So you’ve heard of the pristine beaches of Malaysia and maybe have seen some photos of them online and decided to pay a visit and get your tan on? Let me tell you that everything you’ve seen and heard is exactly as they are. The clear blue skies, sandy beaches, palm trees, turquoise waters and everything else you’d expect to find at paradise beaches.

To get you started, here are five top picks of beaches around Malaysia (Peninsula and East Malaysia) I’ve put together in a handy little list as well as what you can do and see there.


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  1. My number one choice would be Long Beach on Perhentian Island, specifically Perhentian Kecil. It’s part of a group of islands on the east coast of Malaysia, just off the coast of Terengganu which is known for its turtle sanctuary. Although there is a small conservation fee of RM5 before entering the island, Long Beach is exceptionally well kept in terms of cleanliness. You’ll find zero garbage floating around in the water or buried in the sand. It also takes a long swim out to sea before you start hitting the coral bed so you can be assured that your feet are safe from nasty cuts. Bring along your snorkelling gear (or rent one from one of many kiosks on the beach there) and you’ll see what I mean. There aren’t any motor activities here such as jet ski or paragliding but this is to ensure that visitors will have peace and quiet while bumming on the beach. At night, the beach comes alive with music, barbecues and even a fire show.


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  1. Batu Feringghi would be my next choice. This beach is the most popular beach on Penang Island, with water activities such as jet ski, paragliding and banana boat. The little ones would have a blast here. Some beachfront hotels offer barbecue nights and there is also a night market selling all sorts of things like clothes, handicraft and food. The night market stretches along the entire road along Batu Feringghi.


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  1. Cenang Beach (Pantai Cenang) on Langkawi island is dotted with cafes and restaurants of all types of cuisines. You can even find Italian restaurants here and what better way to treat a special someone to a romantic candle light dinner with the sound of lapping waves in the background? Shopaholics will be delighted to know that Langkawi is a duty-free island so you can go all out at the malls and markets found here.


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  1. The beach at Manukan Island, Sabah at East Malaysia has a long stretch of white sandy beach, 1,500 meters to be exact. The water here is calm and shallow, making it enjoyable for even those who don’t know how to swim yet want to experience wading in crystal clear sea water. The sheer size if the beach makes it a pleasant experience since it won’t be overcrowded and you won’t trip over a carpet of tourists. The facilities here also ensure a comfortable stay although credit cards are not accepted here so make sure you bring a good amount of cash.


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  1. Last but not least is Sipadan Island. What you see in the photo here is exactly as advertised. You’d probably rub your eyes and pinch your arm a couple of times when you set foot on this island at disbelief how picturesque the island’s beach is. There are over 40 dive sites here to explore which makes this island a diver’s paradise. A stay of one week is ideal to soak in the beauty and tranquility of Sipadan. Make sure you check the island’s opening times as they are closed during the monsoon season, just like many of the islands here.


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Bonus beach: Pulau Rawa

This idyllic little island is off the coast of Johor and is quieter than most of the other islands found around Malaysia. It’s easy to get to and has only one resort on it. this place is perfect for those who want a quiet getaway and just laze on the beach all day. This island has one of the prettiest and well-kept beaches in Malaysia. Go in a group to make the visit all the more merrier!