Officially known as The Jewel of Kedah, Langkawi is a paradisiacal archipelago off the northwest coast of the Malaysian peninsula. Known for its beautiful coastline, beaches and crystal-clear waters, it’s a tropical wonderland with rainforests and mangroves to explore as well as intriguing culture. There are so many things to do in Langkawi, you could stay all year!
While the weather may be warm all year round, it definitely changes. And that’s why we’ve put together this guide to the best time to visit Langkawi – complete with a month-by-month run-down of the islands’ weather, plus some of its best festivals, we’re helping you figure out the right time for you.
The Best Time to Visit Langkawi
Weather in Langkawi in January
January in Langkawi sees plenty of sunshine, with an average of eight hours a day, you can expect beautiful, clear skies, making it perfect for chilling on the beach. It’s one of the driest and warmest months of the year – with average temperatures of 28°C, it can reach as high as 33°C. In terms of rain, there’s just 50 millimeters of rain on average across nine days, so you’re unlikely to be caught in a shower.
And with sea temperatures at a pleasant 29°C, it’s no wonder that January is such a popular time of year to visit Langkawi. In my opinion, it’s one of the best places to travel in January.
Weather in Langkawi in February
February is still a relatively dry month, with hot, sunny days and little cloud coverage or rain to speak of. In fact, there are just 47 millimeters expected over just five days on average, so it’s a great time to visit Langkawi to make the most of all that sunshine on the beach. However, it’s quite sticky too, with high humidity peaking at around 87%. Still, it’s a best time to go to Langkawi.
Average daytime temperatures this time of year hover around 29°C, with highs reaching up to 34°C. There are nine days of sunshine per day on average, with sea temperatures also warm (29°C). But since it’s so hot, even if you’re splashing around at the beach you should definitely ensure to cover up and use sunscreen.
Weather in Langkawi in March
March marks the end of the “dry season” in Langkawi, so you can expect more days of rain, especially towards the end of the month. Specifically, rainfall averages out at 91 millimeters of rain across nine days. However, rain usually arrives in the form of short, heavy downpours, so it’s not likely to affect your day too much.
Humidity is also pretty high, swinging between a very sweaty 93% and 58%. Temperatures are also now hitting the 30s regularly in the daytime, with highs of 34°C common. Covering up against UV rays is essential. Even nights are hot, with temperatures barely dropping below 29°C.
Weather in Langkawi in April
Similar to March, April is a transitional period between “wet” and “dry” seasons in Langkawi. Average temperatures vary between highs of 34°C and lows of 24°C, but the average daytime temperature is about 30°C. Around nine hours of sunshine are expected each day, but rainfall has increased – 14 days out of the month tend to experience rain, with a total of 169 millimeters falling across the whole of April.
Sea temperatures remain very warm too, at around 30°C. Despite the rainfall, it’s a good time of year to visit Langkawi – showers occur in the late afternoon, leaving you much of the day to get out and explore the island.
Weather in Langkawi in May
While April was a transitional month, May definitively marks the start of the southwest monsoon. With this comes heavy rain and a rise in average humidity levels. Downpours occur mainly in the afternoon, so it shouldn’t affect a vacation too much. Still, around 256 millimeters rain falls across 16 days in May, with humidity swinging between a stifling 93% and 65%.
Temperatures in Langkawi are still fairly high. They average out at around 30°C, and don’t drop much lower at nighttime. You’ll definitely be thankful for that AC!
Days at the beach are still very much on the cards though, with sea temperatures sticking around 30°C making for a nice respite from the high humidity.
Weather in Langkawi in June
As the southwest monsoon season carries on throughout the month of June, the western coastline in particular is affected by heavy afternoon downpours. But the whole archipelago sees a lot of rain this month – on average, there’s 218 millimeters falling across 18 days, so chances are you’ll experience at least some rain if you visit Langkawi this time of year.
However, sunshine is never too far away. There is still an average of nine hours of sunshine per day and little cloud coverage, thanks to those short showers. Humidity is still high (maxing out at 93% with a minimum of 70%). It’s a good time of year to visit if you can stand the heat, as hotel prices remain low before the high season of summer starts.
Weather in Langkawi in July
It’s still monsoon season in Langkawi by the time July rolls around. This month usually sees around 233 millimeters of rainfall across 13 days, marking an increase on the previous month, while humidity is the same (93-70%).
Even though it’s pretty rainy, there’s still quite a lot of sunshine to soak up in Langkawi in July – around eight hours. UV levels remain high (there’s a UV index of 12), so covering up from the sun and keeping to the shade where possible is a must. Temperatures have dropped slightly with daytime averages of 28°C and nights around 27°C.
Weather in Langkawi in August
There’s a lot of rain in August, with an increase on previous months. This month also sees more thunderstorms than before, as opposed to just short showers. Rainfall increases to around 249 millimeters as the rainy season really starts to take hold. Even though it’s summer vacation for much of the world and summer sees many visitors in Malaysia as a whole, it’s not exactly the time of year to visit Langkawi.
