Langkawi - Malaysia
 

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Langkawi - Malaysia
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Situated at latitudes 6°10\'N to 6°30\'N and longitudes 99°35\'E to 100°E, langkawi enjoys an Equatorial climate. Langkawi has a tropical monsoon climate with a high annual temperature of between 24°C to 33°C.

There are 2 distinct seasons. The dry season, November to March, when the winds blow predominately from the NE, the weather is generally fine with nice sailing breeze but tends to be much dryer than other parts of Malaysia and temperatures on the whole average around 32°.
 


The wet season in Langkawi is around April to During the wet season, one can expect rain, although showers tend to be over very quickly. The winds at this time are predominately from the W/SW. Its annual rainfall is heavy at averages 2500mm (100 inches) and on rainy days, thunder and lightning often accompany the heavy downpour. The humidity level is high, at 80% through out the year.
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Langkawi is a district of Kedah state, separated from mainland Malaysia by the Straits of Malacca. The islanders still tending to fishing, rubber plantations, rice fields, buffaloes and other traditional ways of life, although, tourism is the largest industry
Langkawi is very warm and humid temperatures ranging from 25c to 35c. Prickly heat sometimes happen - to avoid it, keep cool, bathing often, dry the skin using prickly heat powder or resorting to air-conditioning.

Light cotton clothes and natural fibres are essential. Do not forget the sun block, sunglasses and hat. It is advisable to travel light, bring as little with you as possible because clothes are readily available at very reasonable price.

At the beach, most Malaysian women swim fully clothes in t-shirts and shorts(do not go topless - wear swimming suit). It is wise for visitors to be appropriately discreet in dress and behaviour.

Langkawi - Malaysia night

Night Markets or Pasar Malam as the local calls it. Most locals will go to do their daily glossaries shopping and marketing. You can buy from hot cooked food, fresh vegetables, fresh meat and clothings. My favorite dish is Ayam Percik (Spicy Barbeque Chicken) and Asam Laksa (Rice Noodles in Spicy Fish Gravy), it will only cost you RM1 to RM2 - Yum! Yum! The night markets can be found at various villages on different days: Monday - Ulu Melaka, Tuesday - Kedawang, Wednesday - Kuah, Thursday - Temoyong, Friday - Air Hangat, Saturday - Kuah, Sunday - Padang Masirat

Since there's nothing much to do at night, you can either have a thick milky teh tarik ( milk tea ) at any make-shift stalls around the island or drink the tax-free beer at any beer garden. Imported German cost about US$1 and local beer cost around US$0.50 ! Lots of restaurants @Pantai Cenang beach have "beer gardens" so you can drink your beer al fresco. Bpacker's Langkawi Page.
Reggae Bar: Langkawi's best Bar - The Reggae Bar is full of people and is especially good when the band plays. The Band is a band which plays all sorts of UB40 songs and some from Bob Marley, keeping with the Reggae feel of the place. All around the walls you can see the grafity of previous visitors who have left their mark on the place.

Wear what you want, although many wear just a simple sarong with a tshirt...(shoes are not a good idea as you're on the beach)

The Malaysian dollar is the Ringgit(abbreviated to RM). It is worth 100 sen. Bank notes come in several denominations: RM1(blue), RM2(purple), RM5(green), RM10(red), RM50(bluish green) and RM100(purple). Coins come in denominations: RM1, 50sen, 20sen, 10sen, 5sen and 1sen. The Ringgit is fixed at RM3.80 to 1USD currently.

Seven major banks are available in Langkawi: Namely Maybank, Public Bank, RHB Bank, Bumiputera Commerce, Perwira Affin Bank, Bank Islam and Bank Simpanan Nasional. Most ATM's are linked to international banking networks such as Cirrus, Maestro and Plus and not forgetting Visa and Mastercard allowing withdrawal from overseas accounts easy. ATM's are available at the Langkawi Airport, Kuah Town and the Jetty Point Shopping Complex.

License Moneychangers can be found all over the island namely: Langkawi International Airport, Jetty Point Complex, Kuah Town, Pantai Chenang, Padang Matsirat, Langkawi Fair. Banks and most hotel do provide money changing facilities.
Credit card such as American Express, Diners Club, Master Card and Visa Card are widely accepted.

