Islands on the west side of
Langkawi Island, KedahLangkawi is a nature-wise one of the most beautiful islands on the west side of the peninsula. The island is easily an accessible which makes it an ideal destination for the people who are looking for peace and quiet and nature lovers. The best way to explore the island is by renting a care of monocycle. There are numerous great attractions on the islands, enough to keep you busy for many days. There ae also many great resorts usually located right next to an amazing beach.
Penang also known as Pearl of the Orient, is located at the north-western side of Malaysia. This brimming island characterizes itself especially by the mixture of many cultures and the food is simply divine. The capital city of Georgetown has become the World Heritage Site by the UNESCO due to the rich culture influencing many historical buildings around the island. Best way for you to explore the island is by renting a car or motorcycle.
Payar IslandPulau Payar is a small inhabited island between Langkawi and Penang. Pulau Payar Marine Park is a group of small islands including Payar, Kaca, Lembu and Segantang. As diving and snorkeling directly around Langkawi and Penang is not possible, this is the nearest place where you can enjoy scuba diving and snorkelling. From both Langkawi and Penang tourists can arrange tour packages to Payar Island. One of the highlights of a trip to the island is feeding baby sharks under close supervision.
Pangkor Island, PerakPangkor is a mountainous island; the highest point is at 1216 meters (Pangkor Hill). Since the main island consists of just mountains, the roads are lying in a circle around the island. The island is accessible by ferry from Lumut, a boat ride of approximately 30 minutes. There are numerous great resorts on the island, making it the ideal place for tourists to enjoy nature and the many beautiful beaches. Just like on Penang and Langkawi, the best way to explore Pangkor Island is by renting a car or motorcycle.
Islands on the east side of
Pulau Redang is an island group in the South Chinese Sea, on the east side of the Peninsular Malaysia. Redang lies within protected marine waters, also known as a marine park. It lies about 45 kilometres from the coast of the federal state of Kuala Terengganu. Redang is known for its luxurious resorts; many of them of international standards. The island mainly attracts scuba diving and sun bathing enthusiasts. Though you can also enjoy snorkelling around the island, neighbouring island of Perhentian is probably more suitable for that.
Tioman IslandTioman Island is one of the biggest and most famous island on the south-eastern side of Peninsular Malaysia. Tourist go to Tioman Island for its wonderful possibilities, from ocean diving to snorkelling with the marine life. Tioman is a duty-free island, a great news for travellers where some of the items on the island are much cheaper than on mainland. One of the famous waterfalls that can be found in Tioman is the Mukut Waterfall. Another beautiful waterfall that can be accessed is the Asah Waterfall, the biggest waterfall in Tioman. Nightlife can be found around the villages of Tekek and Salang, where nice bars are available for travellers to relax and enjoy a cold beverage and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere.
Perhentian Island, TerengganuPerhentian is a true diving and snorkelling paradise. There are no (internationally known) hotels, but there are a few small resorts. The Perhentian consists of two islands, Kecil and Besar. The first island is mostly loved by backpackers, the second one for the nature lovers and people looking for peace and quiet. Starting point to get to the Perhentians is the small town of Kuala Besut; about one hour drive from Kota Bharu. Perhentian is probably the best island to get your scuba diving license (PADI). The island is also the best island for people who only want to do some snorkelling; as you can usually snorkel right in front of your resort without the need of tour guides.
Kapas Island, TerengganuThe island of Kapas lies about 30 kilometres under Kuala Terengganu and about 20 kilometres and a 15-minute boat ride from the coast. The starting-place to the island is the village of Marang, a half-hour drive from Kuala Terengganu. Compared to nearby islands like Perhentian and Redang, Kapas Island is much smaller and therefore less crowded. It is a tiny island that travellers mainly visit for relaxation, sun bathing, diving and especially snorkelling as the corals around Kapas are very nice. You can rent snorkelling equipment for as low as RM10 per day. There are a few paths that you can walk on if you like to do some light jungle trekking.
Islands along the coasts
Mabul Island is a popular place for travellers who wish to go for a dive at one of the best diving spots in the world, Sipadan accommodations on and nearby the island. Beautiful white sand beaches, clear crystal water is what attracts travellers to the island. Two small villages can be found on the island where around 2000 sea gypsies or also known as "Bajau Laut" live. Travellers Island. The close proximity of the island to Sipadan makes it one of the most popular island in Malaysia. Making it more popular among travellers is the affordable need to travel on boat due to no road availability on the island.
Kapalai IslandKapalai is a fantastic destination to visit. Though it is called an island it is actually a big sandbar situated on the Ligitan Reef with a very exclusive resort with beautiful villas built on stilts. Kapalai used to be a real island with vegetation, but over the last few hundred years it was reduced to sea level due to erosion. There are no beaches, though you can walk over the sandbar during low tide and sun bath at the circular man-made beach. Kapalai is all about snorkelling and diving, non-divers might have a better time at Mataking Island with its nice beaches. Directly around the resort there are fantastic snorkelling opportunities and also some very nice dive sites. The best time to visit Kapalai is between April and September.
Sipadan IslandSipadan is one of the most beautiful scuba diving spots in the world. Sipadan is the only oceanic island in Malaysia, the huge pillar that forms the atoll functions as a shelter for many sea animals and fish. Furthermore, there are only a few places in the world that have such a concentration of sea turtles. Diving at Sipadan Island can be done throughout the year as there is no real low season. During the months of January to March weather can sometimes be a bit unsettled so divers can expect more currents during their dives. Between April and June you can enjoy visibility up to 50m. Between May and August turtles often lay their eggs on the beaches of Sipadan.
Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park
Gaya IslandTunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park comprises of 5 islands located opposite the city of Kota Kinabalu. From Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal, there are numerous daily boats that bring visitors to the islands. Pulau Gaya is the biggest island of the marine park and has two luxurious resorts; Gayana Eco Resort and Bunga Raya Island Resort. The island has a couple of fabulous beaches. Most tourists visit the island as part of a day trip. Pulau Sapi and Pulau Manukan are probably the best islands to visit if you want to do some snorkelling and diving.