The Perfect Malaysian Beach Getaway 


There comes a time where all us crave to leave the cacophony of noises of our busy city life behind. The picture perfect postcards and sparkling blue waters have been calling out to us forever and enough is enough. Now, all we want is to feel the sun, sand and clear water flowing through our fingers. But where can we go for that perfect beach getaway?

For our Singaporean readers, it’s a good thing we don’t have to travel very far. And for our Malaysian readers, these paradises are an even shorter distance away from you.

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

Here are our top picks of some of the most beautiful beaches in Malaysia that are guaranteed to take your breath away. Of course you can always take a plan, but for the budget concious, we’ve also decided to show you how it can be extremely cheap to go there.


Beach Getaway Idea: Tioman Island ($78 SGD)


1. Juara Beach


Source : Paradise in the World

Juara has pristine beaches, lush greenery and beautiful coral reefs. It is found on the East of Tioman Island, and unlike the west, this beach is less populated and is great for those looking for some seclusion and peace. 

In addition, Juara is one of the several major landing spots for nesting sea turtles, so be sure to look out for them while you’re there!

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Where to stay: 1511 Coconut Groove, Juara Beach Resort, Juara Lagoon
Getting there: It is inaccessible by ferry. You can get to Juara by 4WD taxis from Tekek. They can be hailed spontaneously or booked through Juara resorts

2. Salang Beach

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Salang is best known for being a diver’s den, as it is the closest village to many reef sites and wrecks around Tioman. There are many bars, pubs and restaurants that offer wonderful nightlife and hold bonfire parties by the beach. Nature lovers can trek also through scenic Monkey Beach and Monkey Bay from Salang.

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Above is a picture of Batu Malang, a gorgeous granite rock formation. It is a famous diving spot and can be conveniently reached by speedboat.

Where to stay: Salang Hut, Puteri Salang Inn, Salang Beach Resort
Getting there: From Tetek Village Airport, hire a “sea bus” or “water taxi”. The whole journey takes about 20 minutes

Cheapest way to get to Tioman:

There is no direct ferry to Tioman from Singapore. Take a bus to Mersing from Kallang Bahru/Lavender Street junction(lorry park) for only $11.10. Alternatively, you can take the Transnasional coaches that leave from the Golden Mile Complex everyday, for $25.90. For more information, visit this website.

From Mersing, take a ferry to Tioman for about RM70 (including return). The journey will take about 2 hours. The main ferry company is Blue Water Express, and you can book tickets online here.

Total Damage: $25.90 x 2 (Coach) + $70 MYR = $78 SGD per person.
By Airplane: There are currently no direct flights from Singapore to Tioman.


Beach Getaway Idea: Perhentian Islands ($62 SGD)


3. Perhentian Kecil Island


Perhentian Kecil, the smaller island of the two, is a backpacker haven, and is termed as a beach paradise. It is the best place to visit for the budget traveller. The Perhentian beach is renowned for its pristine beaches and crystal clear waters, and boy I have no doubt about that. 

Where to stay: Senja Bay Resort, Butterfly Resort, Maya Guesthouse

4. Perhentian Besar Island

b2ap3_thumbnail_m8.jpgSource: guerillaction

Perhentian Besar is the larger counterpart to Perhentian Kecil. Although accommodation here is slightly more pricey, it is quieter as compared to Perhentian Kecil and is more popular with families seeking a laid-back atmosphere. The sunset at Perhentian Besar Beach is absolutely breathtaking. Look at the gorgeous skies! If you’re not going to the Perhentians, I am.

Where to stay: Mama’s Place, Bubble’s Resort, New Coco-hut Chalet
Getting there: It is accessible by speedboat from Kuala Besut

Tip: Stock up on bug spray on the mainlands, as prices are a bit hiked up on the island. Also, most of the island has no electricity, except from 6pm – 11pm

Cheapest way to get to Perhentian Islands:

Take a night train from Singapore to Tanah Merah and arrive refreshed. The total journey is about 12 hours, and prices start from $50. From Tanah Merah, take a 1 hour taxi ride to Kuala Besut Ferry Port, which will cost about RM20 to RM40. For more information, click here.

