Updated on Jan 2023 – Ironman Langkawi 2023 and Ironman 70.3 Langkawi 2023 are happening on October 7th. For more info and registration, check Ironman Langkawi’s official website.
Are you ready for one of the toughest and most beautiful editions of the Ironman circuit?
The Ironman Langkawi in Malaysia is an amazing experience, but the heat and the humidity are a constant in this race, bringing an extra challenge to this tough triathlon.
Here you will find all the information you need about Ironman Langkawi and tips about Langkawi, Malaysia.
We visited Langkawi back in March 2105, and we fell in love. Nature is absolutely stunning! You can find all shades of green in its forests and mangroves. Beaches have a calm sea and soft white sand. Not to mention the delicious variety of food.
When I heard that they have an Ironman competition I was thrilled. At that time, I had no idea about my future travel plans but I could hear a voice in my head: “I’ll be back to Langkawi”.
If you are planning to attend the Ironman Langkawi I suggest you arrive about 1 week before to get acclimatized. Seriously the heat and humidity there are crazy, even Ironman champions like Patrik Nillson mentioned that the hardest thing in Langkawi Ironman is the heat.
Spare some days to enjoy the island, I will give you precious tips on what to do in Langkawi.
» Pre Race – Ironman Langkawi
First of all the registration must be done on Ironman`s official website. The action starts on October 23rd with the Athletes Check-in, the Ironman Expo and the opening of the info booth.
On October 24th there are the swim training, transitions tours, official dinner, and the race briefing.
The Bike Check-in happens on October 25th, also one more swim training and transition tour.
» The Race – Ironman Langkawi
The race starts at 7:00 am. At 5:45 am the transition area (T1) opens.
The swim will take place on the sheltered waters of Pantai Kok beach. Two laps with a 20m run between laps. A wetsuit is not permitted, expect a very warm sea in November, the water temperature will be around 30C!
The 180km course will cross the whole island and you will be able to enjoy its nature. It consists of 2 loops, except steep hills and flat areas. I would suggest training some climbing! Also, a lot of attention when passing the “Monkey Zone”, for your safety and the monkeys’ safety too.
Again a 2 laps course. This one is mainly flat and with a pristine landscape. You will finish the race on a palm-fringed beach. 🙂
One great feature of this race is the air-conditioned T2. Yep! After hours on the bike you can cool down during the transition. I’m sure that my T1 will be way faster than my T2 (I was wrong, check out my race review here)!
I started training for the Langkawi Ironman 2015 in July 2015. We were in Bulgaria, in a small village in the mountains. My cycling training was done with a MTB, not easy to keep cadence in the hilly Bulgarian countryside. To run was great, empty roads, fresh air and some wild encounters [snakes, wolves…]. No swimming over there.
While living in Bangkok I have a swimming pool in my condo, and the streets for running training were quite ok. Although to cycle was hard. The traffic is chaotic, from 6 am to 11 pm the cars and motorcycles take the roads.
One advantage is that I was getting used to the heat, the temperature is always over 28ºC, sometimes over 35ºC. I’m getting used to running in warm & humid places, on 2014 I ran the Angkor Wat Half Marathon.
My coach, Lucas Helal, from Luquitri Assessoria Esportiva, gave me big support in the training and motivation. Since we have a short period for the training and I have some travels before the competition we need focus and solid planning.
How to get to Langkawi
Langkawi is easily reached via Kuala Lumpur or Singapore airports. Low-cost companies such as Air Asia, Fire Fly, and Tiger Air serve Langkawi Airport. Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines also fly to Langkawi. Find the best fares on Skyscanner.
If your flight requires a layover in Kuala Lumpur we suggest staying at Sama-Sama Hotel, it’s located in Terminal 1 of KL airport. Check rates here.
Where to stay in Langkawi
Since Langkawi hosts several international events such as Ironman Langkawi, Le Tour de Langkawi, LIMA and ISAF. There are plenty of options, and the hotels are used to handle special requests such as a place to store your bike or help you to find a van to transport your luggage + sports equipment.
I usually don’t like to stay in the official hotel. Yes, can be handy for some events but usually is too busy and too noisy.
For Langkawi Ironman 2015 my choice was Berjaya Langkawi Resort. It is located less than 10 minutes from the starting area. On our first visit to Langkawi, we stayed in Berjaya and loved it. The Chalet in the jungle is gorgeous. Five stars quality in the middle of the rainforest. If you want to splurge go for the Water Chalet. Literally on the sea!
