Langkawi on a budget

Beach Langkawi hc lifestyle

Hi, all! 

This is a new guest post by Kerry from Drunk on Wanderlust. Doesn't Langkawi look magical? Even though I've been to Malaysia before, I haven't had the chance to visit Langkawi yet. The best thing about this post is, now I know it can actually be affordable, so maybe I'll go soon:) Enjoy reading!

Helene xx


Langkawi is made up of 99 Islands, located in Andaman off the coast of Malaysia. The main island is called Pulau Langkawi and was our destination of choice after hearing such great feedback from other backpackers on our trip.

We travelled to Malaysia by boat from Thailand, after a wild few nights on the Island of Koh Phi Phi! To reach Langkawi it is easier to take the boat from Phi Phi to the beautiful Thai island of Saturn. I highly recommend you stop over night before travelling on to appreciate this gorgeous island, you can then catch the Langkawi ferry the next day for around £8 which takes less than an hour to the reach the destination.


We were pleasantly surprised on arrival, Langkawi was stunning! So much quieter and cleaner than the islands we had previously stayed on in Thailand. Langkawi also attracted a slightly older and less raucous backpacking clientele, although when they let their hair down we still had an awesome time partying.

Boat langkawi hc lifestyle

When to go?

The dry season in Langkawi is between mid-November and April, we visited in January and had perfect weather the entire stay. Although for slightly cheaper deals on accommodation and travel costs, we recommend visiting slightly out of season, late October or early November is a great time.

For a handy weather planner of the best times to visit a country click below:

Handy weather planner 

Daily Budget

The currency In Langkawi is Malaysian Ringgit. The exchange rate (at the time of writing this post) Is MYR 5.61 to £1. Langkawi was very budget friendly, we comfortably managed on a budget of £25 a day For a great guide on budget backpacking tips click here: Budget travel Tips.

Langkawi suspension bridge hc lifestyle

Budget Examples

All alcohol on the island is Tax-Free!! This was an amazing discovery after the steep prices we had paid on the mainland in Kuala Lumpur. You end up paying around £1 for a local beer, which is very reasonable and you can get a delicious meal in a restaurant for around £4. The cheap alcohol was a blessing, however... Try not to have too many of the strong cocktails! Specifically, a potent mixture called "Around the world"... after 4 of these I had been thrown out of a bar after falling arse first into the band's drum kit, trying to open a wall thinking it was a door and smacking my head off a low hanging light fixture...epic fail!

Delicious food langkawi hc lifestyle


Taxis in Kuala Lumpur are a set fee, usually charging MYR 15 (£3) for shorter distances and MYR 25 (£5) for longer rides. Although the cheapest way to discover the island is by renting a scooter. Fuel is very economical at around £1 a day and the initial hire of the scooter will set you back around £10.



Cenang Beach is a cheap backpackers haven in the south west of the island, full of hostels and bars. Just 30 mins from the ferry port or a 15-minute drive from the airport, Cenang beach has everything you need. We recommend Langkawi Dormitorio, a beautifully maintained hostel where you can get a dorm bed for £8 a night. We stayed for the second half of the visit at T Star cottage, our favourite hotel of our entire backpacking trip! We paid just £12 for a double room with en-suite bathroom and was over the moon! The hotel itself is home to various nature and wildlife areas including a bird aviary and many Koi ponds. During the day cheeky monkeys would parade over the apartment roof tops and chill out on the balconies, make sure you do not leave any food or drink left out as they will happily help themselves!

Monkeys at T Star Cottage Langkawi hc lifestyle

Things to do in Langkawi on a budget

The beaches on the island were pristine and had various cheap water sports activities on offer, we hired Kayaks for around £10 for 90 minutes and paddled to one of the smaller deserted islands off the coast. Make sure you are fit enough to paddle back to the mainland, however, after 30 mins paddling my puny stick thin arms nearly gave up on me!

Alternatively, you can join one of the many organised boat tours and go island hopping and snorkelling for the cheap price of £10.

There is a beautiful waterfall at Seven wells in Telagah Tujuh, we highly recommend you visit for a cooling dip and some stunning photo opportunities. As it is located in the Northwest of the island, combine it with a visit to the cable car and hanging bridge to save on fuel.

We hope you have found this guide useful, check out the links below for some handy advice on what to pack and how to plan for a backpacking trip.

Birds at T Star Cottage Langkawi hc lifestyle

What to pack -

Planning a trip -

I do hope you enjoyed reading about Langkawi and how to travel there on a budget! I certainly found it really interesting and enticing! If you want to read more about travel destinations in Asia, why not take a look at this post about India, or this one about Shanghai?

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