Langkawi • all you want from sarongs to Sony
Langkawi is not only a Malaysian tropical paradise, it also enjoys duty-free status and, while it can hardly be compared to shopping in Singapore, KL or Bangkok, there are plenty of outlets offering a good range of international and local products.
The main centres are in the main town of Kuah at the Jetty Point Shopping Complex, Saga Shopping Centre, Teow Soon Huat and Langkawi Fair Shopping Mall plus there is the Shopping Paradise Duty Free Centre at the main beach resort of Pantai Cenang (Paradise might be a slight over-statement) and recently opened Teow Soon Huat . There are also plenty of shops at Oriental Village on the NW of the island, from where you catch the not-to-be-missed cable car.
Prices for liquor, tobacco, fragrances and electrical items, watches etc are very reasonable, although not necessarily the cheapest you’ll find in Asia. But it’s certainly an alternative way to spend a morning or afternoon if the heat (or rain) gets the better of you and local handicrafts • batik, pewter, crystal and traditional pottery are well worth shelling out a few Ringgits for. As we always say, if you are looking for a particular brand or model, check out the local price at home first (and at the hub from which you arrived in Langkawi).
Alternatively, you can spend every minute enjoying Langkawi’s natural beauty and never ending choice of beach bars and restaurants (we don’t usually plug restaurants but the Nam at Bon Ton is a must), and leave all your shopping until you get back to the airport (if you didn’t do it when you arrived!). Langkawi International Airport at Padang Matsirat offers a perhaps surprisingly broad selection of duty and tax free shops, all well laid out and with staff who are friendly and happy (smiles come naturally in Langkawi). There’s nothing remarkable about the shops here but chances are you’ll find what you’re looking for • and perhaps one or two extras besides.
The world’s largest pewter maker Royal Selangor has a good selection of gifts here; there’s an interesting range of regional travel, photographic and cookery books; and handicrafts and batik clothing coming out of your ears. Well...no-one should leave Langkawi without a sarong at least! There is some interesting jewellery on sale • unique designs from Jooley and Borneo Pearls • and if you’re into Dr Cardin footwear, here is a good place to get up to 30% off.
Prices throughout the airport are regularly further discounted by up to 30% and there are regular buy two get 10-50% discount off the third deals. So there are definitely bargains to be had.
There are two main duty free shops here. As you walk into the airport, the Sky Mall to the right sells fashion (though don’t expect much on the designer front), luggage, local artefacts and a decent selection of fragrances and cosmetics. On the other side of the entrance is Greenearth Duty Free which sells liquor and tobacco including a pretty extensive range of cigars. Cigarette prices we saw were comparable with Singapore Changi • just slightly above for some international brands. This section also sells toys, books, magazines, drinks, crystal and other gifts.
Down the centre of the shopping mall are various smaller island shops including a well stocked Choc Stop confectionery outlet selling a wide variety of international and local brands at prices said to be up to 30% cheaper than elsewhere; a Watch Shoppe offering brands such as Tissot, Lacroix, Omega, Rado, Guess etc; plus a Mont Blanc outlet and a luggage carousel.
Opposite, to the right of the check in desks is a good sized Camera & Electronics Shop offering all the brands you’d expect.. ...at the end of which there is, rather strangely, a selection of women’s lingerie and a few handbags.
One of the most interesting shops to wander round is Langkawi Local Native Products which, apart from essential medicines and day-to-day items, has a wide selection of local foodstuffs, herbal ointments, balms and cure-alls. Not that you should have too much to cure after a few days in Langkawi!