Live it up on Langkawi
Langkawi is, without doubt, Malaysia’s most famous beach destination. Deliciously stranded in the turquoise waters that lie off the west coast, it’s a traditional paradise of dazzling white sands, swaying coconut palms and calm, clear seas. While it’s no longer secret and tourists flock here every year, Langkawi has managed to stay true to its roots and, beyond the beaches, there’s plenty of colourful character to be found.
Meet the people of Pulau Pangkor
Pulau Pangkor, also to the west of the mainland, is a totally different story. You won’t find sophisticated restaurants, pampering spas and glitzy resorts here. Instead, it’s a highly authentic hotspot, with sleepy fishing villages and friendly locals. While the beaches might not be amongst best in the country, there’s nowhere better to get a glimpse of real island life in Malaysia.
Get some peace on the Perhentians
Just off the other side of the mainland, the eastern islands are completely enchanting. The Perhentians are slices of pure heaven, with laid-back beach bars, seriously good snorkelling and low-key night-life. Further afield, Pulau Tioman is Malaysia’s turtle island, where sea turtles trundle onto the beach to nest every year.
Daydream in private paradise
For unadulterated barefoot bliss, you can’t beat the even tinier tropical outcrops to the east of the mainland. These hidden islands bring a whole new meaning to the idea of getting away from it all. Swing in a hanging chair overlooking your own private paradise, kayak between secluded stretches of sand and snorkel through colourful coral reefs.
Island hopping around Malaysia
Can’t decide? If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the choice of beaches in Malaysia, try an island-hopping trip combining two or three islands. This will give you the very best of both worlds. Mix a more social, lively island with a local hangout or a more remote stretch of sand to give you a few different spins on sun-drenched Malaysia.