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Sipadan

Secret Beaches of Malaysia

Written by Aura Farrando

Perhentian Islands, Tioman Island, Langkawi and Penang are popular destinations for a reason. They offer everything a beach lover wants. But for those who are after a bit more adventure, something off the beaten track or just an escape from resort beach lifestyle, we’ve compiled a list of the best hidden treasures of Malaysia.

Pulau Mabul

Pulau Mabul or Mabul Island is a small island off the southeast coast of Sabah – just 15km away from Sipadan. There’s a fishing village, no cars, no roads and perhaps some of the best muck diving in the world. You can even circumnavigate it on foot! The beaches here are pristine and a perfect place to unwind after a long day snorkeling or diving. If you are lucky you will even catch some turtles laying their eggs on the beach.

Getting there: Take a boat from Semporna to Pulau Mabul. Speedboats are around 30 minutes, while ferries take about one and a half hours.

Locals enjoying the pristine sand of Pulau Mabul. Image: http://www.projectaware.org/blog/scuba-junkie/oct-07-11/mabul-marine-week-2011a-job-well-done

Locals enjoying the pristine sand of Pulau Mabul. Image: http://www.projectaware.org/blog/scuba-junkie/oct-07-11/mabul-marine-week-2011a-job-well-done

Pulau Tiga

Pulau Tiga is so wild that it was once used as the setting for reality show Survivor. It is a relatively young island; in 1897, an earthquake in the Philippines caused a volcanic eruption in Borneo to form new land. It’s no surprise then that Pulau Tiga is famous for its volcanic mud baths. On top of that, there’s kilometres of white sandy beach to enjoy. A hike around the island is a great way to see its native flora and fauna.

Getting there: Catch a 30-minute boat from Kuala Penyu, Kota Kinabalu or Labuan.

The mud baths in Pulau Tiga are great for your skin. Image: http://aroundtheworldwithjustin.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/IMG_2380_new.jpg

The mud baths in Pulau Tiga are great for your skin. Image: http://aroundtheworldwithjustin.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/IMG_2380_new.jpg

Bukit Keluang

Can’t decide between the mountain and the beach? Get a taste of both at this tiny cove off Terengganu, close to the Kuala Besut jetty where you’ll see droves of people lining up to head to the Perhentian Islands. Bukit Keluang is a perfect match of pristine white sand, beautiful sea breeze and breathtaking mountains where you can explore beach caves, go windsurfing, kayaking or simply relax with your family at the resort. Be sure to head up the escarpment each morning to catch the amazing sunrise. What a view!

Getting there: Accessible by car from Kota Bharu, Kuala Besut, Kuala Terengganu and Kampung Teras.

The picturesque coastline of Bukit Keluang. Image: https://anotherguywithcamera.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/the-shoreline.jpg

The picturesque coastline of Bukit Keluang. Image: https://anotherguywithcamera.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/the-shoreline.jpg

Pulau Kapas

Known as Cotton Island due its white, soft sand and crystal, clear blue water, Pulau Kapas is like a scene out of a movie — but 100 times better. With a designated marine park protecting its waters, Pulau Kapas is the perfect place for snorkeling or dive deep to enjoy the coral reef that surrounds the island. If that’s not for you, then just sit back and relax in style under a palm tree.

Getting there: Take a ferry from Marang, located 45 minutes from Terengganu.

They don’t call it Cotton Island for no reason. Image: https://c1.staticflickr.com/6/5522/9262235120_7f68dcf2d6_b.jpg

They don’t call it Cotton Island for no reason. Image: https://c1.staticflickr.com/6/5522/9262235120_7f68dcf2d6_b.jpg

Pulau Tinggi

If Pulau Tioman seems too mainstream for you, visit Pulau Tinggi off the Johor coast. It only has 500 inhabitants and is quite laid back. It is ideal for relaxing holidays and family vacations or can double up an adventure haven, perfect for snorkeling, trekking and canoeing. The beaches are less manicured, but more natural and idyllic.

Getting there: Just a 45-minute boat from Mersing in the state of Johor.

Allow yourself to escape into another world. Image: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TLkxUzOtKTU/U5mYX1y2owI/AAAAAAAAAsQ/pJD_Agv5s74/s1600/IMG_6881.jpg

Allow yourself to escape into another world. Image: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TLkxUzOtKTU/U5mYX1y2owI/AAAAAAAAAsQ/pJD_Agv5s74/s1600/IMG_6881.jpg

Pulau Sibu

Here you’ll find not one, but four charming islands: Pulau Sibu Besar, Pulau Sibu Tengah, Pulau Kukus and Pulau Sibu Hujung. The main isle is just 6km long and 1km wide, with thick vegetation and secluded beaches dominating the landscape. It’s not the easiest to access, but that’s the price you pay for heaven on earth. You’ll also most likely have the whole place to yourself.