Total Damage: $50 SGD + RM30 = $62 SGD per person.
By Airplane: $50 (AirAsia$297 (Malaysia Airlines)

Note: After arrival at the Kota Bharu airport, take a 1 hour bus or taxi ride to Kuala Besut jetty to transit to a ferry.


Beach Getaway Idea: Johor ($25 SGD)


5. Rawa Island

b2ap3_thumbnail_m10.jpgSource: Jon Garcia

A breathtaking sunset at the beach of Rawa Island. It’s idyllic beach and azure blue waters make this island irresistible for travelers who are seeking a quiet, secluded getaway. An interesting fact to note is that Rawa Island is a Sultan’s den, owned privately by family members of the Sultanate of Johor. If you wanna experience how it’s like to stay on royal property, Rawa is the next best alternative.

Where to stay: Rawa Island Safaris Resort, Alang’s Rawa
Getting there: A 30 minutes speed boat ride or 1 hour ferry ride from Mersing. Do note that the timings for the speed boats and ferries will be irregular on off-peak periods

Cheapest way to get to Johor:

Take a bus to Mersing from Kallang Bahru/Lavender Street junction(lorry park) for only $11.10. For more information, visit this website

From Mersing, take a ferry in to Rawa Island for RM35.

Total Damage: $11.50 SGD + RM35 = $25 SGD per person.
By Airplane: There are no flights in to Johor, and getting there by car or bus is more convenient.


Beach Getaway Idea: Redang Island ($45.24 SGD)


6. Redang Island Beach

b2ap3_thumbnail_m2_20140224-031451_1.jpgSource: Funpoper

Redang is one of the more popular destinations visited by tourists. Divers and snorkellers frequent Redang as well, so it tends to get a little crowded during the peak seasons. But if you’re not afraid of the crowd, Redang is an island that must not be missed.

I know for one that wading into the deeper regions of the waters will earn you a treat, because you can see marine creatures swimming around. It is not an uncommon sight to see visitors feeding these fishes!

For first-time divers, Redang also offers a 4-day course at affordable prices.

Where to stay: The Taaras Beach Resort, Laguna Redang Beach Resort

Tip: Do not visit during the months October to March unless you want to get caught in the monsoon season!

Cheapest way to get to Redang:

The cheapest way is to go by Transnasional buses from Lavender Street or Kallang Bahru Junction to Kuala Terengganu, which costs $26 and takes about 8 to 9 hours. Then, take a 1 and a half hour ferry ride from Shahbandar jetty at for RM50. 

For more information on the booking of Transnasional buses, click here.

Total Damage: $26 SGD + RM50 = $45.24 SGD per person.
By Airplane: $72 (AirAsia)  | $297 (Malaysia Airlines)


Beach Getaway Idea: PangKor ($39.92 SGD) 


7. Nipah Beach

b2ap3_thumbnail_m3_20140224-034200_1.jpgSource: group6csc253

The beach at Nipah Bay is hailed as one of the most beautiful beaches in Pangkor, and is frequented by foreigners and locals alike. There are uninhabited islands nearby such as Giam Island and Mentagor Island, surrounded by a rich diversity of corals and marine life. Snorkellers will find this beach a little haven.

Where to stay: Nipah Bay Villa

8. Coral Bay

b2ap3_thumbnail_m4.gifSource: beachtomato

Coral Bay is the other gorgeous beach in Pangkor. It is close to Nipah Beach, so one can visit both when in Pangkor. For the adventurous, water sports are accessible around the island, as well as uphill trekking in the jungles. Bird-lovers can find the hornbill (Burung Enggang) here.