That said, the average temperatures are still relatively high, at 28°C on average, but towards the end of the month these can really dip to around 24°C. Sea temperatures also remain warm, hovering around a very inviting 30°C. The increase in rain can affect swimming conditions, so pay attention to local advice. We spent our August in one of the best places to stay in Langkawi and practiced yoga (photo above).
Weather in Langkawi in September
Heavy rain peaks in September – 339 millimeters of rainfall are expected over 21 days, but it’s still not the rainiest month of the year. That’s right, even more rainfall is expected as the month carries on, even if the southwest monsoon is coming to an end (that’s because the southeast monsoon is coming up).
The average temperature throughout September in Langkawi is 27°C, but it will begin to hit daytime averages of 30°C once the month is up. Thunderstorms are still to be expected, mainly in the late afternoon and early evening, with humidity remaining at a very sticky maximum of 93% (minimum of around 70%).
Weather in Langkawi in October
Marking the start of the southeast monsoon, October is a mixed bag really. But all in all, it’s one of the wettest months of the year. This month really sees some heavy rainfall – 344 millimeters, to be exact, falling across an average of 26 days. This can cause flooding in some areas, so be sure to pay attention to the local weather forecasts.
Temperatures, however, remain much the same as they were in September. With average daytime temperatures of 27°C, lows of just 23°C, but highs of 31°C. As you may have already guessed, humidity remains at a very sticky 93% maximum, making this a very sweaty time of year to explore the archipelago (at least on foot).
Weather in Langkawi in November
November is hot and humid. It’s still wet, with a fair amount of rainfall, but this is classed as a shoulder season since the weather begins to improve as the month goes on. Though the southeast monsoon is still affecting the weather, the worst of the rainy season is over by the end of the month.
For good accommodation deals, November is a good time of year to visit Langkawi. Just be prepared for the occasional downpour (and for that humidity, too). Average temperatures in November hover around 28°C, it’s not much cooler at night though (27°C).
Weather in Langkawi in December
The final month of the year sees Langkawi reaching peak season, with the holidays around Christmas and New Year’s seeing many more visitors. Beach conditions are near ideal, thanks to the seven hours of glorious sunshine daily and average daytime temperatures of 30°C. The sea temperature almost matches that of the air, averaging at 27°C.
The weather is generally pretty sunny, with occasional showers to be expected. If you’re visiting Langkawi this time of year, it’s best to book accommodation in advance, due to the increased visitor numbers.
Festivals in Langkawi to Attend
Winter Festivals in Langkawi
Christmas in Langkawi is a popular time for domestic and international tourists to visit the archipelago. Businesses and restaurants are decorated with festive decorations for a tropical take on the usually frosty holiday season. New Year’s is often a big party in resorts particularly, with lanterns and fireworks marking the occasion.
Ponggal, held around mid-January, is celebrated by the Tamil community of the archipelago. It’s an offering of thanks for a good harvest, best experienced by visitors with a visit to Laman Padi – an open-air museum dedicated to rice cultivation.
Chinese New Year is a significant festival for Langkawi, mainly for its Chinese population. Falling in late January or early February, restaurants festooned with lanterns and lights become busy with family get-togethers.
Spring Festivals in Langkawi
Langkawi International Festival is held across 10 days in April. A celebration of arts from around the world, the event sees international artists, dancers and musicians showcasing various traditional and modern creativity.
The last week in May sees Langkawi play host to the International Laksa Festival. A hotspot for foodies, the event celebrates the quintessential Malaysian dish of laksa and all its regional variations – a must for any fan of food.
Summer Festivals in Langkawi
In June, it’s time for the Langkawi Geopark Festival. Another celebration of the archipelago’s flora and fauna, it marks the date when portions of Langkawi were recognized as a Geopark by UNESCO back in 2007. Expect an array of entertainment, from food stalls to dance troupes.
During the month of Ramadan – a period of 28 days of fasting observed by Langkawi’s Muslim community (which can fall in May or June) – there’s the Ramadan Bazaar held in Kuah, the island’s main town. Authentic local dishes, as well as Nyonya and Indonesian cuisine, are served up as Muslims break their fast en masse after sundown.
Eid then marks the end of Ramadan. This celebration sees Muslims on the island dressing in traditional clothing and celebrating and feasting with their families.
On August 31 the whole of Malaysia, including Langkawi, celebrates Hari Merdeka or Malaysian Independence Day. This festival marks the end of British colonial rule of the Malaysian Peninsula in 1957 and is marked in Langkawi by parades in Kuah, with an array of cultural events and sport activities to be seen across the island in a demonstration of patriotic spirit.
