Duty-free shopping is one of the top things to do in Langkawi, right up there with a visit to the Kilim Geoforest Park or the Wildlife Park. Fragrances, kitchenware, but especially chocolate and alcohol can be picked up for super cheap. Chocolate can be around 50% off compared to KL supermarkets, while certain brands of spirits can be a third or even a sixth of the price!
Tourists visiting or staying in Cenang Beach will have an ample selection of duty-free stores. All of them that I talk about below are on Jalan Pantai Cenang and are close to each other, making it easy to compare prices. Remember that the typical alcohol allowance is 1 litre per person when returning to other cities in Malaysia.
Liquor & Cigarettes Duty Free Shop @ Cenang Mall
Cenang Mall is a boring mall, but on the upper floor are two duty-free shops next to each other. The Liquor & Cigarettes Duty Free Shop had the best prices on many popular spirits. I picked up a 1-litre bottle of Russian Standard vodka for only RM30! Compare that to the cheapest retailer in Kuala Lumpur that I know of that sells it for RM196 for 750ml.
Certain flavours of Absolut vodka were a couple of ringgit cheaper, but the range they stocked was small. Glenfiddich 12 Year Old was only RM132 compared to RM140-RM145 at the other shops.
Ole Ole Duty Free Chocolate @ Cenang Mall
Ole Ole Duty Free is right next door to the Liquor & Cigarettes shop. This is a very well organised and spacious shop that specialises only in chocolate. There are classic favourites like Pepero, touristy Durian flavoured chocolate, and the fanciest thing we could find, Ferrero Rocher. The chocolate here at Ole Ole isn’t very fresh, so check those expiry dates before buying. The chocolate I bought was set to expire in three months.
Eastern Duty Free @ Pantai Cenang
Eastern Duty Free Shop is a very tiny shop compared to the others. It doesn’t have much real estate, so it’s bound to get cramped in here. This store only sells chocolate and beer. There are no spirits for sale here. The chocolate selection were brands that I see often in the supermarket, like Belgian and Andes. The most interesting thing was the Ferrero Rocher, which were slightly cheaper here at RM30.90 (I noticed prices of RM32.90 at some other stores).
There is a wall of chilled beer in the refrigerators, both in cans and bottles, with more beer in boxes. The boxes look like they came right off the truck and nonsensically block access to the fridges. It doesn’t look like there’s much here that you can’t get at any of the other duty-free stores, so I would give this store a pass.
Warisan Duty Free Langkawi
Warisan Duty-Free is a large shop that is centrally located. It has the latest opening time of 1 pm, so plan your shopping accordingly. In addition to the usual alcohol and chocolate, Warisan also sells duty free perfumes, beachwear, bags, and shoes.
This is our place to buy Ritter Sport chocolate. Mark bought a case Ritter Sport here as they had the furthest expiry date. Spirits are in a separate room with fridges of chilled beer. The alcohol range is quite varied for such a small room, with items that you will not find at the larger stores like The Zon.
In my opinion, Warisan Duty Free has the best selection and prices. There are a few items that are notably cheaper at Cenang Mall’s liquor shop, but Warisan has the advantage of being a one-stop shop. I bought chocolate, perfume, alcohol and even a new bikini here during my last visit.
Teow Soon Huat
Teow Soon Huat is the latest duty free shop to open in Cenang Beach. This store is strange in that it is half duty free shop and half grocer. The shelves at the back sell chips, refrigerated food and other common grocery items. At this time, Teow Soon Huat only sold chocolate, no alcohol. The store is nicely organised with lots of stock, but there wasn’t anything unique here and the prices were higher than the other shops.
Even though the name of the shop implies that this is a chocolate haven, spirits and beer are sold at Coco Valley too. The price of most spirits was higher at Coco Valley compared to Warisan Duty Free or the Cenang Mall shop.
Coco Valley and its neighbour, The Zon Duty Free, are an amorphous entity with no separation between the two shops. Items at Coco Valley will oddly have price tags labelled “Underwater World,” so you’ll know when you’ve strayed into Coco Valley territory. On the way to the exit is discount kitchenware and perfumes for sale. There were a lot of mugs, cutlery, dinnerware sets and cooking implements for sale.
The Zon Duty Free
The Zon is a sprawling shop at the south end of Cenang and is the last major duty-free outlet on the main strip. The first section is a big space filled with perfumes, shoes and bags. The service at the perfume section is slow. There’s only a couple of girls working and they’re always busy with a customer who wants a dozen perfume samples.
Alcohol is deeper into the shop. More so than the other shops, The Zon seems to specialise in whiskey and wine. Some bottles are blatantly priced much higher than the attached Coco Valley, so you might have to go back and forth to compare prices. A notable example is Absolut Vodka, which is RM55 at The Zon compared to RM43 at Coco Valley.
There is a room in the back where much of the chocolate for sale is located. It was a lot of the usual stuff with no upmarket brands. There was a section of swimwear in here too.
If you’re around the chocolate section you should be able to see the signs pointing to the washroom. The Zon is the only duty-free shop on this list that has a public toilet for visitors to use. It’s weirdly located in a different building, and you have to walk outside across an alley to get to it. It’s dirty and smelly with no paper whatsoever, so I don’t recommend using it unless you have to.
Together, The Zon and Coco Valley will have the biggest selection of whatever it is you’re looking for. If you only have time to stop at one place and don’t care about comparison shopping for the best price, come to this area.