5 Stunning islands in Malaysia for the perfect beach getaway

Sun’s out


By Aina Nur Sarah

5 Stunning islands in Malaysia for the perfect beach getaway

Life in the city is exciting, but there’s no denying that sometimes it gets rather overwhelming. From the hustle and bustle to our hectic daily routines, city living has a knack of draining us so a break every once in a while is definitely needed. 

If you’ve been dreaming of sandy beaches and sipping on a drink while the sea breeze blows, here are a few lesser known islands in Malaysia you need to visit. 



Photo: @batubatuisland/Instagram

Pulau Tengah is situated off the coast of Mersing in the blue waters of the South China Sea. This tropical island is part of the Johor Marine Park and is one of the best places in the world to get up close and personal with the most exquisite sea life. Although the island is only three kilometres in perimeter, it has 10 beautiful and serene beaches for you to explore. 

Touted as a tropical island paradise with its clear blue waters and tropical forest, Pulau Tengah also boasts rich marine life that includes healthy coral reefs and seagrass that are home to dugongs, dolphins, porpoises, and sea turtles.

Resorts to visit:

Batu Batu 



Photo: @nicezam/Instagram

A relatively small island that’s off the coast of Mersing, Pulau Rawa is a unique island where one side of the island is a beach covered with white sand, while the other side has a rocky vertical cliff. Its white, sandy beach is protected from the open waters of the South China Sea due to the island’s unique north-south orientation. 

Pulau Rawa is named after the Malay word for ‘white doves’, which you’ll often spot around the island. Furthermore, the island has a 100 per cent coral cover with a house reef that’s naturally shallow, making it an ideal destination for entry level diving and sea activities for adults and children. 

Resorts to visit:

Rawa Island Resort


Alang’s Rawa


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Photo: @ammar.salehan/Instagram

This well-known island is located in Marang and isn’t too far off from Kuala Terengganu. Tourists have mentioned that Pulau Kapas is the ideal location for a quick getaway, due to its hidden and serene surroundings. 

Pulau Kapas has plenty of beaches, with some being the best places in Malaysia for snorkelling. The island is filled with plenty of soft corals, so you’ll be able to see a variety of fishes—parrotfish, clownfish, and even manta rays, if you’re lucky—swimming around them. 

Resorts to visit:

Kapas Coral Beach Resort 




Pulau Manukan is the second largest island in the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park and is filled with an abundance of stunning stretches of beaches on the southern coastline, with the best beach being on the eastern tip of the island. The island is filled with coral reefs, making it an ideal place for snorkelling, diving, and swimming. 

Located only 10 minutes away from Kota Kinabalu, Pulau Manukan has the most developed tourist facilities out of the five islands in the national park. This includes an array of chalets, clubhouse, restaurants, and a diving centre.  

Resorts to visit:

Sutera Sanctuary 



Photo: @freddie_9w6edy/Instagram

Pulau Gaya is a stunning island in East Malaysia and is only 10 minutes away from Kota Kinabalu. The island is part of the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park and makes up about 1,400 hectares with the largest ridge reaching up to 1,000 feet. Its lush greens are of a virgin forest that has been a reserve since the early 1920s. 

Resorts to visit:

Gaya Island Resort


Bungaraya Island Resort 


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