Langkawi Shopping Guide
If you ask tourists the top three reasons of visiting Langkawi, 9 out 10 would say shopping as one of them. Why? Because in 1987 the Malaysian Government had exempted the island from duty. Which means there are now abundance of all kinds of items in the island which you will get at duty free economical prices.
And what are those items that you can plan to buy in Langkawi? Well the list can be endless and the island has come be known as a shoppers paradise. Items include gifts & souvenirs, art & craft, jewelry & watches, liquor & tobacco, chocolates, perfumes, clothes, cameras, electronics, household items, cookware and lot more.
However that doesn't mean that all stores in the island are duty free. There are designated stores, shopping centers and malls that are duty free. But fortunately they are plenty in number and located in many places.
The maximum concentration of the shopping stores including the duty free shops are in Kuah town which is the commercial hub of Langkawi. It has large number of shopping complexes (buildings with several floors full of stores selling all kinds of items ) as well as independent branded stores.
The next best place for shopping is Pantai Cenang which is the favorite place for most tourists because of its lovely beach and so many restaurants. There are many roadside stalls selling all kinds of goods (some very popular for cheap but fashionable buys), proper stores, a new Cenang mall and few good duty free stores here as well.
But note that there are few stores and shopping centers that are significantly cheaper than the others while selling the same type of goods. And this holds true for duty free stores as well. So you need to know where to go for shopping.
Best selling items in Langkawi and Tourists' Favorites (Update October 2014)
A study initiated by Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) revealed a surprising fact. The best selling items in Langkawi are the colorful rubber flip flops or sandals. The open toe sandals are the highest in demand and are mostly picked up by the tourists. They are so popular in the island that they are sold in super markets, in gift & souvenir shops and even in clothing stores. The flip flops come in bright fluorescent colors with imprints including that of the island. They are not only comfortable wears, but also serve as great souvenirs from the island. A study shows that over 1,00,000 sandals (flip slops) we sold out in the first 9 months of 2014. However they are not cheap. A pair can cost between RM 15 to RM30.
In the section below, I have created several category of shopping items. Each link will take you to the top stores and shopping centers selling such category of items. So browse through the categories below, and choose the one of your interest to know about the best shopping options in that respective category.
Some items are best purchased from Duty Free stores ... you will get them cheap & good. Such items include chocolates, liquor & wine, cigarettes, perfumes & cosmetics, luggage bags & suitcases, cooking & kitchen ware, sport shoes etc. Know about the best stores to buy these items.
If you take interest in artwork and handicraft items, you will have plenty on offering from Langkawi. There are many local talents, artisans and artists in the island who create exclusive artwork that are on sale. The Craft Complex showcases wide range of art & craft work from local artists including wood work, crafted silver & brass items, paper & pulp products and lot more. Atma Alam Batik Art Village is a complex which is well known for its hand printed batik art on silk & other base, and also original paintings. Faizy Crystal and Langkawi Crystals are glass blowing houses creating exclusive glass items and crystals. And of course there are many other outlets.
So which are the best souvenir & gift items in Langkawi and the top stores that you should be buying them from? There are actually plenty and the selection would depend on what you may be looking for exactly. There are exquisite artwork and craft ware, and then there are popular items like Langkawi imprinted T-shirts, apparel, caps & hats, key rings, belts, stands & more. Find out about the best stores in Langkawi for gift & souvenir items and their products.
Langkawi is a paradise for perfume & cosmetic lovers. You will see virtually the all the brands of the world here. But some stores can be very expensive. There are few specialized stores and shopping centers that are particularly favorites to tourists when it comes to buying perfumes and cosmetic products. Check out the link for full information.
If you know the right stores, jewelry in Langkawi could be 25-30% cheaper than rest of Malaysia and you will get island inspired exquisite designs that are rare to be found elsewhere. What more, most jewelers offer lifetime buy back guarantee. So why wait?
Langkawi has adopted a wide range of authentic Malaysian cuisine as well as a combination of Indian and Chinese food. Know about the authentic Malay food in Langkawi which are must have and where to buy food or eat the way the locals do.
For native products of Langkawi like the many different kinds of natural oils and herbal medicines, or the hand made dress materials and trinkets, you will need to go to the places where locals go. You won't find them in the modern stores or shopping complexes.
Top Shopping Centers & Stores
Shopping by location
If you rather like to know about the best stores & shopping centers by area, then go through the following:
1) Shopping in Kuah
: This is the main hub of shopping in Langkawi ... full of duty free stores & shopping centers and also specialized shops.
3) Pantai Kok Shopping - Oriental Village
: The main shopping complex in Pantai Kok is at Oriental Village where there are a number of shops selling gifts & souvenirs, accessories, clothes etc.
4) Shopping in Padang Matsirat
: Duty free shopping at the airport which can be freely accessed by all. Also home to exclusive batik art and hawkers stalls.
Share your experience or stories.