Beaches in Malaysia are the cynosure of this multi-religious country. Peninsular Malaysia is mostly covered by dense forests, swamplands with abundant rainfall and sandy beaches with spellbinding sunset views. It is home to numerous archipelagos and nature-oriented holiday destinations; awaiting to be explored. Some of the best beaches in Malaysia are perfect locations to set out on an expedition with family, loved ones and your gang.
Given the geography of the country, peninsular Malaysia is speckled with beautiful beaches at its coastline. On the East coast, Redang islands have fabulous beaches with turtles as prominent inhabitants which can be spotted while snorkelling or sunbathing. Perhentian beach offering scuba diving adventures with sweeping views of the blue-red horizon. Redang island also rests on the Eastern coast of the country to have a rendezvous with turtles at the Turtle beach, cycling and kayaking are major sports at Tioman island for tourists. Langkawi island, Penang island, Borneo and Pangkor island feature the best and renowned Malaysian beaches on the West coast.
Best time to visit Malaysian Beaches
The country allegedly appears to be a monsoon rich location and, hence, it is acclaimed as a tropical destination. There are some lovely vacation spots at the Malaysian archipelagos, especially when you are a pluviophile. The best time to visit the beaches in Malaysia is from June to August or December to February. As September and October are monsoon months with substantial rainfall, it is better to avoid for tourists from countries having a dry season.
Below listed are the best beaches in Malaysia for holidays and tranquil vacation in a tropical setting.
Best Beaches in Malaysia
1. Langkawi beaches
Resting on the western coast, 30 km away from peninsular Malaysia, Langkawi is an abode of beautiful sandy beaches, luxury holiday resorts, and 99 archipelagos. From public to private, tranquil and remote to luxurious busy beaches, Langkawi is blessed with sweeping views and spellbinding scenery of the famous and best beaches in Malaysia like Pantai Cenang, Pantai Tengah, Tanjung Rhu beach, Black sand beach, Datai Bay, Tangkorak beach and many more.
Pantai means beach in the Malay language; therefore, most of the Malaysian beach names are preceded by Pantai. Speaking of which, idyllic beaches of Langkawi are listed below :
- Pantai Cenang – Most occupied and desirable holiday spot of Malaysia during the peak season of the year. Be it a vacation with kids or a luxurious escapade, savouring the local cuisine, meandering along the shoreline with your partner or partying at clubs; there’s a lot to remember this beach by.
- Tanjung Rhu beach – Secluded public-private beach located on the north-east coast of Langkawi, Tanjung Rhu beach is a popular tourist destination with water sport activities like kayaking, surfing, sailing. The dense rainforests and sparkling sandy beach fronts are like a cherry on the top to this wonderful location.
- Datai Bay beach – Private beach embracing the exotic views of the sea and islands.
- Shark bay beach – Palm trees and shaded isolated areas adorn this family beach, along with this, shark watching adds to the vacation more fun and excitement.
2. Penang island
The beaches of Penang island are speckled along the south, west, north, and south-west coastlines. Among the known and best beaches in Malaysia, are the Tanjung Bungah and Batu Ferringhi of Penang island. They are known for their exclusive beach activities and pristine waters. For tourists, who prefer basking in the sun at serene setting across the coastline are few other remote beaches in Penang. These verdant beaches also house fishing villages and portray impressive scenes from mundane life for the tourists to remember.
- Batu Ferringhi – This beach is affluent in many tourist activities, laudable nightlife with market and array of adventure sports like parasailing, windsurfing etc.
- Tanjung Bungah – Lying between Batu Ferringhi and Gurney, this beach is a hidden gem of Penang island, flanked by the rocky landscape and lush forests. It is a fishing village which has secured its position as a popular tourist attraction for a thrilling Malaysian beach holiday. In Malay, it is known as “Flower Cape”; thereby, it boasts some of the best hotels and resorts for exotic rustic vacation.
Other interesting beach locations include Monkey beach, which houses a wide range of wildlife species and a perfect beach for sports like paintball, water polo, trekking and volleyball is Jerejak island. Butterfly Farm, Penang Escape Theme Park, Penang Forest Museum are must-visit attractions at Teluk Bahang beach during your stay at Penang Island.
3. Pangkor island
Nestled on the West coast of peninsular Malaysia, Pangkor island hosts luxurious resorts and some of the best beaches in Malaysia. Some beaches are rather tranquil and calm while the main beaches are crowded during weekends and public holidays or peak tourist months.
- Pantai Pasir Bogak is a crescent-shaped beach and also the largest of Pangkor island. Scuba diving, snorkelling, rafting, fishing are means of entertainment besides picnic activities and games. Canopy of green cover, clear waters and white sands beautify this beach.
- Coral beach – Located on the West coast of Pangkor island, is an ideal coastal holiday destination to relish the beauty of glistening sunrise and sunset. It has emerald green water, which is a result of limestone existing there.
Suggested Read: Best Indian Restaurants in Malaysia [With Reviews and Pictures]
4. Borneo Island Beaches
The third-largest island of the world which forms a significant part of southwestern peninsular Malaysia, the rugged Borneo island ranks as the largest in Asia. Pretty beaches with wildlife biodiversity and thick rainforests are the main features of this holiday destination.
