Beautiful Beaches in Malaysia: Your Ultimate Guide To Malaysia's Islands For An Amazing Beach Getaway


Iyesha Maria •  Jun 20, 2019

Sandy white beaches, crystal clear water, and gardens of beautiful corals with vibrant fishes - that's the requirement for the ultimate island vacay in the best beaches in Malaysia. And lucky for us, Malaysia has plenty of islands with all of these requirements ticked off ?


We've compiled the ultimate guide you need to conquer 11 of the best Malaysian islands for the best vacation, ever! From scuba diving, kayaking, snorkelling, and even just lazing by the beach, there's something for every traveller on these beautiful islands ?

Prices are based on searches for the travelling period of July 2019

1. Langkawi (Kedah)

Best known for: Luxury resorts

Langkawi is one of Malaysia's top islands for family vacations and it's really no surprise since there are plenty of things to do for the entire family! From relaxing on sandy white beaches, exploring the vibrant Cenang street, to immersing yourself with nature at Telaga Tujuh waterfall, it's a destination for all ?


1. Beach activities

Best Beaches in Malaysia
Credit: @jiunnlin_ on Instagram

Make your way to the vibrant Cenang beach and spend your day having a blast with many activities around! Get a sky-high view of the island by parasailing, have a thrilling ride on the banana boat, or have a go at the jet skis.

2. Langkawi Sky Bridge

Best Beaches in Malaysia
Credit: @joaalm on Instagram

Probably not the place to be if you have a fear of heights, or challenge yourself and be rewarded with an amazing view of the island ?To get to the Langkawi Sky Bridge, you have to take a cable car up. And once you're settled up there, walk through the bridge (with some see-through panels) and enjoy the scenic greens from one of their viewing decks. Although Langkawi is generally known for its island heat, the climate up at the sky bridge is cooling, and its a nice break from the intense heat.

3. Dataran Lang

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Dataran Lang, or Eagle Square is a place that reflects the origin of Langkawi's name. It's also one of the most instagrammable spots in town because of a massive 12-metre sculpture of an eagle or a Helang in Malay which is what Langkawi was named after. The highlight of this place is also the magnificent backdrop of green mountains, giving an illusion that a giant eagle is flying through Langkawi when seen from a distance.

4. Langkawi Cable Car

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Credit: @marekokon in Instagram

Enjoy one of the most scenic rides up to the Langkawi Sky bridge by cable car ?The ride takes you up to Mount Mat Cincang which is 708 metres, and in only 15 minutes! The ride is also considered one of the steepest cable cars rides in the world, giving you an awesome thrill and amazing views of the mountains, valleys, islands and the spectacular Andaman Sea.

5. Underwaterworld Langkawi

Credit: Arun Raj on Facebook

Conveniently located at Pantai Cenang, Langkawi's Underwater world is a popular place frequented by families ?The educational marine facility houses more than 4000 marine creatures (over 500 species) and plenty of interactive entertainment to keep the kids busy and happy throughout your trip!

6. Gunung Raya

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Gunung Raya stands at an impressive 881 metres and is located in the central area of the island, giving viewers from the peak a breathtaking view of the island including a beautiful sprawling golf course at the base of the mountain.

There are two ways to make your way to the top. You can drive or take a taxi there or enjoy nature by taking a trek up with tour operators. The trek is considered an easy trek and is usually timed in a way for you to spot wildlife during the day time or after dark. Many tend to prefer trekking in the evening since there are plenty of nocturnal creatures to spot such as flying fox and squirrels!

7. Pulau Payar Marine Park

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Credit: @igrammyuen10 on Instagram

Langkawi itself is not known for its diverse marine life, but just a 45 minutes boat ride away is the stunning Pulau Payar Marine Park where many snorkellers and scuba divers frequent to enjoy the marine life. For non-divers, you won't even have to swim out far to enjoy beautiful corals, there are plenty of corals sprawling in the water just a few steps away from the beach! And for diving enthusiasts, there are many diving spots near Pulau Payar with some amazing things to see such as turtles and sharks ?

8. Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls

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Credit: @mariamitsura on Instagram

Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls, which means Seven Wells Waterfall in English is known as one of Langkawi's best natural attraction. It's beauty lies in the connected seven natural pools of water separated by waterfalls at Mount Mat Cincang. Spend the day here soaking in the cooling pools or for the more adventurous, you can also climb your way up through the seven pools (takes approximately 45 minutes) and enjoy nature at its best! You can even spot plenty of wildlife there such as hornbills, macaques and plenty of giant squirrels.

9. Mangrove tour

Credit: @sharonlee15 on Instagram

One of the most popular attractions in Langkawi is the mangrove tour of the Kilim Karst Geoforest park, located in Langkawi's nature reserve. The tour usually takes a little more than half a day but is well worth it since you get to see an amazing array of Langkawi's natural wonders! The tour is by motorboat which will take you through the Kilim River and the mangrove out to the open ocean. Along the way you'll get to visit a floating fish farm, a spectacular eagle feeding session, a boat ride through a cave, and the final stop is a bat cave where you'll get to see large colonies of bats having their daytime rest on the cave ceilings above you ?

Time to visit: January to March

How to get there:

By plane: Fly into Langkawi International Airport. There are plenty of direct flights into the island from local airports (Penang, Kuala Lumpur) and other countries (Seoul, Singapore, Phuket and more).

Car: It takes about 6 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur, and you can drive to either the Kuala Kedah ferry terminal or Kuala Perlis (about an hour more) ferry terminal and park your car there. From there, there are plenty of express ferries to the island. The ferries from Kuala Kedah takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes to reach the island, while the ferries from Kuala Perlis takes 1 hour 15 minutes.

If you prefer to drive your car on the island, drive up to Kuala Perlis terminal and use car ferries operators, where you can drive your car onto a car ferry and drive it out on the island. The two ferry operators for cars are Langkawi RoRo Ferry Services and Langkawi Auto express. The fare depends on car size and the number of passengers travelling.

Bus: there are plenty of coach buses available from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Perlis (about 8 hours). The buses leave from Pudu Sentral Bus Station or Hentian Duta Bus Station. From Kuala Perlis, you take one of the ferry services to the island.

Train: There is no train all the way to the island, but you can take the Malayan Railway Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) up to Alor Setar (Kedah) and take a taxi to Kuala Kedah Ferry Terminal or Arau (Perlis) and take a taxi to the Kuala Perlis Ferry Terminal.

Recommended accommodation:

The Andaman Langkawi

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Credit: @theandaman on Instagram

Langkawi is known for its ultra-luxurious resorts such as The Datai, The Four Seasons and The Andaman. The Andaman is nestled in the midst of Langkawi's rainforest giving it a serene and tranquil atmosphere ?Aside from their amazing rooms and service, nature and beach lovers would love the Andaman as it also gives you access to a private beach to enjoy without the hustling atmosphere like Cenang Beach.

Price per night:RM745 on Agoda

Address: Jln Teluk Datai, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah

Contact:04-959 1088

Website | Facebook | Instagram

[P.S. Looking for budget accommodations during your trip to Langkawi? Here are 16 budget-friendly accommodations in Langkawi for an amazing getaway (from RM68)]

2. Pulau Pangkor (Perak)

Best known for: Historical sites and nature

Similar to Langkawi, Pangkor Island has plenty of attractions other than beach and water activities! Explore an old Dutch Fort, visit a temple, or trek up Pangkor Hill for an amazing view of the island ?


1. Dutch Fort

Credit: @aishah.hbni on Instagram

Pangkor Island's Dutch fort (or Kota Belanda) is a 17th-century fort built by the Dutch as a storage area for tin ore. And with its old-time charm of brick walls and circular windows, this is definitely one of the top photo spots on the island!

The historical place shows plenty of interesting aspects of the Dutch architecture during that time, including some graffiti left by soldiers in the 17th century and windows used to fit cannons! The fort was later abandoned but restored in 1973 by the local museum to be a tourist attraction. The for was reconstructed using the original floor plan without a roof and is now one of the top attractions on the island.

