Tropical island getaways. Afternoons lazing under the sun, ocean breeze in your hair. Late-night bonfires and fresh seafood dinner with friends and family.


Credit: Giphy

When you think of Malaysia, it’s hard not to let your thoughts drift to the East Coast (of Peninsula Malaysia), where all your summer vacation dreams are set to come true. In this guide, we’ll introduce you to the 3 best gems of the East Coast; Redang, Perhentian and Tioman, and let you decide where you’d prefer to get your vitamin sea from 😋⛱

#HHWT Tip: The best time to visit these islands are between March-October. Most of the resorts we mention throughout the article close from November till the end of February due to monsoon season, so plan your vacation well, folks!

[P.S. Planning a beach getaway outside of the monsoon season? Here are 5 beach destinations in Malaysia that are perfect all year-round!]

Redang

Famous for the marine park where you can swim with fish and turtles in the crystal clear water, there’s hardly a reason not to spend a few nights in Redang if you ever head up to the East Coast ✈


Credit: @dzlygoeatplay on Instagram

The common misconception around Redang is that it’s simply a lone island but it’s actually an archipelago! It consists of nine islands, namely Lima, Paku Besar, Paku Kecil, Kerengga Besar, Kerengga Kecil, Ekor Tebu, Ling, Pinang and Redang itself.

The islands offer mesmerising snorkelling and diving spots, and it takes patience to discover every little gem in Redang 😉

Getting There

The most direct way to travel to Redang is by twice-daily direct charter flights to the island from Subang Airport and Singapore’s Seletar Airport operated fully by Berjaya Air. Flight bookings can be done here. The estimated flight fare is around RM600 per person for a return flight.

But most travellers opt for the more affordable option of going by ferry ⛴ All you need to do is head to the Shahbandar jetty in Kuala Terengganu or Merang jetty. Some resorts operate their own ferries which usually leave from Merang jetty and brings you directly to the resort. Other resorts will make use of the public ferry which leaves from Shahbandar jetty to the Kampung jetty in Redang, after which you will transfer to other boats heading for the resorts.

Estimated 2-way ferry fare: RM110.00 (adult) and RM50.00 (child).

Things To Do

1. Admire the clear waters on a transparent kayak

Very few resorts offer clear kayaks, one of which is The Taaras Beach & Spa Resort.


Credit: @passportravel on Instagram

This is definitely something you should try to completely immerse yourself to the Redang experience. Nothing beats watching the reef creatures go about their day underneath your kayak – trust us on this 😊

2. Visit Chagar Hutang Turtle Sanctuary

Located at a secluded cove in the northern part of the island, this sanctuary allows visitors to take part in their turtle conservation efforts 🐢

Credit: @mhsiow on Instagram

They regularly co-organise turtle-release events with Laguna Redang Hotel, so if you’re curious about the dates or you’re interested to sign up for a tour of the sanctuary, you can place your enquiries at Laguna Redang Hotel’s dive shop. By going on the tour, not only will you get to experience the process of releasing turtle hatchlings into the ocean, but you also get to snorkel at the pristine coral-filled cove, far from tourist-flocked beaches ⛱

#HHWT Tip: Turtle hatching and release happen between June till August, so do plan your visits ahead!

3. Visit the Marine Park

Credit: @hayatksim on Instagram

Although the cluster of islands in Redang is already gazetted as a marine park, Pinang Island is often referred to as Redang’s Marine Park. Resorts bring their guests here for 2 – 3 hours per trip, where schools of reef fish await to be fed white bread by snorkellers 🍞🐠🐟

Accommodation

1. The Taaras Beach & Spa Resort

This is the place to be if you’re thinking of a polished and upscale resort retreat 😎

Credit: @adventure_diary_joey on Instagram

What we absolutely love about The Taaras is that you can choose your Deluxe rooms or Suites based on the type of views you prefer. For special occasions where you prefer utmost privacy during your retreat, an infinity pool of your own and special services catered to you throughout the stay (we’re talking about a breakfast chef, butler and security 🙈), go for their Villa!

