Langkawi is an archipelago of 104 islands. The main island, pulau Langkawi, is the largest of them all and it is one of the most popular islands in Malaysia. During the dry season, between December and March, it’s a popular tourist hotspot attracting thousands of people both from other parts of Malaysia and from abroad.
When traveling to Langkawi you should keep in mind one important fact – there is no public transport in Langkawi. Only taxis. And getting a taxi all the time is not an option, especially if you are traveling on a budget.
Langkawi is a small island. Its area is mere 478,5 square kilometers (184,7 square miles). But, obviously, it is too big to walk everywhere. So, the most reasonable option is renting a scooter in Langkawi.
Why rent a scooter in Langkawi?
1. There is no public transport in Langkawi
Well, of course, you can get a taxi in Langkawi. It’s the only and also the most popular mode of transportation in Langkawi among tourists. Getting one usually is very easy (unless you are outside the city; then you need to know a number of a taxi company) and their fares are really reasonable. We usually pay 30 RM (about 6,4 EUR) for a 20 km (12 mile) ride.
But that’s it. There is no other public transport in Langkawi. No public buses and trains. No shared taxis like in Thailand.
2. It’s the only way to truly experience the island life
You can go island hopping and visit nearby islands without having your own vehicle.
Especially if you, like most of the tourists, stay somewhere close either to Kuah (main town in Langkawi) or Pantai Cenang (most popular beach in Langkawi). Because from there you can easily walk to some travel agency, and they will provide you a transfer to the boat.
And also you can visit some of the most popular “must see” places of the island by taxi. But that way you will spend way more than you would pay for a scooter, at the same time still missing out a lot.
Rent a scooter to see as much as you want. Not just the most popular tourist spots! Ride on small village roads to see how the friendly locals live, go to the night markets in different places of the island, visit less popular and remote beaches of the island, go to Gunung Raya, the highest mountain on the island, visit island’s waterfalls, such as Seven Wells and Temurun Waterfall, and so on. Experience the real Langkawi like a local!
3. Renting a scooter in Langkawi is very easy
We have rented scooters in different rental places in Langkawi, and everywhere the “procedure” was about the same.
To rent a scooter in Lagkawi you will need to provide a copy of your passport, show the passport and maybe they will ask you to show your driver’s license. Then they will make a rental agreement and you will pay money in advance. In our experience at most of the places they don’t ask for a deposit if one rents a scooter only for a few days.
However, when we rented a scooter for a couple of weeks, a month or more (and our daily rate was 3-4 times lower than stadard), we had to pay a deposit as well. Usually it is about 200 RM (around 43 EUR). And it is returned if there is no damage to the scooter.
If at the end you want to return a scooter a couple of hours later than agreed, don’t hesitate and ask rental staff. Mostly it is possible at no extra cost.
Some rentals don’t ask to show a driver’s license and many tourists don’t even have one. Theoretically you need an international driving permit, but we don’t have one and we were never asked to provide it. We were stopped by police a couple of times and they were OK with my Latvian driver’s license.
Where to rent a scooter in Langkawi and how much does it cost?
There are a lot of scooter rentals in Langkawi, both big and small. Head to touristic places, such as Pantai Tengah and Pantain Cenang area, and you will have no problems to find one. Almost every guest house and many shops have scooters for rent. You will need to walk around and ask for prices.
Hoe Sin Motors in Kuah has the best rates when it comes to leasing scooters for at least a couple of weeks, a month or more. The prices are – 250 RM (about 55 EUR) for a semi-automatic scooter per month and 300 RM (about 65 EUR) for an automatic one. They also ask for a deposit of 2oo RM (about 45 EUR). As I mentioned before, the deposit is returned if there is no damage to the scooter.
If you need a scooter only for a couple of days, first find out if your guest house / hotel / hostel has them for rent. Most of the guest houses in Pantai Cenang and Pantai Tengah do. The rates start from 25-30 RM (5,3-6,4 EUR) per day. We have rented scooters in Villa Thai and Rainbow Guesthouse for this price.
The best place to rent a scooter for a few days in Kuah is Kuah Jetty Point. The rates there start from 40 RM (about 8,5 EUR), which is more than at the cheapest places, but you can get a bike right after getting off the ferry. The rental places are located in front of ticket booths, outside the ferry terminal. There used to be few of them, and the prices are different. So, just ask around and find the best deal! You even can try and haggle a bit, if you are good at it (I am not).
You can find motorbike rentals in Langkawi as well. There are less motorbike rentals than scooter rentals, and in most cases, those rental places will have both scooters and motorbikes for rent.
You can rent a car or a minivan and, of course, a bicycle, as well. Some rentals even have electric bikes for rent!
You see? Renting a scooter in Langkawi is very easy and cheap. So go for it! There is just so much more to see and experience in Langkawi. It’s not only about Pantai Cenang, where most of the tourists spend their time. Actually, if you ask us, then Pantai Cenang is one of the less beautiful beaches of Langkawi.
Want to know more about Langkawi island? Read – Langkawi Island, Malaysia: The Ultimate Guide!
Author: Una Baufala
Una is a traveler and travel blogger from Latvia. Apart from traveling and exploring new places she loves to read books. And she adores cats. Together with Kaspars they have been traveling – volunteering – working abroad since October 2013. WeAreFromLatvia.com is where she shares her travel experiences.