10 Best Islands In Malaysia Singaporeans Need To Visit

The best islands to visit in Malaysia
By: Cherelle Lim
February 2, 2023

Malaysia is full of gorgeous islands and beaches that everyone needs to visit. Whether it is in Penang, Langkawi, Sabah or even Sarawak, here are the best islands to visit. Escape to paradise as you spend your days lounging on the white sand or snorkelling with fish in the clear seas as blue as the sky. For a truly Malaysian holiday, here are the best islands Glitz believes you definitely shouldn’t miss. 

Best Islands To Visit In Malaysia

Sipadan Island

A little island in Sabah called Pulau Sipadan claims to be one of the top diving locations in the world and was given protected status in 2002. To get here, you’ll need to take a plane, a vehicle, and then a boat from the Semporna jetty, but believe us when we say the rocky trip will be worth it. In addition to Pulau Sipadan, Semporna is home to several more stunning islands, including Pulau Mataking, Pom Pom Island, Bohey Dulang, and more.

Layang Layang Island

Layang Layang, also known as Swallow Reef, is the ideal location for anyone wishing to sleep, dive and dine. While this island is not inexpensive, it is unquestionably beautiful. Make a point of visiting one of Malaysia’s most tranquil islands if you can! Since it is located in deep waters, the island is also home to a refreshing breeze and rich marine life. Spend your time bird watching, sunbathing and if you’re lucky, you can even spot some sharks!

Perhentian Islands

The island of Perhentian is separated into two parts: Pulau Perhentian Kecil, which offers more affordable lodging and delicious dining options, making it ideal for groups and travellers on a tighter budget. As well as Pulau Perhentian Besar, which is dotted with upscale hotels and eateries. Excellent for honeymoons and a vacation for two. Depending on the type of trip you’re looking for, you can choose to visit either island! Whichever you pick, rest assured that you’ll get to spend enjoyable days under the sun.

Redang Island

Whether you want a beach with a lively environment, think beach volleyball, live music bands and joyful kids! Or a more isolated spot to spend some peaceful mornings sunbathing, this small slice of heaven has everything for you. Pulau Redang is one of nine protected islands in the South China Sea. Therefore the corals, vegetation, and wildlife are well-protected and spectacular. Additionally, it is also one of the best islands to visit in Malaysia as well!


The pearl of Kedah is a fun beach vacation location that is ideal for individuals of all ages, not just those looking for duty-free beer and sweets. Langkawi is a must-visit when you are in Malaysia as it offers a ton of activities for the whole family. Visit a crocodile farm, an aquarium, sunset cruises or even the steepest cable car in the world! So if you are looking for a fun-packed trip with the family, Langkawi is one of the best islands to visit. Moreover, this sunny paradise is blessed with a stable climate all year round. Meaning, it is totally unaffected by the monsoon season like the rest of the islands on the east coast.

Sibu Island

Sibu Island, one of the best islands to visit in Malaysia, is made up of four islands in the South China Sea. Nothing beats the isolation of these four Malaysian islands, not just because of their distance, but also because they only have two resorts. This encourages exclusivity and allows you to relax in all seriousness. Moreover, it will help ensure that you return to your normal life with wonderful memories! You can participate in a variety of relaxing activities that will surely leave a mark.

Tioman Island

best islands

Tioman Island is a heavily wooded island endowed with excellent coral reefs, making it a perfect place for scuba diving and snorkelling. You can even earn your PADI open-water diving certification here! Besides that, there are tons of outdoor activities on the island, such as waterfall chasing and jungle trekking, if that’s your thing! Tioman is a favourite destination for honeymooners, scuba divers and beachgoers thanks to its gorgeous waters, sandy beaches, inexpensive drinks, and relaxed tropical ambience.

Mantanani Islands

best islands
image credits – Klook

Take a plane ride across the South China Sea to visit the Mantanani Islands in Sabah. One of the best islands to visit when in Malaysia, it rivals even the Maldives! The distance between Kota Kinabalu and these gorgeous islands is just a 55-minute speedboat voyage away. Mantanani Islands are an ocean lover’s paradise with blue seas rich in diverse marine life, huge schools of colourful fish, and historic shipwrecks. Even if you don’t want to dive or snorkel, the islands have a tonne of other things to offer. You can go for a stroll through a fishing hamlet or watch the sunset from a boat! So, reserve a night in a beachside chalet for a peaceful getaway with your loved ones.

Rawa Island

best islands

For a nearby getaway, visit Pulau Rawa in Johor! The beaches of Rawa Island, affectionately known as the Maldives of Johor, are the perfect place to relax and let your concerns drift away. Experience snorkelling and scuba diving like never before, as well as kayaking, jungle trekking, beachside camping, and a BBQ meal with your toes in the sand. Moreover, this is also a popular destination for Singaporeans thanks to its close proximity to our own island! Making it one of the best islands to visit in Malaysia which is also very convenient. 

Pangkor Island

best islands

Pangkor Island, which is only two hours from Ipoh, is a relaxed haven that you’ll like if you’re looking to unwind. This is one of the best islands to visit because it is under the radar of tourists. You’ll love its laid-back and rustic vibe, free of mass tourism, upscale dining options and beach bars. In fact, if you’re not visiting during the busiest tourism period, you could occasionally find the beach all to yourself. While you’re here, check out the Dutch colonial fort or, feed the obliging hornbills. With the right people, a visit to Pangkor Island could be unforgettable.