Credit: @thetaarasmalaysia on Instagram

If you plan to come here with families and little ones, you’ll be pleased to know there’s literally everything for everyone at The Taaras. From cooking classes and a visual games room to pool tables and board games, you won’t be running out of things to do indoors. Outdoor fun includes windsurfing, glass-bottom boat rides, Boogie boarding, island hopping, jungle trekking and the list goes on! 🌴

For extra convenience, Taaras offers two Fly & Stay packages; Jumpa Jojo and Paradise Plus. This is definitely a fuss-free option if you want your flight and accommodation to be taken care of in one bill. Check out what these packages entail here.

Note: Halal food options are available at the Asean All Day Dining. Alcohol is served in establishment.

Address: The Taaras Beach & Spa Resort, Kampong Ulu Redang, 20928 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu
Contact no: +6(09) 630 8888, (09) 221 3997/8/9
Rate: From RM800 per night
Website | Facebook | Instagram

2. Laguna Redang Island Resort

Credit: @lagunaredang on Instagram

If you’re a fan of the Hong Kong movie ‘Summer Holiday’ back in 1999, this resort might ring a bell. Their very own souvenir shop, More More Tea Inn, was initially used as a temporary set for the shooting of the movie and to this day remains a good reason for visitors to come ’round!

Credit: @lagunaredang on Instagram

Keeping your tummies full while staying here shouldn’t be a concern as they have plenty of buffet selections throughout the day – restaurants and a warung-themed foodcourt that opens till late!

#HHWT Tip: Laguna Redang has a PADI-certified dive centre that offers beginner-level and advanced diving courses. If you’re looking to pick up diving skills while enjoying your summer getaway, this is something we highly recommend 😉

Note: Halal options are available. Alcohol served in establishment.

Address: Laguna Redang Island Resort, Pasir Panjang, Pulau Redang, Terengganu.
Contact no: +6(09)-630 7888
Rate: From RM560 per night
Website | Facebook | Instagram

3. Redang Island Resort

If your dream island escapade includes being encapsulated by the charm of Redang’s rainforest, this is the resort for you!

Credit: @redangislandresort on Instagram

Each chalet has its own private balcony with either a view of the gleaming sea or the serene greenery. It’s perfect for visitors who seek the thrill in the vast sea when the sun’s out and look forward to the harmonious chirping of the crickets in the cold, starry night.

Credit: @redangislandresort on Instagram

The resort offers a boat charter service so you can go island hopping without the headache that comes with finding an external boat service.

When you’re tired after all that snorkelling and sightseeing, head over to their spa outlet for a well-deserved massage!


Credit: Giphy

Note: Halal options are available. Alcohol served in establishment.

Address: Redang Island Resort, Teluk Siang, Pulau Redang, Terengganu.
Contact no: + 6(09) 630 8787‎
Rate: From RM324 per night
Website | Facebook | Instagram

#HHWT Tip: Looking for even more awesome places to stay? Check out our guide on these 7 awesome resorts in Redang.

Perhentian

This island pair is known to be synonymous to Redang in terms of the activities you can do as travellers. But a noteworthy difference here is that Perhentian is dubbed as more backpacker-friendly as compared to its sister island.

[P.S. Check out our detailed guide on everything you need to know when travelling to Perhentian Islands!]

Credit: @florsenaris on Instagram

Consisting of Perhentian Kecil and Perhentian Besar, there’s plenty to see and do when you’re at the world’s 13 best beaches as ranked by CNN. This is where you get to snorkel with majestic reef sharks and handsome sea turtles. Ready to make the most out of your East Coast visit?😍


Credit: Giphy

Getting There

Unlike Redang, there is no airport in Perhentian hence direct flights are not an option. Visitors have to rely on water taxis provided by several different operators. The nearest jetty to both islands is Kuala Besut, and the journey takes about 30 – 45 minutes by speed boat and 1.5 hours by slow boat.

Estimated 2-way speedboat fare: RM70 per pax (adult & child)

Things To Do

1. Visit Masjid Ar-Rahman

A good way to mingle with the local villagers, as well as fellow Muslim travellers, would be by paying a visit to Masjid Ar-Rahman.

Credit: @almemorabilia on Instagram

Located in Perhentian Kecil, this mosque stands over the waters and its intricate Islamic architecture would capture just about anybody’s interest. Plus, what could be more calming than performing your prayers with the sound of waves breaking and the scent of the salty ocean breeze to top it off?