Accommodation in Langkawi ranges from hostels and guesthouses to luxury resorts. Options for all tastes and pockets. Recommend you check your accommodation on Agoda.com and Booking.com.
What to do in Langkawi
Langkawi is a tropical paradise. I strongly suggest you spare some time to explore the island.
There are a lot of things to do in Langkawi, Malaysia. Snorkeling and diving in transparent waters full of life, boat tours in the mangroves, Skybridge, eagle watching, water sports, island hopping, exploring the Night Market [try the Laksa soup!!!], and even some shopping since Langkawi is Duty-Free.
To make your life easier check our previous posts. One is for the lovebirds and the other one is for those looking for adventure.
Update: Check how was my race in Langkawi!
Have you done an Ironman? Have you thought about racing the Ironman Langkawi?
Ps. I was invited by LADA to race the Ironman Langkawi. Doesn’t matter who pays the bill you always get my honest opinion.
72 thoughts on “Ironman Langkawi, Malaysia – The Ultimate Guide”
amazing trip in Langkawi.
Visit mine monsieurdaily.com
Mn tks Hendra!
Nice one – are you a member of the Island Drum FB group? It’s mainly Langkawi locals and expats in there and this will do the rounds nicely in there 🙂
Tks for the heads up, just signed to follow Island Drum.
This is a nice training ground, I would run in a beautiful place like this but first I have to get my endurance up and ready 🙂
Hi Karla, it`s a beautiful place indeed!
Good luck! I harbour no desire to ever do an Ironman but I am always incredibly impressed by people who do them. I hope it goes well!
Yeah, the world has a bunch of nuts that likes crazy competitions hahahah
How exciting for you two to be in Malaysia and training for an Iron Man! Natalie, I just love how you are taking it all in! The sports, the romance, and the adventure!
Not to mention the support she gives to me!
I am a marathoner and run them all year round and I have actually had the opportunity to run a marathon along side an ironman as motivation for the finishers and their run portion. I will say that these people are TOUGH, what they go through and how hard they work and their mental games are amazing….I couldnt even imagine doing this in the humidity and head though.
Yes, the mind plays a HUGE part durin an Ironman. On my first one my mantra was : I can, I will.
When I was feeling pain or getting tired I keep repeating: I can, I will. Sound crazy, but it works 🙂
ps. Any great Marathon race that you recommend?
I really can’t imagine running in the heat and humidity of Malaysia, but whatever floats your boat! But that chalet sounds awesome!
Yes, that chalet is really gorgeous!
Wow! You guys are hard core 😉 I’ve always wanted to do an Iron Man competition. One day I will finally take the plunge! I bet the sense of accomplishment makes it all worth it!
Go for it! The training is tough but the race day is absolutely overwhelming!
You would definitely need to acclimatise before a race in Langkawi. The humidity would be a huge factor. I am surprised by the air conditioning at the transition areas. It would be a relief definitely. Great post on a lovely area.
This is great, isn`t? First time that I heard about an air conditioned transition area.
We would love to visit Langkawi. It looks breathtaking over there! Despite how challenging the Ironman Challenge may be (the heat and humidity would be tough!), the surroundings will surely make up for it. Good luck for November!
Whenever you have a chance go to Langkawi. The island is stunning!
I’d love to visit Langkawi (though not for an Ironman Challenge). The resort looks beautiful- my kind of place definitely.
Deffo, Berjaya is gorgeous!
I’m never going to be an ironman contender but Langkawi is beautiful and it would be such an amazing way to see and experience it in such a unique way.
For sure it will be a great way to enjoy the island!
ok thats intense. I have a hard time walking for more than a few hours in this tropical heat I can’t even imagine an ironman. I have heard wonderful things about Langkawi I hope to make it there soon. Good luck with the race!
Tks very much Orana!
The island looks amazing but the challenge will be tough with these weather conditions, but you will enjoy the scenary! Good luck in November!
I`ll need a lot of water 😉
Looks like a gruelling event in extremely hot weather conditions. Great way to push your body. And, when you are finished you can enjoy the beauty of Langkawi. Good luck!
I hope to enjoy the island before, during and after the race;)
I can’t imagine doing an Ironman competition anywhere let alone in the heat and humidity. Good luck to you!
tks very much Elizabeth!
Good luck in November- hope you are fully recovered from your hospital incident!
Tks Anna, Feeling way better!
I’m not one for an ironman or endurance sport of any kind but the scenery throughout this ironman looks amazing. What a way of distracting from the pain I’m sure you experience when competing.