Where to stay: Nipah Guesthouse, Anjungan Beach Resort, Horizon-Inn, Nipah Bay Villa

9. Emerald Bay (Pantai Teluk Belanga)

b2ap3_thumbnail_m5.pngSource: societyschoicemagazine

Emerald Bay has one of the most beautiful coves in the world. The emerald-green waters and quiet location makes this beach a romantic destination, and it’s no wonder that wedding services are available on this beautiful coast.

This is definitely up on my must-go list!

Where to stay: Pangkor Laut Resort

Cheapest way to get to Redang:

Take a 8 to 9 hours bus ride to Lumut Bas Terminal. Prices start from $36, and click here for more information on the bus services.

In Lumut, go to Lumut Jetty and take a ferry for RM5. The ferry ride will not take longer than 45 minutes. Click here for ferry timings.

Total Damage: $38 SGD + RM5 = $39.92 SGD per person.
By Airplane: $49.13 (Firefly)

Note: You must take an outstation cab to Lumut upon arrival at Ipoh airport which will take slightly more than an hour, before transiting to a ferry.


Beach Getaway Idea: Sabah, Borneo


10. Lankayan Island ($134 SGD)

b2ap3_thumbnail_m6_20140224-042849_1.jpgSource: Langkayan Island Dive Resort

As you can see, Lankayan is a tiny jewel-like island that offers a truly peaceful getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city life. Ringed by pure white sandy beach, it tempts one to escape to this untouched land. If you’re looking for tranquillity and relaxation in a tropical landscape, or to mingle with the sea turtles and fishes, this is the place to go to.

The waters around the beach is inhabited by a fascinating array of marine life – divers would find the waters here an absolute paradise. 

Getting there: From Kota Kinabalu, take a connecting flight to Sandakan, then transit to a 75 minutes speedboat to head towards Lankayan. 

Where to stay: Lankayan Island Resort

Cheapest way to get to Lankayan:

By Airplane: $75 (AirAsia | $221 (Malaysia Airlines) $279 (SilkAir)

Note: Prices stated here are for flights to Kota Kinabalu.

From Kota Kinabalu, take a connecting flight to Sandakan. Prices start from $59 SGD by AirAsia. Then, take a 75 minutes speedboat ride to Lankayan.

Total Damage: $75 SGD + $59 SGD = $134 SGD per person.

Tip: The ‘turtle season’ is around June to September, so plan your trip around these months if you want to experience the magnificent view of the hawksbill and green turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs!

11. Gaya Island

The Police beach at Gaya Island hosts an expanse of fine white sand, sloping beautifully, making it ideal for snorkelling, diving and swimming. Nature lovers who come here will be in for a real treat as well due to it’s wide range of exotic floral and fauna.

If you love trekking, you will definitely love Gaya Island.


Look at those clear waters! It would make snorkelling and paddling so much more enjoyable!


Honestly, this sunset makes me want to pack my bags  and get myself there, right this instant. 

Where to stay: Gaya Island Resort

Cheapest way to get to Gaya:

By Airplane: $75 (AirAsia | $221 (Malaysia Airlines) $279 (SilkAir)

Note: Prices stated here are for flights to Kota Kinabalu.

From Kota Kinabalu jetty, take a 10 to 15 minutes boat ride to Gaya.

12. Sipadan Island ($118.14 SGD)

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Sipadan Island is home to diversity of marine species, and is known as the infamous ‘diver’s paradise’. For an amazing underwater experience, Sipadan is the place to visit. Barracudas, parrothead fish, hammerhead sharks… you name it. They probably have it.

Where to stay: Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort, Sipadan Pom Pom Resort (Note: As Sipadan is a protected island, resorts are situated out of Sipadan Island)

Cheapest way to get to Sipadan:

By Airplane: $75 (AirAsia | $221 (Malaysia Airlines) $279 (SilkAir)

Note: Prices stated here are for flights to Kota Kinabalu.