2. Go beach-hopping

Credit: @niccolo.fantini on Instagram

Dreamy azure waters and an almost perfect seclusion setting; if this combination tickles your fancy, be sure to include Turtle Beach in your itinerary as you go on your beach-hopping adventure 🚤

Credit: @cristina_parliamodiviaggi on Instagram

Mira beach is one of the smaller beaches with less crowd, but an equally superior vista.

3. Feast on fresh seafood BBQ

You will be spoilt for choice when hunting for freshly-caught seafood right here in Perhentian. Whether it’s beachfront stalls or proper restaurants you’re looking to dine at, the island will not disappoint! 🍤

Credit: @bubulongbeach on Instagram

Head over to the Kampung Nelayan or Fishermen’s Village at Pulau Perhentian Kecil for a taste of seafood prepared in a local way. There’s a row of stalls here so you can take your pick! If you’re in Coral Bay, be sure to head to Amelia Cafe n Chalet for their selection of grilled seafood like stingray, barracuda, squid and more.

Accommodation

1. BuBu Long Beach Resort & Villa

BuBu is a piece of paradise tucked away in Long Beach facing the azure waters.


Credit: @bubulongbeach on Instagram

We love the fact that a day spent here is enough to give you an impressionable sight of Pulau Perhentian, with its stunning garden, rustic sun lounges stretched across the white sandy beach, and the simplicity of this place 😍

Credit: @bubulongbeach on Instagram

Choose from 38 sea-view resort rooms and 18 cosy villas for your stay. Satisfy your cravings with appetising Asian, French, and Italian cuisines from their 3 different restaurants. If these do not spell out the perfect holiday for you and your loved ones, we don’t know what will 😅

Note: Halal options available. Alcohol served in establishment.

Address: BuBu Long Beach Resort & Villa, Long Beach, 22300 Perhentian Kecil, Terengganu
Contact no: +6016 260 3547 (Resort Front Office) / +6016 260 3548 (Villa Front Office)
Rate: From RM588 per night
Website | Facebook | Instagram

2. Tuna Bay Island Resort


Credit: Tuna Bay Island Resort on Facebook

This resort presents 55 wooden chalets stretched across the beachfront with a view of Perhentian Kecil. Within wading distance from the resort, you’ll be surprised to find amazing house reef that you can explore when snorkelling 🌊

Credit: Tuna Bay Island Resort on Facebook

This is also by far one of the most family-friendly resorts around as they have interconnected chalets and group activities catered to both adults and children, including fishing trips, jungle trekking, and of course, diving!

Note: Halal options available. Alcohol served in establishment

Address: Tuna Bay Resorts, Kampung Pulau Perhentian, 22300 Perhentian Besar, Terengganu
Contact no: +6(09) 690 2902
Rate: From RM300 per night
Website | Facebook | Instagram

3. Perhentian Island Resort

Credit: @perhentianislandresort on Instagram

It’s hard not to fall in love with charming and modernly-furnished wooden bungalows surrounded by palm tree shades and tropical greeneries, and this is exactly what Perhentian Island Resort offers.

Credit: @perhentianislandresort on Instagram

Yet another family-friendly destination, this gem is also a huge favourite amongst couples travelling to Perhentian. What follows a long day of island hopping and snorkelling would be a nice, relaxing massage offered here. You only need to inquire at the front desk, and they’ll sort out the best treatment for you 😉

Note: Halal options available. Alcohol served in establishment

Address: Perhentian Island Resort, 22200 Perhentian Besar, Terengganu
Contact no: +6 (03) 2144 8530/8531/8532
Rate: From RM370 per night
Website | Facebook | Instagram

Tioman

Credit: @marshallkieron on Instagram

Resting about 56km off the Pahang coast lies Tioman Island, which once used to be a monsoon shelter for fishermen, pirates, merchant ships and naval ships. But now, this idyllic nature reserve is a stunning attraction to just about anyone who likes a quiet environment, surrounded by misty mountains and facing clear waters 😍

Getting There

The best way to travel to Tioman is via a 2-hour ferry ride from Mersing jetty or Tanjung Gemok.

