No matter when you visit, Malaysia will be sultry. Langkawi's rainy season is in October and November, then again in April and May; it's a bit cooler during these months.
Short, inexpensive flights ($15-$35) on Malaysia Airlines link Langkawi with both Kuala Lumpur and Penang. A taxi or car is a necessity for getting around. Except for the commercialized areas on the south of the island, Langkawi is thinly settled, and everything seems to be a 40-minute drive from everything else.
The Datai Jalan Teluk Datai; 60-4/959-2500, fax 60-4/959-2600; doubles from $275.
Tanjung Rhu Resort Mukim Ayer Hangat; 60-4/959-1033, fax 60-4/959-1899; doubles from $200.
Barn Thai Langkawi Kampung Belanga Pecah, Mukim Kisap, Daerah; 60-4/966-6699; dinner for two $30.
Bon Ton at the Beach Lot 1047, Pantai Cenang; 60-4/955-3643; dinner for two $20. It's a lot less "at the beach" since developers laid down a big patch of landfill right in front. But come nightfall the eyesore is invisible, and the lamplit atmosphere perfect for dining alfresco on tasty Malaysian specialties.
THINGS TO DO
Crocodile Adventure Jalan Teluk Datai; 60-4/959-2559; admission $1.50. Located along the road to the Datai resort, the farm is home to more than a thousand handbags-to-be.
De'zone Lot 5, Kuala Teriang, Jalan Pantai Kok; 60-4/955-6684. You can't go home empty-handed, so stop off on your way to the airport for some reasonably priced Southeast Asian handicrafts.
Underwater World Pantai Cenang; 60-4/955-6100, fax 60-4/955-6103; admission $4. Five thousand varieties of marine life in 100 tanks. The main attraction is a 50-foot-long glass tunnel through a giant tank containing sharks.