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The Best Islands in Malaysia

by Travelbag on 11 December 2017, 12:12PM

While the crowds jet off to the tropical beaches of Thailand, the savvy holidaymaker looks a little further south towards neighbouring Malaysia. With 878 islands, Malaysia has more beaches and temples than you can shake a stick at. While there's nothing stopping you from taking a day trip to an island or two from Kuala Lumpur, we'd we recommend spending a few days on a picture-perfect spec of land if possible. That way, you can enjoy some proper R&R, as you snorkel, swim and sunbathe to your heart’s content. But, with so many isles to choose from, how can you possible decide where to go? Take a look at our five favourite islands in Malaysia and start planning your next adventure to Southeast Asia.


Redang Island, Terengganu

Situated off the north eastern coast, Redang Island is a getaway for those wanting a few days respite from the hustle and bustle of the big cities of Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. The area is less than an hour’s boat time away from the Shahbandar Jetty. The island is particularly popular for its reef diving, snorkelling and green turtles, which come ashore at night to lay their eggs above the high water mark between May and September.


Perhentian Islands

Malaysia’s Perhentian Islands aren’t the easiest to get to, which is half the fun. Swim and sunbathe during the day, then chill in the laid back beach bars come evening. There’s not much else to do here, no museums, no tourist traps and no nonsense – that’s the whole idea. If you’re holiday has a budget check out Abdul Chalet or the new Rainforest Camp Site on Rainforest Beach. If you’re holidaying high end, look at the Tuna Bay Island Resort.


Penang Island, Malayan Peninsular

A definite must for those with a love of traditional Asian cuisine. With its mix of Malayan, Chinese and Indian flavours Penang Island has a reputation for having the very best gourmet street food. Beyond the food, there’s the colonial Fort Cornwallis, Chinese clan house Khoo Kongsi and the Kapitan Keling Mosque. And it's easy to get to, as direct flights are available into Penang. While you're there, check out Penang’s historic capital, Georgetown, which was awarded UNESCO status in 2008. 


Tioman Island

Tioman tends to attract greater numbers of visitors due to its proximity to Singapore. That said, while some of its mystique may have disappeared, its reputation as a wildlife haven remains. Leave the beach behind and trek into the rainforest to try and see tropical birds, flying foxes, mouse deer and brush-tailed porcupines whilst keeping a wary eye out for any giant monitor lizards that scour villages for food.


Pulau Langkawi

Part of the Langkawi archipelago, this island is a must-visit. You can hire a car locally and devise a road trip to hunt down the secluded beaches – they were practically designed for snorkelling and diving. Don’t forget the wonders of the rainforests and mangroves, where lemurs hop through the canopy and fish eagles perch patiently wait to catch their dinner. You can see the island at its best by taking the cable car to the top of Gunung Machinchang, where you can cross the 100-metre-high walkway, weaving above the treetops.


Make tracks for Malaysia with our great package deals and multi-centre holidays.

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