Estimated 2-way ferry fare: RM70 (adult) and RM60 (child)

Things To Do

1. Trekking 🌿

Never thought an island could have everything AND breathtaking trekking trails, did you?😉 This is the perfect activity for you if you’re travelling to Tioman with family or friends who are as adventurous as you. The trails have varying levels of difficulty that you can opt for, so talk to the trekking agency provided by your hotel to get more insights!


Credit: @maiwanders on Instagram

Bring your swimwear as there are trails that give you the grand finale in the form of chilly waterfalls 🏊‍♂️ One of the more popular trails is the hike to Asah Waterfalls or a day-long trek from Tekek to Juara. Of if you prefer something even more adventurous, then go on a hike up Gunung Kajang, an extinct volcano.

2. Snorkel with Blacktip Reef Sharks

Say what? Snorkel with… sharks? Yes indeed!

Credit: @cyrus.siu on Instagram

Reef sharks are a common sight off the shores of Tioman, and whatever you’ve learned from the movie franchise Jaws will not come to life here!

3. Indulge in beachside activities

Most of the resorts here in Tioman offer facilities and equipment for you to spend quality time on the beach. Be it a volleyball game or cycling that you prefer, there’s something for everyone 😊

Credit: @cyrus.siu on Instagram

Accommodation

1. Bagus Place Retreat

We all love an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and at times, this includes even marks of modern civilisation. If you’re looking for a low-density sanctuary to stay in, Bagus Place Retreat is definitely bagus for you!

Credit: @paolamenca on Instagram

This destination caught our attention for its unspoilt surrounding and their reputation as an eco-friendly resort. Every chalet is built to fit into the lush green coastal rainforest landscape, so whether it’s a hilltop view that you prefer, or complete nestling within a boathouse, or a suite somewhere deep in the jungle, they have something for everyone 👨‍👩‍👧‍👧

Credit: @paolamenco on Instagram

However, there are only 9 chalets available! Apart from its optimum solitude, Bagus Place Retreat takes pride in offering the best Malaysian hospitality experience with its all-inclusive feature where guests are provided with daily meals, tea & coffee, and personalised pick-up and send off speedboat transfers from airport/jetty. Hassle-free holiday never sounded better now, does it?

Note: Halal options available. Alcohol served in establishment

Address: Kampung Pasir Sarang, Mukut, Tioman Island, 26800 Tioman, Pahang.
Contact no: +6016 993 3239
Rate: From RM1,000 per night
Website | Facebook | Instagram

2. Tunamaya Beach & Spa Resort

You’ll love Tunamaya if a classy beach escapade is what you have in mind.

Credit: Tunamaya Beach & Spa Resort – Tioman Island on Facebook

Every villa is built with a distinct luxury feel to it, and you can choose your preferred view, be it the beach, the garden or the rainforest 🤗

Credit: Tunamaya Beach & Spa Resort – Tioman Island on Facebook

Just the vicinity of the place screams serenity, and you can expect wildlife species from the nearby forests to come out of their hiding and say hi 🐒

Note: Halal options available. Alcohol served in establishment

Address: Tunamaya Beach & Spa Resort, Lot 20 & 21, Sarang Burung, Kg. Mukut, Tioman Island, 26800 Kuala Rompin, Pahang.
Contact no: +6(07) 7668886/8887/8888
Rate: From RM529 per night
Website | Facebook | Instagram

3. Berjaya Tioman Resort

Prefer a little solitude with a touch of Malay-inspired aesthetics for your island getaway? Berjaya Tioman Resort is undoubtedly the place you should consider.

Credit: Berjaya Tioman Resort on Facebook

The contemporary traditional theme is well interpreted through the architecture and the cuisines they offer. Oh, and we’d go as far as to call this place a summer haven since they have everything to keep you occupied during your vacation, from a golf course to a massive swimming pool (yes, with a kids’ pool!) to ATV rides 🤸‍♂️


Credit: Dowealth Hugo on Facebook

Note: Halal options available. Alcohol served in establishment

Address: Berjaya Tioman Resort, 86807 Tioman Island, Pahang
Contact no: + 6(09) 419 1000
Rate: From RM410 per night
Website | Facebook | Instagram

Now that we’ve summed up the ideal spots to go on your upcoming East Coast discovery trip, will you be planning your vacation here anytime soon? 😉⛱🌊

[P.S. Want somewhere even more secluded? These 11 private island resorts are perfect for you!]

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