The Malaysia islands look no less than shining gemstones, and the experiences they offer only make them a desirable destination for any type of holiday. Be it romancing with your loved one, spending time with your family, or chilling with your friends, these islands are ideal hotspots to have the best vacation of your lifetime!
Scroll through these 15 best islands in Malaysia, and take a note of the top things to do and how to reach there before you head out for your trip.
Best Malaysia Islands Along The Coasts Of Borneo
Situated in the Sulu Sea, this is one of the best Malaysian islands, which is a haven for refreshing oneself amidst the beauty of nature. Apart from offering elegant wooden chalets to spend your holiday, it is also becoming one of the hottest diving spots in the world.
Best For: This tiny jewel-like island is an ideal holiday spot for families with kids, and also for divers.
How To Reach: Upon reaching the Sandakan Airport from Kuala Lumpur, wait to get transferred to the jetty from where you can take the boat and reach the island in 75 to 90 minutes.
Also known as Swallow Reef, Layang Layang is just the perfect place to be if ‘eat, sleep, and dive’ is all you are looking for. While this island is not too cheap, it is definitely a beauty worth witnessing.
Best For: Located in the middle of deep waters, this island is home to rich marine life and refreshing breeze, which makes it a must-visit for nature lovers.
How To Reach: Take a flight from Kuala Lumpur to the Kota Kinabalu Airport, and then a chartered flight from there to reach the island in around two hours.
Located some 40 kilometers away from Sandakan, the Selingan Island offers unique experiences and extraordinary sights. With turtles swimming around on the beaches, it is nearly impossible to take both your eyes and camera away from them.
Best For: Of all the Malaysia islands, this place is worth visiting with your family, partner, and even friends.
How To Reach: Take a direct flight from either Kuala Lumpur or Kota Kinabalu to reach the Sandakan city, and then get on board the 60-minute boat ride to reach the island.
One of the top islands in Malaysia, Sipadan is home to exotic species like sea turtles, reef fish, and hammerhead sharks. While the island doesn’t offer any accommodation, it is still the best place to escape for a quick getaway!
Best For: Being one of the best diving spots in the world, this gorgeous island near Malaysia is a paradise for divers.
How To Reach: Fly to Tawau from either Kuala Lumpur or Kota Kinabalu, take a taxi to the town of Semporna from there, and upon reaching Semporna, take a fast boat to reach the island.
A hidden island in Malaysia, Mabul is one of the best Malaysian beach holiday destinations. The island boasts pristine beaches with coconut trees, soft white sand, and emerald water. Thanks to its seclusion, it is still an untouched bit of beauty, which makes a visit here absolutely worthwhile.
Best For: This island is one of the world’s best destinations for muck diving, which makes it a great place for adventure seekers.
How To Reach: After reaching the town of Semporna from Tawau, take a speedboat to reach the island in 30 minutes.
Located in the Celebes Sea, this island is the perfect reflection of sheer beauty, luxury, and serenity. The top-notch resorts here surrounded by sparkling blue waters make it an enchanting place for having a one-of-its-kind experience.
Best For: Home to first ‘Underwater Post Office’ and connecting two islands via a sand bar, this island is best for both honeymooners and families.
How To Reach: Fly to the city of Tawau and then take a taxi or minivan to Semporna. After reaching Semporna, take a speedboat to reach the island in 45 minutes.
For experiencing royalty or having a secluded vacation, this island owned by the Sultanate of Johar is the best place to be. Also, one of the top Malaysian islands near Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Rawa is an absolute delight for a weekend getaway.
Best For: This idyllic tropical island is a haven for those in pursuit of peace and wishing to spend some good time with their family.
How To Reach: Take a taxi from either Kuala Lumpur or Singapore to Mersing. After reaching Mersing, take a speedboat or a ferry to reach the island in 30 to 60 minutes.
With soft white sandy beaches, palm trees, and colorful flora and fauna, Kapas is a marvel worth witnessing. Out of all the islands of Malaysia, Kapas has the most laid-back and rustic ambiance, which makes it an ideal retreat for a relaxing holiday.
