Langkawi in December & January: What To Expect?
As one of Malaysia’s best-known and most popular beach destinations, Langkawi island is home to historical attractions, excellent diving opportunities, exciting nightlife and dirt-cheap shopping. No matter what the weather or season, there are tons of activities to do. So, if you’re a holiday season traveller, put Langkawi on your destination list now.
December and January in Langkawi are relatively dry as compared to the preceding months. December is dry and sunny, with little rainfall and there’s an increase in the average sunshine hours as it gets closer to January. The warm temperature of the island is a big draw for tourists during these months, so if you’re planning to visit, ensure that you book your accommodation early.
Part 1: Weather
One reason why tourists rush to Langkawi during December and January is the great weather. During December, the rainy season is completely gone and the amount of rainfall has reduced.
- Average temperature: Temperature averages about 28°C, with the highest being 32°C and the lowest 24°C.
- Humidity: High
- Average Rainfall: 94mm for about 21 days
- Sunshine: 7 hours
With plenty of sunshine and rainfall steadily decreasing throughout the month, December has a balance of both rainy and dry seasons that are perfect for the range of attractions that Langkawi offers. As it draws closer to January, the increase in sunshine makes for the perfect tropical getaway.
Part 2: What To Pack & Carry
- An umbrella is a must if you don’t intend to stay indoors during the day. Showers of rain are common during December, specifically, but it’s not too heavy. If you’re a stickler for convenience, go for a poncho or raincoat.
- Carry a light jacket in case the evenings get a little chilly.
- Mosquito repellent is a must for a trip to Langkawi.
- For footwear, carry walking shoes or boots for walks or exploring the island, and belted sandals or flip-flops for the beach. Though if you prefer to go barefoot for the latter, that’s fine too.
- Bring along a hat and sunglasses for sunny days, especially if you’re planning to visit in January.
- Remember to bring waterproof phone and camera cases, so you don’t miss out on capturing your memories.
Part 3: Things To Do In December & January
1. Beaches In Langkawi
The beautiful beaches of Langkawi are what make the island so popular. For calm waters, soft sand to sunbathe, or just to enjoy one of Asia’s most beautiful sunset, head to Pantai Cenang Beach, Langkawi’s longest and most famous beach. Pantai Cenang and the nearby Pantai Tengah Beach also offer a range of water activities, including jet-skiing, parasailing, and banana boating.
Snorkelling and diving can be done at the Pulau Payar Marine Park. Pasir Tengkorak Beach, Black Sand Beach and Tanjung Rhu Beach are also popular among tourists.
2. Underwater World
Probably the largest indoor tourist attraction on the island, Underwater World is located at the southern end of Pantai Cenang. If you’re not into snorkelling or diving, this is another great way to see Langkawi’s marine life. The giant aquarium can serve as a great indoor vacation adventure for families.
3. Langkawi Cable Car
Langkawi’s cable car is the most popular thing to do on the island. The steep ride up Mount Machinchang stops at a midpoint, then continues onward; both stops have cafes and platforms for enjoying stunning views of the island. Once at the top, the Langkawi Sky Bridge, the island’s famous curved pedestrian cable-stayed bridge, awaits.
4. Night Markets
The night markets on Langkawi are a busy mix of locals and tourists; all arrive around sunset to enjoy cheap, delicious food and buy cool souvenirs. Tasty local treats can be sampled for as little as 25 cents. The markets in Kuah and Pantai Cenang are potentially the largest and most popular among tourists, because of the convenient location. Arrive a little before sunset to beat the crowds during the busy holiday season.
Due to the large tourist influx during this time, the entire island gets into festive mode. On December 25, many shops, restaurants and other establishments are decorated with colourful lights.
Many resorts and restaurants on the island gear up for the big whole night party on 31st December that continues into the wee hours to welcome the first day of the year. Later, during the month of January, the island hosts the annual Royal Langkawi International Regatta, one of the most popular and significant sailing regattas in the whole of South-East Asia.
Langkawi enjoys duty-free status, and the tax exemption applies to shopping, too, not just sunset cocktails. You’ll find lots of duty-free shops ranging in size, from convenience stores to shopping malls. Shops in the airport are predictably the most expensive, while department stores in Kuah are the cheapest.
7. Oriental Village
This is an Asian-themed village featuring restaurants, an exotic snake charmer, jugglers, silat displays, traditional music, kite flying demonstrations, palmistry, portrait painting and tons of duty-free shops. An elephant offers rides to tourists. Another option is to rent a segway to scoot around Oriental Village.
Part 4: Activities To Avoid
The rainy days during this season, especially in the month of December, can hinder visitors from taking part in certain activities.
Waterfalls: Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls, aka Seven Wells, is one of the most popular attractions in Langkawi. The waterfall is named after the seven natural pools along the waterfall’s path. To get to the 7 pools, you would have to climb 350+ steps.
The climb can be quite slippery and potentially dangerous on rainy days, so it’s best to avoid during December. The dry season, which starts in January, is better suited for waterfall visits.
Hiking: While December and January are part of Langkawi’s dry season, there are still a number of rainy days expected. Avoid trekking and hiking through the mountains during this time.
Part 5: Tips For Travelling In December & January
The dry season in Langkawi starts in December and there’s an increase in sunshine as it gets closer to January. These months offer the best of both sunny and rainy weather conditions, so ensure that you pack both an umbrella for the rain, and sunglasses or hats for the sunshine.
- Book your accommodation well in advance. During December and January, tourists flock to Langkawi to enjoy the beautiful weather and the holiday festivities.
- Don’t trust the various ‘hotel finder’ websites – they may mislead you into thinking that most of the places in the area are fully booked. The best way to get information is to contact the hotels directly.
- There are many species of jellyfish in Langkawi waters, most of which will appear during the January to July season. These jellyfish have the potential to be extremely harmful, so to stay safe, swim only in clothes, preferably a stinger suit.
- Langkawi can have a lot of mosquitoes, so don’t forget to carry a mosquito repellent.
- There is effectively no public transport on the island, so be prepared to use taxis or to rent a car, motorbike/scooter, or bicycle.
- Although Langkawi has duty-free shopping, look around and compare prices before buying anything. The airport is probably the most expensive place to buy anything.
- Consume bottled water only. Do not drink from the tap.
Langkawi provides tourists with everything they could dream of in a tropical wonderland: beaches, mountains, wildlife, islands, mangroves, duty-free shopping and alcohol. No matter what the season, you’re sure to find a range of fun activities on the island.