2. Trek up Pangkor Hill

Credit: @nur_rabiatol_nafisah on Instagram

Make your way up to the highest peak on the island! At 330 metres, the peak of Pangkor hill will sure to amaze you with its panoramic views ?Enjoy a leisurely trek up the hill and enjoy Pangkor's green nature. There are plenty of plants and wildlife to spot along your trek too! And at the entrance of the trail, you can have a quick dip by a lovely waterfall with natural pools ?

3. Feed hornbills at Sunset View Chalet

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Credit: @zhihao39 on Instagram

Make your experience a unique one by feeding the local hornbills. Every sunset (around 6-6.30m), hornbills gather at Sunset View Chalet for a free snack. According to the owner of the place, he has been feeding the birds for over 13 years and they now come to him on instinct for their evening snack. And best of all, it's free of charge!

Though do note that the hornbills are only allowed to be fed white bananas as other food such as bread may damage their digestive system.

4. Snorkelling

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Although Pangkor isn't known for its diverse marine life (unlike Perhentian and Redang), it is still a favourite for travellers to have a snorkelling session while visiting because of its calm waters, making it a perfect spot for beginners wanting to learn how to snorkel ?

5. Foo Lin Kong Temple

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Credit: @marion_elia on Instagram

Located on the east coast of the island is its largest Taoist temple, the Fu Lin Kong Temple. The temple showcases intricate Taoist designs, with Buddha statues, and even a mini Great Wall of China in the garden located at the back of the main hall. The highlight of this temple is how it sits perfectly atop a hill giving a beautiful view of the temple with the beach and ocean backdrop, as well as a view of colourful rooftops at the bottom of the hill ?

Time to visit: Monsoon season is from November till February, though Pangkor Island is not affected much and many travellers still visit during this time

How to get there: 

The only way to get to the island is by using boat services in Lumut. From Lumut, it takes about 45 minutes to get to the island.

Car to Lumut: The drive from Kuala Lumpur takes about 3 hours.

Bus to Lumut: From Kuala Lumpur, you can take the bus from Terminal Bersepadu Selatan for about RM30. The trip is around 4 hours.

Recommended accommodation:

Pangkor Laut Resort

Credit: Pangkor Laut Resort on Facebook

Although more on the pricier end of accommodations, the Pangkor Laut resort is popular with locals and travellers because of its beautiful ocean view rooms and spectacular services. Its traditional inspired villas are designed with wood giving it a heritage charm with the luxuries of modernity. And on days you're not out exploring the island? Book yourself into their world-class spa for a day of total relaxation ?

Price per night:RM1210 on Agoda

Address: Pangkor Laut Island Pangkor Laut, 32200 Lumut, Negeri Perak

Contact: 05-699 1100

Website | Facebook | Instagram

3. Pulau Kapas (Terengganu)

Best known for: A place to relax and enjoy the beach 

Unlike many other islands in Malaysia, Pulau Kapas is fairly underdeveloped and still retains most of its old-school island charm with small chalets and easy-going pace. This is the place to totally relax and enjoy the pristine sandy white beaches with a bit of snorkelling and hiking ?


1. Snorkelling

Credit: Nik Khairuddin Nik Saleh on Facebook

You don't have to venture far out the play with the neighbourhood fishies ?Just take a few steps into the water and find yourself swimming with the fishes of Kapas Island!

2. End-to-end beach walk

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The white sandy beaches of Kapas Island extends to about close to 4km stretch, making is a great way to spend your morning or evening for a leisurely stroll ?

3. Day trip to Gem Island

Credit: @joshjuing on Instagram

Since Gem Island (or Pulau Gemia) is just a boat's ride away, have a fun day island hopping and explore this nearby island. Spend the day exploring the beaches and be rest assured that there are plenty of privacy since it's not a usual destination for tourists ?

4. Jungle walks

Credit: @alfaqir_emma_hanafi on Instagram

Or spend your day exploring the greener side of Kapas Island with an easy trek through its beautiful jungle ?

Time to visit: Closed to visitors from October to February because of the monsoon. Best June July August September

How to get there:

You can only reach the island via boat from Marang Jetty in Kuala Terengganu. From Marang Jetty, it takes about 10 minutes to reach the island.

