Embark on a journey from the charming city of Ipoh to the sun-kissed shores of Langkawi, and immerse yourself in the seamless blend of adventure and tranquillity that Malaysia offers. This article is your exact guide to travelling this route. Follow this and your travel will be as smooth as the Andaman Sea on a serene day.
While it’s not far from Ipoh to Langkawi, this journey can seem complicated – at least until you take it step-by-step. It’s actually quite straightforward with many people taking this trip every day.
We recently took this journey ourselves via train, taxi and ferry. This article is written from these on-the-ground experiences as well as detailed research.
So, buckle up, as we’re about to take you through a narrative that combines the best of both worlds—the hustle and bustle of Ipoh’s streets and the tranquil waves of Langkawi’s beaches. With our friendly, simple explanations, you’ll be booking your tickets and planning your itinerary before you’ve even reached the end of our article.
I also describe the reverse journey from Langkawi to Ipoh.
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Map: How To Go To Langkawi From Ipoh
The direct distance from Ipoh to Langkawi, as the crow flies, is approximately 290 kilometres.
How long it takes to travel from Ipoh to Langkawi depends on the transport that you take. It can take a few hours if you find Ipoh to Langawi flight connections that are quick. Overland, it can take the best part of a day.
BEST OPTION: How To Go From Ipoh To Langkawi
The quickest and easiest option is to take a private taxi from Ipoh to Kuala Kedah Jetty. From here, you can take a ferry across to Langkawi.
The cheapest option is to take a bus and ferry.
Unless you fly, you will have to both travel overland and take a ferry to get to Langkawi. There is no bridge between Langkawi and the mainland of Malaysia.
Ferries leave from both Kuala Kedah and Kuala Perlis in peninsular Malaysia, so your goal from Ipoh is to reach either of these and then to take a ferry.
In Langkawi, all ferries arrive at Kuah, the main city on the island. From here, you can take a Grab or taxi to your hotel. You can also hire a car.
Here’s a summary of your options:
|Mode of transport
|People who like the quickest option
|Bus + Ferry
|People who want the cheapest option
|Bus – Book here
Ferry – Book here
|Train + Ferry
|People who want the fastest public transport option
Ferry – Book here
|Taxi + Ferry
|People who want the quickest way to travel between Ipoh and Langkawi
Ferry – Book here
Option 1: Ipoh To Langkawi Flight
Unfortunately, there is no direct flight from Ipoh to Langawi. If there was, this would be by far the quickest way to travel between these places.
However, you can still take an Ipoh Langawi flight. Unfortunately, it will be two connecting flights. These don’t always connect well as there aren’t a ton of flights out of Ipoh.
At the time of publishing, there are only flights from Ipoh to Singapore on Scoot and from Ipoh to Johor Bahru on AirAsia. You can take one of these flights, transit and then fly onto Langkawi.
Currently, the shortest connections will still take you about five hours. Once you add in travel time to airports, checking-in, waiting for bags, etc, it’s not necessarily that much quicker than travelling overland. In fact, taking a private taxi is likely to be quicker.
Flight prices start at about RM420.
The easiest way to get to Sultan Azlan Shah Airport in Ipoh is to take a Grab taxi. It is not far from the city centre.
Upon your arrival at Langkawi International Airport, you will find it similarly accessible. There are taxis, you can order a Grab or hire a car.
Option 2: Ipoh To Langkawi Bus + Ferry
You can also choose to travel overland to Langkawi via a bus and ferry.
If you wish to travel this way, the easiest way is to take a direct bus from Ipoh to Kuala Perlis. From here, you can take a ferry across to Langkawi.
Buses from Ipoh to Kuala Perlis take around 4.5 hours and cost around RM30. Buses generally depart every few hours. They sell out so make sure you book in advance to be sure to get a convenient departure time.
Once you are in Kuala Perlis, it’s just a short walk to Kuala Perlis Jetty where you need to catch your ferry. It takes about six minutes.
On arrival at the terminal, if you bought your tickets in advance, you can go straight to the waiting area on arrival at Kuala Perlis Jetty by scanning the QR code on your ticket. Otherwise, you need to join the lines of people waiting to buy tickets.
