Destination: Idyllic Islands
There’s nothing quite like the tranquility of an island. Sun dappled beaches, the rustling of the coconut fronds from the sea breeze, the melodic lullaby of the rolling waves and the azure-hued sea that seems endless. For domestic travel, consider an island getaway for some sun, sand and sea.
Famous for its crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches, Pulau Redang is one of the largest islands on the East Coast. Pulau Redang forms the Redang archipelago that comprises nine islands which form a marine sanctuary park where the ecosystem of these islands protected. One of the many allures of this island is its snorkelling and diving opportunities, as well as turtle watching if you’re lucky.
The glistening emerald waters of Pulau Tioman can certainly give the Maldives a run for its money. As part of the wider Mersing Marine Park, this island boasts an abundance of coral reefs and marine life, snorkelling and scuba diving are the only activities to truly appreciate its verdant beauty. It’s laidback atmosphere makes it the perfect place to laze about and read a book. Alternatively those seeking adventure can pick up their hiking boots and trek up the magnificent mountains and uncover hidden beaches and waterfall.
Pulau Perhentian is synonymous with its stretch of powdery white beach. Many flock to this renowned island for its clear azure waters framed by verdant greenery. This marine paradise forms part of the National Marine Park of Malaysia and this island is also where you can get your scuba diving license. Pulau Perhentian is accessible via a boat service from the Kuala Besut jetty.
The Jewel of Kedah — Pulau Langkawi has always been a fond vacation spot amongst locals and tourists alike, especially since it’s a duty-free haven. A mere 45-minutes flight from Kuala Lumpur, this relaxed island offers a beautiful resorts to seek respite in and secluded beach only locals know about called Pantai Pasir Tengkorak. Tucked quite a distance away, you would need a car to get you to this beautiful beach.
Pulau Sipadan is heralded as one of the best diving spots in the world because it sits at the heart of the Indo-Pacific basin, the centre of one of the richest marine habitats in the world. It is the only oceanic island (island that don’t sit on continental shelves) in Malaysia, rising 600 metres from the seabed. At Sipadan, you won’t be able to find any resorts to preserve its pristine state. You would need a permit to visit this island so do take note. Once at the island, you would think it’s right out of a postcard.
Sitting along the Straits of Johor lies Pulau Rawa, a beautiful coral island you can escape to to ease a frazzled urban soul. One side of the island is a beach covered with white sand, while the other side has a rocky vertical cliff. Something that is hard avoid upon your arrival at Pulau Rawa is the bright-orange giant slide that flows out to the ocean is where you can unleash your inner child. While conventional resorts are available here, the adventurous can opt to camp out under the stars after a BBQ dinner.
Also located in Mersing, Johor, Pulau Sibu is accessible only a 20-minute boat ride from Tanjung Leman Jetty. It consists of several islands, namely Sibu Besar Island, Sibu Tengah Island, Sibu Kukus Island and Sibu Hujung Island. Spend your days catching waves and lounging by the beach or simply explore Pulau Sibu main village on foot for food or just for some local fun.