Getting there: Arrange a boat transfer from the small town of Tanjung Leman, 130km from Johor Bahru. There’s no direct bus from Johor to Tanjung Leman, so we highly recommend you to get the hotel in Johor Bahru or Singapore to arrange a shuttle bus or minivan for you.

Photo by Peter D. Kennett

Photo by Peter D. Kennett

Article source: http://blog.tourism.gov.my/feed/

My Malaysia

By Lloyd Green

I sit here on the plane leaving Malaysia after eight months. An experience quite unlike any I have ever encountered. Malaysia is a country where the more you invest, the more you get out of it. You could be forgiven for thinking Malaysia is embodied by KL’s global reputation — its bright lights, shopping malls, bustling nightlife and iconic Petronas Twin Towers showcasing an opulence craved by many tourists — as well as pristine island getaways such as Langkawi and the Perhentian Islands.

But if you have ever had the chance to peer beyond its veneer, you will find a land of great beauty and a population eager to share it with you. This is where the real Malaysia lies and a world in which I’ve had the privilege to step into. You’ll enter one world and exit another taking with you snippets of many cultures that will not only shape your memories but also your relationships.

My Msia 1

The view from one of the more secluded areas at Genting Highlands

Much of my adventure here is owed to the great local friends I have made. They have afforded me an authentic experience not often chronicled in your local tour guides: Guest at an Indian wedding in Klang; life as a local at Orang Asli kampungs in the jungle near Gua Musang and Raub; a road trip to Pangkor; KL’s burgeoning comedy scene; a guided tour of the famed Kacang Putih industry in Ipoh; hiking around the intriguing Genting Highlands; celebrating Deepavali with Indian families in Klang; KL’s underground punk rock scene; teaching English in remote and rural communities; celebrating Christmas in the Portuguese Settlement in Malacca; adventures to Peninsular Malaysia’s most stunning waterfalls and hikes including Chilling Falls and Gunang Tahan; picking rambutans and bananas at plantations in the jungle; witnessing Iban tribal ceremonies in Sarawak; staying on a boat house in the Royal Belum National Park as well as tasting local delicacies such as the best fish noodle soup in Petaling Jaya and homemade Indian curries in Brickfields and Klang.

My Msia 2

You can hire a boat house and enjoy the tranquil Royal Belum National Park
(Pic http://belum.com.my/tour/2d-1n-houseboat-lake-temenggor/)

That’s not to say Malaysia’s main attractions are unworthy of your presence — the tourist trail in Malaysia is reliable and growing stronger all the time. In the economic hub of Kuala Lumpur, flavours and colour of India, China and Malay locals float inconspicuously, adding great contrast and history to this modern megacity with landmarks such as Batu Caves, Bukit Bintang and KLCC ensuring thousands continue to flock there.

Venture north to George Town in Penang and Ipoh for a romantic cocktail of art, architecture and colonial influences with night markets, Chinese hawker stalls in Batu Ferringhi, the original Old Town White Coffee in Ipoh and the emergence of urban street art in both places giving reason for tourism to thrive.

The chance to live and look after Orangutans as well as the quest of climbing Malaysia’s highest peak — Mount Kinabalu — will always ensure people go to Sabah and the magic of the Rainforest World Music Festival is a beacon for Sarawak tourism each year. And of course if island hopping and diving is your thing, then you’ll fall in love with places such as Sipadan, Mabul, Kapalai, Layang Layang and Lankayan.

Malaysia has no doubt won a special place in my heart and I urge other travellers, tourists and expatriates to immerse yourself in the culture and let Malaysia sweep you off your feet. You will never regret it.

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Article source: http://blog.tourism.gov.my/feed/

10 best dive locations in Malaysia

Where can we find a best dive spots in Malaysia?

Malaysia has countless good dive locations. The best dive sites in Malaysia can be found in a southeastern segment of Sabah (on a island of Borneo). Easiest to strech are a dive sites during a easterly seashore of Peninsular Malaysia, yet this segment is disposed to a yearly monsoon deteriorate between Oct and March. Below a top10, formed on a dive conditions, bio-diversity and attractiveness.

1. Sipadan Island, Mabul Island and Kapalai Island

Diving during Sipadan Island in Malaysia

These 3 islands substantially enclose a best dive sites in a whole of Malaysia. Sipadan is by distant a best place to suffer scuba diving; it is also not that easy to indeed dive during given of a restricting manners that are in place (daily permit). Mabul is famous worldwide for a extraordinary plod diving conditions. Kapalai is a tiny silt bank, not that good for diving, yet here we can find a unequivocally disdainful review built on stilts. Actually both Sipadan and Mabul acquire their possess mark in this list, yet given we can’t revisit one (Sipadan) yet a other (Mabul) we usually listed a whole cluster as one entry.

