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Planning an island-hopping trip to Malaysia? Find out what to wear in Langkawi and other islands in Malaysia!


What to Wear in Langkawi

Written By: Kelly Ella Maz


The islands in Malaysia are drastically different from Kuala Lumpur and other popular destinations like Melaka and Penang. On islands like Langkawi it’s mostly tourists, so the dress code is quite different from the rest of the country.

Although I’d still caution to dress on the modest side, on the islands you have much more freedom when it comes to what you wear. Here’s are some packing tips to get you started on what to wear in Langkawi and other Malaysian Islands:


Maxi dresses for casual nights


Maxi Dress


Most restaurants on the islands are quite casual, so if you’re headed out for dinner or drinks at night there’s no need to dress up. A casual maxi dress is the perfect outfit because you can switch it up by adding jewelry you bought a local market.

Maxi dresses are also extremely comfortable, so they double as great travel day outfits. For maximum usage pick a dress in a neutral color, such as navy blue, that will match all of your different shoes and accessories.


Want to look your best when traveling but still be comfortable. Read my travel tips to Pack Light Stylishly!


Cotton summer dresses for day


Cotton Dress


The days can get hot in Malaysia, so a lightweight cotton dress will be the most practical thing to wear during the day. You’ll be hot and sweaty after only an hour of sightseeing, so breathable clothing is best.

I’d also avoid dresses that are skin tight as this will leave you feeling pretty uncomfortable when you’re really hot.


Use slim packing cubes to save space in your suitcase and travel carry-on only. 


A bikini for beach days



A bathing suit is an obvious thing to pack for the islands, but unlike the rest of Malaysia there isn’t as much pressure to dress modest so you are totally fine wearing a bikini here!

Some islands (like Langkawi) have plenty of water sports and activities so you might prefer a bathing suit that fits well and stays on when you’re active.


Athletic shorts instead of a sarong


Athletic Short


Since most islands in Malaysia don’t have public transportation you’ll be relying on scooter rentals to get around. Sarongs or bathing suit cover-ups aren’t the most practical to wear on a scooter, so pack a pair of athletic shorts that you can wear over a wet bathing suit while driving.


Strong bug spray to avoid bites


Bug Spray


Malaysia’s islands are a breading ground for all kinds of mosquitos and bugs. Unless you want to be covered in ugly red bites in all of your travel pictures I’d suggest packing a bug spray that you can wear day and night.

The selection of bug spray in Malaysia is not very large (and prices will be high) so pack some from home. If you do get some nasty bug bites on the island ask around for a local herbal remedy called gamat that works well to heal bites fast!


Comfortable shoes for adventurous days


Running Shoes


My time on the islands included lots of mountain explorations, secret beaches and hidden caves. None of those adventures would have been possible in rubber flip flops – so make sure to pack a good pair of shoes. A pair of running shoes would be ideal , but even a high quality pair of sport sandals with straps would work too.




What are your tips on what to wear in Langkawi and other islands in Malaysia? Comment below!


For more Southeast Asia packing list ideas, please read:


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I hope you liked these tips on what to wear in Langkawi. Please share with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Thanks for reading!

Author Bio: Kelly Ella Maz is travel writer from Canada. Her passion for travel and world-wide experience led her to starting her own travel planning business and blog. She recently bought a one-way ticket to Barcelona, where she’ll be living by the beach and travelling around Spain. You can follow her travels at Kellyellamaz.