    Wendy Merrett is back again to tell us how one can spend a few days in KL without blowing their budget of $50 a day for 2 people. 


    Snake Temple, Penang

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    Scared of snakes? I mean, really scared of snakes? Can't even watch the Jungle Book because of the snake? Then a visit to the Snake Temple in Penang... well Wendy Merrett does! 


    Must see! Malaysia

    “A picture says a thousand words?”

    Select either of the links below to see some of our fellow travellers’ pictures.



    Posted 28 Jun 2013, 00:13 by Elli Murr
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  • Kuala Lumpur Charities: The Leaping Lemur Group
    The following are all Kuala Lumpur based Charities. If you’re looking for something fun and rewarding to do then get involved in volunteering at one of many charities who need your help! Whether you have a lot of spare time on your hands or just a little, there is something to suit. There are plenty of opportunities to use existing skills such as playing with children, teaching, nursing, marketing, accounting or learn some new skills. You really can make a difference and get to know a lot more about the community, culture and environment you are living in.

    Elli xx

    Home of Peace
    Home of Peace is a safe haven for young girls which places special emphasis on education and the girls realizing their full potential.  They are always looking for volunteers to help with homework and tutoring.  Volunteers can work with older girls (ages 12-16) any day of the week in the afternoons from 4:30-6:00pm and with younger girls (7-9 years old) in home school from 10:00-1:00pm.  The girls would also love to do craft activities and receive piano or music lessons, so if you can help out, please let them know.  They are also in need of administrative support.
    Contact Justine Morais  jnissi60@gmail.com

    Riding for the disabled
    Help disabled and handicapped children use horse riding as a part of their therapy to change disability to ability. Equine assisted therapy is used to achieve learning and stimulates physical, mental, social and educational progress.  Volunteers are needed to help children prepare for the ride, prepare the horses for the ride, lead horses and provide emotional support to the children. Volunteers are also needed to help with administrative duties in the main office. Sessions are held in the morning at three locations; 

    Bukit Kiara Club, Damansara
    Tues & Thurs, 9.30 – 11.30am
    Call: Ms Zuraidah Omar tel: 019-2108127 
    E-mail: zuraidahomar@hotmail.com

    Selangor Polo Club, 
    Tues, Wed & Thursday 10am – 12noon
    Contact: Karyn Stewart tel: 016-6162945 
    E-mail: karynstewart@hotmail.co.uk

    Royal Selangor Turf Club, nr Mines Resort City
    Tues, Wed & Thurs, 10am – 12noon
    Contact: Cheryl Victor  
    E-mail: equestrian@selangorturfclub.com
    Tel + 6 03-90502346

    Stepping Stones
    Stepping Stones is a children’s home in Taman Seputeh (near Mid-Valley).  ABWM members tutor a small group of boys on a Tuesday 09.30 - 11.30.  Some of them do not currently have access to regular schooling and volunteers are needed to help with basic Maths, Science and English. Lessons do not need to be prepared in advance; just show up and help with homework. During holidays more recreational activities are organized. Call Monica Maclean: 017 609 6087

    United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR)
    UNHCR helps to run various community and education programmes to assist the needs of refugees and asylum seekers.   Help is needed to teach English and skills such as computer, crafts and music. There are opportunities to work at an adult centre in Cheras and the youth in various centres in Cheras and Pudu, and to provide support to asylum seekers at a detention centre.
    Tel: 603 2141 1322 Fax: 603 2141 1780 Email: mlslu@unhcr.org

    Malaysia Association of the Blind (MAB)
    Located in Brickfields, MAB needs volunteers to help in the reading and Braille production service.  One opportunity is to type books onto disc which can be converted into Braille and another is to help develop a talking book library for the blind.  Readers who speak English, Malay or Mandarin are needed to help produce more talking books. Volunteers may come anytime during the week between 9am-5pm.  Alternatively, volunteers may record the tapes at home and send back the finished product.  Volunteers are also needed to assist in a playgroup for blind and low-vision pre-school children or with general administrative work. 
    Contact: Ramdas Nayar, MAB at 03-2272-2677 www.mab.org.my

    Beautiful Gate
    Beautiful Gate is charity which helps young disabled adults to acquire vocational skills. Volunteers are needed to teach English as a second language in a relaxed and informal setting. They also organise art and games activities and various outings.  Contact Pastor Sia Siew Chin, 03 7873 6579 or 019-219-8440

    SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)
    The SPCA runs a shelter for dogs and cats and needs volunteers to help with feeding, cleaning, taking dogs out for a walk and other general animal care.  Volunteers are welcome 7 days a week anytime between 9:00 and 4:00, although mornings are generally the busiest time. 
    Call 03-4256-5312   Website:   www.spca.org.my

    Posted 27 Jun 2013, 20:27 by Elli Murr
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    Garden of Reflection,
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    Solitude and silent reflection seems to be moving with the times

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    Toilet humour, bar humour and a great quiz.
    Posted 26 Jun 2013, 21:11 by Elli Murr
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    Posted 2 Jul 2013, 21:21 by Elli Murr
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  • Travel Guides
    Over 1,000 downloads of "A travellers Guide to Myanmar"

    We've had over 27,000 hits in just 7 months! For some, that's nothing, for the charities we support, approx. 2% of our visitors visit on.Which means all of our hard work is worth it. 

    Looks like we'll be publishing an update to "A Travellers Guide to Myanmar" in September ready for the new season. And already we have Peter and Anne from Balmain, Sydney Australia on board to give us updates for their pending trip in October.

    So we have "
    Fish out of Water" and "Powered by Noodles" and now "Cool for Cats" set to update us in Myanmar. Can you get any more up-to-date?

    Free guides and downloads.
    Posted 24 Jul 2013, 21:12 by Elli Murr
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Definition of Charity: 
"Generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy and suffering"

This is all about giving something back to the people of the countries that we've visited, to thank them for the wonderful experiences that we've had. There are no charges for receiving information on this site, because this is about sharing the latest information and not making money. You'll also note, there are no pop-ups or sponsored links to businesses. So, please take the time to look at some of the charities that we've highlighted on our charities page, and if you want to "pay" for the information you've received, then look into some of these worthy causes. Otherwise we'd gladly accept any support to help keep this site alive.

You will be directed to an Email window. 
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