Last Updated: 2020-01-07
Find the best ways to travel from KL - Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi Island (Pulau Langkawi) in Malaysia, by all forms of transport from the quickest way, flying, to cheaper buses and trains connecting you to the various ferry ports on the mainland with regular high-speed boats over to the island, or stop off in George Town on Penang Island, then continue your journey from there.
The most common ways to get from KL to Langkawi overland are to go:
If you are wondering how far it is to travelling overland, the total distance from Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi island (Kuah Jetty Point) is around 510 - 515 Kilometres.
This assumes you travel from KL to Kuala Perlis (475 km), then take a boat from there (the shortest boat journey to Langkawi 37 km).
With the new high-speed ETS Electric Train Services now operating, it is now much quicker to travel from Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi by train (compared to the old diesel trains that used to operate on this route).
This would be our recommended way of travel, as it is quick, comfortable and good value.
Trains leave KL Sentral station for either:
1) Alor Setar where you have to take a taxi from the train station to Kuala Kedah Jetty or walk into the city centre to take a cheap local bus.
2) Or you can take the train from KL to Arau, then take a bus or taxi to Kuala Perlis Jetty.
To see the full ETS train timetable for all northbound trains, click on the following link:
Go from KL Sentral to Alor Setar for the ferry from Kuala Kedah >
Go from KL Sentral to Arau for the ferry from Kuala Perlis >
If you want to travel by bus, your best bet is to take a direct bus from KL to Kuala Perlis, with the bus station at K. Perlis just a couple of minutes walk away from the ferry jetty / terminal.
You could also take a bus from KL to Alor Setar, then a local bus from the bus station to the jetty at Kuala Kedah.
Travelling by coach is cheaper, but the journey is much longer than by train, as they often stop off along the route at major destinations to pick up more passengers and for toilet / refreshment breaks on this long trip.
Easily the quickest way to travel from KL to Langkawi is to fly.
A flight from KUL to LGK airport takes just over an hour.
Malaysian Airlines, as well as a number of budget airlines, including Air Asia, Fire Fly and Malindo Air, all fly from KUL to LGK.
The budget airlines offer very cheap deals if you book ahead or if you are flying long haul to KLIA on Malaysian Airlines, you can usually add a flight to Langkawi very cheaply.
You can also choose to fly from Subang Airport to Langkawi (SZB to LGK).
SZB (Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport or Subang Skypark) is located 30 minutes drive from KL city centre and can be easily reached by cheap KTM Skypark Link trains.
If you want to drive to Langkawi Island from KL and take your car over to the island, you will have to drive to the port of Kuala Perlis where there is a relatively new car ferry service (RORO - Roll on Roll Off) over to the island.
If you are not taking your car over to Langkawi Island, parking facilities are available at both Kuala Kedah and Kuala Perlis ports.
The price for parking is usually 10 RM per day and is available close by to the ferry terminals.
The trip by road from KL to Kuala Perlis takes at least 5 hours and involves driving straight up Highway 1 until you turn off just before Alor Setar, then you can take route 7 to Kuala Perlis or continue heading north on route 1 to Jitra and take route 176 to Arau, then the 194 to K. Perlis.
The distance by road from KL to Kuala Kedah is around 435 km and involves the same route, turning off route 1 just before Alor Setar.
If you are not in a hurry, you could firstly travel from KL to Penang Island, then either catch a direct ferry from George Town Penang to Langkawi, take a flight, or head back to the mainland and take a bus or train to the main ferry ports.
If you take a passenger ferry to Langkawi, you will arrive at the Kuah Jetty Point / Terminal which is located just outside the islands main town.
As Langkawi has no public transport, you will have to travel from the jetty by taxi or walk into town.
For budget travellers, finding a place to stay in Kuah is often a good option, then you can hire a motorbike / scooter to explore the island and its lovely beaches.