Ferries depart every few hours from 7am to 7pm. The ferries take about an hour and 20 minutes to arrive at Kuah in Langkawi.
At the time of publishing, the ferry costs RM24 for Malaysians and RM30 for foreigners.
I recommend you buy your ferry tickets in advance as they can also sell out. You can read our full guide to taking the ferry from Kuala Perlis to Langkawi here.
It’s also possible to take a bus to Alor Setar and then a taxi to the terminal in Kuala Kedah for a ferry from there, but this is more complicated than just getting the direct bus to Kuala Perlis. If you want to do this, follow the directions in the next section after you arrive in Alor Setar.
Option 3: Ipoh To Langkawi By Train + Ferry
Another option is to travel by train from Ipoh to Alor Setar then take a taxi to the ferry at Kuala Kedah. Finally, take the ferry to Langkawi. This is what we did recently.
The train from Ipoh to Alor Setar is straightforward. They generally depart around six times per 24 hour period. I highly recommend you book this in advance as trains sell out and only a couple of train times are suitable to travel from Ipoh to Langkawi in the one day.
The train takes about 2 hours and 20 minutes. It’s an easy and comfortable journey, and I recommend the train if you can’t afford the private taxi option. At the time of publishing, tickets cost from RM45 – 61.
Once you arrive in Alor Setar, there should be taxis outside the train station or use the Grab app (like Uber) to get a taxi to Kuala Kedah Jetty. This is about 20 minutes away. This cost me RM14 by Grab.
From Kuala Kedah, ferries depart every few hours from 7am to 7pm. They take about 1.75 hours. At the time of publishing, tickets cost RM29.50 for a Malaysian adult one way and RM37.50 for a foreigner.
Again, they often sell out in advance, especially in peak times.
If you have already bought your ticket, you can go directly into the waiting area. You need to be here by 30 minutes beforehand when your ferry should start boarding. If you don’t have a ticket, you need to line up and buy one first.
Once you get to board, they’ll check your ticket and you’ll walk onto the ferry. There is a big cage area for luggage and you can take a seat. Mid-way through the journey, there is a snack trolley. There are also toilets onboard but not much else.
Option 4: Ipoh To Langkawi By Taxi + Ferry
The easiest way to travel from Ipoh to Langkawi overland is definitely to take a private taxi from your Ipoh hotel to the ferry at Kuala Kedah.
This usually takes under three hours depending on traffic. Prices start at RM700.
Once you get to Kuala Kedah, you can take a ferry as detailed above. This takes around 1.75 hours and leaves every few hours.
Langkawi To Ipoh
The reverse journey from Langkawi to Ipoh is the same as above – just reverse the directions. Below, I describe briefly the steps. There is more information in the sections above.
There is no direct Langawi to Ipoh flight, but you can fly via Johor Bahru or Singapore. Expect this to take over 4 hours (plus time to get to terminals, check-in, etc) and to cost RM420+ unless there is a good sale.
You can also travel by Langawi to Ipoh bus, but first you need to go to Kuah on Langkawi, take the ferry to Kuala Perlis, take a short walk to the bus terminal and then take an onward bus to Ipoh.
The ferry takes around 1 hour and 20 minutes and the bus around 4.5 hours.
You can also take a ferry, taxi and train combo. For this, take a ferry from Kuah to Kuala Kedah. Then take a taxi to Alor Setar Station. From here, you can take a train to Ipoh.
The ferry from Langkawi to Kuala Kedah takes around 1.75 hours, the taxi about 25 minutes and the train about 2 hours and 20 minutes.
You can also take a ferry and taxi combination. For this, take a ferry from Langkawi to Kuala Kedah as above. Then take a booked taxi from Kuala Kedah to Ipoh. This drive is just under 3 hours pending traffic and road conditions.
All forms of traffic can book out. I recommend booking in advance.
It’s not hard to travel from Ipoh to Langkawi (and the reverse), but there is no direct transport available. You have multiple choices though from flying to bus + ferry or taxi or train + ferry.
Simply book the option above that best suits your time, budget and preferences. Just remember that all forms of transport do book out, especially at peak times.
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