Getting from Pilau Pinang (Penang) to Pulau Langkawi, Malaysia is 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.
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 that stops at Pulau Payar first, and the second ferry at 8:30am that 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 Langkawi ferry is a comfortable ferry to ride. 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.
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 only be taking hand-luggage sized bags with us wherever we go as when bags are placed on a ferry, man handlers generally just throw all and any bags on top of each other into a nicely unorganised pile of luggage. At least this ferry company added a tarpaulin to cover the bags in case they got wet from rain or the sea. Not sure it would have done much for the stuff inside the bags though if they did get wet.
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 dying of starvation and thirst on your trip. There isn’t a cafe on board to supply you with these things. Also, bring some toilet paper, and if you can, 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 for Langkawi. 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.
The trip from Penang to Langkawi was 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 man stand and enjoy your time on the beautiful island of Langkawi.
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