Malaysia’s warm tropical climate, long sunny days, crystal clear waters and pristine beaches make it the perfect destination to relax, unwind and find your perfect island paradise.
While many parts are highly geared for tourism, it is still possible to find remote and untouched places if you step a little off the beaten track. Or if action and adventure are more appealing, Malaysia offers islands with plenty of entertainment opportunities to please even the most restless traveller.
Here are our top 3 Malaysian islands:
1) Sipadan Island
Sipadan is highly regarded in the diving community as one of the world’s best dive sites. The island itself is tiny – just half a kilometre long and 200m wide. It is the only oceanic island in Malaysia and is located off the coast of Sabah (Malaysian Borneo). To protect the island, the authorities have banned any development here, so to access the island you must stay on neighbouring Mabul or Kapalai and book dive/boat trips to visit. Dive permits are limited to just 120 per day, so it is essential to book your dive trips in advance. There is an abundance of marine life with over 3,000 species living here, including sea turtles, Manta rays, Parrot fish, huge schools of Barracuda, Hammerhead sharks and, if you’re lucky, the elusive whale shark. The island is also a bird sanctuary so pack binoculars and see what you can spot above the water too.
2) Perhentian Islands
There are 2 main Perhentian Islands: Perhentian Besar and Perhentian Kecil. They are located around 25km from the East coast of the Malaysian peninsula and you can take this journey by speedboat, which takes around 35 minutes, or by slow boat, which takes around 2 hours. There are no roads on the islands so the only way to travel is by walking or by water taxi. The islands have a multitude of white sandy beaches where you can grab a pina colada, find a hammock and watch the sunset over the South China sea, or if you’re feeling active, there are plenty of snorkelling and scuba diving sites surrounding the islands; just pop into a local tour shop and book a day trip out to the reef. If jungle trekking is more your thing, there are a number of trails to take across the islands. You can expect to see Monitor Lizards, monkeys and plenty of different species of birds here, so remember to bring your camera.
Langkawi is located around 30km from the coast of Western Malaysia and is an archipelago made up of 99 islands. It is one of the most developed areas of Malaysia and has many opportunities for both beach lovers and adventure travelers alike. Take the cable car up to the Langkawi Sky Bridge – it stands at a staggering 100m and a walk along it is not for the fainthearted! It offers astounding views of otherwise inaccessible virgin jungle. If trekking is on your bucket list, you can hire a guide and take a hike up Langkawi’s tallest peak, Gunung Raya Mountain, which stands at 881m. On the trek you will walk through dense jungle and can spot macaques, Leaf Monkeys, flying foxes and eagles to name a few. If this all sounds like hard work, you can head to one of the many palm-fringed beaches found on the islands, such as Pantai Cenang, one of the busiest and most popular beaches. However, if peace and tranquility is what you’re after, try Tanjung Rhu Beach in the north of the main island. This sheltered shoreline offers pure white sand, turquoise waters and seclusion, so is perfect for a romantic getaway.
Health in Malaysia
All visitors to Malaysia should ensure that both their Hepatitis A and Tetanus vaccinations are up to date. Anyone going trekking, traveling to remote parts or for extended periods may also want to consider the Typhoid vaccination, Hepatitis B, Rabies and Japanese Encephalitis vaccination courses. Plan at least 6 weeks in advance to make sure you have time to be fully protected.
Ensure you only drink bottled water (which should be easy enough to find in main resorts). If you are trekking, ensure you bring water sterilisation tablets. We sell those in our H2O To Go packs, and you can pick them up in any of our clinics.
It is vital to use a good DEET-based mosquito repellent at all times, as diseases such as Dengue Fever occasionally have outbreaks here. There is no vaccination for Dengue Fever, so bite prevention is the only way to truly avoid getting sick. Thankfully there is a low/no risk of Malaria throughout the country, so Malaria tablets are not necessary.
Book now and discuss your trip to paradise with one of our specialist nurses. We will ensure that you are all kitted out for a safe and happy holiday!