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Top 15 Islands In Malaysia: Best Time To Visit, Things To Do & Cheap Travel Deals

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How long has it been since you last travelled to the beach? While yes, we aren’t allowed to travel overseas yet, but don’t let that stop you from rejuvenating your mind once in a while!

Stunning beaches, crystal blue sea, lapping waves and nodding palm; a visit to Malaysia’s best islands can be the best way to unwind.

Luckily, we have a lot of islands scattered around our coastline, and these are the best time to visit them:

1. Perhentian Island, Terengganu

Dubbed as Malaysia’s very own Miami beach, Perhentian is one of the best islands in Malaysia for backpackers. This island is a hideaway waiting to be explored!

The beaches are utterly gorgeous, and the accommodation is very affordable. Apart from diving, there’s also a tropical jungle for you to see.

Things To Do:

  • Snorkeling and Scuba Diving
  • Chill at the beach bar
  • Watch fire dance
  • Spot whale sharks and octopuses while diving with Turtle Bay

Best Time To Visit: March – November

How To Reach: The only way to get to these islands is by taking a boat from Kuala Besut, which can be reached from either Kuala Terengganu or the Kota Bharu Airport. Both of these airports have direct connectivity with Kuala Lumpur.

Cheap holiday packages: Available here

2. Mabul Island, Sabah

A hidden island in Malaysia, Mabul is one of the best Malaysian beach holiday destinations. The island boasts pristine beaches with coconut trees, soft white sand, and emerald water.

Thanks to its seclusion, it is still an untouched bit of beauty, which makes a visit here absolutely worthwhile. It is counted among the best Malaysia islands.

Things To Do:

  • Explore the island in a transparent kayak
  • Visit the Bajau Laut Village
  • Muck diving and snorkeling
  • Witness the gorgeous golden hues of the sunrise

Best Time To Visit: May – October

How To Reach: After reaching the town of Semporna from Tawau, take a speedboat to reach the island in 30 minutes.

Cheap holiday packages: Available here

3. Tenggol Island, Terengganu

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Loved by both locals and tourists, Tenggol Island is like a home away from home. It not only lets you enjoy privacy, but also comfort, making your holiday a beautiful memory you would cherish for lifelong. If you are seeking tranquility then this is one of the best Malaysian islands.

Things To Do:

  • Enjoy diving at this hidden island in Malaysia
  • Spot the whale sharks
  • Soak in the panoramic views of the island from the hilltop

Best Time To Visit: April- September

How To Reach: Take a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Terengganu, and from there hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the Kuala Dungun Jetty. Then, take a 50-minute boat ride to reach the island.

4. Lang Tengah Island

Lang Tengah Island is one of the many Terengganu’s privately owned Malaysian islands where only a few travelers find their way here. The island is appreciated due its remoteness, unfiltered beauty, and seclusion.

The water around the island plays host to a thriving marine ecosystem which can be witnessed once you make an underwater dive. Island is a host to only a handful of hotels and they get filled up within weeks.

Things To Do:

  • Scuba dive and explore the thriving marine ecosystem
  • Walking at the beach
  • Jungle trekking

Best Time To Visit: March – October

How To Reach: You will have to take a speedboat to cover the distance of 40km between Kuala Terengganu and Lang Tengah Island.

Cheap holiday packages: Available here

5. Pom Pom Island

Pom Pom Island is located about 30 Km Northeast of Semporna town, in the Celebes Sea. Pom Pom is a part of a coral triangle and is surrounded with over 500 coral species.

It is also a prominent feeding and nesting space for hawkbill and green turtles. With beautiful views and rich marine life, this island is best for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.

Things To Do:

  • Diving
  • Island hopping
  • Snorkeling
  • Feed Hawkbill

Best Time To Visit: May – August

How To Reach: Fly to Semporna from Tawau Airport. Take a resort speed boat from Semporna to Pom Pom Island. It will take about 45 minutes to reach the destination on a boat.

Cheap holiday packages: Available here

6. Kapas Island, Terengganu

With soft white sandy beaches, palm trees, and colourful flora and fauna, Kapas Island is a marvel worth witnessing. Out of all the islands of Malaysia, Kapas has the most laid-back and rustic ambiance, which makes it an ideal retreat for a relaxing holiday.

Good for honeymooners and those who are willing to spend more!

Things To Do:

  • Turtle spotting
  • Snorkeling and scuba diving
  • Jungle Trekking

Best Time To Visit: March – September 

How To Reach: Take a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Terengganu, and from there hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Marang. Then, take a boat to the island. It would take only 15 minutes from the destination.

Cheap holiday packages: Available here

7. Mataking Island, Sabah

Located in the Celebes Sea, this gorgeous one is the perfect reflection of sheer beauty, luxury, and serenity. The top-notch resorts here surrounded by sparkling blue waters make it an enchanting place for having a one-of-its-kind experience.

Home to first ‘Underwater Post Office’ and connecting two islands via a sandbar, this island is best for both honeymooners and families.

Things To Do:

  • Indulge in diving, and explore the famous gardens and viewpoints
  • Pamper yourself at Jamu Spa
  • Take a leisurely walk to the Mataking Kecil Island

Best Time To Visit: February – November

How To Reach: Fly to the city of Tawau and then take a taxi or minivan to Semporna. After reaching Semporna, take a speedboat to reach the island in 45 minutes.

