If you are in Penang, Langkawi is kind of north, and Pangkor Island kind of south. So as far as the weather goes – rainy season or not – they have the same pattern.
In theory Langkawi is quicker to get to, but in practice they seem to take a similar time to reach.
If you were to choose one to visit, which would it be? So here are what I consider the good and bad points of both.
- Langkawi is more accessible, being able to travel there by direct ferry, car / bus + ferry, or short flight from Penang.
- Langkawi is more international so caters to a broader range of tastes – for food, spas etc.
- Langkawi can be visited on the way to Thailand – e.g. Ko Lipe.
- Langkawi has a marina
- Langkawi has much more things to do than Pangkor
- Langkawi has a bigger range of accommodation from homestays to very expensive resorts
- And, of course, Langkawi is duty-free. Alcohol and even car rental is cheaper.
As for the bad points:
- Excepting for the impact of duty-free goods, Langkawi is generally more expensive.
- And, apart from expensive resorts, there are no bars or restaurants on the beach – with the exception of Scarborough Fish and Chips.
- There can be jellyfish in the sea
As for Pangkor:
- Pangkor Island is more relaxed
- It is easier to find food when you want it
- Pangkor is small and very easy to get around – by taxi, hire car, motorbike or bicycle
- The ferry from Lumut on the mainland is cheap – RM10 return
- The ferry is quite frequent
- There are restaurants and bars on the beach
- These restaurants and bars are reasonably priced
- The beaches are nicer and I haven’t seen any jellyfish
As for the bad points:
- Transport there is only by car / bus then ferry. Berjaya Air used to fly there from KL – but I am not sure if they still do.
- Often Malay restaurants don’t sell beer – but they sometimes suggest you buy it at the convenience store and bring it to the restaurant
- Being quite a Malay island girls might feel uncomfortable in a bikini on the beach – so will either go to a more secluded spot or stay with a few other girls in bikinis
- There is not so much to do
- The standard of accommodation is generally not high
You can have an enjoyable holiday on either – or if you have time – both.