Langkawi - Malaysia Food
The locals have no antipathy to being photographed, however, it is polite to ask permission before photographing people or taking pictures in mosques or temples.

Colour films and slide films are available and can be developed instantly and at good prices. There are few shops that's do digital prints and digital imaging services such as CD copying, CD storage ect. There are photo shops with wide range of equipments and at reasonable prices too. Please note that Malaysia uses PAL video systems. For more reliable and professional service it is advisable to visit Foto Langkawi at the banking area call Pandak Mayah.

There are varieties of food you can choose - be it Western, local Malay, Chinese, Indian, Japanese or Thai. All these can be found served at hotels, fine dinning restaurants, street stalls or hawkers. Hawkers normally come alive every evening on most street corners. The quality of food, however, has nothing to do with where it is served.
Hawker food is something no visitor should miss. This is because not only they serve a variety of authentic local dishes, but, prices are also very reasonable.

Open-air hawker centres are scattered all over the island, however, the town centre area operates late until 2 to 3am (opposite the Condo Istana, Jalan Penarak,Kuah or opposite the Tiara Hotel near Kuah). There are also a good range of non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks and fast food outlets are available at Kuah Town eg. McDonald and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Langkawi is not a theft - prone district. In fact, compared with Indonesia, Thailand or Philippines, it is extremely safe here. The island lifestyle has been very easy going and relaxed. People are friendly and helpful. However, it pays to keep a close eye on your belonging, especially your travel documents. Most hotels have safe boxes. The emergency number for police is 999, ambulance is 991 and fire department is 994.
Langkawi - Malaysia
The official language is Bahasa Malaysia, however English is commonly used and spoken by all. Besides the two languages, there are also Chinese, Tamil and Thai. The locals are very friendly and helpful should there be any problem with language

There are several flights daily from KLIA to Langkawi, Penang to Langkawi and Singapore to Langkawi and vice-versa. You can take Malaysia Airlines Systems, Air Asia or Silk Air. The Island airport is an international status.

Ferries services are also available from Penang, Kuala Kedah, Kuala Perlis and Satun, Thailand to Langkawi and vice-versa. Ferry terminal at Langkawi is located at Jetty Point Complex, Kuah Town.
At the moment, there is no public buses service and taxi is the main way of getting around. But the easiest way to get around is to hire a car or motorcycle or even bicycle. The vehicles can be rented cheaply from the local registered travel agents or the beach resorts. You can do a leisurely circuit of the island in a day. The roads are excellent and easy riding.

Cars in Langkawi and Malaysia are right hand drive. When driving on the road, always keep to the left side of the road. Roads in Langkawi are good and well maintain.

Do not forget to fasten your seat belts as it's mandatory to do so for the driver and front passenger. For motorcyclist, you are required to wear helmets. Do be careful of Buffalows while on Langkawi road as buffalos tend to cross the road or walk along the streets.

Langkawi - Malaysia
Summer Palace
The summer palace at Pantai Kok was built as a film set by 20th Century Fox for the film Anna and the King starring Jodie Foster and Chow Yun Fat. It as a representation of a Thai palace. Here you will find props which were used in the film and you can even have your picture taking wearing one of the costumes.
Langkawi is a small place and relatively new to tourism. It is important to know the local customs and practice in order not to offend anybody.

Dress modestly, especially in rural area and when visiting places of worship and leave skimpy clothing for the beaches and when on board!

Remember to remove your shoes when entering homes and places of worship.

Shaking hands is acceptable but kissing the hand or the cheek should be avoided. Muslim women particularly those who wear head scarf prefer not to shake hands with member of opposite sex. Therefore a nod or smile will do.

Necking and fonding each other in public should be avoided specially at the rural area.

Langkawi - Malaysia
I have written before about monkeys being a potential danger but now I can speak from experience. While island-hopping I saw many monkeys on the islands. Because people have been feeding them they have lost their fear of humans and associate people with food. One of the girls I was with offered me a crisp while we were on the beach having lunch. As I put my hand into the bag to take one, a monkey appeared out of nowhere and sunk its teeth into my fingers, drawing blood. I had no idea there were any monkeys nearby but they sneak up on you. Be careful if you have food and be especially careful if you have young children with you. Feeding any kind of wild animal should be discouraged as it adversely affects their natural behaviour.
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