Fall Festivals in Langkawi
Following on from Mari Merdeka, there’s the Malaysia Day celebration on September 16. This marks the day in 1963 when Malaya, North Borneo and Singapore joined together to form the Federation of Malaysia (Singapore was to leave two years later in 1965).
Depending on the lunar calendar, but celebrated around two months after the first Eid, Langkawi’s Muslim community enjoys two days holiday to mark the end of the year’s second Ramadan. Called Hari Raya Aidilfitri, it’s a bigger celebration than the earlier Eid, and again, is a time of feasting and family.
November in Langkawi means Divali. An important event on the Hindu calendar, Divali – also known as the Festival of Lights – is a time to come together for prosperity and peace. Fireworks and illuminations cover the island. Dates vary depending on the phase of the moon (usually between late October and early November).
Also in November is the Langkawi Nature Festival. This is a new event that aims to shed a spotlight on the variety of wildlife that makes this archipelago its home. For starters, Langkawi boasts 226 species of bird!
For sailing fans, there’s Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta – an annual sailing race which finishes at Langkawi, usually in November.
When is the Cheapest Time to Visit Langkawi?
September and October are the off-season months for Langkawi. It’s the rainy season and it’s likely going to rain at least once a day during this months. Though it may not be all day, it will likely come at some point. Because of this hotel room rates are low. We visited Langkawi the first two weeks of September and while the first week was beautiful and sunny, by mid-September it was raining nonstop. It rained so much we nicknamed the island “Rainkawi.” If I were to do it over again I would have picked a better time to visit despite the costs.
When is the Best Time to Visit Langkawi for a Honeymoon?
While much of the rest of the world has their best season during the North American summer months of June-August, the best time to visit Langkawi weather-wise is actually from January to March during the dry season. It’s during this time that you’ll stand your best chance of having endless sunny days. However, this is also when prices are the highest so be prepared to pay higher rates on hotel rooms and rental cars.
Where to Stay on Langkawi
Casa Del Mar
Hands down our time on Langkawi was made most memorable by Casa Del Mar on Cenang Beach. We weren’t sure what to expect with Casa Del Mar set on the busiest beach in Langkawi and because it has no major “big brand” name recognition.
The Westin is one of the best hotels in Langkawi for honeymoon relaxation. Just outside of Kuah Town in Langkawi lies the Westin Langkawi Resort. Set on 76 acres with lush gardens and it’s sister property, The St. Regis Langkawi, you have a full-service experience with little need to leave the resort grounds. The hotel is one of the oldest resorts on Langkawi and was built in a charming fusion of Malay architecture.
Ambong Ambong is a small property with just a few villas set on top of a lush jungle-covered hill ideal for those looking for a quiet place to stay in Langkawi. Birdlife is an abundance and we climbed the hill up to our room we saw a troop of the cute dusky leaf monkeys waiting to welcome us home. The property is a small collection of rooms and villas with only 11 units set a few minutes outside of Cenang Beach.
Ambong Pool Villas
Following the success of Ambong Ambong, they expanded with a new property across the street with Ambong Pool Villas. The rooms are far more luxurious as they’re massive villas with large pools multiple bathtubs, a large outdoor seating area, lounge, and spacious bedroom. Similar to Ambong Ambong they’re in the middle of the jungle and great for those wanting seclusion.
How to Get to Langkawi
Langkawi is a Malaysian Island situated in The Andaman sea between the coast of Kedah and the border of Thailand. The easiest way to access the island is by air into the Langkawi International Airport.
Daily flights run from Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Penang, Hat Yai, and Phuket. We flew visa Air Asia, a low-cost budget carrier throughout Asia for very cheap. There are also ferries that operate between the mainland and Langkawi.
Once at the airport you can grab a taxi to your hotel if you don’t opt for a rental car.
How to Get Around Langkawi
Langkawi is not huge, but the best way to get around is still with a car. It’s possible to rent a car at the airport for your holiday. Unlike a lot of other Asian countries, we found there to actually be order and laws to the driving here. Visitors can also rent a moped to get around the island. Check car rental prices here.
Out Favorite Restaurants on Langkawi
We had a lot of meals on Langkawi, but here are the ones that stuck out as amazing!
- Tide Restaurant at The Westin: The theme of this restaurant changes frequently. When we were there the restaurant was called Bhar and specialized in Middle Eastern cuisine. Yes, it was amazing.
- Tepian Laut and Jala at The Andaman: Tepian Laut is more Malay inspired food while at Jala you can pick from a fresh open seafood market. Both were among our best meals on Langkawi.
- Wan Thai in Kuah Town: Hands down the best Thai food we’ve had in a very long time.
- Red Tomato: The best place to grab a pizza on Langkawi!
- Unkaizan Japanese Restaurant: Would you believe we ate here three separate times? Unkaizan specializes in Japanese cuisine and is where we got our sushi fix on a few times. It’s even one a few national awards for some of the best food in Malaysia for like a decade straight. The staff here are the friendliest!