How To Get From Penang To Langkawi Easily

The ferry from Penang to Langkawi

This is a detailed guide on traveling from Penang to Langkawi. It is based on our first hand experience and contains lots of helpful photos

Getting from Pilau Pinang (Penang) to Pulau Langkawi in Malaysia is almost too easy to be true. All it takes is a little pre-organising at your guesthouse / hotel the day before or you can go to the ferry point the morning of your departure to get your ticket.

Note that if you are travelling from Langkawi to Penang this guide will still be helpful but of course you will be doing things in the reverse order.

A ferry service that is conveniently named the "Langkawi Ferry" service runs two ferries from Penang to Langkawi (and return) per day. The first is at 8:15am, this one stops at Pulau Payar first, and the second ferry at 8:30am goes straight to Langkawi. Both ferries cost RM 60.00 per person one way or RM 115.00 per person return. The ferry takes approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes each way. Bring a book with you.

The ferry departs from the north east corner of Penang. On the coast between Fort Conwallis and where the Butterworth ferry arrives. Presumably it arrives back from Langkawi in the same spot.

Our tickets to get to Langkawi from Penang


On to our Penang to Langkawi ferry review. What is the ferry itself actually like?

The Langkawi ferry is comfortable enough. There are two areas for you to sit in air-conditioned comfort, one in the main seating area below where it seemed all western tourists were directed to go, and another smaller area up above.  Just off the smaller air-conditioned area there was a VIP area, we are unsure how much more those tickets were or what extras they offered, but when we looked through the hazy window of the door, there weren't too many people sitting there.

What the inside of the ferry from Penang to Langkawi looks like

The top deck of the ferry was very clean and stored all the oversized and non-hand luggage sized bags for the duration of the trip.  These are times when we are glad to be only taking hand-luggage sized bags with us wherever we go as when bags are placed on a ferry, they are generally just thrown into a nicely unorganized pile.  At least this ferry company added a tarpaulin to cover the bags in case they got wet from rain or the sea.

Hand luggage sized bags that you keep with you at all times are so much better than luggage that is stored on top of each other under a tarp on the deck of a boat

Our tips for the ferry ride from Penang to Langkawi include making sure you have eaten breakfast before you board and to have a snack or two and some water to keep you from getting too hungry or thirsty on your trip.  There isn't a cafe on board to supply you with these things so if you rushed straight to the ferry without eating you are out of luck.

Also, bring some toilet paper. Even better, try and hold off from going to the bathroom if you can as the toilets weren't that great.

We were both very happy to have arrived at Langkawi finally. The ferry ride was lovely but getting to new land is always exciting. The ferry port on Langkawi is like walking into an airport. So many shops and people hanging out everywhere.

Just outside the ferry port, straight ahead, is the taxi stand.  To the left of the taxi stand is a map of Langkawi. Pick your area that you want to go to, inform the man at the taxi stand where you want to go to (in our case, Pantai Cenang) and pay your fee. Don't forget to grab your free map of Langkawi from the taxi man stand, it will be helpful in the future. RM 24.00 one way seemed a lot at the time but Pantai Cenang is a long way from the Langkawi ferry port.

Getting a taxi from the Langkawi pier to wherever we want to go on Langkawi

The trip from Penang to Langkawi was as easy as pie. Just remember to bring a snack or two and some water for the ride, as well as a book to keep you company. Grab the free Langkwai map when you get to the taxi stand and enjoy your time on the beautiful island of Langkawi.

In short:
Penang to Langkawi
Langkawi Ferry two times a day: 8:15am and 8:30am
RM 60.00 each person
Bring: food, drink, book, toilet paper.

Langkwai ferry to Pantai Cenang
Taxi from the taxi man stand
RM 24.00 one way (for two people)
Grab: the free Langkawi map guide from the taxi man stand


Where To Stay In Langkawi

During our time on Langkawi we stayed at Shirin Homestay. Our room was basic, perhaps rustic even, but the location was lovely being only a short walk to a beautiful beach and a variety of restaurants. Click here to read our full review

Where To Stay In Penang

On two separate occasions we have stayed at the Red Inn Heritage Guesthouse. Its comfortable, the rooms are pleasant and the location is great for exploring Georgetown. If possible try to get a room towards the back as the front rooms sometimes have people clomping past their door during the night.
Read our full review of the Red Inn Heritage Guesthouse
Click here to get current prices and deals

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  1. Ferry Phuket Langkawi | Phuket Hotels & Resorts @ Phuket Blog 31 May, 2012 at 12:02 Reply

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  2. Zaleha M Y Pan 13 October, 2012 at 11:05 Reply

    Dear Tanya, thank you very much for your short article. It’s been very helpful. I’m a Malaysia myself, but from the other side which most Tourists know as Borneo. I’m planning my family’s first trip to Langkawi from Kuala Lumpur and was wondering how to include our trips with journeys by train, air and sea. You article has assisted me a lot. Once again thank you.

    • Tanya 16 October, 2012 at 08:11 Reply

      Hi Zaleha, Thanks for reading. We generally will travel for no more than 5 hours at a time and preferably first thing in the morning. If we can catch a bus or train at 7am, that is perfect for us! We find that travelling from A to B in the morning will allow us to settle into the new place easily in the afternoon. We then try to have at least 2 full days in the next stop. It works well for us.

      Andrew and I love Malaysian Borneo. We headed to Kota Kinabalu and Kuching for our honeymoon. Kuching is lovely. We can’t wait to head back there!

  3. Suhaili Ariffin - Sue 16 October, 2013 at 18:28 Reply

    I had a pleasant time reading your article on your visit to Malaysia. Am glad too that both of you are a good sport and was thinking positive and always make do of anything, you guys are not fussy and that just added the fun theme in the whole adventure!! I have to congratulate you for being able to do sure you DID experience some difficulties as well. As a Malaysian…am glad that you have enjoyed your trip and hope that you will come back to experience more..perhaps in Pulau Redang or maybe even Sipadan Island.

  4. Saumya 20 May, 2015 at 14:46 Reply


    Thank you for all the information that you provided in this article. Its a lot of help as I am going to travel to Malaysia for the first time. It will be really nice if anyone of you could tell me about the ferry ports in Penang. Basically, I will be taking a train from KL to Penang. Does the train also stop at Georgetown directly or one needs to take a ferry from Butterworth to reach Georgetown?

    • Andrew 24 May, 2015 at 08:50 Reply

      You will need to take a ferry from Butterworth to Georgetown however it is extremely convenient. The Butterworth train station is right next to the ferry terminal. Just follow the signs as well as the crowd as lots of people will be coming off the train then crossing over to Georgetown. This post provides more info about the Butterworth-Georgetown ferry.

      On the Georgetown side the ferry arrives basically right at central Georgetown. The ferry to Langkawi departs further north along Penang’s coast. Its roughly 800 meters if you need to go straight there. Here is a google map that shows the approximate route.

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