Top 8 Islands in Malaysia that You Must Visit

Malaysia is a country that boasts of some of the most stunning islands in Southeast Asia. These islands offer not only beautiful beaches and amazing diving sites, but also diverse cultures, wildlife, and attractions. If you are looking for some of the best islands in Malaysia to visit, here are some of the top choices for you:

1. Tioman Island

Top 8 Islands in Malaysia that You Must VisitImage credit: Maman Voyage

If you love diving or snorkeling, you will be amazed by the rich coral reefs that surround this stunning Malaysian island. But if you are more of a land lover, you can still have fun exploring the jungle trails. You can also visit the turtle farm and learn how to protect these endangered marine animals that find refuge in the South China Sea. The island also boasts several waterfalls that you can admire. And if you want to experience the local way of life, you can take a short trip to a traditional village on Juara Beach.

How to Get there: You have two options to reach this island: by boat or by plane. You can take a bus or drive to Mersing and then hop on a two-hour boat ride to the island’s first jetty. Alternatively, you can fly to the island’s small airport from Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. The flight time is about an hour.

2. Redang Island

islands in malaysiaImage credit: Lakshmi Sawitri

This island is a paradise for beach lovers and water enthusiasts. It has some of the most beautiful beaches and clearest waters in Malaysia, where you can see various ocean creatures like baby sharks, jellyfish and more. The coral reefs here are well-preserved and full of life. You can easily find equipment and tours for diving and snorkeling. Or if you want to explore the jungle, you can also join some of the trails that are available.

How to get there: You have two options to reach this island: by plane or by ferry. You can fly directly from Singapore with Berjaya Air in 80 minutes. Or you can fly to Kuala Terengganu and then drive to Shahbandar jetty or Merang port. From there, you can take a public ferry or a resort-only ferry to the island.

3. Pangkor Island

islands in malaysiaImage credit: Phalinn Ooi

This island is a popular destination for locals who want to enjoy a relaxing and scenic getaway. You can choose from many beautiful beaches on this island, such as Nipah Bay, Pasir Bogak and Coral Bay. Further, you can also visit some of the cultural and historical attractions on the island, such as the Kali Amman temple, the Foo Lin Kong Chinese Temple, and the Dutch fort with the Tiger Rock. You will never run out of fun activities to do on this island. Or if you want to splurge on a more luxurious stay, you can check out the nearby island of Pangkor Laut.

How to get there: You have two options to reach this island: by plane or by ferry. You can fly from Singapore to Ipoh and then drive to Lumut, where you can catch a 30-minute ferry ride to the island. Or you can fly from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur and then drive to Lumut. The ferry service is available every day from 7am to 8.30pm.

4. Penang Island

islands in malaysiaImage credit: stratman² (2 many pix!)

The Pearl of the Orient is a place where you can experience the rich food, culture and heritage of Malaysia. You can take a rickshaw ride in the historic Georgetown and admire the colonial buildings, temples, mansions and hotels. And also, you can shop till you drop and enjoy various activities. You can visit the Snake Temple and pose with snakes, ride a horse on the beach and take a cable car to Penang Hill to see the amazing view and feel the cool breeze.

How to get there: You have two options to reach this island: by plane or by car. You can fly to Penang International Airport and then take a car or taxi to explore the island. Or you can drive to the island, but it will take longer. The island is connected to the mainland by two bridges.

5. Sipadan Island

Top 8 Islands in Malaysia that You Must VisitImage credit: jeff~

This island is the only oceanic island in Malaysia and a world-class diving destination. You can see exotic fish, hammerhead sharks and sea turtles in the rich marine life here. The island has been a marine park since 2004, so no resorts are allowed on the island. But you can still dive here, as long as you take the ferry from the mainland or other islands. If you need a place to stay near Sipadan, you can try Mabul Island, which is close by.

How to get there: You have two options to reach this island: by plane or by ferry. You can fly from Singapore to Tawau in more than four hours, with a stopover in Kota Kinabalu. Then you can drive for an hour to Semporna, where you can catch a 40-minute speedboat ride to the island. Or you can fly to Kota Kinabalu and then take a ferry to Semporna, which will take longer. The ferry service is available every day from 8am to 4pm.

6. Perhentian Islands

Image credit: Perhentian islands

This place consists of a few small islands, but the main ones are Perhentian Besar and Perhentian Kecil. They are located in the northeast coast of Malaysia, in Terengganu state, near the border with Thailand. You can enjoy the beautiful beaches and the great diving sites here. Also, there are many affordable accommodations, which makes this place perfect for budget travelers. You can also explore the tropical jungle that covers most of the islands. 

How to Get There: You have two options to reach this place: by bus or by plane. Take a bus from Hentian Putra Bus Terminal in Kuala Lumpur to Kota Bharu, which will take about 8 hours. Or Fly to Kota Bharu in about an hour, with a stopover. Then you can take a taxi to Kuala Besut, where you can catch a ferry to the islands. The ferry ride will take 30 to 45 minutes.

7. Langkawi Island

islands in malaysiaImage credit: Ravikiran Rao

Langkawi is a famous holiday destination that many people love. It is the largest island among 99 islands in the Andaman Sea, with a population of about 75,000 people. It has a variety of landscapes, from mountains and beaches to mangroves and rainforests. You can explore and discover many things here. One of the most popular activities is the cable car ride up Gunung Mat Cincang, where you can walk on the Sky Bridge and see the amazing views up to Thailand. You can also visit other attractions like Underwater World, Laman Padi and Oriental Village, where you can enjoy cultural shows, ride an elephant and watch snake charmers.    

How to Get There: You can easily reach this island by plane from many places. There are many daily flights to and from this island from Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Penang. Choose the best flight for you and enjoy your trip.

8. Labuan Island

Image credit: Yuxuan Wang

Labuan is more than just an international offshore financial center and free trade zone. It is also a place where you can enjoy wreck diving, especially if you are a beginner diver. You can explore the famous wrecks of the Australian, Blue Water, American and Cement (Tung Hwang) ships. You can also visit the War Cemetery, where you can pay tribute to the Allied soldiers who died during World War II. Every year, there is a remembrance ceremony for them. For a comfortable and quality stay, you can choose between the Grand Dorsett and the Tiara Labuan hotels.

How to get there: You have two options to reach this island: by plane or by ferry. You can fly to Labuan Airport from many places, such as Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu and Miri. Or you can take a ferry to Labuan from Brunei, which will take two hours. You can also visit Brunei if you want to see another country.

These are just some of the amazing islands in Malaysia that you must visit. Whether you are looking for a relaxing beach vacation, an adventurous diving trip, or a cultural and historical exploration, you will find something that suits your taste and budget. Malaysia is a country with diverse and beautiful islands that offer you a memorable and unforgettable experience. So what are you waiting for? Book your tickets now and discover the wonders of these islands in Malaysia.

By Sourav

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