Langkawi

A trip from Penang to Langkawi by bus and ferry – mid-2014

“The reviews of the ferry ride from Penang to Langkawi were that if the weather was calm it was OK, but if rough, people were sick, and the cabin is enclosed, so it becomes a very unpleasant crossing.  See my blog on travel options for more details.” … as I’ve written before.

We decided for this trip to catch the bus to see if this was easier and / or cheaper than driving and paying for parking at the port.  The last trip in December 2012 was during school holidays, and prices in Langkawi were much higher, so this trip started after school had returned. And we thought it was nicer to catch the ferry from George Town and then bus from Butterworth,  rather than the more straightforward Sungai Nibong start.  Starting at Sungai Nibong means one less transfer, but paying a bit more for the taxi.  And the bus will start at Sungai Nibong anyway, then stop at Butterworth. I just enjoy the ferry ride to Butterworth more, though.

Booking bus tickets for Plusliner, Butterworth to Kuala Perlis, on the web was unsuccessful as the web site didn’t work, so we had to go to the bus terminal at Sungai Nibong to purchase them, and we did this about 10 days in advance.  Not that we thought it was really necessary to book, but we were going to Queensbay Mall anyway, and the bus terminal is nearby. You can easily park there, and we were charged RM1 for a short time.

bus ticket

bus ticket

One way costs for one person:

RM20 for taxi to George Town ferry terminal – or if you like RM10 each as there were two of us

RM0 for ferry (returning to George Town it costs RM1.20)

RM16.50 for bus ticket from Butterworth to Kuala Perlis

RM18 for ferry from Kuala Perlis to Langkawi

————

RM54.50

http://tropicalexpat.com/a-trip-from-penang-to-langkawi-by-bus-and-ferry-mid-2014/

Penang to Langkawi by air, ferry; car, bus and/or train and ferry – updated June 2013

For the October 2018 update click:

http://tropicalexpat.com/index.php/2018/09/19/cleaning-my-air-con/

Langkawi Online gives a summary of options for travelling to Langkawi. I concentrate here on the trip from Penang.

AIR:

Air Asia can be cheap, if you get a promotional fare. It is about 25 minutes in the air, but from when we left home by taxi to when we were in our hotel room about four hours had elapsed.  Which was about the same amount of time as driving and catching the ferry, although the flight was less strenuous.

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Firefly can offer cheap fares to LGK.

Malaysian Airlines flies  to LGK via KUL, and thus is not very convenient or fast. It has no direct flights.

Unless you go by air, you are going to have to catch another form of transport, and then a ferry. In Malaysia they haven’t generally grasped the concept of a convenient (in terms of time and proximity) connection between different modes of transport. You need to check timetables to find the least inconvenient schedule for you. As you cannot book in advance for the ferries from Kuala Kedah and Kuala Perlis you cannot be sure of when you will reach Langkawi.

BUS:

Try http://www.ticket4u.com.my/plusliner/ Please note that the ferry terminal is not particularly near Alor Star. It is a 15 minute drive to Kuala Kedah. Instead, consider Penang to Kuala Perlis. I have yet to take a bus on this route, but will possibly try it next time.

Departure : PENANG to KUALA PERLIS (10 Jun 2013)
Trip ID  Type   Departure Terminal Departure   ETA  

Adult  

Child  

Total  

PL3001 Plusliner TERMINAL SG NIBONG,PENANG 8:30AM 11:15AM

2

0

2

Normal Price (RM) :

31.00

0.00

31.00

Return : KUALA PERLIS to PENANG (13 Jun 2013)
Trip ID Type Departure Terminal Departure ETA

Adult

Child

Total

PL2002 Plusliner HENTIAN BAS KUALA PERLIS 3:00PM 5:45PM

2

0

2

Normal Price (RM) :

31.00

0.00

31.00

Payment

Member Amount

Non Member Amount

Fare(s)

62.00

62.00

Discount (Adult)

(3.20)

(0.00)

Insurance Coverage – LMS

0.80

0.80

Ground Handling Fee

4.00

4.00

Total Fare

RM63.60 (save 3.20)

RM66.80

CAR:

In my opinion, the real choice is between flying or driving and catching the ferry – if you are living here and have a car. With a car you can plan when you will be at the ferry terminal in order to maximise your chances of obtaining a ticket, and minimise your waiting time. Thus I have done this trip twice by car.  Failing this, a bus is the next best. By car you can take the E1 motorway to Alor Star (Exit 177) and use the local roads to Kuala Perlis, and this is the shorter route.

