Langkawi or Pangkor Island?

Nippah Bay

one of the beaches on Pangkor Island

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.





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