Langkawi is a vast archipelago of around 104 islands, located in the Andaman Sea. Officially known as the Jewel of Kedah or Langkawi Permata Kedah in the Malay language, this beautiful country state is indeed one of Asiaâ€™s rare jewels. The name Langkawi was derived from the Malay word â€ślangâ€ť which is the shortened version of helang, meaning eagle, and â€śkawiâ€ť which means reddish brown color. The name thus directly translates to â€średdish brown eagleâ€ť in local Malay.
The area is surrounded by the beautiful clear blue waters that lure any visitor to experience lounging in the sandy beaches and swimming in the ocean waves. The area is very well known to be a popular diving destination for divers all over the world as it showcases one of the worldâ€™s most diverse underwater diving paradises. Langkawi is truly one of the most sought after vacation destinations in all of Asia.
Best Time to Dive
The diving at the tropical islands of Langkawi can be experienced all year round as the temperatures remain between 25 to 32 degrees Celsius. There are three common temperature seasons in the area, including the Dry Season which starts in mid-November to April with mild scattered rain showers, the mid-season in April to August and the Rainy season which is from September to November, which has usual rainfall during the evenings. Most travelers venture to Langkawi during the dry season especially divers as this season has the best visibility.
Getting There and Around
Tourists from foreign countries take a direct or connecting flight to Langkawi via Malaysian Airlines and Air Asia. Those from Singapore can take the Silk Air to get directly to Langkawi as well. Others may opt to take the Kuah Jetty from the mainland which is both a slow yet scenic trip to the archipelago. An international airport located just 20 kilometers away, in Padang Matsirat is also available but just may be a little up on the budget.
Getting around the area, you have many options which include taking a rented car, motorcycle or bicycle, or you can opt for the public transportation such as the bus and taxi. Once you get off the ferry, there are several car rental options available, depending on your personal preference and budget range. Car rental agents are all around Kuah jetty exit that you will have a variety of choices to fit your needs.
Another option for getting around would be via rented motorbike, which is much cheaper than renting the car and is not so strict when it comes to owning a valid license. Bicycle rental is another option and is far more cheaper than any other rental option. This may be the most scenic way to experience the land area as you will be travelling along the cement and dirt roads, into places that neither a car nor a motorcycle can take you.
The public transportation such as the bus and taxi, have stops available at specific places across the mainland. The bus is a cheap way to get across to your destination, while the taxi, though providing more comfort and privacy for the traveller, is more expensive and costly.
Check before you go
- Passport expiry date (most countries require at least six months prior to the expiry date)
- Visa requirements
- Travel Insurance (make sure coverage for Scuba Diving is included)
- Medical status (Visit your doctor if you are unsure)