From Kota Kinabalu, take a connecting flight to Tawau. Prices start from $23.90 SGD by AirAsia. From Tawau, take an hour’s drive to Semporna before transiting to a 40 minutes speedboat ride for RM50.

Total Damage: $75 SGD + $23.90 SGD + RM50 = $118.14 SGD per person.

13. Mabul Island ($137.38 SGD)

Source: tropicalbeachgetaways

When visiting Sipadan, make sure you leave two days out for the beautiful Mabul Island as well, which also boasts exotic small marine life. In fact, it is said to be one of the world’s best places for underwater macro-photography. It’s clear shallow waters sure do make it reminiscent of the Maldives.

Also read: TheSmartLocal W Maldives Blog feature

Where to stay: Sipadan Mabul Resort, Mabul Water Bungalows, Seaventures Dive Resort

Cheapest way to get to Mabul:

By Airplane: $75 (AirAsia | $221 (Malaysia Airlines) $279 (SilkAir)

Note: Prices stated here are for flights to Kota Kinabalu.

From Kota Kinabalu, take a connecting flight to Tawau. Prices start from $23.90 SGD by AirAsia. From Tawau, take an hour’s drive to Semporna before transiting to a 30 minutes speedboat ride for RM100 (including return trip).

Total Damage: $75 SGD + $23.90 SGD + RM100 = $137.38 SGD per person.

14. Mataking Island ($102.75 SGD)

b2ap3_thumbnail_m13.jpgSource: abctours

That’s right, it is as it seems. This breathtaking natural beauty appeals to all, whether divers, honeymooners or holidaymakers. This pure tropical landscape remains un-destroyed till today, and is ideal for a quiet retreat. The presence of coral reefs also make it ideal for snorkeling.

Getting there: Take a plane from Kota Kinabalu to Tawau, take an hour’s drive to Semporna, then get on a final 45 minute speedboat ride from Semporna jetty
Where to stay: Reef Dive Resort

By Airplane: $75 (AirAsia | $221 (Malaysia Airlines) $279 (SilkAir)

Note: Prices stated here are for flights to Kota Kinabalu.

From Kota Kinabalu, take a connecting flight to Tawau. Prices start from $23.90 SGD by AirAsia. From Tawau, take an hour’s drive to Semporna before transiting to a 45 minutes speedboat ride for RM10.

Total Damage: $75 SGD + $23.90 SGD + RM100 = $102.75 SGD per person.


Beach Getaway Idea: Off Marang ($49.62 SGD)


15. Kapas Island

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This island is termed ‘Cotton Island’ due to it’s pure white beaches which provides for a picturesque getaway. It is ideal for those seeking the perfect tropical island – cerulean waters, swaying palm trees, lush greenery and colourful coral reefs just slightly offshore. Put on your scuba suits – time for some snorkelling!

Getting there: 15 minutes speedboat ride from the coastal fishing village of Marang
Where to stay: Qimi Chalet

Cheapest way to get to Marang:

Hitch a bus from Lavender Street bus station. Tickets cost around $40 and the journey takes about 10 hours. For more information, check out Transnasional’s website.

From Marang jetty, hop onto a speedboat to Kapas Island for RM25.

Total Damage: $40 SGD + RM25 = $49.62 per person.
By Airplane: $72 (AirAsia | $297 (Malaysia Airlines) 

Note: Prices shown are for flights to Kuala Terengganu. Marang is about a 40 minutes drive away from Kuala Terengganu.


Have any other amazing destinations in mind?


Cerulean, turquoise, azure, sapphire, indigo or whatever you call it – that was a whole lot of blue to take in. But we now know that we don’t have to travel all the way to the other end of the earth to bask in the sun and soak in the beautiful clear waters.

So pack your swimming suits and prepare your suntanning oil – it’s time to go to the beach!

Where are some of the incredible beaches you’ve been to in Malaysia?

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