Top 5 beaches and islands of Malaysia

Perhantian island

17 September 2005

Top 5 beaches and islands of Malaysia

Malaysia is diverted in two parts; West Malaysia which is connected to Thailand and Singapore and Borneo, an island in the ocean which is separated into 2 countries. Malaysia and Indonesia.
Both parts have many beaches and islands. I visited a few and I would like to share my experiences.


An island close to the border to Thailand this only can be a paradise! You can reach Langkawi by boat from Ko Lipe, Thailand or by boat from Kuala pedis, Kuala Kedah or Penang island.
This island is not just one island but it consists of 99 islands. The main island where the accommodations are settled is Langkai itself.

With a surface of almost 500 square meters it is not a small island. The best way to get around is by motor bike, which you can rent everywhere.

This green island is perfect if you want some sun and fun, but also to see some beautiful nature. Inland you can find high waterfalls, which have some pools to swim. But they also have a nature walk at hanging bridges, which gives you other perspective of the island.

Everywhere you can spot beautiful, soft sand beaches to relax. So to make it a fun day out, just hop from one to another sight and you’ll see, Langkawi will take your heart!

Pulau Penang

With over a 1000 square kilometer, this is a big island and many visitors will come here every year.
You can reach this island from Langkawi or via Penang Bridge/Penang second bridge.

Georgetown is the biggest capital of this island. You can visit some really nice sights here, but on the island itself you can find the main tourist spots. You can visit the snake temple, a temple devoted to snakes. And yes they are alive! Another big temple is the Kek Loc Si temple. Very colorful Hindu temple.

At the botanical garden you can have a really nice tour with all the explanations of the plants and trees. Afterwards you’ll get a plate of fruits, grown in the garden.

The most people contuniue straight to the main beach Batu Ferringhi. A nice fishing village with a long stretch beach.

Pulau Pangkor

This small island with only 18 square kilometers and 20.000 inhabitants is less visited by tourist. But not less appealing! Most people will leave Pangkor town to head to the beaches.

There are not many sights to see, but it is nice to bike around the island, which is about 20 km.

I loved this island for the nice birds you could see. The horn bill bird is one of my favorite with its very huge beak. You could see them sitting in the tree, fly them over. At the huge resort Pangkor Laut resort at another island across Coral bay they fed them, and you could see them close.

I stayed in a guesthouse at Coral bay, which was quiet and relaxing. Because this island is close to cities like Kuala Lumpur, many visitors some here in the weekend to relax. Since Malaysia is mostly Islamic I found it important to dress modest at this island. Most woman swim fully clothed, for this I tried to stay at other tourist who swam in bikini, or just wear a t-shirt which swimming in the ocean.

Perhantian islands

Pulau Perhantian is a group of islands at the Eastern side of Malaysia. You can reach these islands by bus from Kuala Lumpur which is about 10 hours by bus to Kuala Besut jetty. From there you’ll have to take a ferry or boat to the islands.

You can stay at Perhantian Kecil island. This one is the most tourist one and most people will stay here. Perhantian Besar is next to Kecil, less crowded, but a bit more expensive.

The beaches are stunning! White sand beaches, soft sand, with crystal clear water.

And not only the beaches are the best of Malaysia. The under water world is very famous for diving and snorkeling. I did a snorkeling tour where you go snorkeling at several spots. The best spot was at the turtle spot, here turtles come up shore to catch their breath, so you can see them. Very cool!
Other spots had really nice corals and fishes.

Diving courses are often done here. Because I’m a bit afraid of going under water, I decided not to take the course, while I planed.


Along the coast from Kuala Besut to Kuala Lumpur you’ll pass the village Cherating. This lovely village does have a nice, big beach.

With some nice hotels along the coast and some really good restaurants this is a really cool place to relax.

In the right season (July/August) leather back turtles and green turtles will lay there eggs on the beach. You can register yourself at an alert, when a turtle comes to shore, they notify you and you can go on a tour to see the turtle laying her eggs.

Unfortunately I had a mis communication with my guesthouse, so the next morning I found out that night they had a turtle coming on shore and put her eggs.

Cherating turtle sanctuary

If you missed this you can go to the turtle sanctuary close to Cherating. This small sanctuary has a exhibition and does hatchling programs to release the small turtles until they are strong enough.

You can see the small turtles up close.

An other fun thing to do is batik course. As you can notify around Asia you can see those beautiful batik clothing. Here you an do a course and see how it is done. Really fun thing to do!

I visited Lake Chini, which is close to Cherating. A bunch of lakes with a lot of lotus flowers.

Sapi island

From Kota Kinabalu city you can do day tours to islands which are just off shore from the main land. At the jetty you can enter a ferry to the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, where Sapi is one of the protected islands.

Other nearby islands which you can visit are Pulau Manukan, Pulau Gaya, Pulau Sulung and Pulau Mamutik.

Mostly when you arrive at the ferry there goes a boat to one of the islands. If you want to go to a certain island you have to wait until the boat is full. The ride will take about 20 minutes.

When I was traveling with my friend Marijn we just went to the jetty and hopped on the first boat to leave. This would be to Sapi island.

The island is small, but it has a lovely beach. You can go snorkeling, but I found the water a little bit murkily due to rainfall.

If you want you can make a little hike around the island. Just follow the marked trail and it will lead you to other small, but pretty beaches. Here you’ll likely to be there on your own and feel like you’re in paradise!

Pictures are old and taken with a film rol camera. Therefore the quality is not good! Sorry about this!