IMG_0029s

However, the local roads are not so safe, and certainly not at night, when you may have straying animals, and plenty of vehicles with no lights, to contend with.  Or you can take the E1 further north to Exit 194, and have a dual carriageway all the way, but the distance is considerably greater, and it takes a little longer.  I feel it is the safer and easier option. I have paid between RM10 and RM12 per day (24 hours) for undercover parking at Kuala Perlis.

FERRY:

There is a ferry directly from Penang to Langkawi, which takes 2 hours 45 minutes, according to the schedule. We’ve been told by friends the ferry directly from Penang to Langkawi can be terrible, if the seas are choppy. Reading the reviews on Trip Advisor really put us off. They said the same, but worse.

There are also ferries from Kuala Kedah (1 hour 45 minutes to Langkawi), which is on the coast about 15 minutes drive from Alor Star; and Kuala Perlis (1 hour 15 minutes to Langkawi), which is about 45 minutes drive from Alor Star.

http://www.langkawi-ferry.com/Home/Schedule.aspx says, “ONLINE BOOKING ONLY AVAILABLE FOR PENANG TO LANGKAWI AND PENANG TO MEDAN”  A friend rang to confirm that you can only buy tickets on the day, at the ferry terminals.

My thoughts? The ferry from Kuala Perlis is quicker, in reality the crossing taking one hour, and the terminal area seems more organised than Kuala Kedah.  I prefer the shorter crossing time and slightly more driving time.

IMG_0090s

TRAIN:

KTM has only two trains a day to Alor Star or Arau, as their schedule shows. Then you would have to connect to the terminal by taxi or bus.  Unless you really, really want to catch the train, it is the least attractive option.

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You can also see A TRIP FROM PENANG TO LANGKAWI BY CAR AND FERRY

A trip from Penang to Langkawi by car and ferry

The reviews of the ferry ride from Penang to Langkawi were that if the weather was calm it was OK, but if rough people were sick, and the cabin is enclosed, so it becomes a very unpleasant crossing.  See my blog on travel options for more details.

It was high season – December 2012. The flights were expensive at the time. And as you cannot book ferry seats in advance for ferries from Kuala Kedah and Kuala Perlis, we decided to drive so we could arrive early enough to get tickets. Being high season we may not have been able to get on otherwise. We decided on departing from Kuala Perlis, because that is the shortest crossing.

By car you can take the E1 motorway to Alor Star (Exit 177) and use the local roads to Kuala Perlis, and this is the shorter route. However, the local roads are not so safe, and certainly not at night, when you may have straying animals, and plenty of vehicles with no lights, to contend with.  Or you can take the E1 further north to Exit 194, and have a dual carriageway all the way, but the distance is considerably greater, and it takes a little longer.  I feel it is the safer and easier option.

We took the shorter route to get to Kuala Perlis, and the longer route back on our return from Langkawi.

Butterworth, heading north

Butterworth, heading north

 

Continue reading on my new site: http://tropicalexpat.com/a-trip-from-penang-to-langkawi-by-car-and-ferry/

Langkawi Island Hopping Tour – December 2012

I really enjoyed the island hopping tour.  We found one for RM25 per person from an agent along Jalan Pantai Cenang, the Cenang Beach road, with a 9AM pickup from accommodation, and a 1PM drop off.  As we were staying on Jalan Pantai Tengah it was only five minutes by van to the launching beach. First you visit an island with a fresh water lake in the middle, which is a ten minute walk from the jetty, and you can swim and/or hire a paddle boat. Then you go to a spot where you can see eagles flying. Finally you disembark again at an island beach where you can swim for an hour.

Pickup van

Pickup van

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Unbelieveable 730,000 KM on odometer!

launching from the beach

launching from the beach

launching from the beach

launching from the beach – easy to board

not overcrowded - everyone has a life jacket, too

not overcrowded – everyone has a life jacket, too

You head out to the islands - can be a bit bumpy at times - so don't sit in bow

You head out to the islands – can be a bit bumpy at times – so don’t sit in bow

getting closer

getting closer

we landed at a jetty

we landed at a jetty

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a few minutes walk to the lake

You walk up some steps for about five minutes, and then down for about five minutes. It is not hard.

a platform on the lake - you can swim in the fresh water - cool but not cold

a platform on the lake – you can swim in the fresh water – cool but not cold

RM20 to rent a paddle boat - but guess what - they are all rented, so you have to rent a solar "powered" one for RM30. Bait and switch. You still have to paddle as the "power" is almost non-existent.

