Top 5 Island_Lang Tengah

Top 5 Malaysia Islands to Visit in 2023

How much do you know about Malaysia islands?

“Pulau” is what Malaysians normally call an island. Malaysia has as many as 878 islands according to National Department of Survey and Mapping, and they are no stranger to tourists! However, depending on the location, some of them are habitable and passable, whereas some are yet not explored.

The popular islands in Malaysia include Penang, Langkawi and Pangkor Island on the west side; while Perhentian Island, Redang Island and Tioman Island are in the east. In comparison, the islands on east coast gathered more tourism visits due to the excellent diving and snorkeling opportunities.

Although most of Malaysia islands are in the Borneo region, it does not always have to be a long trip to enjoy an island getaway. In fact, there are some scenic islands that are easily accessible via plane or road.

Without further ado, let’s dive into (puns intended) the 5 must-visit islands in Malaysia for the upcoming year!

1.    Lang Tengah Island / Pulau Lang Tengah

Top 5 Island_Lang Tengah

The smallest island in Terengganu State, Lang Tengah Island got its name from a combination of the eagle’s habitat and its central location between Pulau Perhentian and Pulau Redang. The island is known for its laid back and peaceful atmosphere due to its small size and limited number of resorts. The crystal clear water and white sandy beach is nothing short of a painter’s work. There was even a famous movie filmed in Lang Tengah Island!

  • Visiting Season:

April to September

  • Transportation:

By plane: Take domestic flight Kuala Terengganu, which is the nearest airport to Lang Tengah Island. From Kuala Terengganu, you can catch a boat to Lang Tengah Island. The boat ride from Kuala Terengganu to Lang Tengah Island takes about 30 mins to one hour.

By road and water: Another option is to drive or take a bus to Kuala Terengganu. Then you can catch a boat to Lang Tengah Island.

2.    Tioman Island / Pulau Tioman

Top 5 Island_Tioman

A small volcanic island known as a tropical rainforest paradise; Tioman Island is a rather well-developed commercial destination that is located 30 km off the east coast of Pahang. It has been a traveler’s favorite for years, particularly for locals and Singaporean tourists.

Besides the obvious beautiful ocean and beaches, Tioman Island is also well-known for its splendid underwater world. The island offers various water activities for visitors to participate and explore marine life. Strange and beautiful corals are easily spotted in the water of Tioman Island.

  • Visiting Season

Late February to October

  • Transportation

By road: Drive or take a bus Mersing, which is the main town on the mainland near Tioman Island. From Mersing, you can catch a ferry to the island.

By plane: You can also fly from Kuala Lumpur to Tioman Island. There are several airlines that operate flights to Tioman Island, including AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines. The flight takes about one hour.

3.    Langkawi Island / Pulau Langkawi

Top 5 Island_Langkawi

Langkawi Island, the largest island in Malaysia. The name is derived from the reddish-brown eagle, thus the iconic building Eagle Square in Langkawi. Besides the famous Langkawi Sky Bridge and Langkawi Underwater World aquarium, you can also experience fun water activities on the island.

A boat ride is at your disposal, simply get a boat ticket then the beautiful scenery around the island is all yours. If you are lucky, you can even witness dolphins jumping in the sea from the boat!

  • Visiting Season

December to March

  • Transportation

By plane: The fastest and most convenient way to get to Langkawi is by plane. There are several airlines that operate flights from Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi, including AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines. The flight takes about one hour.

By road and water: Another option is to drive or take a bus to Kuala Perlis, which is a port town on the mainland near Langkawi. From Kuala Perlis, you can catch a ferry to Langkawi. The ferry ride takes about one hour.

4.    Layang-Layang Island / Pulau Layang-Layang

Top 5 Island_Layang Layang

There’s a gem laying on the opposite of Borneo. Layang-layang island is the sapphire in the sea. Why so? The island’s location has resulted in the water and coral reefs being pollution-free. Due to that, it is also known as one of the world’s top ten diving destinations.

By diving into 30-60 meters water depth, you could see hammerhead sharks, dolphins, manta rays, and various rare large marine creatures that are spectacular! Layang-layang island is a must-visit for any diving-enthusiast!

  • Visiting Season

March to October

  • Transportation

By plane: Domestic flights from Kuala Lumpur to Layang-Layang Island are provided by AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines.

By road and water: If you are based in the east Malaysia, you could drive to Kota Kinabalu. From there, you can catch a ferry to Layang-Layang Island which takes about six hours.


5.    Mataking Island / Pulau Mataking

Top 5 Island_Mataking


An exclusive luxury island resort located in Sandakan, Sabah, Mataking Island Resort offers stunning ocean views and a tropical atmosphere that is loved by foreign tourists and couples. There are activities such as snorkeling, canoeing, and bonfires on the island. Besides that, a turtle hatchery and a peacock conservation area are built to allow deeper understanding of the natural ecosystem. What more to ask for a holiday full of knowledge and fun?

