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Best Island In Malaysia As Featured In CNN Travel

Malaysia is a fantastic beach and island destination with 4,675km of coastline and over 800 islands. These islands or ‘Pulau’ in the local language are where you can expect sun, sea and the sands.

If you are looking for a tropical retreat or a place to be more relaxed, one of the islands should be your ideal holiday destination and it will offer a variety of travel options.

Pulau Redang

Redang is one of the larger islands approximately 45km off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia and famed for its crystal-clear waters and white sandy beaches and the archipelago consists of nine islands.

With several resorts that try to catch your attention as you reach the island, Redang can be said more upscale compared to neighbouring islands and with rich marine life; snorkelling and also scuba diving are normally offered by each resort or tour operator.

Other than the beach activities such as kayaking and island hopping, you can also go for jungle trekking as well.

Getting there: If you don't want to pay to fly-in directly, the alternative is to fly to Kuala Terengganu and then continue by car and take a ferry from the port of Merang.


Located off the east coast state of Terengganu, there are several islands in the ‘Perhentians’ group. Two main ones are the Perhentian Kecil and Perhentian Besar and these islands become a scuba diving hub that ideal for beginner to advanced diver.

The clear waters and astonishing beaches attract not only the families but young travellers as well. It can be said that the island is so versatile and suits for any group of age.

Here is the trick to choose between these two; if you are looking for a more relaxed, calm and occasional snorkelling session, Perhentian Besar is the place for you while the Perhentian Kecil will normally ‘cooler’ with lively night scene and sometimes the crowd is younger and louder. This will surely be more fun if you are looking for one.

Getting there: Regular buses leave from Hentian Putra bus station in Kuala Lumpur, taking about nine hours. Alternatively, fly from Kuala Lumpur's LCCT airport to Kota Bharu, and then catch a taxi to the port town of Kuala Besut.

Lang Tengah

Lang (short of Helang) means eagle in Malay and because of its name, many associated the island with Langkawi which is located in Kedah while the Lang Tengah is actually located 40km away from Kuala Terengganu. The islands located between Perhentian and Redang Islands to be exact.

There are no roads available here except a few jungle paths. Hence, the only way to get around the island is either by walking through the jungle paths or most people will recommend you use the boat.

One of the reasons people prefer Lang Tengah between the other nearby islands is because it has great visibility for scuba diving as well as a range of marine life that consists of turtles, leopard sharks, eels and schools of colourful fish.

Getting there: You will have to take the bus or aeroplane to Kuala Terengganu and then you can take a bus or taxi to Merang (a 45-minute drive to the north); where the ferry takes you to Lang Tengah in about 30 minutes.


This particular island might be confusing for you as the island is actually part of Pahang but it is actually reached from Mersing, another town in another state of Johor.

Tioman is one of the popular holiday islands in Malaysia and it has two major factors to make it fame and continued to be hyped by media and marketers. The first claims came way back in 1958 when the teardrop-shaped island is used as a backdrop for one particular movie entitled “South Pacific” and then it became more fame as the Time magazine named it as one of the world’s most beautiful islands in the 70-s.

Getting there: There are bus services from all over Malaysia heading to Mersing and from the Mersing Jetty, it will be another two-hour boat ride to the first jetty of the island. If you are not a fan of a boat ride, maybe you can fly in as Tioman has a small airport with flights coming in from KL and Singapore as well. 

Island Holiday Deals

Don’t forget to browse through our fantastic island holiday deals to fulfil your vitamin 'sea' needs from as low as RM409* per pax!

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