Besides being one of the largest economies and most powerful countries in Asia, Malaysia is a nation that is teeming with natural splendours. It has an extensive coastline that stretches over 4,800 kilometres and year-round tropical weather that makes it an ideal choice if looking to enjoy an exotic charter vacation. As you book a yacht charter in Malaysia consider adding these destinations to the itinerary of your sailing holiday.
Located on the west coast is an archipelago of 99 islands called Langkawi. A mix of developed and uninhabited islands, it offers many choices in deciding if you want to indulge in social entertainment or more solitary exploration. While some beaches are very popular, others are more secluded, offering a chance to enjoy the natural beauty with fewer people about. Tanjung Rhu is notable for its towering limestone crags that jut out of the ocean.
Much of the waters that surround these islands offer great diving spots, with those off Payar and Kaca islands being famous for their multi-coloured corals that are inundated with schools of fish. For a more aerial view of the islands, find time to ride a zipline, tour with a cable car, or walk the sky bridge. Animal lovers should also make time to visit the island’s wildlife park, bird sanctuary, and Kilim Geoforest Park.
Travelling to the east coast will take you to the Perhentian islands that are famed for their crystal-clear waters which you will find abundant with marine life. Snorkelling and scuba diving are amongst the most popular activities, with several spots being notable for hosting turtle populations. The islands have several beautiful beaches and private coves including the Turtle Sanctuary Beach, Love Beach, Petani beach and Keranji Beach. Further inland you will find several fishing villages and resorts where you can dine and socialise, or travel even deeper still for some jungle trekking.
Located off the coast of Terengganu is this small island surrounded by the warm waters of the South China Sea. Its beautiful blue waters are a diver’s paradise thanks to the amazing rock and coral formations to be found in its depths. There are all kinds of fish, sharks and rays to be found at this peaceful getaway that is far from teeming crowds of tourists.
Another favourite for sailors that prefer more remote destinations is this island located in the Sulu Sea. It is surrounded by a massive coral shelf and vibrant sea life that includes parrotfish, sharks, eels, turtles, spider crabs, and manatees that all make it a top choice for snorkelling and diving activities. The island itself is also rich in flora and fauna. Lankayan is part of a massive Marine Protected Area so remember that you can look but not touch.
Also on the east coast, this large island is part of a nine island archipelago and a marine sanctuary park being preserved for diving and snorkelling. There are many excellent diving spots around the island which are rich in coral and marine life like moray eels, octopi, turtles and other fish. Consider going onshore to dine on the fresh seafood, visit a spa, hike, or sunbathe on one of the several pristine beaches.
Located on the southeast coast of the peninsular, Pulau Tioman is considered one of the most beautiful Malaysian islands that are popular for its remoteness and delightful diving sites. The waters are teeming with life as you easily encounter such creatures as turtles, barracudas, jellyfish, and reef sharks. It has several unspoiled and scattered beaches along its shoreline and that of other uninhabited islands a stone’s throw away. Jungle trekking is another popular activity with paths cut through the dense jungle providing access.
Described as mushroom-like, Sipadan island has been mentioned by famed explorer Jacques Yves Cousteau as being an untouched piece of art. This is in reference to one of its diving spots that is celebrated for being full of marine life like turtles, barracudas, and over 3,000 species of fish. This ecosystem is also abundant when it comes to birds, with kingfishers, sea eagles and sandpipers being plentiful. You will require a permit to dive, with a limited number being issued each day.
Unlike the other destinations on this list, Penang island offers a more cosmopolitan and cultural experience where European and Asian influences take centre stage. Besides the beautiful beaches, some rugged terrain and jungle forest that are part of a national park, the shoreline also has an abundance of cityscapes and towering skyscrapers overlooking the sea. Here you will find plenty of resorts and cultural attractions to visit including museums, colonial buildings, and temples. Choices are abundant when it comes to food thanks to the many restaurants and night markets where you can dine at just about any price point.
With a name that translates into the beautiful island, you cannot make a mistake by sailing to Pulau Pangkor. Located off the west coast of the peninsula, it is home to several picturesque beaches, some being more accessible than others. The island is also home to a colonial Dutch fort, temples, and a floating mosque. Many of the beaches are great launching sites to swim, snorkel, banana boat, and jet-ski, or simply relax on one of the many freely available hammocks. Made up of 9 islands, you may also enjoy a bit of island hopping here to discover hidden coves and more quiet snorkelling waters.