Malaysia is known throughout the world for our many exotic islands with stunning beaches, tropical rainforests and diverse cultures. Malaysia has total of 878 islands, ranging from the cosmopolitan charm
of Penang, to the many great scuba diving and snorkelling destinations on the eastside, such as Redang or Lang Tengah. There is truly a diverse array of islands offer great choices for us locals to take advantage of.
Fortunately, many of these islands are easy to get to and can be cheap too if booked at the right time. In the third instalment of ‘Holiday Month’, EZTakaful has picked our favourite five islands out of our nation’s 878, perfect for a family holiday for you and your loved ones.
Langkawi – Heading North
Malaysia’s best-known island destination, Langkawi is an archipelago of 99 islands in the Andaman Sea, 478.5 km2 dominated by Pulau Langkawi. The best way to see the island from above is on the 2,200 metre-long cable car, which rises some 710 metres above sea level. The jetty point is another of Langkawi’s must-visit attractions; here the legendary statue of the soaring eagle that gives the island its name can be found. No visit to the island is complete without a selfie taken with the giant bird! For a natural source for water fun, go to the Durian Perangin Waterfall located on the northern slope of Gunung Raya, the highest mountain of Langkawi. The cool gushing waters cascading from a high peak are the perfect way to relax after a day’s exploration under the hot sun.
Tioman – Heading South
Although officially part of Pahang, Tioman is actually best reached from the Johorean town of Mersing. Considered by many as one of the world’s most beautiful islands, Tioman served as a scenic backdrop in the 1958 Hollywood movie, “South Pacific.” Despite being one of the most commercially developed islands, Tioman still preserves much of its natural beauty and wildlife diversity. Surrounded by coral reef, the island is a hotspot for diving and snorkelling. Tourists here can also enjoy jungle trekking, swimming under waterfalls, visiting a turtle farm and experiencing the local culture at a traditional village on Juara Beach.
Layang-Layang: Diver’s Paradise
Once an active marine base and little more than a coral reef with a runway, the tiny island of Layang-Layang is located some 300 kilometres northwest of the Sabah capital of Kota Kinabalu. Also known as ‘The Jewels of the Borneo Banks’, this little gem sparkles within the deep blue sea and is completely surrounded by a coral reef. Combined with splendid diving conditions, the island is a true diver’s paradise. Snorkelers and scuba divers visit the island because of the beautiful, calm waters that are filled with a variety of marine life.
Perhentian Islands – For Budget Travelers
Located off the coast of north-eastern Malaysia, the Perhentian Islands are the must-go place in Malaysia for budget travellers. Two small islands form the Perhentian Islands; Perhentian Besar, the larger of the two and popular among couples and families with children, and Perhentian Kecil, the smaller island and very popular among budget travellers. The waters are so clean that you can snorkel right off the beach and still see a diverse array of aquatic life.
Penang – Cosmopolitan Charm for a Change
Also known as the pearl of the orient, Penang is a large and colourful island shaped by diverse culture, heritage and world-famous cuisine. A must-do here is a stroll or rickshaw ride around the historic Georgetown to see its colonial buildings, stately mansions, temples and wonderful street art. Take a short 30-minute cable car ride up Penang Hill at 821m above sea level to visit some of the grandest colonial mansions while enjoying the cool, refreshing air and panoramic views of the island.
For a religious touch, visit the many grand churches, colourful Buddhist and Indian temples and magnificent mosques on the island: St George’s Church, Kapitan Keling Mosque, Kek Lok Si Temple, Snake Temple, Sri Mahamariamman Temple, just to name a few. As the day ends, sample the famous street food for a most enjoyable culinary experience – from Penang laksa off Macalister Road to banana leaf rice in Little India to seafood on Gurney Drive – you’ll find it all here.
We hope that these destinations have given you some inspiration for your next holiday. Remember, wherever you go, make sure you and your family are adequately protected from accidents.
Arrange affordable protection here for your upcoming festive holiday trip in Malaysia with EZTakaful.
In the final blog of 2015 EZTakaful will be making sure you hit the ground running come January 1st and have the best possible start to 2016.