Safety Tips & Advice
Following our general health and safety tips will help ensure your holiday is spent on the beach and not at the hospital. Langkawi is a safe place to visit, but like anywhere, it’s a good idea to take on board some basic safety tips and advice to help make sure your holiday is spent on the beach and not in the local hospital. There are some precautions that should be taken in order to ensure you remain healthy and safe.
The biggest health risk on Langkawi is from jellyfish stings, especially between the months January to June. Uninformed visitors are stung every day. Lifeguards on Pantai Cenang and the hospital have to treat both mild and severe cases of jellyfish stings most days. There are several species of jellyfish in Langkawi’s waters. While most will just give you a nasty sting or a slight burn, there are some that could cause partial paralysis or even kill if not treated quickly enough. Always stay alert in the water!
If you get stung don’t exert yourself physically as this will pump the toxins around the bloodstream and aggravate the symptoms. Alert someone close by immediately and seek professional medical attention as quickly as possible. It’s a good idea to apply vinegar to the wound. This can help block toxins, which have not yet been absorbed into the blood. Try to remember what the jellyfish looks like and give a description to a medical professional. This will help them to identify what type of jellyfish stung you.
The island has a tropical climate and with this comes insects that like a hot, sticky environment. Mosquitoes are top of that list! It’s normal for mosquitoes to be present all year round on Langkawi. They normally come out at dawn and dusk, however some species can be seen throughout the day too. During the wet season and in particular locations (ie Mangrove areas) mosquitoes are more prominent. remember to always carry a good repellent, especially if you are in the jungle or near standing water.
Dengue Fever is a mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by the dengue virus. Dengue is spread by several species of mosquito and the virus has five different types, which means each person can be affected in a different way. The illness can vary in degrees from one person to the next. Mild symptoms can include headaches, vomiting, high fever and joint pains, which normally stops with bed rest within 7 days. More severe cases may involve intravenous drips and a blood transfusion may be required.
Although some medical vaccines have been approved in some countries, prevention is much better than cure in this case. Be sure to apply a good repellent when outside, wear clothing that covers as much of the body as possible and try to stay away from areas with standing water.
Langkawi is blessed with good weather and a tropical climate, that means the average year round temperature is between 28-32c. When visiting the island it’s important to stay hydrated otherwise you may end up feeling unwell. If you are not use to the hot climate we suggest drinking about 3 litres of water a day. Don’t wait until you’re thirty to drink either, drink little and often – room temperature water preferably. De-hydration accounts for a large percentage of upset tummies that can leave you feeling weak and unwell.
When driving or riding around Langkawi be careful, especially at night. Although many of the main roads are well lit, some of the more minor roads are not. When passing Kampungs (traditional Malay villages) or rural areas, you’ll notice that the locals seem to take a very casual approach to road safety. Drive slow and watch out for erratically piloted motorbikes, families of monkeys crossing the road, pedestrians and livestock. Inside Kuah Town, watch out for errors in the road arrows – they may lead you into wrong lanes or into barricades. At night watch out for water buffalo sleeping in the road.
Other top safety tips include being aware of smart wild monkeys on Langkawi. There are lots on the island living wild and they’re not scared to mingle with humans either. The monkeys at Tengkorak beach have been known to attack humans who have food on them and they can give you very nasty bite if they don’t get what they want. Don’t carry plastic bags around in areas populated with monkeys; they associate these with food and are highly likely to come over and take a look given half a chance.
The monkeys are wild – respect them and they will respect you. Do not aggravate or tease them – this will only provoke them. Watch them from a safe distance, follow our advice and you’ll be absolutely fine. If you do however, require medical assistance, go to the Central Langkawi Hospital near Kedah.
Crime is generally not a problem on Langkawi, especially compared to the larger cities in Malaysia. Our safety tips for crime would be no different than the precautions you follow in your own country. Always remember to lock your accommodation when out, store your valuable personal items in a locked safe or take them with you.