Top 10 Malaysian island getaways

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 21 Nov 2013

Malaysia is home to some of the most beautiful islands in the world with sprawling beaches and crystal-clear waters, making it the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life.

While most of the world may dream of holidays in the Carribean or Pacific islands, Malaysians have tropical paradise on our doorstep.

Although many of these islands are popular diving and snorkeling destinations, there is still a little something for everyone!
Check out our picks of the best islands and hidden gems that Malaysia has to offer in our list below:

1) Sipadan

Sipadan is an island that most divers know of. The island is one of the best diving sites in the world. The area is full of exotic species of marine life including sea turtles, hammerhead sharks and several colourful reef fish.

However, Sipadan has recently been made a protected area so all the resorts on the islands are now closed. But not to worry, there are boats that ferries visitors to and fro the island from the mainland.

2) Langkawi

Langkawi offers visitors a large variety of things to see and do. This popular holiday destination has several beautiful beaches, mountains, mangrove wetlands, rainforests, waterfalls and many more.


This breath-taking island off mainland Kedah also boasts some of the most romantic hotels in Malaysia and it will definitely make a great getaway for you and your loved one!

3) Redang

Located off the east coast of Malaysia, Redang is famous for its pristine beaches. Imagine powdery white sand and crystal clear blue waters!

Redang is also well-known for diving and snorkelling. Visitors will have the opportunity to bask in the beauty of the underwater world.


But if you’d rather explore the sights of the island, visitors can also embark on one of the many trails for jungle trekking.

4) Perhentian

Located off the north-eastern coast of Malaysia, Perhentian is a great destination to escape from the stress and buzz of the city life. The laid-back atmosphere combined with the natural beauty of the islands will definitely make it a holiday to remember.


Visitors can choose to explore the tropical jungles of the island or go diving at the many diving hot spots nearby the island.

5) Tioman

Tioman has options for every kind of holiday-maker, whether it be families with young children, backpackers, honeymooners, scuba divers, adventurers or even those looking to indulge.


Visitors to the island can enjoy jungle trekking, scuba diving or snorkelling, swimming under waterfalls, visiting a turtle farm and experiencing the local culture of the villagers on the island.

6) Pangkor

Pangkor definitely stays true to it’s meaning of “beautiful island”. With its peaceful surroundings and gorgeous scenery, Pangkor provides a beautiful escape from the busy world.


Most tourists visit Perak's Pangkor for its quiet atmosphere and gorgeous beaches. Visitors can engage in plenty of leisure activities, such as, water sport activities, jungle trekking and swimming at night amid the blue-glowing plankton.

7) Kapas

This picturesque getaway is just a stone's throw away from the mainland Marang in Terengganu and is reached within 15 minutes by speedboat.


The island’s name means “Cotton Island” because of its soft white beaches likened to cotton. Snorkellers and scuba divers love to visit this island because of the beautiful, calm waters filled with colourful coral and a variety of marine life.

8) Sibu

Sibu Island still remains relatively untouched, especially since this archipelago has been zoned as a marine park to protect the surrounding coral reefs and marine fauna, making this island a great place for snorkelling and scuba diving.

Shipwrecks teeming with rainbow coloured marine life can be found just off the coast, which make the surrounding waters of Sibu Island a fascinating exploration. Visitors can also go jungle trekking, exploring through the unspoilt mangrove swamps, or visit the local village for a more cultural experience.

9) Mabul

Mabul Island is the perfect getaway to disconnect from the stress and routine everyday life to just relax. The panoramic sea views, pretty coral reefs, and white sandy beaches is enough to make you fall in love with the idyllic island life.

Diving is the main activity on this Sabahan island, and it can be done all year round. But if you want to take a break from all the excitement is underwater, you can always set your scuba gear aside for a lazy day by the beach and work on your tan.

10) Tenggol

Tenggol Island offers visitors a true island getaway with swaying palm trees, untouched tropical forests, and crystal clear waters by the soft sandy beach.


The small island was traditionally uninhabited now contains a few hotels where divers can stay and explore the terrific marine live the island has to offer. Tenggol is off the coast of Terengganu and definitely offers holidaymakers a peaceful and private holiday where you can put your feet up and relax in paradise.


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