This article is brought to you by Skyscanner.
Being in Southeast Asia may mean hot and humid weather year-round, but it also means never having to break the bank flying to a tropical paradise. Langkawi, for one, is a safe bet for a guaranteed good time. The Jewel of Kedah promises to enchant and entertain your whole family on a budget, with its swaying coconut trees, clear turquoise waters, powder-fine sand and fantastic tax-free shopping. Let Skyscanner show you the way to a wallet-friendly family vacation in Langkawi.
Suggested travel duration: 2 days, 1 night
Flights: Prices start from RM98 (return, per pax). Check out Skyscanner, and ideally book 20 weeks ahead to save more.
Places to visit: Pantai Cenang, Pantai Kok, Langkawi Parade Megamall, Pulau Dayang Bunting, Pulau Singa Besar, Pulau Beras Basah
Transportation: approx. RM100 – RM160 (car rental for 2 days)
Attractions: approx. RM55 per pax
Meals: approx. RM80 per pax (2 meals a day for 2 days)
Approx. total cost: RM293 per pax
1. Once you’re there
The best way to get around Langkawi as a family is by rental vehicle – cars and scooters on the island are cheap, as is petrol. There are few enough roads that getting lost is next to impossible, and light traffic means driving is also a breeze. Having your own vehicle will save you the time and hassle of dealing with public transport or taxis, so pick up a car directly from the airport at a rate of RM100 to RM160 a day. If you’re up for the challenge, a rental scooter is even cheaper (at about RM25 to RM35 a day).
Renting a car and driving is cheap and easy in Langkawi.
2. Do yoga
Nothing quite rejuvenates burnt-out city folks like practicing yoga in a tropical paradise, surrounded by the soothing sounds of nature. Perfect for those who are young and young-at-heart, yoga is accessible to everyone of all ages. Whether or not you’re completely new to the practice, a group class at one of the island’s many schools is a must-try: top-rated yoga provider Langkawi Yoga, for one, offers group classes at the gorgeous yoga deck of the Ambong-Ambong luxury beach resort for only about RM20 per class.
Let experienced yoga instructors guide you on the path to physical and mental rejuvenation amidst calming greenery – you just might find yourself leaving the class hooked on this wonderful practice that offers a world of benefits to your mind, body, and soul. Your kids might even learn a valuable lesson on stillness!
Address: Ambong-Ambong Retreat, Pantai Tengah, Langkawi
Class schedule: Monday & Saturday: 8:15am – 9:15am; Wednesday: 8:30am – 9:30am
Website: Langkawi Yoga
The perfect way to detox, unwind and rejuvenate yourself.
3. Sunbathe on the beach
The number-one activity on Langkawi? Beach bumming. But hey, who can blame you when the beaches are as beautiful as the ones on the island? Grab your sunscreen, book, picnic basket and family, and head to any one of the gorgeous stretches of the coast for a relaxing day of sun, sand, and sea. Those up for a trendy, hip beach-side atmosphere can head to Pantai Cenang, with its diverse F&B offerings, whilst families wanting a bit more privacy can drive further out to gorgeous Pantai Kok for its tranquility and backdrop of lush forestry.
Rest your body upon the pristine and gorgeous Cenang Beach
4. Shop at the Langkawi Parade MegaMall
When you’re on one of only three islands in Malaysia that are tax-free, it can mean only one thing: retail therapy! There’s no place like the Langkawi Parade MegaMall (by far the largest consumer paradise of the island) for a super shopping session. Fill your wardrobe for the next year with discount goodies at fashion outlets like Guess, Billabong, and Hurley, whilst the kids are kept entertained at toy shops and in the giant cineplex. There’s also no need to worry about the husband – countless electronic stores hawking tech toys at slashed prices are guaranteed to keep him just as happy, if not happier.
Address: A-14-15, Pokok Asam, Kuah 07000, Langkawi
Opening hours: 10am – 10pm daily
Website: Langkawi Parade MegaMall
Fill your wardrobe with discount wares at duty-free Langkawi Parade Megamall.
5. Island hop
Though most famous for its pretty beaches, the Langkawi archipelago is a treasure trove of natural attractions. To make the most of your vacation in this scenic wonderland, be sure to book your family on an Island Hopping Tour for a chance to discover the region’s many flora and fauna secrets. For just RM35 to RM50 per person, you’ll be treated to a 3 to 4-hour long nature discovery adventure. Begin with a boat ride to nearby UNESCO World Heritage Geopark Pulau Dayang Bunting for a swim, or paddle-boat at the mystical freshwater Lake of the Pregnant Maiden, surrounded by limestone formations and colored a bewitching emerald green. Then continue on by boat to Pulau Singa Besar to witness hundreds of majestic sea eagles swooping down on prey in the water! End off with a relaxing snorkel or jet-ski ride at Pulau Beras Basah, and return home with plenty of stories to tell.
Watch majestic sea eagles swooping for food as you island-hop around Langkawi.
6. Eat at the right places
As with any popular tourist attraction, care must be taken when it comes to finding a place to eat to avoid being served tourist prices over decidedly unremarkable food. For those who want a sunset over the Andaman Sea together with a cheap, tasty dinner, the Yellow Cafe along Cenang Beach is a favourite with locals and tourists alike for its affordable, good food and excellent location. Head there with the kids for a delicious sandwich or burger during lunch, and perhaps drop by again after dinner for a cheap nightcap as the cafe transforms into a lively bar after dark with its Happy Hour promotion. Expect to pay about RM20 to RM30 per person for a meal.
Address: Jalan Pantai Tengah, Pantai Tengah, 07000 Langkawi
Opening hours: Monday & Wednesday – Sunday: 12pm – 1am
Website: Yellow Cafe