I’m a beach person so while in Malaysia I made it my mission to fly over to Langkawi, which is consistently voted one of the best islands in Asia. Flights can be dirt cheap with Air Asia from Kuala Lumpur, so it really was a no-brainer to pay a visit.
For this part of my trip I met up with Kristin from Be My Travel Muse; it was our third country together since meeting at TBEX Colorado! She came over by boat from Penang and I flew in on Air Asia from Kuala Lumpur LCCT. Upon arrival in Langkawi there are lots of booths near the baggage carousel offering rental cars and information, so if you wanted you could hire a car while waiting for your luggage.
A woman offered me a car for 55 ringgit per day if I remember correctly, but I wasn’t quite sure what Kristin and I would be doing or for how many days we would need a car. So I waited until I arrived at our guesthouse- Rainbow Lodge– to discuss.
In the end we decided it would probably be best if we did rent a car since we discovered on our first night out that taxis can be pretty expensive. The island is big enough to need a car if you want to explore, but small enough to drive around it in a day. Just the perfect size.
In the UK we drive on the left and it is the same side of the road in Langkawi, so I was happy to volunteer to drive us around for a day.
We rented a car from a place on the main road in Pantai Cenang and paid 65 ringgit for a manual car. I’m from the UK so I am used to manual cars, but if you want an automatic it’s about 80 ringgit per day. Also I wanted to get insurance just in case so this was an extra 20 ringgit… I think (I really must write prices down!). You can rent cars from any place where you see a big red ‘T’.
The car was rather small and dinky but it did the job and we were soon on our way to the famous Langkawi cable car and oriental village. This is rather touristy but definitely the highlight of any trip to Langkawi. The cable car takes you up to various viewing platforms and you have an incredible view over the island, so it’s perfect for taking Pinterest-worthy photographs. The weather was rather cloudy and looking a bit ominous, but on a blue day I can imagine the photos would be even more spectacular.
After the cable car we drove towards Detai and stopped at a beach which I believe is called Pasir Tengkorak beach. There was no-one on it except us.
Driving around Langkawi is pretty easy as we barely saw any traffic on the roads and everything is well signposted. You can’t really get lost as long as you have a Langkawi map with you and a friend like Kristin giving you directions.
We nearly stopped at a waterfall afterwards but there were mosquitos everywhere since it had been raining, and then I discovered I had lost a flip flop! I drove back towards the beach and there it was on the roadside, right where I left it! Funny how you occasionally see shoes and think “How did someone just forget their SHOE?”, but then it happens to you.
Our last stop was Black Sand Beach, which is really kind of a mixture of white and black sand. Again there was no-one around except us so I’m guessing we were visiting out of season. Which brings me to another point…we couldn’t find food anywhere up here! Not even street food!
We were feeling pretty hungry by this point so we drove towards Kuah Town and stopped briefly to fill up the car at the nearest petrol station. Unfortunately I had that awkward moment where I realised I hadn’t listened to a word the car rental lady said, so I didn’t know how to unlock the fuel cap. Thankfully the boys at the petrol pump next to us figured it out.
In the end we drove straight past Kuah town and back to Pantai Cenang for dinner. It was a great little day out and I thoroughly enjoyed myself, plus it was amazing to get back behind the wheel of a car. That’s one thing I really do miss when traveling.