By: Adline A. Ghani
Blessed with miles and miles of coastline, Malaysia is home to a varied selection of beach and island getaways, each with its own attractions and charms. From secluded bays to spectacular sunsets, and warm waters to water sports, Malaysian beaches offer a welcomed respite to the hustle and bustle of city life. Some of most popular beaches in Malaysia include:
1. Pangkor Island, Perak
Pangkor is a convenient getaway for many urbanites in Malaysia, as it’s an easy drive from Kuala Lumpur, the capital city. Nature lovers will love Pangkor, as it’s blessed with white sandy beaches and is teeming with marine life. Heck, you’ll even spot hornbills on the coastline! Teluk Nipah (Nipah Bay) is one of the island’s most popular beaches, and this is where you can go kayaking, diving, snorkeling, fishing or play some beach games. Island tours by boat are another firm favorite.
2. Cherating beach, Pahang
Stretching nearly 10 kilometers from Kuantan, Pahang to Chukai, Terengganu, Cherating is internationally acclaimed as a holiday destination. It boasts the prestige of having Asia’s first Club Med and is also home to a cultural village and a turtle sanctuary. Known for its beautiful chalets, fine dining experience, exciting nightlife and scenic boat rides along the coast, there’s something for everyone at Cherating.
3. Sipadan Island, Sabah
Located in the Celebes Sea, Sipadan boasts crystal clear waters, powdery soft sand and a dazzling array of marine life, which is why it is considered an important environmental reserve. It’s really no wonder why Sipadan has been consistently voted as one of the best diving sites in the world. Avid divers can expect to catch a glimpse of turtles, mantis shrimps, leaf scorpions, hammerhead and whale sharks, as well as large schools of barracudas and manta rays!
4. Redang Island, Terengganu
Situated about 45km off of the coast of Kuala Terengganu, Redang is renowned as a turtle sanctuary and is often described as ‘paradise’ due to its splendid natural beauty. It is the largest island in Terengganu and is part of an archipelago of islands that form a thriving marine park. Snorkeling, trekking and island cruises are among the top activities here.
5. Perhentian Islands, Terengganu
While Perhentian is a favorite spot for divers, snorkelers and scuba divers, landlubbers will also find it ideal for catching some rays or a soothing breeze from the sea. It is especially popular with budget travelers, as affordable beach huts line the pristine shore, which is just waiting to be discovered.
6. Tioman Island, Pahang
This charming holiday destination is part of a marine park and boasts of beautiful coral reefs that teem with colorful and exotic tropical fish – a haven for snorkelers and divers. Its dense forested areas form nature reserves that are home to protected species like the binturong, slow loris, mouse deer, porcupine, civet and a variety of squirrels. Angling, water sports and nature walks are among the favorite activities here.
7. Langkawi Island, Kedah
Known as the ‘jewel of Kedah,’ Langkawi is an archipelago of over 100 islands. Given ‘World Geopark’ status by UNESCO, it has more than just sand and surf to offer. Tourists can hike to the nearby waterfalls, take a cable car ride that gives breathtaking views of the island, brave the Langkawi sky bridge or shop till they drop. Langkawi is, after all, Malaysia’s duty-free island!
8. Teluk Duyung, Penang
Known locally as ‘Monkey beach,’ Teluk Duyung is part of the Penang National Park. Its unspoiled beauty makes it a popular spot for catching some rays, but if you’re feeling more adventurous, there’s always jungle trekking!
9. Pantai Bisikan Bayu, Kelantan
Located about 50km away from Kota Bharu, this beach is lined with casuarinas that rustle softly in the breeze, which is why its name means ‘Beach of the Whispering Breeze.’ The restful shade is a perfect spot for picnics, while water sports like jetskiing and windsurfing offer a bit of excitement.
10. Sibu Islands, Johor
Made up of a cluster of scenic islands, Sibu is known for its marine life, which includes turtles, nurse sharks, moray eels and spotted sting rays. As with other beach destinations, popular outdoor activities here include fishing, scuba diving and snorkeling, but who says you can’t just kick back and relax?