2. Lankayan Island

Whale shark sighting during Lankayan Island in Malaysia

A tiny island located north of a city of Sandakan in eastern Sabah. Lankayan usually has one (luxurious) review and it’s all about diving and relaxing. Accommodation competence be utterly costly for non-divers, they competence be improved off during countless other islands. After Sipadan, Lankayan substantially offers a best dive spots and diving conditions in Malaysia.

3. Layang-Layang Island

Diving during Layang-Layang Island in Malaysia

Layang-Layang is not a pleasant island per se. It is a petrify alighting frame with one review and a sea base, located on a large silt bank located usually next sea level. Layang-Layang is located in a remote area, where a underwater universe has not been influenced by tellurian beings. Corals are in primitive conditions. Layang-Layang is a place to see large class and large schools of fish (not so most smaller stuff).

4. Mataking Island, Pom Island and Sibuan Island

Diving during Sibuan Island in Malaysia

Though not as good as diving conditions during a circuitously islands of Sipadan and Mabul, a area surrounding Mataking, Pom and Sibuan still offers utterly a few extraordinary dive sites (especially Sibuan is famous for good plod diving). Mataking is a smashing place to stay. There is a unequivocally lush review from where we can suffer dive trips in a area.

5. Redang Island

Diving during Redang Island in Malaysia

Redang is a initial island in a list that is not located in Borneo. Redang Island lies within a Terengganu Marine Park, circuitously a city of Kuala Terengganu during a easterly seashore of Peninsular Malaysia. Redang offers good dive sites and ideal dive conditions. It is a good place to start with your diving adventure, as prices of a 4 day PADI march are unequivocally affordable. Redang can't be visited between Oct and Mar given of a monsoon season.

6. Lang Tengah Island

Diving during Lang Tengah Island in Malaysia

Located between a some-more renouned islands of Redang and Perhentian, a smaller island of Lang Tengah offers good diving opportunities. The island has a few good resorts, and is also suitable for non-divers. Lang Tenggah can't be visited between Oct and Mar given of a monsoon season.

7. Tenggol Island

Diving during Tenggol Island in Malaysia

Tenggol Island is located during a easterly seashore of Peninsular Malaysia. It offers superb diving conditions, yet it is maybe not suitable for beginners due to a currents that mostly play a large purpose in dives around a island. There are a few good resorts on a island. Tenggol can't be visited between Oct and Mar given of a monsoon season.

8. Tioman Island (and a approximate islands)

Diving conditions during Tioman are identical to a other renouned islands during a easterly seashore of Peninsular Malaysia. Especially good about Tioman is that besides diving it is also a good place to do snorkeling, sunbathing and kayaking. The island is large adequate to do countless other fun activities. Possible downside competence be that is not that easy to strech compared to other islands (unless we are peaceful to compensate dearly for a approach KL – Tioman moody operated by Berjaya Air).

9. Perhentian Island

Diving during Perhentian Island in Malaysia

Perhentian is a best island in Malaysia to do a diving course. The diving conditions are superb for beginners, and there are many dive spots accessible to suffer immediately after finishing a PADI course. Perhentian has ease waters and an contentment of sea life. Besides diving it is substantially one of a best islands for snorkeling, with shoal reefs with flattering good corals and good sea life (also large fish and many turtles). At Perhentian prices for fun dives and for a diving march are substantially a lowest in Malaysia. If we are a beginner, Perhentian Island is unequivocally a place to be!

10. Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park

Diving during Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park in Malaysia

Right conflicting of a city of Kota Kinabalu in western Sabah (Borneo) lies a smashing Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park (TAR Marine Park). This area contains countless dive sites that are unequivocally value a visit. Dive schools generally work from out of Kota Kinabalu, yet there are also a few that are located on a islands. Similar to Perhentian Island this is a good place to start diving by doing a 4 day PADI march as a dive conditions are optimal for beginners.

Dive locations in Malaysia that roughly done it into a top10

Of march there are many other good places to dive in Malaysia, next a few that didn’t make it to a top10, yet are still unequivocally most value a revisit (especially if we take certain non-dive aspects into consideration):

11. Mantanani Island; a tiny bit improved than TAR Marine Park yet also a bit some-more remote located.

12. Kapas Island; good option, tiny island, easy to strech from Kuala Terengganu. Many (better) dive sites during circuitously islands though.

13. Talang-Talang Island; tiny island circuitously Kuching. Not unequivocally a eminent dive spot, yet competence turn one in a future.

14. Tiga Island; renouned island circuitously Kota Kinabalu. Better dive sites during a easterly seashore of Sabah, yet still some unequivocally good sites.

15. Mengalum Island; if we are usually staying around Kota Kinabalu.

16. Pulau Payar; your best choice if we are usually visiting a west seashore of Peninsular Malaysia.

And some turtle islands (for those that do not dive):

17. Selingan Island (Turtle Island circuitously Sandakan); not unequivocally a ideal dive spot, yet a best place to revisit to learn some-more about turtles.

18. Satang Island (Turtle Island circuitously Kuching); another turtle island in Malaysia.

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