Best For: Also known as Cotton Island, this is a perfect holiday spot for beach lovers.
How To Reach: Take a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Terengganu, and from there hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Marang. Upon reaching the Marang Jetty, take a boat till the Island, which would take only 15 minutes.
Loved by both locals and tourists, the Tenggol Island is like a home away from home. It not only lets you enjoy privacy, but also comfort, making your holiday a beautiful memory you would cherish for lifelong. If you are seeking tranquility then this is one of the best Malaysian islands.
Best For: Offering the vibes of a private tropical island, this is the best island in Malaysia for those looking to escape the crowds.
How To Reach: Take a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Terengganu, and from there hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the small town of Kuala Dungun. After reaching the Kuala Dungun Jetty, take the 50-minute boat ride to reach the island.
If white sand beaches is not something that pleases your eyes, rest assured because this island offers a lot more than that. With plenty of wildlife and luxury resorts around, Redang is the best island to spend your money and invest your time.
Best For: Lying amidst the crystal clear marine waters, this island is ideal for those who love every bit of luxury during their summer holiday.
How To Reach: Head for Shahbandar jetty or Marang jetty from Kuala Terengganu, and take a ferry from there to reach the island directly.
Named as one of the most beautiful islands in the world in 1970 by the Time Magazine, this island has more to offer than what just comes across. Its natural beauty and wildlife diversity still retains the magic of leaving one in awe.
Best For: One of the most famous Malaysia islands, Tioman is an ideal holiday place for those who love traveling without worrying about the budget.
How To Reach: The only way to reach the Tioman Island by taking a direct ferry from either Mersing Jetty or Tanjung Gemok Jetty, after getting to either of the jetties from Kuala Lumpur by air.
One of the best islands in Malaysia for backpackers, this island is a hideaway waiting to be explored. The beaches are utterly gorgeous, and the accommodation is too cheap. Apart from diving, there’s also a tropical jungle for you to see.
Best For: The Perhentian Islands Malaysia is a shining gem amongst all the islands, and is perfect for budget travelers.
How To Reach: The only way to get to these islands is by taking a boat from Kuala Besut, which can be reached from either Kuala Terengganu or the Kota Bharu Airport. Both of these airports have direct connectivity with Kuala Lumpur.
If you’re looking for islands in Malaysia to visit in December, there’s nothing better than Penang. Known for its cultural diversity, heritage, and cuisine, this large and colorful island offer all kinds of unique experiences.
Best For: Known for offering more than just beaches, Penang is a gorgeous destination for those who are a foodie at heart or have an interest in heritage.
How To Reach: While you can reach the Penang Island by train, air, and even road. The best way is to either take a flight from any major city to the Penang International Airport located in Bayan Lepas, and then a direct taxi to the island. Or travel to Butterworth from the North-South Highway for four to five hours via road, and then take a ferry or the bridge to cross over to the island.
This is not another beautiful island in Malaysia. The people here are friendly and the cuisine is lip-smacking, with resorts that offer the best of luxury. With its stunning beauty, a holiday on this island would definitely leave you spoilt.
Best For: If your heart beats for local culture and lifestyle, Pangkor Island is the best place to be.
How To Reach: Pangkor Island can be reached by taking a direct bus from Kuala Lumpur or Penang to Lumut, and then a ferry to the main island. However, you can also drive or rent a taxi from the city till Lumut if you’re willing to spend a bit more on fuel.
The most popular island and Malaysia’s best known holiday destination, Langkawi flaunts the best beaches, mountains, rainforest, and mangrove wetlands. With so much to do and see here, every moment spent here would turn into a memory.
Best For: An epitome of luxury, this island is a hotspot for both honeymooners and families.
How To Reach: You can reach Langkawi by taking a direct flight from Kuala Lumpur if you wish to save your time. Though, an adventurous way to get to the island is by taking a train from Kuala Lumpur or Singapore till Alor Setar, and then take a boat ride from there.
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