Most visitors to the duty-free island of Langkawi get no further than the cigar shops in the capital, Kuah, but oh how much they miss! The out-of-town shopping malls work hard to attract shoppers with their discounted prices and where else can you combine top designer brands with an elephant ride, a Segway jungle tour, a cable car ride and a petting zoo? Shopping in Langkawi is truly in a league of its own!
Shopping in Langkawi
Best Places for Shopping in Kuah
Kuah, the pint-sized capital of Langkawi, is the island’s main shopping hub. It has several shopping centres and independent stores tempting you with designer perfumes, reams of fabric, confectionary outlets and fine wine stores lining the paved streets.
The Spa Shop is a wholesale supplier to the island’s high-end hotel spas, but you can buy their massage oils, scrubs and rice milk soap direct from the store and enjoy your own pampering session. Al-Ikhsan is also worth a mention as it has an extensive selection of sportswear at astonishingly low prices, including Nike, Puma, Adidas and Reebok.
Jetty Point Complex combines department store shopping for branded clothing, accessories and electronics. It has Starbucks and other café-restaurants in the building. It’s a great place to head for lunch on the waterfront, just five minutes’ walk from Kuah city centre.
Driving out of Kuah along Jalan Persiaran Putera, call in at the Langkawi Fair Shopping Mall. Less upmarket than its city peers, this complex has over 100 retail outlets including a supermarket, liquor store and local moneychangers. It’s worth dropping in just to experience the local culture, cut-price branded sportswear and blaring local music!
What to buy: perfumes, branded sportswear, electronics, fabric, kuih-muih
Langkawi Oriental Village
In sharp contrast, the next stop on shopping mission in Langkawi is Oriental Village, which is located in a serene mountain jungle setting at the entrance to the UNESCO Langkawi Geopark. This beautiful karst landscape has some of the most scenic natural beauty in Southeast Asia. The Oriental Shopping Village is an outdoor mall in Langkawi designed around a series of man-made lakes and fountains with boardwalks and bridges connecting the individual shops.
Pause to admire the Asian-style architecture and red-tile roofs which harmonise with the tropical plantings and surrounding mountain peaks. Shops include a Zon Outlet selling alcohol, fragrance and tobacco. The savings there alone will pay for your taxi fare if you don’t hire a car on Langkawi!
What to buy: It’s a great place to buy branded goods, clothing, beachwear, sunglasses and souvenirs at rock-bottom prices
Services in the Oriental Village include a Maybank branch and ATM, the boutique Geopark Hotel and a fully carpeted campsite at the nearby Seven Wells Waterfall! Three things you won’t find while shopping at Oriental Village are electronic goods, pirated CDs and designer brand knock-offs.
Rest your weary feet after a full day of shopping and dine outdoors while drinking in this pleasant location. You’ll find delicious cuisine at the Mizumi Japanese restaurant, the Malaysian Tweenz Corner or the more westernized Dropstone Café – all within the shopping village.
Once your shopping needs are satisfied, you can turn your attention to the more unusual Oriental Village attractions. View the Tiger! Tiger! exhibit of paintings and live tigers highlighting the plight of this endangered animal.
Alternatively, go for one of the top things to do in Langkawi – riding the cable car to the top of Mt Machincang. It’s 700 metres above the village with stunning views from the open viewing decks. Ride high through the jungle Malaysian-style on an elephant, take a guided motocross trail ride or explore the village on a guided Segway tour. There’s even a petting corner sponsored by the retailers where shoppers can hand-feed deer and rabbits.
The Zone Shopping Paradise
When visiting Underwater World Langkawi at Pantai Cenang you can sneak in a little extra shopping at the adjoining Zone Shopping Paradise Langkawi, a duty-free centre displaying yet more perfumes, watches, chocolate and jewellery along with select designer brands.
Open from 10am to 9pm, it offers a pleasant reprieve from the afternoon heat with air-conditioned comfort and escalators between floors.
What to buy: Duty-free perfumes, watches, jewellery
Langkawi International Airport duty-free shops
It’s worth arriving early for your flight home from Langkawi just to check out the bargains on offer in the airy Langkawi International Airport. What it lacks in quantity of shops, it surely makes up for in bargain prices! Who doesn’t like a little bit of last minute shopping?
Deposit your bags at check-in then browse the duty-free shops unhindered for last-minute gifts. You’re sure to find your favourite cosmetics and perfumes in the main hall along with an unpretentious counter selling Mont Blanc pens and a tasteful selection of gifts. One shop specialises in chocolate while another offers a final chance to snap up gold, gems and jewellery items.
Other duty-free airport shops sell cigarettes and alcohol at hugely discounted prices, but do plan your shopping visit to Langkawi to last at least 48 hours to be eligible for these duty-free bargains.
What to buy: Souvenirs, Mont Blanc pens, jewellery, gems, gifts