By plane: Fly to Kuala Terengganu airport and take a taxi to Marang Jetty.

Recommended accommodation:

Kapas Island Resort

Credit: @kapasislandparadise on Instagram

Unlike other islands, Kapas Island still has an old-school charm with having only small and simple chalets. One of the best chalets around is the Kapas Island Resort which is clean and cosy, perfect for a short getaway on the island ?

Price per night: starts at RM175/person for a 2D1N packaged stay

Address: Pulau Kapas, Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu

Contact: 09-631 6468

Website | Instagram

4. Pulau Tenggol (Terengganu)

Best known for: Whale shark sightings

Tenggol Island in Terengganu is a diving haven for scuba diving enthusiast with the diversity of coral and marine life! Although there's not much development on the island, it remains a popular destination due to frequent whale shark sightings around the island ?

Credit: @rabbit_2ever on Instagram


1. Scuba Diving

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In comparison to more commercialized islands like Perhentian and Redang, Teggol's waters remain vastly untouched and still has plenty of amazing marine diversity. Swim through schools of colourful fish big and large, see plenty of turtles swimming past you, and spot plenty of colourful and cute nudibranchs on corals ?

2. Snorkelling

Credit: @turki_bb on Instagram

Tenggol is not an island limited to scuba divers, resort operators have plenty of trips around the islands for snorkelers too. As a matter of fact, you'll probably see just as much as a diver, just from a top view perspective ?

3. Whale shark sightings

Credit: @glowuz on Instagram

And the main highlight of Tenggol Island is the chance to spot a whale shark, especially from August to October, since the island is along the whale shark migration route ?

Time to visit: Late March till September

How to get there:

You can only get to the island via boat from Dungun which takes approximately 35 minutes. To reach the island, you have to contact one of the resorts on the island to arrange for a day trip or a packaged stay beforehand.

Bus to Dungun: there are very few buses that stop at Dungun so if you take the buses, be sure that it stops at Dungun or at nearby areas.

Flying in: Fly into Kuala Terengganu airport and take a bus or taxi to Dungun.

Recommended accommodation:

Tenggol Coral Beach Resort

Credit: Tenggol Coral Beach Resort 月影湾天鹅岛 on Facebook

There are only 3 resort operators on Tenggol Island since it's a small island.  Tenggol Coral Beach Resort is one of the operators that run a full-service package that includes accommodation, diving or snorkelling, and food.

Price per night: starts at RM530 (4 per room) for a 3D2N packaged stay

Address: Dungun office (mainland) - A’King Jetty, Jalan Raja Wali, Dungun, Terengganu Darul Iman, Malaysia.

Contact: 019 -612 8268

Website | Facebook | Instagram

5. Pulau Lang Tengah (Terengganu)

Best known for: Turtle Watch

Dubbed the 'Maldives of Malaysia', Lang Tengah Island is situated between Perhentian and Redang Island. The island has plenty to offer from sandy white beaches to island activities, but it is known for being a popular place for turtle sightings and nesting.


1. Snorkelling

Credit: @jimmy__1004 on Instagram

Lang Tengah Island has plenty of snorkelling spots with beautiful corals and fish. Enjoy a day snorkelling around the island with plenty of snorkelling spots for you to explore!

2. Swim with sharks

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Some of the frequent visitors of Lang Tengah, are juvenile blacktip sharks. If you so happen to see them in the water with you, don't be afraid, chances are they are more afraid of you then you are of them ?

3. Scuba Diving

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And of course, you must dive the clear and pristine clear waters of Lang Tengah, and you with the many turtles around in the waters, you might just make a new friend or two while diving ?

4. Turtle watch

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Lang Tengah is also home to one of Malaysia's top conservation programs, Lang Tengah Turtle Watch. The organization has plenty of volunteers who come from all around the world and stay at the island for a minimum of one week and help out with programs such as guarding turtle nests, and turtle survey work.

Time to visit: From late March till September

How to get there:

The only way to get to the island is via boat from Merang Jetty and the boat ride is about 45 minutes.

