Island Hopping Among Malaysia Islands
The Islands on the South-eastern coast of Malaysia are well-known for its tropical island vacation, clear waters, untouched jungles, white beaches and fresh air, with some of them offering you a wide range of engaging things to do while others can be majorly used for relaxing.
Some of these major Malaysia islands are,
One of the largest islands off the East coast of Malaysia, the Redang Island is a popular tourist destination. It is a part of the Redang archipelago (a chain of islands scattered in the lakes, rivers or the ocean). While Redang Island or Pulau Redang is the biggest island, the other islands are Pulau Lima, Pulau Paku Besar, Pulau Paku Kecil, Pulau Kerengga Kecil, Pulau Kerengga Besar, Pulau Ekor Tebu, Pulau Ling and Pulau Pinang. These islands are protected marine parks, protecting underwater life from humans.
The word “perhentian” (per-hen-tee-an not per-hen-she-an or per-hen-shen) translates to “stopping point”. A reference to its history, it holds true even today – metaphorically as a stopping point for your heart, mind, and ecological conservation. The island is divided into two – the bigger one and the smaller one – Pulau Perhentian Besan and Pulau Perhentian Kecil, respectively. The former caters to specific people and is expensive while compared to the latter. There are also other little inhabited islands that are a part of this island. All these islands are a part of a protected marine park.
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 in solo or group. There are budget packages and places to be accordingly. Unlike other South-eastern vacation islands like Perhentian Islands or Lang Tengah or Redang, this Island welcomes visitors all year long.
Other such Islands are Rawa Island, Langkawi Island, etc.
Islands in Malaysia
Now one major thing about going out to such islands, other than the silence, the beaches and the jungle life, is the underwater life. These places are conserved marine parks and thus have hoardes of aquatic wildlife to discover.
One important thing you shouldn’t miss doing in these islands is island hopping. Not every island in the area is accessible. Some islands are accessible, but they’re not exactly places you can stay, sometimes the stay being not as popular as other islands (since these islands may have a lot more to offer tourists). But surely, do NOT miss underwater activities – and choose them if you’re especially a diver with experience to make the best out of it!
Here is a brief list of little Islands of Malaysia that you must visit while visiting their bigger and/or popular counterparts.
Pulau Lima or Lima Island is an island in the Redang archipelago. This island has little lands that make up the whole island, and that’s why the name translates to “five islets”. You can expect to see underwater life like hard and soft corals, anemones, nudibranchs, manta rays, whale sharks, sea fans, whips, blacktip sharks, putterfish, etc., on various points around the island. There are also some interesting caves worth exploring here. As the monsoon season in this area is between November and February, March to October is the best time to visit.
Pulau Paku Besar and Pulau Paku Kecil, literally, Big Paku Island and Small Paku Island, it is one of the largest islands off the east coast of Malaysia. With its beautiful beaches and pristine waters, it’s a place you can hop on from Pulau Redang to visit.
Known as “Swallow Reef” is English, it is a disputed island by different countries of China, Taiwan, Vietnam and Philippines. There is a Malaysian Naval Base at this Island, obviously off-limits to visitors. This Island is not the choice if you want sandy beaches, because there are only concrete boulders. But if you’re into bird-watching, sure, go ahead to this island. Due to its location, the ocean water around is serene and calling. You can spot various deep water marine species around this Island. It is also still largely unexplored, making it a magical experience for you. The Island is open during March to October, when it’s not monsoon season.
The “Wicked Island” is located on the South of Tioman Island, in the straits of Johor. As per beliefs, the Island is supposedly the final resting place of a witch doctor named Merah who is there because his spirit couldn’t cross the waters. So, his spirit is believed to kill anyone who disturbs or disrespects his tomb. Historically, this island had some British gun emplacements, which are now abandoned. An amazing place to explore underwater, there are also some underwater caves found here.
Tulai Island is a little paradise, and is also called “Coral Island”. It is located near Tioman Islands. Densely packed with lot of trees, the Island has white sand and crystal clear waters. It is a great place to snorkel and dive, and the Island has a lot of spots to do such underwater activities. There are no residential premises like hotels or resorts on the Island, and camping is also prohibited. The best time to visit is the non-monsoon season, especially, the dry season between April and July.
It is an Island near Tioman Island. It is a regularly visited diving spot. In an underwater visit you can see sandy patches, boulders, hard and soft corals, pink clown fish, baraccudas, angelfish, sea whips, Gorgonian fans, Blue spotted rays, batfish, antheas, etc.,
Another island near Tioman Island, it is riddled with swim troughs and caverns. A fantastic diving experience is guaranteed, and it is expected of you to be a skilled diver to safely dive here amongst the wrecks, caverns and caves. Shoals of fishes, corals and underwater life will be your company around. A picturesque dive guaranteed!
Lying close to Tioman island, the diving here is the best option for beginner divers. The coral and other underwater life is rich, the current is relatively manageable (if not in all places), and the waters are absolutely clear. A jackpot diving side for night diving and pictures. The ideal time to visit is the months between February to March amongst the non-monsoon months.
The Bidong Islands is an archipelago, consisting of Pulau Yu Besar, Pulau Yu Kechil, Pulau Gelok, Pulau Karah, Batu Tengkorak and Pulau Bidong. These Islands lie close to the Redang archipelago. Once a ground for Viatnamese refugees who were popularly called as “boat people”, it is today an island for visitors to look at the remnants, water and the beaches. The Bidong archipelago is a beautiful underwater destination. There are no residential premises here, in order to preserve the “Little Saigon” of the refugees and other historical relics.
Lang Tengah Island
This Island is deemed as one of the hidden treasures of Malaysian Islands. Tucked between Redang Island and Emerald Island, it is a quiet and vivid paradise for those who especially seek a break off the noise of the world. With its lush tropical rainforest, soothing waters and amazing beaches, this Island is also a popular place to go diving and snorkelling.
So that’s a brief list! There’s so much more of the world out there for you to discover! Stay safe, be conscious, and have fun!
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