Although I have visited Langkawi several times, I took a flight to the island for all those trips, flying from Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport (Subang Airport).
Last weekend, I had the chance to head to the Jewel of Kedah again, and to my delight, we’d be taking the ferry. It would be a new experience for me and I was looking forward to it, despite being alerted by a friend that the sea could be choppy and I should prepare myself for seasickness.
Going to Langkawi from Ipoh is actually not as difficult as I had thought. One just needs to drive about 5 hours north to Kuala Perlis Ferry Terminal, and from there, take a ferry to the island.
There are also other ferries that ply Langkawi route, from Kuala Kedah and Penang, but this post is a recount of my personal experience, that I crossed the sea from Kuala Perlis.
The Kuala Perlis Ferry Terminal is just a short walk from the floating mosque Masjid Al Hussain Kuala Perlis, which makes it most convenient for Muslims to perform their prayer before heading out to Langkawi.
There are also food shops here, so there’s no worry of going hungry, although spicy Malay food may not suit everyone.
Ferry tickets are sold at the “dataran” opposite the ferry terminal. Similar to a bus station, there are different operators and their schedules differ.
For example, Langkawi Ferry Line Ventures Sdn. Bhd. offers the following ferry times from Kuala Perlis to Langkawi: 7am / 8.30am / 9.30am / 10am / 11am / 12.30pm / 2pm / 4pm / 5.30pm / 7pm
On the other hand, Dragon Star Shipping Sdn. Bhd. departs from Kuala Perlis at 7.30am / 10.30am / 2.30pm / 4.30pm / 6.30pm
Ferry fare is RM18 per adult one way. Child and senior citizen pay RM13, while OKU card holders pay RM10 per trip. Duration is about 1 hour 15 minutes.
While ferries cater to a different category of passengers, having been on the ferry twice for my trip over the weekend, I opine that the crowd is as orderly as expected. The numbered seating and air-conditioning are conducive.
I was taken aback though, by the way the luggage was stacked at the baggage holding area, as high as an adult person. You can imagine the wait and congestion, in case your luggage was trapped at the bottom of the heap.
Therefore, having personally encountered this situation, I would think twice about keeping valuables in my luggage bag that I am unable to hand carry at all times onboard the double-decker ferry.
Having your bag squashed is one thing, not being able to keep an eye on your bag during the journey is another. With the hundreds of passengers on the ferry, one could easily lose the bag, either by accident or intentionally “mistakenly” taken away by someone else.
The disembarkation point at Langkawi is known as Jetty Point in Kuah, the island’s main town.
Jetty Point is also vibrant, particularly on weekends, as the ferries here head out to Kuala Kedah and Penang domestically, as well as Koh Lipe and Satun in Thailand.
Ferry Line Ventures Sdn. Bhd. operates ferry services to Kuala Kedah from Langkawi at the following times: 7.30am / 8.30am / 10am / 11.30am / 1pm / 2pm / 3.30pm / 5pm / 6pm / 7pm.
Fare is RM23 (adult), RM17 (child 3 – 12 years). Duration is about 1 hour 45 minutes.
Andaman Ferry Ventures Sdn. Bhd. sails to Satun (Thailand) from Langkawi twice a day at 9.30am and 5.15pm. Fare is RM35 (adult), RM28 (child) and RM12 (infant). Duration is 1 hour 15 minutes.
Langkawi is a shopping haven by virtue of the fact that it is a duty-free island. If you have shopped too much, not to worry, there are trolleys for rent at RM2 each, not exceeding 50kg in weight.
For the return trip from Langkawi to Kuala Perlis, the scenario at the baggage holding area onboard the ferry is almost similar, just a lot worse, due to the purchases of most passengers. It makes you realise why it seems more sensible to pay extra to travel by air instead, despite having to comply with the flight baggage allowance.
Anyway, in spite of the unsettling sight of free-flow of vomit bags hanging around the ferry, I gladly report that the journey was uneventful, despite my friend’s warning.
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