West Malaysia, also known as Peninsular Malaysia, is part of Malaysia and features a wide variety of natural attractions and hidden gems. One of the main attractions would be the gorgeous islands, especially on the East coast (Johor, Pahang, Terengganu & Kelantan).
If you’re thinking of exploring some of the best islands in Malaysia for your next getaway, below are some of our recommendations!
1. Redang Island
Featuring 9 islands, Redang Island is one of the largest and best islands in Malaysia for those who prefer a luxurious holiday. Most tourists who visit this island don’t regret a single penny spent.
Laguna Redang Island Resort is the best island resort in Malaysia for the ultimate paradise experience. You can find an outdoor pool that has a jacuzzi, food court, karaoke lounge and dive centre that’s PADI-certified.
Travel Months: April to October
Estimated Journey: ~30 to 45 minutes from Merang Jetty, ~1 hour 40 minutes from Shahbandar Jetty
Jetty: Merang Jetty or Shahbandar Jetty
Recommended Resorts: Laguna Redang Island Resort, The Taaras Beach & Spa Resort
2. Tioman Island
Tioman Island is well-known for those looking to learn scuba diving! At Tioman Dive Centre, you’ll be guided from A to Z by experienced divers. You won’t regret witnessing the gorgeous sea below.
It’s also one of the best islands in Malaysia where you can learn more about marine life at the ecological park of Taman Laut Tioman.
Travel Months: March to October
Estimated Journey: ~1 hour 30 minutes from Mersing Jetty
Jetty: Mersing Jetty
Recommended Resorts: Paya Beach Spa & Dive Resort, Berjaya Tioman Resort
3. Pangkor Island
Pangkor Island is relatively among the best islands in Malaysia for frequent sightings of hornbills. Nipah Bay is one of the beaches where you can enjoy a good view of the sea in a kayak. Not forgetting Coral Beach which features smooth sand and lazy hammocks where you can relax.
Travel Months: January, February, June to September
Estimated Journey: ~10 to 15 minutes from Marina Island Jetty
Jetty: Marina Island Jetty
Recommended Resorts: Pangkor Laut Resort, AVI Pangkor Beach Resort, Casuarina@Pangkor
4. Tenggol Island
Featuring emerald green and blue waters, Tenggol Island is where you can enjoy various activities such as snorkelling, jungle trekking, diving and even whale shark tours. Another cool fact is that this island has one of the healthiest corals in Malaysia!
Those who love breathtaking views of the sea will enjoy hiking all the way up to the hilltop while being able to get a good workout in.
Travel Months: April to September
Estimated Journey: ~50 minutes from Kuala Dungun Jetty
Jetty: Kuala Dungun Jetty
Recommended Resorts: Tenggol Coral Beach Resort, Pulau Tenggol Island Beach Resort
5. Perhentian Island
Deemed as the best pulau in Malaysia for budget travellers or backpackers, Perhentian Island is the place to be for scuba diving. There are two main islands: Perhentian Kecil (small) and Perhentian Besar (Large).
You can explore up to 20 different dive sites where you can even get a glimpse of octopus and whale sharks around Turtle Bay.
Travel Months: March to November
Estimated Journey: ~30 to 45 minutes
Jetty: Kuala Besut Jetty
Recommended Resorts: Alunan Resort, Perhentian Island Resort, MIMPI Perhentian Resort
6. Penang Island
At Penang Island, you’ll find a wide variety of gorgeous beaches. Aside from the beach, it’s also known for delicious, mouth-watering local food. The main cities people frequently visit for a holiday would be Butterworth, Batu Ferringhi and Georgetown.
It’s also an island full of cultural aspects and heritage. You’ll learn all about history as well as the diverse Malaysian culture.
Travel Months: November to February
Estimated Journey: ~4 hours from Kuala Lumpur
Recommended Resorts: DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang, PARKROYAL Penang Resort
7. Rawa Island
Rawa Island, a beautiful island in Malaysia, is actually fully owned by the Sultan of Johor. Those who love to explore under the water will enjoy the colourful corals and abundant marine life.
Plus, Rawa Island Resort is one of the best island resorts in Malaysia as it’s known for the fun slides where you can ride down and into the sea. Those who love hiking will enjoy the Hilltop Trail to catch the gorgeous sunrise or sunset! If you don’t fancy swimming, you could simply enjoy football or volleyball on the beach.
Travel Months: March to October
Estimated Journey: ~25 minutes from Mersing Jetty
Jetty: Mersing Jetty
Recommended Resorts: Rawa Island Resort, Alang’s Rawa
8. Kapas Island
Kapas Island is one of the top islands in Malaysia with unique features! For instance, apparently, there’s a diving spot that’s also a WWII Japanese landing craft.
Besides that, Kapas Island is known to be a ‘sticky island’, which is a place where once you get the taste of it, you’ll just never want to leave!
Upon stepping toes on Kapas Island, you’ll feel like it’s a whole new dimension – with time standing still throughout your trip.
Travel Months: March to September
Estimated Journey: ~10 minutes from Marang Jetty
Jetty: Marang Jetty
Recommended Resorts: Kapas Island Resort, Kapas Coral Beach Resort
9. Lang Tengah Island
Situated in Terengganu, Lang Tengah Island is where you can enjoy the turquoise hues of the waters. This would be one of the best islands in Malaysia if you want to learn how to dive as the waters are extremely clear. Some of the diving sites include Tanjung Nibong Laut, Terembu Kuning and Batu Kuching.
The best time to watch the nesting green turtles would be to visit from April to October. Besides, you can also catch hawksbill turtles’ nests too.
Travel Months: April to July
Estimated Journey: ~40 minutes from Merang Jetty to Lang Tengah Island via speedboat
Jetty: Merang Jetty
Recommended Resorts: Sari Pacifica Lang Tengah, Summer Bay Lang Tengah Island Resort
10. Large Island
Previously known as Big Boars Island due to the wild boards that frequently roam around the area, Large Island is where you can get to see marine life while swimming amongst crystal clear waters – hence why you can’t miss out on diving or snorkelling here! Other exciting activities you can do here would be jungle trekking or fishing.
Travel Months: January to October
Estimated Journey: ~30 minutes from Mersing Jetty to Large Island
Jetty: Mersing Jetty, Johor
Recommended Resorts: Aseania Resort Pulau Besar, D’Coconut Resort Pulau Besar
Which island in Malaysia are you heading to next?
Impressed by the beautiful islands and can’t wait to plan your next trip? We’re excited for you too! If you’re looking to travel towards the jetties that get you to some of these top islands in Malaysia, consider renting a car with TREVO! You could simply choose your preferred car, park at the spaces available at the jetties, and off you go to your getaway!