Penang, Langkawi, Redang, Tioman & Perhentian
There are 6 main Malaysian islands which can be of interest for travelers in Malaysia. This page offers a brief introduction into 2 islands on the west coast and 3 on the east coast. The 6th island is of course Pulau Pangkor. On the west coast, apart of Pangkor, you will find Langkawi and Penang and on the east coast you will find Perhentian, Redang and Tioman. When you read "pulau penang" or pulau perhentian", the word "pulau" means "island".
Visiting the Malaysia islands on the west coast is best done on your way or coming from Thailand. Malaysia has two seasons, a dry and a wet season (see also my weather in Pangkor page).
The rainy season in West Malaysia is from November to February but funny enough, for Pangkor this is the main Malaysia holiday season. It is not raining the whole day in this time of the year. In fact, most of the time it's dry but you can expect showers.
Compared to Penang and Langkawi it seems Pangkor suffers less from the rainy season.
The islands to be visited on the west coast are: Pangkor, Langkawi and Penang. Since our website handles virtually everything on Pangkor, this section only talks about Pulau Pinang and Pulau Langkawi (the official Malay names).
Pulau Penang is one of the most visited islands in Malaysia and not for nothing. Penang is obviously very beautiful, recognized for many years and now part of UNESCO World Heritage. It's not a small Malaysian island, but also not too big to get lost.
Penang has an international airport and is connected to all the main travel destinations in Malaysia with the exception of Pangkor.
A lesser known gem in Penang: Air Itam Dam (above the Kek Lok Si temple
Transport hub to the mainland is Butterworth. Here you find the ferry, main railway and bus station all together at the same place. The Penang Bridge makes it easier to enter the island by motorbike or car.
Penang has accommodation in two main areas: George Town and Batu Ferringi and there is accommodation in all price ranges available.
We wrote a more extensive page with many more details about Penang.
North of Penang, 3 hours by boat from Penang and 1 hour by boat from Satun, Thailand, is Langkawi located. It's one of the most popular beach destinations in Malaysia. It is also a duty free paradise. Does it mean Langkawi is cheap? Not really but the beaches are beautiful. The water is crystal blue and it's a great place to spend some time.
Langkawi has an international airport and ferry connections to Thailand (Satun) and in Malaysia to Penang and locations in Kedah and Perlis.
Check our selection of hotels at Langkawi:
The most spectacular dive site of West Malaysia is found in reach of Langkawi: Pulau Payar. It is a marine park and worth a visit.
There are many islands on the Malaysian east coast. We present three of the best and most beautiful Malaysia islands here: Perhentian, Redang and Tioman.
Terengganu is of course the transport hub to Perhentian and Redang. Terengganu has a lot to offer itself. And with the attractions come the hotels, see the hotels for yours:
Pulau Perhentian is a fine destination for snorkeling, scuba-diving, sailing and deep-sea fishing. It becomes more and more known to tourists. Perhentian has beautiful white sandy beaches and blue waters, another true tropical paradise island in Malaysia.
It can reached from Kota Bharu and Kuala Terengganu in North East Malaysia. Take the bus to Kampong Kuala Besut and the boat. It takes about 1 1/2 hours.
Here is more about Perhentian:
Malaysia Islands: Redang on the east coast,
another Malaysian holiday paradise island
Redang is one of the many Malaysia islands near Kuala Terengganu. There's fishing villages on stilts over the sea. The surrounding waters have a beautiful marine life and makes it therefore ideal for swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving.
Much of Redang is still unspoiled. Around the island you will find plenty of excellent dive spots and reefs. ]
There are several resorts on the island. You can either fly to Redang or take a boat from the mainland.
Tioman is for many years a favourite travelers destination. Not only for those who love diving, but also for nature lovers.
There is much unspoiled jungle with waterfalls to be explored. Get a canoe and explore the island from the sea. Or just relax in one of the resorts. Tioman is another perfect holiday destination for the whole family.
Tioman is a surprisingly mountainous island (the highest top is over 1000 m) with beautiful beaches and clear water.
It can reached from Mersing or Padang Endau. For many years Tioman has a magical name for many travelers. It's because of the villages and the mentioned bright beaches and clear waters. Tioman Islands are therefore well equipped for travelers.
If Pangkor, Penang or Langkawi is not enough to satisfy your hunger for tropical islands, this is the place to go.
Have you seen enough of the Malaysia islands, or are you on a longer trip? Then also consider the rest of Malaysia and it's surrounding countries in Southeast Asia. Visit this website to learn about the Adventure Travel Tales and Tips for this part of the world, often considered to be Backpackers Paradise.
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