Renting a Motorcycle and Riding Around Langkawi

Yes, I am wearing a hat under my helmet.

There is no shortage of people willing to rent you a little bike to get around Langkawi. After a few days of not doing much other than eating, swimming at the beach and generally hanging around Pantai Cenang we decided we should probably get out and see some more of the island.

Langkawi isn't a big place. It was actually a bit of a surprise just how small the place is. We had expected this to take all day but it actually only took a few hours.


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After picking up the bike and fueling up we first stopped at a view point looking over the Langkawi airport. The view was very nice and gave us our first glimpse of our next stop.

Next up was the Langkawi cable car. Although we were able to get on the cable car another day our first attempt was foiled by strong winds.

The third stop was a harbor filled with boats of various sizes. While in Langkawi we were lucky enough to meet a few people who spend their days sailing the world, living on their boats. Its a lifestyle we hadn't had much contact with before. The notion of spending your days on the open ocean seems romantic. You have to adjust to spending a lot of time alone and once you have made that adjustment it can be difficult to undo.

We met one lady who has a particularly interesting relationship with her boyfriend. They both spent a number of years living alone on their boats before they met. They tried moving onto one boat together but found that after so long on their own they couldn't cope sharing their limited space with a second person. These days they each have a boat of their own and rendezvous periodically as they travel the globe.

After the harbor the rest of our lap of the island was fairly uneventful. We ran into a little rain that gave as an excellent excuse to stop for a little food in Kuah, the biggest town on the island. After our lunch stop we completed our lap and headed back to the guest house.



7 comments

  1. Milina 8 October, 2012 at 15:22 Reply

    Did you have an international driving license or a motorbike driving license at all? I will go to Langkawi in December and I have none. From my research, driving a scooter in Malaysia requires a driving license, and since Malaysia has almost no international agreements regarding driving licenses, an international driving license is required.

    • Andrew 8 October, 2012 at 21:26 Reply

      I actually have an Australian motorcycle license and an international drivers license. Getting an international drivers license is pretty straight forward. In Australia all you have to do is go into an RAC office and they’ll issue you one on the spot. You just need to provide a passport photo and show your local drivers license. I don’t recall how much is was but it wasn’t much.

    • Tanya 24 April, 2013 at 09:44 Reply

      Hi Peter, Thanks for reading. Yes, you do need an international drivers license. If you get caught, you will be driving illegally. Or, if you have an accident, your travel insurance won’t cover you otherwise. The traffic was quite light around the whole island except for a the touristy areas like Pantai Chaweng. Enjoy Langkawi!

  2. Arni 26 January, 2015 at 12:48 Reply

    Hi Andrew, Thanks for your youtube upload. Very helpful. My wife and I along with our 4 year old girl will be travelling there. I think getting around on a scooter is a great idea. In Vietnam we rode a scooter with our little one sandwiched between us for safety, as I don’t think she’s big enough to hold on to me on her own even at say 40 kph. I wanted to ask you if this was acceptable there. Would this be a done thing in Langkawi? Yes, am aware can just grab taxi or hire car but scooters are more fun :)

    • Andrew 27 January, 2015 at 04:36 Reply

      I am not 100% sure but I would be somewhat surprised if anyone objected, provided you were all wearing helmets. Personally the idea of kids that young on scooters makes me nervous but its not my decision of course. Enjoy your trip, be safe :)

  3. Katie 13 June, 2015 at 12:43 Reply

    Hi all, my husband and I just rented motorbikes here in Langkawi, and I highly recommend it! Traffic moves quite slowly so it’s very safe, and a fantastic way to see the island. I do not have a motorbike or an international license, just a regular Aussie drivers license and it was not a problem at all. 35 ringgit gets you 24 hours – most places have a 50 ringgit deposit which you get back when you return the bike. Helmets are free and insurance is about 15 ringgit per day.

    Easy and quick!

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