Flying in: Fly into Kuala Terengganu and take a taxi to Merang Jetty.

Recommended accommodation:

Sari Pacifica Resort & Spa Lang Tengah Island

Credit: @katiyen17 on Instagram

Located right on the white beaches of Lang Tengah is the Seri Pacifica Resort and Spa. This clean and modern hotel boasts plenty of services such as sports and scuba activities. For those who are interested in island hopping, the hotel can arrange a day trip out for you too!

Price per night:RM283 on Agoda

Address: Pulau Lang Tengah- Lot 60, 63, R 218 Pasir Besar,, 21030 Mukim Pulau Redang, Terengganu

Contact: 012-338 9421

Website | Facebook

6. Pulau Perhentian (Terengganu)

Best known for: an all-in-one beach destination

Credit: @pierro.world on Instagram

Explore a little bit of everything at the Perhentian Islands. There are two islands where you can explore the local food, marine life, and even the local island life!

[P.S. Looking to conquer more of Perhentian Island? Here's the complete guide to Perhentian Islands you've been waiting for]


1. Island trekking

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Take a scenic trek through Perhentian's beautiful greens. You can trek through the island from one beach to another on the other side of the island too!

2. Scuba Diving

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Perhentian is known as one of the top diving destinations in West Malaysia, and it's no surprise why. The array of marine diversity and clear visibility makes it a haven for scuba divers and underwater photographers.

3. Turtle watching

Credit: @tviktor on Instagram

Similar to Lang Tengah, Perhentian gets plenty of visits from turtles almost all-year around. Don't be surprised if you see one or two turtles lurking around or leisurely swimming past you on one of your snorkels ?

4. Kayaking

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Up for some water activities? You can rent a kayak from one of the many watersport operators on the island and kayak around the island for a good workout, and a whole lot of fun ?

5. Visit the fishing village

Credit: @vriim on Instagram

Many of the local island inhabitants live in the fishing village which is located on Perhentian's small island. A boat ride to the village wouldn't take more than a few minutes and it's interesting to see how the villagers spend their day, from fishermen to school children. Spend one of your mornings enjoying a good local breakfast at the village stalls, or maybe drop by during the late afternoon for a yummy tea time snack!

Time to visit: Late March till September

How to get there:

The only way to get to the island is by boat from Kuala Besut. You can opt for a speedboat (40 minutes, RM60) or slow boat (1 hour 30 minutes, RM40)

Driving to Kuala Besut: approximately 7 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur.

Flying in: You can fly into Kuala Terengganu airport or Kota Bharu airport and take a taxi to Kuala Besut Jetty. It's about 1 hour 30 minutes drive from Kuala Terengganu Airport and 1 hour from Kota Bharu airport.

Bus to Kuala Besut: You can board an overnight coach from Kuala Lumpur which takes about 8 hours.

Recommended accommodation:

The Barat Perhentian Resort

Credit: The Barat Perhentian Resort, Perhentian Island, Malaysia on Facebook

The Barat Perhentian is one of the popular accommodations on the island because of it's beautiful sea-view rooms. A stay with the Barat Perhentian tends to include tip-top service such as a private jetty where porters help you with your luggage and plenty of watersport activities that you can organize at their sports centre.

Price per night:RM197 on Agoda

Address: Seberang Genting, Lot 136, Terengganu, Pulau Perhentian Besar, 22300 Besut, Terengganu

Contact: 09-691 1288

Website | Facebook | Instagram

7. Pulau Redang (Terengganu)

Best known for: a little bit of everything!

Similar to Perhentian Island, Redang Island has a little bit of everything you need on the island from luxury accommodation and a variety of island activities. The island is a little more developed than the other nearby islands so expect many low-rise concrete accommodations instead of the usual wooden chalets.

Credit: @Tureno7 on Instagram


1. Jungle trekking

Credit: Laily Kalyubi on Facebook

Trek to the top of the island and be in awe at the amazing views you can get from the peak of the island. It's one of the best ways to enjoy the island's beautiful flora and fauna, and once you reach the top, enjoy a panoramic view of the entire Redang island as well and magnificent views of the ocean ?

