Malaysia’s Best Island Retreats

Malaysia is blessed with an abundance of idyllic beaches and coastal stretches. Check out three of the finest here! Not only is Malaysia a bona fide utopia for food, shopping and culture, it contains some of the most beautiful beaches in Asia. Plenty of islands lie off the shore of Peninsular Malaysia on both the east and west coasts, filled with an assortment of sea-side attractions and activities worth exploring. So when the blue ocean and white sands call, it’s time to pack your bags and bon voyage!

Pulau Perhentian
Known for its pristine blue waters and snow-white beaches, the Perhentian Islands are a sanctuary for those that enjoy underwater pursuits like snorkelling and scuba diving, as the area boasts some of the country’s best coral reefs.

There are two main islands, known as Perhentian Besar (Greater Perhentian) and Perhentian Kecil (Lesser Perhentian), located off the east cost of Malaysia in the state of Terengganu. Perhentian Besar is more developed, while Perhentian Kecil plays host to those who want a more untouched slice of bliss. There are also several great beach restaurants here, influenced primarily by Thai flavours.

Translated from Bahasa Malay, Perhentian means stopover, but once you dock on its shimmering shores, you’ll be itching to come back for a longer getaway.

Pulau Tioman
Another lesser-known paradise off the south-eastern coast of Malaysia, Tioman Island is a true beach-lover’s haven. No description can do justice to the beauty of its waters, an unforgettable tapestry of turquoise and aquamarine colours.

Often ranked among the top ten islands in the world, it’s another great place for diving and snorkelling. Less developed than its more tourist-popular counterparts, deep-diving enthusiasts will adore Pulau Chebeh, known for manta ray sightings and gorgonian sea fans, while Soyak Wreck is the site of two Thai fishing boats covered with pink and red soft corals and home to a school of batfish, barracudas, fusiliers and nudibranchs.

Meanwhile on the island itself, hikers and explorers will find cascading waterfalls, jungle trails and Gunung Nenek Semukut, a 690 metre-high twin peak regarded as the highest free-standing natural structure in Malaysia.

Pulau Langkawi
Enticing you in with its mysticism and its diverse range of natural attractions, Langkawi is known as the jewel of Kedah, and after one visit it’s easy to see why. Seven-storey waterfalls, blue lagoons and exotic mangrove forests beckon, filled with local legends of fairies, curses and a lake said to have the power to heal the infertile.

For first-timers, the best way to see the island is by cable cab. Touted as the steepest cable car ride on earth, the SkyCab takes visitors 708 metres above sea level to the island’s highest peak Mount Machinchang, where you can enjoy a panoramic view of this gorgeous 99-island strong archipelago.


Photo Credit: Tourism Malaysia

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