Six Malaysian islands that will leave you spellbound

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Source: Wonderful Malaysia

Photo of Six Malaysian islands that will leave you spellbound by Sonal Agarwal

Malaysia is a vibrant country with a mix of old and new. From stunning islands to fast-paced city life, it has something for everyone here. The pristine beaches of Redang and Langkawi are sights to behold. If you are planning to take an international trip and you are on a budget, but still want to have once in a lifetime experience, then Malaysian islands are the place to be.

Dotted with 878 islands on both the west and east coast, Malaysia has a lot to offer to the ones who love the adrenaline rush. The extensive range adventure sport makes it better than many other tourist destinations around the world. From paragliding to scuba diving, this place has it all.

Langkawi Island is an archipelago of approximately 100 islands in the Andaman Sea. Lying adjacent to the Thai border in the state of Kedah, only a few of its islands are open to visitors. The islands are duty-free and therefore attracts tourists in large numbers.

Top things to see and do: Try Island hopping, which is one of the few things recommended by the locals here; Go diving in the Pulau Payar Marine Park home to some beautiful reefs; For more breathtaking views, take a cable car ride to Mount Mat Chinchang.

Flight cost: Round-trip fares start from ₹ 25,432 onwards. Book in advance and fly to Langkawi Island from New Delhi to get the best price.

Daily budget:

For budget travellers: ₹5,172-₹6000

For mid range travellers: ₹12,500-₹13,000

For luxury travellers: ₹28,000 and above

Best time to visit: The best time to visit the islands are from the months of November to the month of April. This is the time when the weather remains dry and the days are sunny, which is ideal for water sports.

Where to stay: Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort (₹11,700), Landcons Hotel(₹2,452). For more options, check here.

This island shares its borders with three countries; Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia. This place mostly attracts experienced divers and wildlife seekers. The Northern region of the island is divided into two separate zones called Sabah and Sarawak.

Top things to see and do: Go for trekking, bird watching or just spotting new wildlife in the natural parks of Sarawak; Go diving in Miri-Sibuti National Park, also a paradise for underwater travel photographers; Watch turtles nestled on the shores of Golden beach and Turtle beach located on the west coast of Borneo Island.

Flight cost: Round-trip fares start from ₹ 26,432 onwards. Book in advance and fly to Borneo Island from New Delhi to get the best price.

Daily budget:

For budget travellers: ₹3,000-₹4,000

For mid range travellers: ₹8,500-₹10,000

For luxury travellers: ₹18,000 and above

Best time to visit: The best time to visit the islands are from the months of March to the month of October. This is the time when the weather is not humid and temperatures are mild, which is perfect for exploring the place.

Where to stay: Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu (₹9,700), Borneo Beach Villas(₹4,452). For more options, check here.

If you are already in Malaysia and there are no beaches on your list, then Pangkor is the best option for a weekend escape from Kuala Lumpur. Along with water sports and other activities, explore Pangkor’s interesting colonial history. The place is also known for some idyllic resorts.

Top things to see and do: Visit the Dutch Old Fort; Go hiking to Bukit Pangkor; feed hornbills at the Sunset View Chalet; Go kayak around the island.

Flight cost: Round-trip fares start from ₹20,432 onwards. Book in advance and fly to Kuala Lumpur from New Delhi to get the best price. Pangkor Island is approximately 174km from the capital city, which can be easily covered by road.

Daily budget:

For budget travellers: ₹4,000-₹5,000

For mid range travellers: ₹8,500-₹10,000

For luxury travellers: ₹18,000 and above

Best time to visit: The months of October to March are the best time to visit Pangkor Island. It is recommended to avoid the island in the rainy season. Generally, the climate here is humid but is comparatively less humid in the months from March to October.

Where to stay: Pangkor Laut Resort (₹16,700), Anjungan Beach Resort (₹3,252). For more options, check here.

Located in the Besut District of Malaysia, Perhentian Islands are the best option for backpack travellers. It consists of two islands, Kecil and Besar. Travellers can apply for scuba learning certificates here. The islands remain untouched from commercialisation.

Top things to see and do: Go trekking into the wilds of the two islands; Enjoy unlimited beach days on the Coral Beach, Love Beach and Long Beach; Spot turtles on the Turtle Beach; Scuba Diving is a must try here, as the islands are home to some beautiful coral reefs.

Flight cost: Round-trip fares start from ₹27,432 onwards. Book in advance and fly to Kota Bharua from New Delhi to get the best price. Perenthian Islands are approximately 45 minutes away from the airport, which can be easily covered by a ferry ride.

Daily budget:

For budget travellers: ₹3,000-₹4,000

For mid range travellers: ₹7,000-₹10,000

For luxury travellers: ₹15,000 and above

Best time to visit: The months of October to March are the best time to visit the Perenthian Islands. Mostly everything remains shut during the rainy season.

Where to stay: Alunan Resort (₹12,700), New Cocohut Chalet (₹3,300). For more options, check here.

Located near Perhentian Islands, Redang is the most expensive island on the eastern coast. If you are lucky, you could get a beach to yourself, as very few locals reside here. Located in the South China Sea, this place is known for its luxurious retreats of International standards and is perfect for travellers looking for an exotic vacation on the islands. Limited numbers of visitors are allowed on this island.

Top things to see and do: Sipadan Island is a paradise for birdwatchers, take a day out for birding; Go snorkelling and diving to explore the underwater life of the island; Beach bums will not want to leave this place, enjoy beautiful beaches of the island; Explore the island on a yacht also called Sipadan Liveaboard. 

Flight cost: Round-trip fares start from ₹20,432 onwards. Book in advance and fly to Kuala Lumpur from New Delhi to get the best price. Redang Island is approximately 40 minutes away from the capital city, which can be easily covered by a ferry ride. There are two jetties here that can drop passengers to the island.

Daily budget:

For budget travellers: ₹5,000-₹7,000

For mid range travellers: ₹10,000-₹12,000

For luxury travellers: ₹20,000 and above

Best time to visit: The months from April to November are the best time to visit Redang Islands. During this time, there is clear visibility underwater and less currents. Most of the resorts are shut down during the monsoon season. 

Where to stay: Redang Paradise Resort (₹3,800), The Taaras Beach & Spa Resort (₹16,300). For more options, check here.

Once called as "an untouched piece of art", Sipadan Island comes under top ten diving sites in the world. It is a truly a paradise for divers. However, accommodation is a glitch here. Visitors have to stay in Mabul Island when visiting Sipadan.

Top things to see and do: Take time to experience some surreal landscapes of this island; Go snorkelling and diving in the crystal clear waters of the island; Trek from Pasir to Teluk Dalam for an adventurous day; Indulge in the unique local cuisine of this place.

Flight cost: Round-trip fares start from ₹27,327 onwards. Book in advance and fly to Tawau from New Delhi to get the best price. Mabul Island is approximately 135 minutes away from Tawau Airport, which can be easily covered on a ferry. 

Daily budget:

For budget travellers: ₹5,000-₹7,000

For mid range travellers: ₹10,000-₹12,000

For luxury travellers: ₹20,000 and above

Best time to visit: The months of October to March are the best time to visit Perenthian Islands. This is time is perfect for divers.

Where to stay: Sipadan Micro Dive (₹11,800), Spheredivers Scuba & Leisure (₹3,500). For more options, check here.

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