RM20 to rent a paddle boat – but guess what – they are all rented, so you have to rent a solar “powered” one for RM30. Bait and switch. You still have to paddle as the “power” is almost non-existent.

After about an hour we depart again for another spot on the ocean where eagles feed. We spent about 10 minutes there.

if you take some food for the eagles (our tour was too stingy to provide anything) it might be a good idea

if you take some food for the eagles (our tour was too stingy to provide anything) it might be a good idea

plenty of eagles around

plenty of eagles around

The third and final stop is to a beach where you can swim, or laze on the beach.  There is a hut on the beach where they sell drinks and noodles etc.

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approaching beach

the final stop

the final stop

All the boat tours seem to follow the same itinerary, at the same time. This is the less crowded end.

All the boat tours seem to follow the same itinerary, at the same time. This is the less crowded end.

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A vicious monkey. It hissed at me and acted aggressively because I refused to surrender my bag. Don’t leave anything unattended.

Final  glimpse of beach before the 15 minute boat ride back to where we started, and the end of the tour.

Final glimpse of beach before the 15 minute boat ride back to where we started, and the end of the tour.

What to take?  You can leave non-valuables on the boat reasonably safely.

  • Wear a swimming costume underneath – although if you wish there is a paid changing shed at the first stop, near the jetty, before you climb up towards the lake.
  • T-Shirt
  • Flip flops
  • A hat
  • A towel
  • A small amount of money – to hire a boat, or buy something to eat/drink at the last beach
  • Water or something to drink
  • Sunglasses, perhaps
  • Sunscreen, if you believe in it – I don’t
  • Camera

Langkawi – December 2012. Holidaying here. Retiring here?

One Malay word you should know if you are in Langkawi – “Pantai” = “Beach”.

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Tanjong Rhu beach – in the north of Langkawi

I wrote a blog about Langkawi after my visit in April 2012, and I have just returned from my third holiday in Langkawi in about four years. I will combine my previous blog with this, adding more information. The smaller photos are from April 2012, the larger from December 2012 – so you can tell

GETTING THERE

  • In August 2008 we drove up to Kuala Perlis and caught the ferry over to the main ferry terminal in Langkawi.  All we had to do was phone a contact who ran a parking lot, give an approximate arrival time, and he bought the ferry tickets.  When we arrived we could park undercover and he gave us the tickets, and pointed out where to catch the ferry.
  • In April we flew on Air Asia from Penang to Langkawi, which is about 25 minutes in the air, but from when we left home by taxi to when we were in our hotel room about four hours had elapsed.  Which was about the same amount of time as driving and catching the ferry, although the flight was less strenuous.

http://tropicalexpat.com/retire-in-langkawi/

Penang to Langkawi by air, ferry; car, bus and/or train and ferry

For the October 2018 update click:

http://tropicalexpat.com/index.php/2018/09/19/cleaning-my-air-con/

 

 

Langkawi Online gives a summary of options for travelling to Langkawi. I concentrate here on the trip from Penang.

AIR:

Air Asia can be cheap, if you get a promotional fare. It is about 25 minutes in the air, but from when we left home by taxi to when we were in our hotel room about four hours had elapsed.  Which was about the same amount of time as driving and catching the ferry, although the flight was less strenuous.

20120402 (2)s

Firefly can offer cheap fares to LGK.

Malaysian Airlines flies  to LGK via KUL, and thus is not very convenient or fast. It has no direct flights.

Unless you go by air, you are going to have to catch another form of transport, and then a ferry. In Malaysia they haven’t generally grasped the concept of a convenient (in terms of time and proximity) connection between different modes of transport. You need to check timetables to find the least inconvenient schedule for you. As you cannot book in advance for the ferries from Kuala Kedah and Kuala Perlis you cannot be sure of when you will reach Langkawi.

BUS:

Continue reading an updated version :http://tropicalexpat.com/cleaning-my-air-con/