2. Scuba diving

Credit: @yenrayng on Instagram

Similar to Perhentian, there are plenty of certified dive operators on Redang Island, many even with schools in Kuala Lumpur. So if you want to pick up scuba diving, you can do half the course in Kuala Lumpur and half the course in Redang Island. Those who dive in Redang tend to be regulars of the island due to the clear visibility and its variety of coral life ?

3. Snorkelling

Credit: @husnanajua on Instagram

Snorkellers will have a blast exploring the islands too. There are plenty of operators who organize multiple snorkelling trips daily across different snorkelling spots around Redang so you can see the highlights of each location.

Time to visit: Between late March and September

How to get there:

You can only get there via boat from Shahbandar Jetty or Merang Jetty. Some resorts operate their own ferries which usually leave from Merang jetty direct 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 passengers will transfer to other boats heading for the resorts so it's best to check with your resort which would be the best option.

Flying in: fly into Kuala Terengganu Aiport and take a taxi to either Shahbandar Jetty or Merang Jetty.

Driving to Merang Jetty / Shahbandar Jetty: about 5 hours 30 minutes from Kuala Lumpur

Recommended accommodation:

Redang Island Resort

Credit: @redangislandresort on Instagram

There are plenty of accommodations available at Redang Island, and one of the popular ones is Redang Island Resort since their rooms are modern and fully furnished with all you need. The resort is large and also has their own dive centre, as well as a big swimming pool for those who prefer to lazy by the pool with a good book instead ?

Price per night:RM224 on Agoda

Address: Teluk Siang , Redang Island, 21090 Kuala Terengganu

Contact: + 60 (9) 630 8787

Website | Facebook | Instagram

[P.S. Want to conquer the Malaysian East Coast islands? Check out this complete guide to Perhentian, Redang and Tioman!]

8. Sipadan-Mabul (Sabah)

Best known for: Scuba Diving

Sipadan and Mabul are islands just off Semporna in Sabah, the entire region is known for its world-class diversity of marine life. Scuba divers and underwater photographers from all around the world have Sipadan on the top on their bucket list! But there are other things you can do around the islands besides diving too ?


1. Scuba diving

Credit: @aon_itchy_feet on Instagram

The ultimate diving spot for many scuba divers, Sipadan and Mabul offer one of the most amazing dive experiences in the world. Be in awe with vortexes of barracudas, herds of bumphead parrot fish, turtles feeding all around, and thousands of jackfish all in one dive trip ?

2. Try a Sipadan liveaboard

Credit: @manuel.reich on Instagram

For the more adventurous, why not stay on a boat instead during your trip? Being on a boat gives you more flexibility to visit more diving locations and not worry about getting back to shore after every outing. All you have to do is jump into the water and enjoy ?

3. Snorkelling

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Sipadan and Mabul isn't just a place for divers, many travellers make their way there for the ultimate snorkelling experience too ?

4. Semporna proboscis monkey river cruise

Credit: @sherlyn.marcella on Instagram

Make your way to Semporna island and explore Sabah's magnificent mangroves by boat. You'll get to see a variety of biodiversity and wildlife along the mangrove tour such as the long-tailed macaque, hornbills, giant monitor lizards and the elusive proboscis monkeys ?

5. See the Mabul Sea Gypsies

Credit: @aan_zainuri on Instagram

Also known as the Bajau Laut, these locals live most of their lives on the water, in boathouses or huts built on stilts off the islands of Semporna, such as Mabul. Many of them spend their days in the water or selling their catch such as live seafood (crabs, lobsters, mussels, fish) on wooden boats to tourists visiting.

Time to visit: Diving at Sipadan Island can be done throughout the year as there is no real low season. During the months of January to March weather can sometimes be a bit unsettled so divers can expect more currents during their dives. Between April and June you can enjoy visibility up to 50m. Between May and August turtles often lay their eggs on the beaches of Sipadan.