Borneo island is shared by three countries, namely, Malaysia, Indonesia and independent Brunei. The spectacular beaches which adorn the Borneo part of Malaysia with beautiful landscapes lie on the coast of Sabah and Sarawak states of Malaysia. Mount Kinabalu boasts the highest peak of Borneo island, and Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah, Eastern state of Malaysia houses some of the most desirable, withal best beaches in Malaysia.
- Gaya Island beach, Kota Kinabalu – Pulau Gaya in Malay or Gaya Island beach is a striking coastal holiday beach, resting 10 minutes away from Kota Kinabalu. This island constitutes the part of Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park.
- Survivor Island, Sabah – Pulau Tiga, now famed “Survivor island” was a location for famous American reality TV show “Survivor.” It houses resorts and serene, clear beaches with stretching coastlines on its three islands. Locals and tourists visit the island for adventures and praise the beauty of this secluded beaches covered with dense trees on the coastline.
- Golden Beach, Sarawak – Located in Kuching, state of Sarawak, Golden beach is a getaway location for people who want to forget the sheer hassles of urban life and relive a promenade at the beachside. Part of Similajau National Park, this beach is an idyllic setting to stay close to nature; the remarkably wonderful sight of turtles laying eggs adds to its beauty. Hence, it is also known as the Turtle beach. It also provides panoramic views of the South China Sea, the largest sea in the world.
- Tusan Cliff Beach, Sarawak – Scenic views, soft sands, rugged cliffs are salient features of this cliff beach south of Miri. The glowing water here is a prominent reason why this beach is considered one of the best beaches in Malaysia. A rare natural phenomenon occurs here because of dinoflagellates, tiny light-emitting microorganisms. When it’s dark and the sun goes down, they create a spellbinding neon light effect against the water slashed shoreline.
5. Redang beach
Redang beach is an exotic getaway location for water sports and beach adventure lovers. Located in the East coast of Malaysia, pristine waters and a walk against the sandy shoreline is enough to alleviate locals and tourists exhausted by commute. Snorkelling through the beautiful aquatic life and diving deep into the clear waters to explore the sea are common activities at the beach. It is located in proximity with Taaras Beach Resort, which is a must-visit place on your way back or to Redang beach. Pantai Awam, a part of the beach resort, is a gem waiting to be accessed by the tourists and open to the public.
6. Perhentian Islands, Terengganu
A long-stay escapade with family or friends to Perhentian Island is a befitting way to enjoy the beach life here. The island is clustered with small and big island beaches, all equally satisfying and bewildering. Perhentian Besar is a big one with coral bay and suitable for snorkelling, diving sports while Perhentian Kecil island houses idyllic beaches.
- Long Beach is a popular tourist destination offering nightlife with refreshing drinks and sunbathing with umbrella services whereas surroundings are a bit compromising due to plastic disposal.
- Turtle Beach is another worth watching site at Perhentian Kecil island.
Perhentian Besar Island is a sparkling gem in the sea for island hoppers, backpackers and jungle fanatics. Shark Point are not to be missed when exploring Perhentian Besar Islands. The beaches here extend to the South China Sea, with striking views of landscape merging into the horizon.
7. Juara Beach, Tioman Island
An isolated paradise nestling at Tioman island constitutes an astounding gem to the crown of Malaysian beaches. Hidden tropical treasure with a rustic setting is a perfect way to describe this beach in simple short words. The beach huts and tranquil atmosphere with powers to mentally replenish any soul, make it more appealing to tourists searching for a secluded tropical holiday in the lap of reputed South East Asian part of the world.
Jungle trails, promenades along the rock speckled coastline, swimming and snorkelling are few to name activities to do at the beach. Convenience shops, beach huts and treehouse bars are added advantages during your stay apart from walks to the rejuvenating waterfalls which compels you to escape from reality.
8. Layang Layang beach, Labuan Island
Facing the South China Sea, Layang Layang beach on the west coast of Labuan Island is an ideal spot for picturesque sunsets. A myriad of colours can be seen here in the sky during the sunset. The spick and span look of the beach makes it more desirable among the tourists. Delicious local food and markets are some things to revel when at the beach.
The clean surroundings with breeze account for suitable picnic activities and games. Surrender Point Memorial and Peace Park are tourist attractions of historical importance as they are memorials from World World ll. Apart from watching its corals and astoundingly beautiful aquatic life while diving or snorkelling and bird watching there isn’t much here for recreational activities as it’s squarely in the middle of nowhere and lies amidst the deep water ocean. Its clear shoreline with pristine waters is a reason it attracts tourists.
These islands have much to offer if you are ready to unravel the mystery of the Malaysian beaches and aquatic wildlife. The beaches in Malaysia are a surefire to make your excursion pleasant and happening; packed with street foods, activities, water sports, stalls, market, nightlife and other amenities at the beaches. Stop searching further and backpack to let loose the rover in you for splendid Malaysian beach holidays.