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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 HOWEVER Shirin sounds like it has gone down hill dramatically since we stayed there so I would suggest finding other accommodation in Langkawi.
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. Click here to get the current price and read our review of the Red Inn Heritage Guesthouse