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Five Phenomenal Islands in Malaysia You Have to Visit in Your Lifetime

Have you traveled to Malaysia before? If the answer is no, you’re certainly missing out. Situated in Southeast Asia, Malaysia is well known for its unique and exotic islands with mind-blowing beaches and tropical rainforests. Just like the slogan says, Malaysia is truly Asia.

The beaches and islands in Malaysia are great destinations to unwind, relax and disconnect from the hustle and bustle of city life.  Whether you are taking a family vacation or looking for adventure time with your buddies, Malaysia is a desirable destination for everyone.

In this post I’ll share five gorgeous Malaysian islands that are continually voted as top island getaways. I will share things to do and see besides basking in the sun and sipping fresh coconut water.

1.Snorkelling on Beautiful Langkawi Island

Langkawi Island provides a scenic escape from city life. The island is surrounded by the charming emerald greenwater of the Andaman Sea and is part of an archipelago of 99 small islands. Some of the islands in the Langkawi archipelago are isolated and remain untouched. Langkawi Island, the biggest in the archipelago, is the most visited island in Malaysia, and welcomed more than three million visitors last year.

Located in the north of Malaysia, Langkawi Island has many beautiful beaches with long stretches of white sand that are great for swimming and relaxing. Langkawi Island has many popular spots to do exciting water sports like snorkeling, swimming, island-hopping and jet-skiing.

Pulau Payar Marine Park and Pulau Beras Basah are some of the most popular islands in Langkawi for snorkeling and swimming. You need to take a speed boat from Kuah to get to any of these islands. My favorite spot for snorkeling in Langkawi is certainly Datai Beach Resort. You can see different species of fish including Butterflyfish, Moorish idols and Damselfish. I also managed to spot a black-tipped baby shark swimming alongside me and captured the moment using my Boifun 4K Underwater Action Camera

Known for its duty-free shopping, Langkawi Island is a place where you can buy anything from alcohol and perfume to chocolates at a great price. So, be sure to stock up on all your favorites before you leave the island!

2. Learn to Dive in Tioman

Tioman Island has splendid white sand beaches located on the island’s east coast. Back in the seventies, Tioman Island was named one of the world’s most beautiful islands. Having been featured in the South Pacific movies back in 1958, the island is a true tropical paradise.

If you are interested in learning to dive, Tioman Island is the place to do it. You can sign up for diving classes and get a diving license here and the fee is much more affordable than in other countries. I got my diving license from PADI for less than $500, and there are various diving schools on the island to choose from. The crystal-clear water allows you to explore the beautiful marine life and the exquisite coral.

Tourists can do other adventurous activities around the island like jungle trekking and swimming at the waterfalls. You can easily spot the giant lizards out and about near the village. Most of the time, these lizards will avoid humans as much as possible, so don’t worry if you bump into one.

3. Beautiful Lankayan Island

Located in the Sulu Sea, Lankayan Island is a gem. It showcases a scenic view of an endless turquoise sea under the limitless blue sky. Visiting Lankayan Island is every diver’s dream, as it’s considered to be one of the finest places to dive and snorkel in the world.

The experience of swimming in the azure sea waters teeming with sea life like guitarfish and large rays is magical. And if you’re lucky, you’ll get to see manatees up close whilst snorkeling.

If you are visiting between June and September, you’ll get to see hawksbill turtles come to nest. There are more than twenty diving spots here in Lankayan Island and some are close to the island’s jetty.

4. Enjoy the Underwater World at Layang-Layang Island

Layang-Layang Island is a hidden treasure situated 300 kilometers northwest of Kota Kinabalu. This enchanting island is a must-visit for all scuba diving enthusiasts. The island has a reputation for incredible diving experiences. Layang-Layang used to be a military base and was strictly prohibited to the public, but now its top-notch diving sites welcome millions of visitors every year.

Also known as the ‘Jewel of the Borneo Banks,’ Layang-Layang Island has plenty of diving sites that are worth visiting. Some of the most visited diving sites on Layang-Layang Island are the Shark Cave, D’Wall and The Tunnel. 

Shark Cave is one of my favorite diving sites. It’s a shallow cave, about thirty meters deep, that is home to whitetip sharks. During April and May, hammerhead sharks can be seen in abundance as it’s the mating season.

5. Enjoy the Transparent Kayaks on Mabul Island

Ready to take your kayaking experience to another level? Pack your bag and ready your action camera because we’re going to Mabul Island. One of the small islands on the southeastern coast of Malaysia, Mabul Island is located only 15 kilometers from Sipadan Island.

The water is clean and clear, and you can see the underwater life when you are kayaking in a glass-bottomed boat. Even when you are just paddling right off the beaches, you can see a breathtaking array of aquatic creatures. Mabul Island is a prominent site for diving too, as it is rich in exotic ocean life like blue-ringed octopuses and bobtail squids. 

Mabul Island is the best place to witness the sunrise and sunsets in Malaysia. Start your day by witnessing the magnificent golden rays of sunrise by the beach, a panoramic view that will totally blow your mind. Stargazing is another attraction on Mabul Island. If the weather permits, you’ll get to see the Milky Way illuminate the sky of Mabul Island at night, truly a heavenly experience.  


Malaysia is a great destination for a beach and island getaway. The pleasant tropical weather and marvelous scenery is one of the reasons Malaysia is one of the most visited countries in Southeast Asia. The culture and traditions make it an even more unique and exotic destination to visit.