Langkawi is Malaysia’s biggest island and one of the most popular destinations in this fabulous country. We love Malaysia, it’s one of our favourite places to travel (and eat) as vegans because of the rich culture and all the the amazing Malaysian vegan food.
Here’s our Vegan Guide to Langkawi to help you out if you visit.The first thing to mention is unless you are planing to stay in a nice luxury resort that is great at looking after vegans (this is certainly to be considered), your options in some parts of the island might be a little limited.
Due to some last minute schedule changes our trip to Langkawi lasted for the grand total of 3 days but, being the intrepid vegan food seekers that we are, we did get out and explore Kuah and the jetty area, noting down all the vegan food options that we found. Feel free to tell us about other vegan friendly places we might have missed of course.
Kuah is a funny kind of place, full of duty free shops and not much else. The best shopping mall in town looked like it was having a closing down sale, the park was deserted, the iconic eagle statue is just a giant statue of an eagle with a few tourists taking selfies (yes that included us).
We stayed for a night in a windowless room at Cosy Inn to test out a budget option in town. It was fairly decent if you like sleeping in a dark, cold box with the constant sound of humming electrics. However, it was next-door to a 24-Jam (means 24 hr) ‘nasi kandar’ place where there was the usual fare of dal and rice to be found. One the other side there was Artisans Pizza which had some vegetarian options with soy meat which looked like they could be veganised.
We discovered an excellent night market nearby on Lecongan Putra 3 with vegetable fried rice, chick peas and lots of mango and durian sticky rice sellers. Worth a visit if you’re nearby.
There was also a vegan restaurant opposite the Cosy Inn (near the Asia Hotel) but it only opens on the 1st and 15th day of the lunar calendar; sadly it was closed when we were there.
The best place to eat in Kuah by far, has to be Langkawi Vegetarian Restaurant (and is probably one of the redeeming features of Kuah Town), it’s basically a self service restaurant open from 8am-2.30, where everything is vegan.
You help yourself, eat, help yourself some more and then go and wash up your own dishes.
Then you pay by donation, so you just leave what you like and all the money goes to charity.
You are also welcome to take your own lunch box and help yourself to takeout (there were lots of locals doing this). It’s clean, friendly and the food was decent, plus there’s lots of ‘food for thought’ to mull over when you eat your meal.
Like a lot of visitors to Langkawi, we arrived by ferry (tip: wrap up warm, it’s freezing). There were vegan food options in the jetty food court at one of the stalls advertising arabic food but beware, the prices were extortionate (hence we didn’t order anything). We did however find the good old ‘cup of corn’ which is a ubiquitous snack found all over Malaysia (next time we’re bringing our own cups to avoid the polystyrene by the way).
There is a branch of Starbucks and they do have soya milk (we checked) but little else.
Telaga Harbour (west coast)
Before we leave you with the idea that Langkawi is not to be visited, we should just mention that we had 2 blissful days staying at The Danna Langkawi, located in Telaga Harbour on the west coast. The beach was pristine, the jungle backdrop was stunning and we were constantly full of wonderful vegan food. It’s one of those places where generosity is the order of the day with charming staff who go out of their way to help, big portion sizes in the restaurant, a complimentary neck and shoulder massage at check-in and free flowing sparkling wine at breakfast. Veganism is well understood and catered for with excellent service. Highly recommended.
So there you have it, our short Vegan Guide to Langkawi. Langkawi isn’t really a vegan paradise but there are certainly a few spots where you’ll feel at home and with some careful planning you should be able to make the most out of your visit there and get to see some of the best parts of the island.
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Or why don’t you come and stay with us in our very own Vegan Villa in Siem Reap, Cambodia where we can treat you to the best of vegan hospitality and share with you our favourite vegan spots in Temple Town; check out our listing on Airbnb and come and stay if you’re in the area!