Kuah is the main town on Langkawi, with all of the island’s administrative offices and major shopping complexes. There are many hotels in Kuah, including the island’s best selection of budget accommodation.
Langkawi was one of Malaysia’s first attempts at modern tourism. Development began in the 1990s, but proceeded slowly enough that the atmosphere is still laid-back. Kuah receives plenty of domestic tourists along with international budget travelers.
Dive shops in Kuah equip tourists with all of the equipment they need to go diving at Pulau Payar Marine Park. Visitors keen to take up diving for the first time can enroll in PADI certification classes. The marine park is also good for snorkeling. Yachting is the other major water sport in Kuah, with regattas staged each year at the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club.
Caving is popular on Langkawi. Some tours visit caves, but it’s just as feasible to rent a motorbike in Kuah and explore independently. Landak Cave is closest to Kuah. Inside is an expansive chamber and plenty of unique rock formations.
For tourists, shopping is the main reason to go to Kuah. Langkawi has been a ‘duty-free zone’ since the 1980s, and there are many shopping outlets here in reach of hotels in Kuah. Langkawi Parade and Langkawi Fair Shopping Mall are two of the best places to shop for duty-free merchandise.