An agro-based economy of padi and rubber cultivation
and fisheries is fast being overtaken by a tourism driven economy,
taking into consideration, the natural, unspoilt, ecological beauty
of the islands and major Governmental emphasis.
The official language is Bahasa Malaysia, although English
is widely used.
The currency, known as Malaysian Ringgit (RM), is issued
in denominations of RM 1,000, RM 500, kM 100, RM 50, kM 20, RM
10, kM 5,RM 1. The coins, referred to as 'sen' (cents) are in
denominations of 1 Ringgit, 50 Sen. 20 Sen, 10 Sen, 5 Sen and
The current exchange rate is about:-
1 US $ for RM 3.80
1 Pound Sterling for RM 4.00
1 Deutschemark for RM 1.80
100 Yen for RM 2.50
1 Singapore dollar for RM 1.80
Banks open for business at 9.30 am and close at 3.30 pm, while
on Thursdays they are open from 9.30 am to 12noon. Friday is a
religious holiday for the state of Kedah. Money changing facilities
are available at most banks. Most of the larger banks in Malaysia
have their branches in Kuah, Langkawi as well as at the Airport.
Being a duty-free port, hotel tariffs and retail goods
are exempt from government duty. Visitors with more than 48 hours
stay in Langkawi are exempt on items like wines and liquor (I
litter), tobacco (200 cigarettes), apparel, cosmetics, souvenirs
and gifts, food and food preparations and portable electronic
items (one item). Video cassettes require clearance from customs.
Antiques and historical items need the relevant licenses from
the Director of Museums, Malaysia. Illegal drug trafficking is
prohibited in Malaysia and carries the death penalty.
Visas are not required by citizens of Commonwealth countries
(except India and Sri Lanka), most European countries, United
States, Japan, South Korea. etc. provided their stay does not
exceed three months. Citizens of Asean countries do not require
visas for visits of less than a month. Citizens of Afghanistan,
Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and South Yemen do not require visas
for visits of less than two weeks. Citizens of Albania, Bulgaria,
Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Rumania, Russia and Yugoslavia
do not require visas for visits of less than a week. Citizens
of North Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, People's Republic of China, South
Africa and holders of Hong Kong identity certificates are only
allowed to enter Malaysia subject to visa approval. Citizens of
Israel are not allowed to enter Malaysia. However, it is advisable
to check with your nearest Malaysian embassy/consulate as regulations
are subject to change.
Valid travel documents/passports is a must for entry and they
should he valid for a period of not less than six months.
International Charge and Credit Cards like American Express,
Visa and MasterCard, as well as local Bank cards are widely accepted
in Langkawi as well as throughout Malaysia.
Widely practiced but not mandatory.
Although Islam is the official religion of the country,
freedom of worship is guaranteed under the Malaysian Constitution.
Malaysian etiquette requires that visitors dress modestly
with respect to the religious beliefs of the country, and therefore,
topless sunbathing is not allowed
Except for yellow fever vaccinations for visitors from
infected areas,no other vaccinations are required.
Refreshment centres with Internet access are available. Rates
vary from RM2 to RM4 per hour.