If you’re looking for somewhere that’s beautiful, affordable, and not overcrowded, with plenty of hostels and a vibrant nightlife for your next backpacking destination, then look no further than Langkawi. You’ll find that this beautiful location caters to a wide variety of different types of visitors, from the budget backpacker to the luxury traveller, with accommodation, restaurant, and activity options to suit all. Here is the ultimate backpacker’s guide to Langkawi.
Where to stay
Most backpackers opt to stay in Pantai Cenang, Langkawi’s liveliest area. You’ll find plenty of affordable accommodation options, restaurants, and bars located just steps away from the stunning beach. Choose from a wide range of affordable hostels and guesthouses, many offering unexpected luxuries such as wifi and air conditioning for a budget-friendly price.
Where to eat
Should you choose to stay in Pantai Cenang, you’ll find plenty of cafes and restaurants, serving a range of cuisines. In general, local cuisine is the cheapest. For the most affordable options, look to street food stalls and the night markets offering delicious meals that won’t break the bank. Choosing accommodation with kitchen facilities will help to cut down food costs even more.
Pantai Cenang has the most vibrant nightlife scene in Langkawi, with something to suit everyone. Plenty of beach bars are open late, and thanks to Langkawi’s duty-free status the drinks are cheap enough to drink all night.
Where to shop
Although huge shopping sprees may not be at the top of every backpacker's to-do list, it could be financially beneficial to take advantage of Langkawi's duty-free status. Duty-free shopping malls are located in various spots on the main island, selling a wide range of goods at excellent prices, however, the best area for duty-free shopping is Kuah Town.
Langkawi has many wonderful things, however public transport is not one of them. You can choose to book tours to the places you want to visit that aren't in walking distance or take taxis. Alternatively, you might opt to hire a car or scooter. With low fuel prices, this could be your most budget-friendly option.
Cheap or free activities
Langkawi’s gorgeous natural landscape provides a plethora of free activities. Visit the pristine beaches to sunbathe, swim, and snorkel, or splash out and enjoy some of the exciting water sports on offer, such as kayaking and banana boating. Explore further afield and venture into the lush rainforests to be surrounded by native flora and fauna. Keen hikers can even choose to hike to the top of Langkawi’s tallest mountains, Gunung Raya and Mount Machinchang, for unrivalled views of the islands and their surrounding area. Mount Machinchang is also the home of the iconic Sky Cab and Sky Bridge, some of Langkawi’s most popular and most impressive attractions. Chase waterfalls and take a refreshing swim at Seven Wells or Perangin Falls, dip your toes into the hot springs at Ayer Hangat Village or visit Eagle Square to see the 12-metre tall eagle status, as well as footbridges, ponds, and fountains.