Langkawi Duty Free Shopping
Since the time in 1987 when Langkawi acquired the duty free status, tourists from other parts of Malaysia and overseas countries have been pouring in to Langkawi. Where else will you find an island destination which offers beautiful sandy beaches, turquoise blue waters, lovely scenery and all that coupled with opportunities for great duty free shopping??
There are couple of things to note while doing duty free shopping in Langkawi. First, although Langkawi is a duty free island, all stores or shopping centers do not offer items at duty free prices. There are designated stores and shopping centers for that, but there are plenty of such stores & shopping centers in the island. While most of them are located in Kuah, some of them are also available in other places of the island. If you are serious about doing duty free shopping, you should plan a visit to Kuah Town for at least half a day.
Second, not all duty free stores are cheap. Some shopping centers like the Jetty Point Shopping Complex located near the Kuah Jetty offers items at prices higher than some others although it is duty free. Similarly at the airport, the prices are comparatively higher than what you get in the town. For some reasons, the basic prices of the items here are kept high. So you will need to carefully choose the shopping centers/stores if you want to buy stuffs cheap.
One more thing before I dive into what are the best duty free buys and stores in Langkawi. Note that you are allowed to buy duty free stuffs as soon as you land in Langkawi. For example you can buy Alcohol (no restrictions) from the airport duty free shops or elsewhere whenever you land, and continue to buy and consume that during your stay in the island. But how much you can take back home will depend on the customs restrictions in your home country.
The most popular duty free items in Langkawi?
Although there wide range of items available in the island that are offered at duty free prices, the most value for price and the popular ones are limited to few items. And they are:
1) Chocolates ... prices about 30-40% less compared to Kuala Lumpur and you will be spoiled looking at the varieties. Tip: Do check out for expiry dates. Sometimes very lucrative offers are given to clear off ones that are reaching shelf life. You can sometimes see offers like 'Buy 2 get 1 free' where you should check for dates.
2) Liquor, Wine & Beer ... they are really cheap here. Tip: While buying liquor, if you pay in cash instead of credit card, many duty free stores would offer 10-12% discount on the printed price. So do check at the counter before paying.
3) Cigarettes & Cigars ... much cheaper than in Kuala Lumpur. But don't buy from Langkawi airport.
4) Perfumes of various brands. At some places you will get a range of designer fragrances from an array of brands. Lot cheaper than Kuala Lumpur.
5) Cooking ware & cutlery items like pots, pans, cups & dishes etc. There is a wide array of brands Corelle, Luminarc, CoringWare, Visions, Pyrex, Acropal and La Gourmet and lot more. At some places you will find them really cheap.
6) Bags & suitcases ... if you plan to do lots of shopping in Langkawi and want to bring back lots of stuff back home, then it's a good idea to buy the extra luggage or suitcases in Langkawi. Some may be fake brands (like Polo etc), but they are still good and lasting, and very cheap. But you get genuine brands too at discounted prices.
7) sport shoes & wears ... lots of great brands like Nike & Adidas with great discounts!
There are many other items like spa products, confectioneries, cameras & accessories, cosmetics, watches & electronics that are available in many different stores scattered across the town. As you take a walk around the town center, you will find them in plenty.
Note that while entering the island, you can bring in almost anything and of any amount without paying duty or sales tax (except for some specified items like rubber, marble, anchovies and petroleum products). This is because Langkawi enjoys the Duty Free status. But there is really no need to bring stuff in. There are plenty of duty free shops around the island including at the airport where all these are available at a reasonably cheap prices. For consumption in the island, you can buy as much duty free items as you want (like liquor, tobacco, perfume, cosmetics etc) immediately after landing or entering Langkawi.
But you can not of course carry unlimited stuff back home. How much you can take back home will depend on the customs duty regulations of your home country.
Duty Free Shopping in Kuah
Kuah is the capital of Langkawi and the major commercial hub. The main concentration of the duty free shops are in Kuah Town. There are about 20 shops and shopping complexes in the town that offer duty free items. They are all mostly within walking distances except for few. You will get all kinds of items here duty free including liquor & wine, tobacco, fragrances, chocolates, luggage & bags, clothes, kitchenware and lot more. While there are large shopping centers in Kuah, there are also smaller independent stores selling specialized items like perfumes, spa products, dried fish, confectioneries etc.
Check out Shopping in Kua
to know about the top duty free stores and the shopping centers in Kuah town along with their top offerings, locations and contacts.
Duty Free Shopping in Pantai Cenang
Pantai Cenang being the tourist hot spot, there are few duty free shopping centers that have come up in the area. If you are staying in Pantai Cenang and not to keen to take a taxi and head for Kuah town, then you will still be able to do some good duty free shopping here. Some items that you will get at great prices includes tobacco, liquor, chocolates, perfumes, luggage bags, select electronic goods etc. Check out Duty Free Shopping in Pantai Cenang
for full information.
Duty Free Shopping at Langkawi Airport
If you did not find time for shopping while vacationing in Langkawi, you will have your last chances to get duty free items at the airport, if of course you are leaving the island by air. While arriving, you can also do your shopping at the airport after having landed. And the best part is, if you are already staying in the island, you always have free access to the duty free shopping hall of the Langkawi Airport.
You can buy many great gift & souvenir items from here including the plaster of Paris made models of the reddish brown eagles of different shapes & sizes, key rings etc. There are several shops selling cosmetics, perfumes, sunglasses, clothes & T-Shirts from various brands, liquor & tobacco and variety of other stuff.
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