Malaysia offers some of the most breathtaking and ecologically diverse beaches in the world. The geography of the nation consists of Peninsular Malaysia, East Malaysia (on the island of Borneo) and a countless number of smaller islands. Altogether, Malaysia boasts 2,905 miles of coastline. The best time of year to experience Malaysia’s ideal beach weather conditions is between April and September, before the rainy Northeast monsoon season begins (most travel and resorts are closed from November to February). With so many beaches to choose from, visitors can have a hard time deciding which ones to see. To make things easier, here are a few top beach recommendations from the team at GlobalEntryServices.org. The list will have something to interest every type of beachgoer, from surfers and scuba divers to those who just want to lay out in the sun.
- Perhentian Islands, Terengganu
The Perhentian Islands include the Besar (“Big”) and Kecil (“small”) islands. Both have popular beaches with fine sand and turquoise-tinted clear water that is perfect for beachgoers who enjoy diving and snorkeling. The islands’ marinelife includes clownfish, sea turtles, rays, parrotfish and reef sharks. Like many Malaysian islands, the center of the Perhentians has a jungle with excellent hiking opportunities for energetic beach bums. The island is quite popular, so the team at GlobalEntryServices.org recommends booking your vacation well in advance of your trip. Although the islands do have resorts, inexpensive beach huts are ideal for budget travelers and backpackers.
- Redang Island, Terengganu
The spectacular beaches on Redang Island provide a great place to lay out and get some sun. Visitors may catch a glimpse of monkeys and large monitor lizards. Just 50 feet from the island’s shoreline, swimmers can spot a number of pristine reefs teeming with colorful fish. Pasir Panjang beach, on the island’s east side, has several acclaimed resorts. The team at GlobalEntryServices.org recommends a trip to Redang for travelers who can afford to splurge. As an upscale beach island, Redang does not offer suitable lodging for the budget traveler.
- Pantai Cenang, Langkawi, Kedah
Pantai Cenang, one of the most popular beaches in Langkawi, is a group of 104 islands off the coast of mainland Malaysia. The beach attracts a mix of tourists and locals. In addition to unparalleled sunsets and sprawling stretches of beach along the Andaman Sea, Pantai Cenang is known for its restaurants, bars, souvenir shops and live entertainment that pulses well into the night. Visitors interested in active water recreation can take the opportunity to indulge in parasailing or jet skiing.
- Pantai Bisikan Bayu, Kota Bahru, Kelantan
Pantai Bisikan Bayu means “Beach of the whispering breeze.” The name comes from the soothing sound of the wind blowing through the beach’s casuarina trees. During the monsoon season, this beach on the east coast of Malaysia becomes a destination for both surfers and windsurfers. The team at GlobalEntryServices.org recommends taking a break from the beach to visit nearby museums, nature walks and nineteenth century palaces.
- Tioman Island, Pahang
Located in the South China Sea, the sparsely populated Tioman Island is known by legend as a dragon princess’ resting place. The island’s surrounding waters are a designated marine reserve, offering coral reefs that attract scuba divers from around the world. Away from the beach, visitors can check out the nearby villages, mountainous jungles and granite rock formations, which are popular with rock climbers. The island includes a varied selection of upscale, mid-range and budget accommodations.