Did you know Singapore’s closest neighbour Malaysia is made up of over 800 islands. So there’s bound to be something for everyone, from foodies to nature lovers and divers. Here’s a quick guide to half a dozen of the best Malaysian islands for you to consider for a short break!
#1 Malaysian islands to visit if you’re a snorkeller – The Perhentians
Located off the northeast coast of Peninsular Malaysia, the Perhentian Islands boast glistening beaches, lush jungles and plenty of marine life. They also have a low-key vibe, partly because getting there is tricky; you have to fly to Kuala Lumpur, then on to Kuala Terengganu or Kota Bharu, before taking a taxi and then a speedboat.
#2 Where to visit if you’re a nature lover – Tioman Island
With its lush tropical forests and mangroves, Tioman is home to a great variety of wildlife and fauna. There are plenty of opportunities for bird-watching or trekking to one of the pretty waterfalls. Or enjoy walking across the island from beach to beach.
#3 Where to go if in Malaysia if you like luxury – Langkawi
Made up of over 100 islands, Langkawi has something for every traveller, including those who like a few fancy touches. Beachfront resorts like The Andaman, the Four Seasons and The Datai, for instance, feature deluxe accommodation, world-class restaurants and divine pools and spas.
#4 Best Malaysian islands if you’re a diver – Sipadan
Just off the east coast of Sabah is Sipadan. This Malaysian island is renowned among dive enthusiasts for its crystal-clear water and rich marine life. You’ll come up close to parrotfish, seahorses and turtles, and maybe a whitetipped reef shark or two. To get there, fly to Kota Kinabalu and then to Tiwau, then take a taxi to Semporna and a boat to the island.
#5 Where to go in Malaysia if you’re a foodie – Penang
Hit the streets of George Town and hunt down popular hawker fare such as assam laksa, char kway teow or a fried oyster omelette. Roadside stalls along Lebuh Chulia and Lorong Bahru are especially popular. There are also plenty of cultural and architectural highlights. Several airlines fly daily from Singapore (1 hour 25 minutes).
#6 Which Malaysian islands to visit if you’ve only got a night or two – Rawa
It’s an easy enough road trip from Singapore to this little island off the east coast of Johor if you’re looking for a short shot of R&R. Spend a leisurely afternoon canoeing or snorkelling – or do the real thing and take some dive lessons so you can view the abundant coral and fish.