The Mataking Island Resort also provides comfortable ocean view rooms, allowing you to enjoy the tranquility of the ocean as soon as you open your eyes.

  • Visiting Season

April to June

  • Transportation

By plane: Take domestic flight to Tawau, which is the nearest airport to Mataking Island. From Tawau, you can catch a boat to Mataking Island.

By road and water: Another option is to drive or take a bus to Tawau. From Tawau, you can catch a boat to Mataking Island.

Are you amazed by the beautiful Malaysia islands yet?

Each island speaks in its very own unique characteristics, although all will indulge you with beautiful beaches, secluded bays, splendid underwater world and even more island activities!

If you’re looking for a perfect vacation destination, any Malaysia’s island would be the right choice!

Ready to visit Lang Tengah Island?

Hop on to Summer Bay Resort, Lang Tengah Island!

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Malaysia’s Tioman Island: An Introduction

Tioman Island will come into your memory the next time you plan a sudden vacation with a reasonable budget, get ready to explore your options!




Pulau Tioman

Tioman Island was popularized when in the 1970s the TIME Magazine had named it one of the most beautiful islands. Located in the South-eastern Coast of Malaysia, the Island has every deserving reason to be on your do-not-miss list!

The Island is a good place to spend your vacation whether solo or in group. There are budget resort packages and places accordingly. Unlike other South-eastern vacation islands like Perhentian Islands or Lang Tengah or Redang island, this Island welcomes visitors all year long.



Along history, Tioman Island has been a haven for fishermen, and also during War times (the wrecks of HMS Repulse and HMS Prince of Wales are still around the island – these ships of England were sunk on December 10, 1941 by Japanese bombs and torpedoes).

The Island’s lores however extend even before that. Legend has it that the Island is the body of a cursed dragon princess (possibly to explain the volcano Mount Kajang standing at 1,038 metres). Other legends say that it is a dragon prince and not a princess who was cursed. A story says that the dragon princess was enchanted by the beauty of the land that she decided to stay there. (In all cases, perhaps they had tried to explain the volcano!)

Today, snorkelling and diving around the Tioman Island at various points is very much rewarding, owing to its rich aquatic life and history. The resources on land are not any less compared to this.



You want to laze out on the beaches and just stare at the sky? Super cool. Tioman has a place for you. (Just remember to have sunscreen, sunglasses, etc., when you’re doing it in daylight, and mosquito repellents in the night.)

Want to stay in both sea and land? Cool, walk around the beaches, lie on the beach, play some games.

Want to go into the sea? Great, you can go snorkelling, diving and surfing (depending on the season) here at the Island, and in many places around.

Don’t want to be anywhere near the water but want some adrenaline or a touch with nature? Great, go trekking in the thick tropical jungle and visit the Asah Waterfall (avail transport if you’re heading past 4.30 pm though. You do not want to get lost there.) You can also go shopping after all that.


Depending on the seasons you’re visiting – rainy or dry – the weather varies. The afternoons are hot, evenings warm and night cool. The best time to visit Tioman Island would be in July and August when the weather is dry. Otherwise, the best time to visit the Malaysia islands on this part is March to October.

Like we said, there are fewer transports to get around the Tioman island. You can go either foot, rent a bicycle or by sea taxi. For some routes, you can hire a jeep. The lush jungles are the major part of the island, and people are found only in the coasts.

The area is a protected marine park (though unfortunately it faces littering issues). Swimming underwater, you can expect to see Corals, Greenback Turtles, Blacktip Reef Sharks, Blue Spotted Manta Rays, Barracuda, Cuttlefish, etc.,

In the forests, you can expect to see snakes, monitor lizards, Long Tail Macaques, Fruit Bats, Black Giant Squirrels, Red Giant Flying Squirrels, Brush Tailed Porcupines, Slow Loris, Mouse Deer, various insects, etc., (Beware of the monkeys in regards to food though. And, you can find a lot of cats around.) And Tioman has its own indigenous species too, like the walking catfish Clarias batu and Kajang slender litter frog.



So yes, now that you have the basic information, get ready to do more research, and plan your vacation! Check pointers on ATM facilities, SIM card, WiFi, goods, and other things you’ll need! Also, you could hop on to other neighbouring islands!

So, what are you waiting for? Have fun!

Want more of Malaysia island experience?
Hop on to Summer Bay Resort, Lang Tengah Island!

Our lovely resort awaits you at Lang Tengah Island!

Visiting Lang Tengah Island for a stress-free, hassle-free abode, a warm home away from home to enjoy? Come stay with us then! Our resort provides 4-star accommodation and services, bringing you the best of tropical island vacation with the comforts of air-conditioned spaces and luxurious amenities. Standard, Superior Room, Garden View, Pool View room – choose what is best for you!

We have different Lang Tengah Island holiday packages to cater to your holiday needs, just take your pick and be on your way to an awesome and unforgettable holiday experience!

Summer Bay Resort is the accommodation for you, your gateway to a perfect Lang Tengah island vacation!



This article is brought to you by Summer Bay Resort.

(Image credits to respective owners.)


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