Let’s be real: when we think about cerulean waters and white sand beaches, a knee-jerk reaction for most of our minds is to go to places like the Maldives or certain dreamy beaches further east near the island-filled country of the Philippines.
What if I told you that such serene islands can also be found just a few hours north of our homely red dot here in Singapore?
These beautiful beach island resorts scattered around Malaysia will absolutely surprise you with some of its hidden gems, gorgeous marine life, Insta-worthy sunset shots, and most of all, easy-to-travel-to spots.
1. Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort
Located in the Celebes Sea, this luxurious overwater resort with wooden chalets built on stilts blew my socks away when I caught a glimpse of the oceanic views of the crystal blue waters.
Snorkelling and diving are one of the main highlights in this resort so you are able to catch a glimpse of marine wildlife, and if you’re lucky, you can get up close and personal with large greenback and hawksbill turtles and other sea critters like chocolate chip sea stars!
2. Mataking Reef Resort
Off the coast a little stone’s throw away from Semporna in East Malaysia Sabah, there lies an array of beautiful Maldives-like islands that stands breathtakingly proud under the sun.
Imagine feeling like I have been transported to a Mediterranean beach with a stroll down its pristine beaches. I know I would love to unwind after a stressful week this way! Mataking Reef Resort located in Mataking Island spells perfect beach getaway with its snorkelling and kayaking across glass waves.
If you are interested in marine wildlife, make sure not to miss the Turtle Hatchery of baby turtles being released into the ocean, as well as the Night Beach Walk to catch a glimpse of amazing fluorescent corals glowing in the night tide.
3. Timba Timba Island
Once you’ve spent yourself with the sights of Mataking Reef Resort, consider adding Timba Timba Island to your list of island-hopping destinations that is also found along the Eastern Coast of Sabah.
Despite its lack of accommodation on this island, its photogenic landscape and amazing Insta-worthy locations make up for that. Just 45 minutes from Semporna Jetty, imagine snapping a good shot against the dazzling beaches whilst lounging on hammocks with gazebos lining this pretty shoreline.
4. Rimba Resort
Bringing the map pin a little closer to home, this resort is only three hours away from the bustling city-state we call home. Boasting a selection of cosy yet lofty chalets, Rimba Resort has both water and land activities to satisfy your craving – whichever it is!
From snorkelling and kayaking, to their Bamboo Bliss Spa and Jungle Trekking, you are sure to have your to-do list filled to the brim. While you’re there, don’t forget to check out their specialty diving courses as well. No matter your level of diving experience, their Hi-Tide Dive Center professionals will deliver and cater to your needs!
5. Redang Beach Resort
If you are set on only delving into water activities, then perhaps Redang Beach Resort is for you. With its diverse number of packages for Snorkelling, Diving, and Open Water courses respectively, you will not be short of water sports fun at this resort.
What’s more, stroll down the resort cafeteria’s “Home Town” at sunset along the beach as you dive into rich Malaysian cuisine, cooked just the way you want it and served piping hot. Should you choose to arrive by air via a straight flight from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Terengganu, or an overland journey with a nice drive, Redang Beach Resort is sure to not disappoint.
6. Rawa Island Resort
How could we forget Rawa Island Resort, a short three hour drive from Singapore to the coastal town of Mersing where you can take a twenty-minute boat ride to the sandy beaches and turquoise waters of Rawa Island?
This majestic island resort features a comprehensive range of sea sports activities due to its location in the South China Sea. Its geographic tendencies boast a hundred percent coral cover and its shallow reef allows you to dive to your heart’s content.
Which one of these underrated beach island resorts in Malaysia has invoked your wanderlust?
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