Life as Digital Nomad at Langkawi, Malaysia
Oh Langkawi, you already had me from the moment I saw the ticket prices from KL: € 24 EUR. That is like flying paradise for me as a Dutchie. A one hour flight from Amsterdam to London is already three times that price. So HELL YES that I was leaving the dirty city for a clean beach and some peace of mind.
Langkawi is a tax free island nearby the Thai boarder. Situated in the North of Malaysia, this island offers you a few touristic highlights like the Sky Bridge and Island hopping tours. But best is to go kayaking through the Mangrove Forest. A real must go if you want to escape the busy city life!
The book that also convinced me: Enchanting Langkawi. But to be honest, you just have to go there and experience it yourself.
PRO 1. Tax free heaven!
Ok, Langkawi is probably best known for it's tax free regulation. There is no tax, at all. Tho that doesn't mean the prices are WAY lower than the rest of Malaysia. They just simply make more money ;). Luckily Malaysia is already cheap as chips, so we will still be very happy people at Langkawi.
It's easy to find a place to stay for less than € 20 EUR a night, hotels as airbnbs and breakfast is around € 3 EUR (skip the coffee tho).
PRO 2. Friendly and trustworthy people
As well as the locals as the other tourists: people really leave you be. There are no street sellers bothering you with their products, not strangers at the beach trying to get you into a bar. You can easily lay at the beach all you speak with all day is Sem (in my case ;) ) , the guy who rents out the beach beds. He will keep an eye on your stuff when you're in the water, but nobody bothers to even think about stealing your belongings. No stress!
Waiters, hotel services, bartenders, other locals: everybody speaks English and is super friendly and helpful with whatever it is you need. Perfect!
PRO 3. Tropical paradise
Did I mention it's a tropical island in the Andaman Sea with average temperatures of 30 C degrees? It has beautiful long beaches and spectacular inland nature. And no smog! Which is pretty important if you're coming from Kuala Lumpur or Bangkok.
CON 1. Wifi connection
There is wifi in almost every restaurant, but they only have it for the tourists who check their Facebook timeline every once in a while. Most restaurants wifi connections aren't strong enough for Skype calls or run massive reports. You also don't see people working from their laptop in restaurants, so it's a real holiday island.
If you need strong wifi: your best chance is at hotel lobbies. Not the greatest place to work, but you get your stuff done.
CON 2. No co working spaces
There is no co working community at the island, but that's not really a surprise I guess. It's not common to sit at restaurants with your laptop or work at all. Better to just read that book you still need to finish at the beach!
CON 3. Holiday only
Everybody on the island, local and/or tourist, is on a holiday. The only persons you see working are the ones in tourism. It makes the island slow, laid back and at peace. Nobody will understand that you try to work there.
So about Langkawi. Go there as a break from your long stay at Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur or maybe even Singapore. Just don't go for the long term, it will slow you down, make you lazy and probably very spoiled...