10 reasons to visit Langkawi rather than Thailand

by Mark

10 Reasons to visit Langkawi / Malaysia rather than Thailand

Langkawi where I live now for over 12 years – and Thailand where I have lived before for some time (especially Phuket, Patong), are both wonderful countries with wonderful people and a great nature. So why do I now live in Langkawi and not in Thailand?

Perhaps some of the following points make this clear and can help you to choose the right holiday destination 🙂

1 )  Price of Food and Beer: Food about the same –
      Beer is in Langkawi 50% cheaper
 (alcohol is tax free here)

Beer price in local or small style bars: 

Thailand:                    100 THB = ca. 10 RM    = USD 3.20
Langkawi  :                                          5 RM    = USD 1.60


Note: Alcohol is not halal (not permitted for Muslims) – and so not every restaurant serves alcohol. But many restaurants do have at least beer here on Langkawi, specially in the tourist places. So there will be no shortage at all.

The food choices in Langkawi are much bigger: you have here Malay food, Chinese food, Indian food – AND a lot of Thai food too – all available in cheap stalls or cheap restuarants!


2 )  Corruption: Not existing for tourists in Langkawi


While we could not say which country has less corruption – corruption in Malaysia seems to be less visible.

Thailand: While corruption is not  encountered by the normal tourist – things look different if you get in difficulties and have to go to the Police or other officials (after an accident/ theft/scam etc.). In this case it can cost you some money to strighten things out again – even if you are not the guilty part – as the police might charge you for ‘helping’ you.

Langkawi: Corruption is not encountered by normal tourists, even if they should get into any difficulties. It is safe to go to the police here (whether they can help you or not is an other question).

3 ) Taxis: No taxi scams in Langkawi

In Thailand taxis are a an ongoing problem. Taxi scams where tourists are even physically forced to pay a higher fare than agreed upon do still happen (own experience in Patong! Be suspicious if an otrher man sits beside the taxidriver and joins the ride after a price discussion!)

In Langkawi the taxis have fixed prices for fixed routes. Taxi scams are seldom or do not exist at all. (But watch the high prices after midnight!)

4 ) Criminality: General Safety is many times better in Langkawi than in Thailand

Thailand: be very weary of your safety. Don’t go alone to places you don’t know – especially at night. Do not drink anything offered to you from an already opened can or bottle. Don’t openly wear expensive watches or juwelery or show your money.

Women are not safe alone at night even (or specially) in tourist places.

Langkawi: Safety is not anymore what it was one or two decades ago. Crimes do happen and are normally not made public not to scare the tourists away. Things get sometimes stolen and houses broken in. It is – it seems – seldom done by the local Malaysians themselves (with the exception of drug addicts.) – The cause are mainly other tourists, foreign workers, refugees, etc.

But over all the general safety here is MANY TIMES BETTER than in Thailand.

Woman are safe alone at night nearly everywhere. (Still listen to your own feelings!)

Scams: practically not existing in Langkawi – or if, done by Thais (own experience)

There a range of well known – ongoing – scams in Thailand (read here: http://www.phuket.com/phuket-magazine/phuket-scams.htm ).

Some Thai men love to create a role and can be great actors (liars). They are able to get your trust and then cease an opportunity to scam you and disappear with some or all of your money.

Langkawi:  this is not happening here. It seems that the culture here is much less prone to this kind of cheating.

5 ) Annoying beach sellers: Not present in Langkawi

Thailand: yes, yes, yes. Too many are trying to sell too many things everywhere. They just don’t stop bothering you, insisting that you buy and they might even try to make you feel guilty if you don’t buy.

Langkawi: practically NO beach sellers. No harrassing to buy anything.

6 ) Nightlife: More decent and discrete in Langkawi

Everybody knows about the excessive sex life in Patong, Pattaya, Bangkock, etc. Some like it but others might find it ‘indecent’ and ‘bad taste’ or even ‘primitive’ and ‘annoying’. Surely you would not like to visit some of these places with your family. This sex tourism in Thailand is the source of a lot of criminality, scams and tourist nepp.

In Langkawi things are different. It is all much calmer here  – but this does not mean that ‘nightlife’ would not exist here. It IS an international tourist place after all ! Like everywhere else in the world: ask your taxi driver and be – positively – surprised.

7 ) Stability: Langkawi / Malaysia is politically stable.

In Thailand: you never know what is going to happen and whether you can get on your airplane to fly home again in time. Now with the military regime some enforced stability seems to exist – but for how long?

Langkawi is stable. No problems of this kind until now. Big effort by the government to promote the ‘United Malaysia’ (1 Malaysia) with different races and religions living together in harmony. The fact that there is a need to promote this harmony has to be noticed but all is peaceful and stable.

8 ) Visa: Langkawi / Malaysia is 3 times more generous than Thailand

Thailand:  one month visa (only if entering by plane – otherwise 14 days!)

Langkawi: 3 months (for most western countries).


9 ) Risk of infectious diseases (including HIV): Langkawi is clearly safer.

Thailand:   high risk.
Langkawi:  low to intermediate risk.

Both places have good care for such cases.


10) Communication: is easier in Langkawi 

Thailand: Even though in the tourist places most can speak a little English and many signs and information is also given in English – it is a double challenge if you do not only miss the meaning of the words – but can’t even read the letters….

The Malaysian alphabete is:       A   B   C   D   . . .

The Thai alphabet see here:      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_alphabet


Enjoy your holidays !!


Put together by Mark

For more information about Langkawi go to   www.langkawi-gazette.com

c-right: 2014 Langkawi Gazette

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