Malaysia is a nation located in the equatorial region. Owing to this, it is blessed with some of the best beaches, some popular and often visited by tourists and some literally untouched beauties. Find out about the best beaches in Malaysia in this article!
1. Mabul Island Beach, Sabah
Mabul Island Beach is located in the south-east side of Malaysia on the island of Sipadan in the state of Sabah. It is said to be one of the best diving destinations in the world, quite popular among locals and international divers as a muck diving spot. To reach this island you need to take a flight to Tawau and then take an hour long taxi ride to Semporna. From here you can take a speed boat ride to the island. You can book yourselves a chalet to stay in; it’s a really beautiful experience to stay in one.
Mabul Island Beach
Address: Sipadan Island, Sabah
2. Layang-Layang Island Beach, Labuah
Layang-Layang is another island off the coast of the federal territory of Labuan in East Malaysia, located off the northwestern coast of Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. It might seem that you are in the middle of nowhere! There is pretty much nothing to do here (other than diving, snorkeling or some bird watching maybe) on this island apart from the dive resort and the runway, a Malaysian Naval Station is situated on the other end of the island opposite the Resort which acts as an observation and training ground for the Royal Malaysian Navy. A big part of the island is said to have been reclaimed from the sea so there isn’t much of a beach on it either.
You can get here by chartered flight operated by MAS Wings. This island is situated in very deep waters. Its location is practically in the middle of nowhere and the ocean waters are very clear and unpolluted; untouched by humans! Very similar to the more popular Sipadan Island, except that this island is too far for any fisherman boat to pass by. You will also note that aquatic life is abundant and the corals are in pristine condition.
Address: Layang Layang Beach, 87000, Labuan Federal Territory
Tanjung Rhu Beach in Langkawi Island is another very popular beach. This beach is located near the northeast corner of Langkawi. Pantai Tanjung Rhu is pretty secluded and exclusive. There are several tourist attractions to visit around this area. The beach is famous for its crystal clear waters, white sandy beach. Many a foreign film has been shot here in these crystal clear waters. You have regular beach activities that can be done here. The public beach is lovely, the private beach which is part of the resort is even lovelier.
Tanjung Rhu, Langkawi
Address: Tanjung Rhu, Mukim Ayer Hangat Pulau, Langkawi
Book a stay at Tanjung Rhu Resort which has its own private beach and is a stone throw’s away from Tanjung Rhu Beach.
This beach is located on Tioman Island, off the coast of the state of Johor. You can reach this beach by ferry from Mersing, it takes about 5 hours from Kuala Lumpur or Singapore to reach Mersing by road. After arriving to Mersing or Tanguk Gemok (ferry jetty), you must take the ferry ride that lasts about 3 hours to get to one of Tioman’s jetties. From there take a local taxi to get to Juara Beach. Seems like a pretty long journey but you are going to see a piece of heaven! All the struggle will be totally worth what you will experience in Tioman.
Tip: When at Tioman Island, one thing to take care of are the sand flies. Either cover yourselves completely or use insect repellant, you do not want those pesky sand flies to spoil your holiday!
Address: East Coast of Tioman Ialsnd, Mersing, Johor (see map)
Here are the best accommodations near Juara Beach:
Juara Mutiara Resort
Permata Beach Chalet
Perhentian Island is a beautiful destination for people looking for an island getaway in Peninsular Malaysia. The island offers clear blue waters and sandy beaches. You have the Perhentian Besar (big) and the Perhentian Kecil (small) islands. The former is slightly more crowded than the latter. There are a lot of smaller beaches in Perhentian Kecil Island, the Long Beach is more popular among tourists. You can snorkel, visit Turtle Bay, and Shark Point. To reach this island, the fastest and easiest way is to fly to Kota Bharu and take a taxi from the airport to the Kuala Besut Jetty (roughly a 45 minute journey). From the jetty, take the ferry to reach the island.
Perhentian Kecil Island Beach, Terengganu
Address: Pulau Perhentian Kecil, Kuala Besut, Terengganu (see map)
Stay close to Perhentian Kecil Island Beach and book a stay at one of the following accommodations:
6. Rawa Island Beach, Johor
Rawa Island or Pulau Rawa is about 4 hours and 30 mins drive from Kuala Lumpur. You will arrive at Mersing Jetty and take the 30 minute ferry ride to reach Rawa Island. The island is located inside the archipelago of Sultan Iskandar Marine Park. One of the most popular attractions of Rawa Island is its slides! You can’t find them anywhere else in the country! It’s the typical idyllic tropical island for you to relax well! You can snorkel, scuba-dive, do hobby cat sailing, and kayaking.