Cheap holiday packages: Available here

8. Pulau Tiga, Sabah

Pulau Tiga or Tiga Island is one of the many small uninhabited islands in Kimanis Bay. Tiga island was formed by an earthquake that had hit Mindanao due to a volcanic eruption near the coast of Borneo Island.

Pulau Tiga has some active mud volcanoes in its highest parts. The island is a part of the Tiga Island National Park, one of the best national parks in Malaysia. 

Things To Do:

  • Beaching on the tranquil shores
  • Hike the mud volcanoes
  • Luxury resort stay

Best Time To Visit: December – March

How To Reach: Fly to Kota Kinabalu International Airport. Then drive to Kuala Penyu town and take a boat from here to reach the island. It will take you around 20 minutes to the destination

Cheap holiday packages: Available here

9. Lankayan Island, Sabah

Situated in the Sulu Sea, this is one of the best Malaysian islands, which is a haven for refreshing oneself amidst the beauty of nature. Apart from offering elegant wooden chalets to spend your holiday, it is also becoming one of the hottest diving spots in the world.

Best Time To Visit: March – October and June – September (For watching turtles)

How To Reach: Upon reaching the Sandakan Airport from Kuala Lumpur, wait to get transferred to the jetty from where you can take the boat and reach the island in 75 to 90 minutes.

10. Tioman Island, Pahang

Named as one of the most beautiful islands in the world in 1970 by the Time Magazine, Tioman island has more to offer than what just comes across. Its natural beauty and wildlife diversity still retains the magic of leaving one in awe.

Things To Do:

  • Indulge in diving and snorkeling
  • Visit a turtle farm
  • Swim under the waterfalls

Best Time To Visit: March – October

How To Reach: The only way to reach the Tioman Island by taking a direct ferry from either Mersing Jetty or Tanjung Gemok Jetty, after getting to either of the jetties from Kuala Lumpur by air.

Cheap holiday packages: Available here

11. Rawa Island, Johor

Rawa Island is a beautiful coral island located on the east coast of Malaysia. For experiencing royalty or having a secluded vacation, this idyllic island owned by the Sultanate of Johor is an absolute delight for a weekend getaway.

Things To Do:

  • Indulge in snorkeling
  • Enjoy the fun of water slides with your loved ones
  • Try your hands on fishing, or at a game of beach volleyball

Best Time To Visit: March – September

How To Reach: Take a taxi from either Kuala Lumpur or Singapore to Mersing. After reaching Mersing, take a speedboat or a ferry to reach the island in 30 to 60 minutes.

Cheap holiday packages: Available here

12. Penang Island

If you’re looking for islands in Malaysia to visit in December, there’s nothing better than Penang island. Known for its cultural diversity, heritage, and cuisine, this large and colourful island offer all kinds of unique experiences. Perfect for foodies!

Things To Do:

  • Explore the Penang National Park
  • Shop at Komtar
  • Indulge in Penang’s street food

Best Time To Visit: Mid November – mid February

How To Reach: While you can reach the Penang Island by train, air, and even road. The best way is to either take a flight from any major city to the Penang International Airport located in Bayan Lepas, and then a direct taxi to the island. Or travel to Butterworth from the North-South Highway for four to five hours via road, and then take a ferry or the bridge to cross over to the island.

Cheap holiday packages: Available here

13. Langkawi, Kedah

Langkawi island in Malaysia is the most popular island and Malaysia’s best known holiday destination, Langkawi flaunts the best beaches, mountains, rainforest, and mangrove wetlands. With so much to do and see here, every moment spent here would turn into a memory.

Things To Do:

  • Enjoy the breathtaking views from the cable car ride
  • Visit Gunung Raya, the highest peak on the island
  • Go beach hopping
  • Feed eagles

Best Time To Visit: November – April

How To Reach: You can reach Langkawi by taking a direct flight from Kuala Lumpur if you wish to save your time. Though an adventurous way to get to the island is by taking a train from Kuala Lumpur or Singapore till Alor Setar, and then take a boat ride from there.

Cheap holiday packages: Available here

14. Pangkor Island, Perak

This is not another beautiful island in Malaysia. The people here are friendly and the cuisine is lip-smacking, with resorts that offer the best of luxury. With its stunning beauty, a holiday on this island would definitely leave you spoilt!

Things To Do:

  • Take a stroll on the beaches
  • Relish the scrumptious seafood
  • Stay at the Pangkor Laut Resort

Best Time To Visit: January and February and June – September

How To Reach: Pangkor Island can be reached by taking a direct bus from Kuala Lumpur or Penang to Lumut, and then a ferry to the main island. However, you can also drive or rent a taxi from the city till Lumut if you’re willing to spend a bit more on fuel.

Cheap holiday packages: Available here

15. Sibu Island, Sabah

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Sibu Island consists of four islands in the South China sea. Nothing boasts of seclusion as these four islands of Malaysia, not just because of the remoteness, but also because they house two resorts only. Very exclusive!

This island will help you relax, and it will ensure that you return to your normal life with happy memories.

Things To Do:

  • Long walks on the beach
  • Indulging in snorkeling
  • Indulge in fishing activities

Best Time To Visit: April – September

How To Reach: You can take a taxi or avail public transport to reach Tanjung Leman. From Tanjung Leman, you can take a ferry to reach the island of Sibu.

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