The Berjaya Langkawi Resort looks beautiful. What a retreat when your tired and sore at the end of the day. Stunning!
For sure the scenery will help !
What a travel post with a difference Rob!
Hope it all goes/went well!
I can’t believe anybody would actually want a wetsuit in that 30 degree water…
Actually many athletes prefer to use the wetsuit to get an extra flotation. But 30C, no tks!
Great post! I cross by your web after I google looking for some tips and training for ‘first timer Iron Man’. I from Malaysia, I didn’t know that Langkawi Iron Man one of the toughest IM. Hopefully I can finish within the cut off time. Looking foward to meet you in person this coming IM at Langkawi.
Will be a pleasure to meet you!
Good luck on your training 🙂
I love traveling to do races but never an Ironman…probably because the swimming part would really really challenge me!!
I have to admit that I will just survive the swimming leg 😉
This was the perfect post to read right now! Not because I will be doing the Iron Man competition (which I am impressed that you are doing!), but because Natalie has tried to convince me to meet you guys there! I think this helps with the convincing! And, the Berjaya Langkawi Resort… wow! I think I might have to do our shoot there. Before or after the Iron Man of course. 🙂
No pressure but Langkawi is stunning indeed.
I love Langkawi! Although the only things I’ve really done have been drink and snorkel. Not sure if I would even survive an Ironman.
The sea in Langkawi is amazing, right?
How cool! I was there when they had Ironman in France and it was incredible to witness the strength the participants have. I can’t imagine how much more difficult it must be in the heat!
I did one back in Brazil but during winter was “ok”. I`m sure that in Langkawi will be tougher!
Wow. The Ironman Challenge is amongst the most physically gruelling contests of all time. Good luck! You’ll need all of it. But on the flipside, you could have hardly chosen a better place to compete 🙂
Thats right, it will be tough but in a gorgeus location!
What a hero! It is so hard to maintain fitness levels on the road, but setting yourself a goal like Iron Man must keep pushing you. So much admiration for you, I can barely run in the morning heat in Vancouver never mind the humidity you must be facing. God bless air con! Good luck!
My challenge is to keep discipline. And say no to parties hahahahah
My brother did the Ironman years ago in Idaho and it was an amazing experience.
I bet it was!
Ironman? No way – I’m a rock in the water even if I could train enough to do the running and the cycling. Totally impressed by the training and hard work that go into them! Just not for me.
BUT – what a crazy gorgeous place to have a race! Gorgeous. Good luck!
hahahah I`m the opposite, I will barely survive the swimming !
Yes, it`s not easy to train while traveling, although it`s not impossible!
One trick that Nat and I do a lot: Sightseeing & run. Early in the morning we explore the new city while jogging 😉
Langkawi é lindo demais!!!!!
Always have had such admiration for people training for and participating in Ironman triathlons! Good luck and enjoy Langkawi – what a fantastic way to travel and do something you enjoy!
Langkawi is a great place indeed!
Looks like a great place for Ironman. I was thinking of tiathlon in Banff National Park in Canada as I live close by but would have to postpone it a bit due to our travel plans. Good luck on the day D!
Wow! A competition in Banff should be incredible too!!!
thanks for this very useful guide. I’m looking forward to race the next ironman Langkawi in november 2016. Maybe you’re racing it too?
Regarding the Berjaya Langkawi Resort, do you know which chalet are privative ? I’m asking because some reviews on Tripadvisor mention chalet with thin walls being noisy wiht neighbors.
thanks for your feedback.
I’ll skip this year, no time for training 😉
From what I remember some of the Rainforest Chalets are side by side. The Seaview Chalets are privative. (and the view is stunning!)
Enjoy your race!
ps. Appreciate if you could book via the links on the article, you don’t pay extra but our blog gets a small commission 😉
Being a traveling freak will like tos ay that this is really useful stuff for me. I like this a lot.
Glad to help!
Enjoy your travels!
Woow… I am interested to participate in this year’s IM and u have given me a heads up. First congrats and next thanks for these insights. I am doing Ironman for the first time. Would like to hear more on what’s needed to get trained for run swim and cycle…
Keep an eye on their website, it seems that the Phuket edition is not happening but there is a new race in Thailand.
Hi rob im aizad and im from MALAYSIA, I feel really honored about my country and also i hope that im also can join IRONMAN soon and im also need to training more
Tks for the comment Aizad!
Keep training and go for it!!!