Life’s a Beach!

The ultimate vacation for me will always be a beach holiday. Doesn’t matter where it is, as long as there is the soothing sound of the waves and soft whispers of the wind to blow me away. I’m not one to go for sight-seeing in big cities or even shopping – not when I can have a nice swim in the warm ocean and enjoy the calming scenery of the sea. Going to a beach is something that I always look forward to!

There are so many beautiful beaches and islands in Malaysia, and some of my favourite ones are located in the East Coast. The best time to visit is between April and October, with the high season happening between June and August. I find that the beaches there are unique than anywhere else’s, as they usually sit right next to a jungle, making it possible for me and my friends to go hiking if we want to.

Here’s some of my favourite island spots for beach holidays. See if you can find your favourite here!

  • ▮Redang Island, Terengganu


    Redang is truly a paradise, perfect for holidays with your family or a romantic getaway with your partner. There’s very few locals that actually lie in the island, so you pretty much have the whole place to yourself. White sandy beaches, crystal clear blue sea and brilliant underwater world make it the best choice for snorkelling and scuba diving. I was amazed by the variety of magnificent marine life in the ocean, and the coral reefs that decorates the seabed. If you’re lucky, you might even see some sea turtles, as Redang is also a turtle sanctuary.

    How to get there: Around 40 minutes ferry or boat ride from Merang jetty or Kuala Terengganu jetty, to Pasir Panjang jetty.

  • ▮Perhentian Islands, Terengganu


    A selection of smaller islands just north of Redang, the Perhentian islands are very popular among bag packers and beach travellers. There are two main islands, Perhentian Besar and Perhentian Kecil. Perhentian Besar mainly attracts honeymooners, families and short-term vacationers, while backpackers tend to flock to Perhentian Kecil. The islands also have affordable beach huts for those under tight budget. You can snorkel right off the beach, and see the beautiful reefs that wrap around the islands. Perhentian Islands are also the go-to place if you want to get your diving certificate.

    How to get there: A 40-minute speedboat ride from Kuala Besut ferry terminal to reach Perhentian Besar jetty. Perhentian Kecil can be reached by foot or a short distance boat ride from Perhentian Besar.

  • ▮Tioman Island, Pahang


    Tioman Island is part of Malaysia’s protected marine park islands acclaimed as ecological paradise. It is a densely forested island that is still sparsely inhabited. There are several villages scattered around the coastline. You will find larger, more budget-friendly hotels all around the coast village. The island is surrounded by an abundance of coral reefs off the northern coast, where it is home to a huge variety of colourful tropical fish within easy reach off the shore. That is why Tioman is another top choice for scuba divers and for snorkelling. Not just that, Tioman is also a melting pot of cultures. The island attracts youth travellers from around the world because of the warm welcome by the villagers. You’d definitely find yourself making new friends when you’re in Tioman!

    How to get there: About 2 hour from Mersing ferry terminal to reach the jetty of a village on the island.

  • ▮Kapas Islands, Terengganu


    Pulau Kapas is easily accessible, has a wide range of choice activities, and plenty of bargains. An island famous for its clear waters, sandy white beaches and swaying palms, it is relatively isolated from the outside world. Home to an infinite variety of hard and soft corals, the waters around the island abound turtles, rays, small reef sharks, and hundreds of different colourful fish. You can also track deeper into the island, and if you are adventurous, the island has a few jungle trekking trails with gorgeous flora and fauna that will certainly amaze you. Some tracks also lead to quiet coves where you can even go cliff jumping. At the same time, the island has a laid back atmosphere that is ideal for relaxation under the sky.

    How to get there: About 15 minutes from Marang jetty to arrive at Kapas Island jetty

  • ▮Tenggol Island, Terengganu


    Of all the islands I mentioned here, Tenggol Island’s beauty is out of this world. With colourful dive sites that caters to beginner divers to the more experienced ones, the island will make sure that your journey is unforgettable. Tenggol’s own tropical jungle blends and sandy white beaches blends harmoniously, creating the perfect calming environment. The forested rocky hills make the island a scenic destination for adventure seekers, too. Simply put – it’s gorgeous.

    How to get there: 45 minutes from the coastal jetty in Kuala Dungun to Tenggol jetty.

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