Islands to visit in Malaysia

Malaysia Islands to Visit
Islands to visit in Malaysia is a compilation of some of the the best islands around the country. Family holiday, backpacking, romantic getaway, traveling with kids, diving and snorkeling or simply to relax, these islands are broken down with basic information and are in no particular order.

The islands are also  located around Malaysia including Sabah Borneo. Seriously, when was the last time you had a decent  tropical island escape? I hope with this list, you will make some interesting choices in planning your island holiday here in Malaysia.

Islands to Visit in Malaysia

1. Rawa Island or Pulau Rawa

This unique island is located just off the town of Mersing on route to Tioman Island and is a private island with only two accommodations. One called Rawa Safaris Resort which is the popular choice while the other is known as Alang's Rawa which is a backpacker style lodging here.

When you talk about White Sand Beaches, it is all here at Pulau Rawa. Fantastic for couples, families and backpackers. Can get crowded during local holiday seasons and is part of the monsoon season. Best visited during April - September.

2. Sipadan Island or Pulau Sipadan

Malaysia's top diving destination and located on the east side of Sabah Borneo, Sipadan Islands are one of the must-dive places for most scuba divers and rated one of the most beautiful dive spots in the world. Up till a few years ago, the government has stopped any form of accommodation on the main island due to environment reasons.

Nowadays, divers stay at nearby Mabul or Kapalai Island while 120 daily dive permits are issued out to divers for diving at Sipadan Islands. Not a place where you would bring your family but if everyone dives, why not. Accommodations range from budget lodge style right till 5-Star Resorts at Mabul Island and Kapalai Island. A marine police station is the only structure that is on Sipadan Island. Check for the rainy season.

3. Langkawi Island or Pulau Langkawi
Peninsular Malaysia's largest island with the best infrastructure and most importantly, Langkawi is a duty free island! A very popular place for travelers as they have direct flights landing in Langkawi Island from a number of airlines around the region. The island offers all kinds of tourism from Eco to Culture and Heritage apart from the general beach life.

The Langkawi Cable Car is one of the attractions you should not miss while here. Accommodations range from luxurious resorts like the Four Seasons and Datai Resort to budget style hotels and motels found throughout the island. One unique place to look out for is Malibest Resort with the Treehouse Chalets.  Peak period here is Nov to Feb and June to Aug for the Arab Season. 

Pulau Sapi
Sapi Island in Sabah

4. Sapi Island or Pulau Sapi 

This small island which is part of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park is only 15 minutes from Kota Kinabalu town  in Sabah Borneo and there are boats going and coming from the mainland every other hour. A very popular place for day trippers as there are no lodgings here. Most packages include a lunch, snorkeling and just relaxing on the beach.

Not as busy as sister island Manukan but does get crowded on weekends. Sapi Island has some of the best waters and beach here. Local attraction is the huge monitor lizards that look like Komodo Dragons.

5. Perhentian Island or Pulau Perhentian

One of the most sought after island for all kinds of beach and island travelers. From the locals right to the backpackers, Perhentian has always been a popular destination to visit. Many budget style to moderate resorts are available on both - Perhentian Besar and Perhentian Kecil islands. Activities include diving, snorkeling and just relaxing.

No roads or vehicles so moving around via foot of boat here. Chances of spotting turtles while snorkeling are high while there are many pretty scuba diving spots here. Some of the family run budget resorts in Perhentian are the best to stay at. Can get crowded during the peak seasons and is part of the monsoon season. Best visited during April - September.

6. Mantanani Island or Pulau Mantanani

This is one of the most beautiful islands on the west side of Sabah Borneo. Generally a divers paradise as there are only two or three resorts here that cater specially to this sport. You would not expect a family style resort and activities here.

Getting to Mantanani Island is also not as easy as thought. You would need to book your trip via the travel agent that arranges these special trips. A paradise in its own way and a must for the true island lover.

Pulau Selingan
Turtle Island Beach

7. Turtle Island or Pulau Selingan

Turtle island is one of the most unique islands dedicated to conservation for Turtles, this place is located about an hour from the town of Sandakan in Sabah Borneo. Only one resort is available on this island while overnight trips offer curious guests a chance to see turtles laying eggs on the beaches around the island here.

A Turtle hatchery is also available on this island while there is a conservation center with marine park rangers who look after this. Excellent for kids, family, those interested in marine life and conservation. No monsoon but check for rainy weather.  

8. Redang Island or Pulau Redang

The only island in the east cost of Malaysia with an airstrip makes this place a popular destination for many locals. Many 3-5 star resorts are found at Redang Island as the waters and beaches here are beautiful. One of the resorts, Laguna Redang Resort seems to stand out from the rest as it is prominently seen when you arrive here.

The Berjaya Resort Redang is located in a cove by it's own away from the main stretch. For the snorkelers, there is the Redang Marine Park nearby which is a popular place to visit. A Small conservation center is also set up here and one can have a  barbecue on the beaches on this island. Can get crowded during local holiday seasons and is part of the monsoon season. Best visited during April - September.
 
9. Rebak Island or Pulau Rebak

An island off an island, Rebak Island is a private island and about 10 minutes from Langkawi Island. There is only one 5-star resort called the Rebak Island Resort which is managed by the TAJ Group. Those seeking privacy and some quiet time would be pleased to know Rebak Island is one of those places. A marina sits at the main jetty of the island while the island is rich in nature. 

10. Lang Tengah Island or Pulau Lang Tengah

ocated in between Redang and Perhentian Island, this beautiful island caters to three resorts and some lovely diving spots. One of the Resorts at Lang Tengah called Redang Lang Resort caters to more locals with a lodge style accommodation and not your resort type. Can get crowded during the local holiday seasons and is part of the monsoon season. Best visited during April - September.

Pulau Manukan
Manukan Island Sabah

11. Manukan Island or Pulau Manukan

The most popular of the five islands that make up the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park in Kota Kinabalu Sabah Borneo. This island is located only 15 minutes from the main town of Kota Kinabalu or KK as most people call it.

There is also only one Resort on Manukan Island is available to those who want to stay over but the prices are in the slightly higher side. Gets crowded on weekends and local holidays as many day trippers head here. The beach is quite nice and you can do some decent snorkeling here. One of the highlights is the Sea Walk here while scuba diving is available on the island.

Malaysia Asia is a travel information site and blog dedicated to information about travel around Malaysia and Southeast Asia. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Not included in this list are numerous other islands around the country as these are a few of the popular Islands to visit  in Malaysia.

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