How to get there:

Flying in: Fly into Tawau, and your resort should have arranged a transfer for you to Semporna (90 minutes by car), from Semporna you take another boat to Mabul Island (45 minutes)

Recommended accommodation:

Mabul Water Bungalows

Credit: @sa_sa_c on Instagram

With overwater villas such as these, it would be a shame not to stay there during your visit ?Although the accommodation is on the pricier side, it is a norm in Sipadan due to to its popularity and limited accommodation. Most of the prices in the region also tend to include diving or snorkelling since it is the main highlight for Sipadan and Mabul.

Though we advise booking the water bungalows in advance since they are usually full since the destination is highly frequented by international travellers.

Price per night: starts at RM2160 per person for a 2D1N package (including scuba diving)

Address: main office to contact - Lot A-1-G, Block A, Signature Office, KK Times Square, Off Coastal Highway, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia, 88100, Malaysia, 88100, Sabah

Contact: 088-230 006

Website | Facebook | Instagram

[P.S. A fan of overwater villas? Here are 11 floating villas in Malaysia that are perfect for your next island getaway!]

9. Pulau Tioman (Pahang)

Best known for: a variety of island activities!


1. Kayaking

Credit:@norrizan.nasir  on Instagram

Spend your morning kayaking over clear blue waters and enjoy the view of corals and marine life from the top ?This relaxing watersport is one of the top activities in Tioman because of its clear and calm waters.

2. Snorkelling

Credit: @norrizan.nasir on Instagram

Similar to Perhentian and Redang, Tioman island offers plenty of snorkelling spots for the water enthusiast. Once you jump into the water, plenty of fish will surround you, giving the experience a surreal feeling underwater.

3. Jungle trekking

Credit: @aliasamsul on Instagram

Tioman is also known for their trekking trails which is accessible for beginners too! Trek from the beach to beach on easy trails (though it might take about an hour or so) and enjoy Tioman's  nature to the best ?

4. Explore the island on a bike

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Rent a bike and explore the island on a bicycle! The island has plenty of wide trails that are easy to cycle on and with the ocean breeze cooling you off, it's definitely a pleasant experience for all ?

5. Scuba diving

Credit: @scubanorth on Instagram

We can't list an island with vast biodiversity without including scuba diving! With the number of beautiful coral gardens to explore underwater, you'll easily lose track of time!

6. Surfing

Credit: @haikalchero on Instagram

Who knew you could surf in Malaysian waters? Head over to Juara Beach on the island and learn how to surf like a pro ?

7. Hike Asah Waterfall

Credit: @aidilyati on Instagram

Also known as Mukut Waterfall, this is one of the top attractions in Tioman Island. You'll start at the local village, Mukut and enjoy an easy walk (about 30 minutes) to the waterfall. The walk through the rainforest is easy and scenic, but best of all is once you reach your destination - be rewarded by cool and refreshing waters, perfect for a midday dip!

8. Play golf

Credit: @b910220 on Instagram

For the gold enthusiast, make your way to the Berjaya Resorts to enjoy a round of golf. The 18-hole golf course is blessed with a magnificent view of the island and an amazing panoramic view of the ocean so it'll definitely be a golfing experience to remember ?

9. Hike Gunung Kajang

Credit: @jiairk on Instagram

One for the experienced hiker, the Gunung Kajang towers over 1038 metres high and is not only the island's highest mountain but also the highest mountain of any island off Peninsular Malaysia's East Coast. The entire trek takes approximately 6 hours to the top and is probably not for beginners because of its terrain. Some of the wildlife that can be spotted during the trek are the elusive colugos and wolverines!

Time to visit: March and October

How to get there:

The island is only accessible by ferry from Mersing.

The ferries make different stops around the island, so ensure that the crew knows which stop you should be dropped off at.

Bus to Mersing - There are bus services available from Kuala Lumpur to Mersing which takes approximately 7 hours. Once you get to the bus terminal, the jetty is about 15 minutes walk away.

Recommended accommodation:

Berjaya Tioman Resort

Credit: @berjayatiomanresort_official on Instagram

Enjoy amazing views of the South China Sea from the beautiful Berjaya Tioman Resort. Aside from their spectacular rooms and tip-top service, many families and couples prefer to stay at this place because of its facilities. The resort boasts an amazing 18-hole golf course as well as plenty of services that such as snorkelling trips, kayaking, and diving ?