Rawa Island Beach, Johor
Address: Pulau Rawa, Johor
Redang is a gem located on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. It is very popular among locals for its crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches and an amazing aquatic life. Snorkeling and scuba diving are activities you definitely must do when you are in Redang. The whole experience of a beach holiday is very gratifying and makes you very relaxed. The beach at Taaras Resort is absolutely a treasure and a part of it is open to the general public and referred to as Pantai Awam.
Redang Beach, Redang Island, Terengganu
Address: Pulau Redang, 20928 Redang Island
To get to Pangkor Island you can take a bus to Lumut from where you will have to take a 30-minute boat ride to the island. You could also fly into Ipoh and take a bus from there. Coral Beach is said to be one of the best beaches on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. With clear emerald-green water, and a bleached sandy beach. The Coral Beach is one of the most serene beaches you can find on the island, one that will surely take your breath away. This is said to be an ideal beach for newly-weds for its romantic and almost empty beaches, lots of privacy eh!
Coral Beach, Pangkor
Address: Coral Beach, 32300, Perak
The closest and best accommodation near Coral Beach is Anjungan Beach Resort. Book a room now for a trip of a lifetime!
Gaya Island or Pulau Gaya in Malay is a sizeable Malaysian island located just 10 minutes off Kota Kinabalu, the capital of the East Malaysia state of Sabah. The island is a part of the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park. It is the biggest island of the National Park closest to downtown Kota Kinabalu. It is covered with dense virgin, tropical forest. To reach this island, you can take a speed boat from the Kota Kinabalu jetty point.
Gaya Island Beach
Address: Kota Kinabalu, Sabah (see map)
There are several accommodations located on Gaya Island, here’s our pick of the best three:
Bunga Raya Island Resort & Spa
Gaya Island Resort
Gayana Marine Resort
The Golden Beach is located in Kuching, Sarawak. You will be very pleased to see the breathtaking views of the South China Sea, a lovely alternative to those living in an urban setting. You can also find that this is one of the beaches where turtles lay their eggs so it is sometimes referred to as the Turtle Beach. This beach is a part of the Similajau National Park.
Golden Beach, Sarawak
Address: Similajau, 97000 Bintulu, Sarawak
Website: Golden Beach
If you’re looking to stay close to Golden Beach, look no further than Samalaju Resort Hotel.
11. Dive into the bright blue abyss at Pulau Kapas
Pulau Kapas is one of Malaysia’s most celebrated beaches for its vast marine diversity. Despite the climate crisis making it difficult to steer trash off the oceans, Pulau Kapas still manages to preserve its beautiful fish, turtles, coral, and even a few sharks here and there. This hidden gem is a great place for water adventurers who can do all the water sports imaginable in the aquamarine blue waters. Travelers and tourists will enjoy scuba diving and snorkeling to name a few. Those who wish to sail around can take a day trip to Gem Island via online booking where some boats row you to the nearby island to discover more of Pulau Kapas’ finest blue waters.
Address: Kapas Island, Pulau Kapas, Terengganu, Malaysia
Opening hours: 24 hours, Sun to Mon
12. Explore the nightlife at Pantai Cenang
This part of Malaysia’s waterworks is one of the most visited and beloved by travelers and tourists. Located in a central area where the best dining and drinking establishments are found, Pantai Cenang is the place to be if you like lounging by the stunning white sand beach and exploring the beach nightlife. Enjoy the breathtaking sunsets with a mango daiquiri at hand and check this off your travel bucket list. Pantai Cenang’s blue waters are best for swimming and sunbathing. Take a look at the local cafes and restaurants, souvenir shops and duty-free outlets before leaving this scenic paradise; truly one of the books when in Malaysia.
Address: Pantai Cenang 07000, Kedah, Malaysia
Website: Pantai Cenang
FAQ's about beaches in Malaysia
1. What is the most beautiful beach in Malaysia?
Although there are many stunning beaches in Malaysia, Pasir Panjang in Redang is recognized to be one of the most scenic beaches in the country. It is famous for its coastal beauty, white sand, and clear water.
2. Which is the best beach in Malaysia?
Some of the best beaches are Pasir Panjang in Redang, Pantai Cenang in Langkawi and Rawa Island in Mersing and Sipadan Island.
3. Does Malaysia have nice beaches?
Yes, there are a lot of nice beaches in Malaysia, some of the great options you may have are Pantai Cenang in Langkawi, Rawa Island in Mersing, Kapas Island in Terengganu, Manukan Island in Sabah, Juara Beach in Tioman, Long Beach in Perhentian Kecil, Mataking Island in Sabah, and Coral Beach in Pangkor.
Visit Malaysia - a truly Asian country!
Malaysia is a beautiful place, a melting pot of cultures and equally blessed with breathtaking natural wonders. Visit Malaysia and its beaches to see it, experience it and believe it.
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