Price per night:RM409 on Agoda

Address: Berjaya Tioman Resort, Box 4, 86807 Mersing, Johor

Contact:09-419 1000

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10. Pulau Rawa (Johor)

Best known for: Total beach relaxation

Credit: @hanks_studio on Instagram

Similar to Lang Tengah, this small but beautiful island has been dubbed the 'Maldives of Malaysia' because of its pristine sky blue waters and sandy white beaches ?

[P.S. Looking for more Maldivian-like resorts? Here are 8 places in Southeast Asia that look just like the Maldives]


1. Snorkelling

Credit: @yuki31kawa on Instagram

The entire beach side of the island is framed with coral reefs so all you have to do is swim out a minute or two and you'll be greeted by vast coral life and plenty of colourful coral fish too ?

2. Kayaking

Credit: @sen_on_7 on Instagram

If you don't fancy getting wet, you can even enjoy the pristine waters from the top from a kayak or a paddleboard! The waters are shallow enough that you can see almost everything from the top ?

3. Water sliding

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One of Rawa Island's highlight is the massive waterslide that everyone can use! Take a few flights of stairs up and slide all the way down into Rawa Island's crystal clear waters!

Time to visit: April to October

How to get there:

You have to take a boat or ferry ride from Mersing to Rawa Island.

Flying in: Fly into Senai Airport (Johor) and Changi Airport (Singapore) and take a taxi to Mersing

Bus to Mersing: You can take the Transnational bus to Mersing (5 hours) for around RM23.

Driving to Mersing: From Kuala Lumpur, the drive is approximately 4 hours.

Recommended accommodation:

Rawa Island Resort

Credit: @rawaislandresort on Instagram

An amazing resort raved by many guests is the Rawa Island Resort. Its beautiful rooms overlooking the ocean and a sports centre that caters to water enthusiasts interested in snorkelling, kayaking and scuba diving makes it one of the top resorts around! And not to mention the little extras such as indoor games for kids and outdoor activities like volleyball, badminton and island walks ?

Price per night: RM1,938 for two nights

Address: Rawa Island Resort Sdn Bhd, Tourist Centre, Jalan Abu Bakar, 86800 Mersing, Johor, Malaysia

Contact: 607 799 1204


11. Pulau Layang-Layang (Sabah)

Best known for: for the hardcore scuba divers

Credit: @layanglayangresort on Instagram

An oceanic atoll of the coast of Sabah, don't expect any white sandy beaches or luxurious beaches at this destination - instead, this place partly a navy base, and partly a diving 'resort'. It is world-renowned for its amazing biodiversity of marine life, especially the hammerhead shark migration! Other rare sightings include whale sharks, dolphins, manta rays, and thresher sharks!

THINGS TO DO: Scuba diving and only that, but with a chance of seeing plenty of rare marines species

1. Whale Sharks

Credit: @isaac.whw on Instagram

Among the many creatures, you can see there are the massive whale sharks. Don't be surprised if you see these gentle giants during your dive!

2. Spinner dolphins or bottlenose dolphins

Credit: @alice_chin_chin on Instagram

There have been plenty of sightings of bottlenose and spinner dolphins in the area too ?

2. Hammerhead shark migration

Credit: @scubahive on Instagram

The hammerhead shark migration is the main highlight for many divers visiting Layang-Layang Island, and sometimes you'll see them in groups of 50 swimming through the deep ocean blue ?Divers tend to flock the island between March till May since it's the migration season.

Time to visit: March to August

How to reach:

Make your way to Kota Kinabalu as you can only fly into Layang Layang Island from Kota Kinabalu airport.

Recommended accommodation:

Layang-Layang Resort

Credit: Layang Layang Resort

It's the only resort on the island, but fret not, the resort is clean, comfortable and known for its top service!

Price per night: Starts at a 5D4N package for RM5146 (diver) or RM3546 (non-diver)

Address: Layang Layang Island, Sabah

Contact: 03-2730 9941

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With all these islands just a short trip away from us, it's time we start planning for an awesome island vacay!