Since Malaysia is home to 878 beaches, you’ll find countless beaches here that offer amazing views, clear water, bustling marine life and more. The question is, which one is the most beautiful out of them all?
The most beautiful beach in Malaysia may vary based on the criteria of what defines beauty. However, most people consider the beaches in the Perhentian Islands and Batu Ferringhi for their crystal clear waters and white sands.
Aside from these, other beaches that are best for tourists in Malaysia include Batu, Coral Beach, Pantai Cenang, Tioman Island and more.
With so many options, how do you choose the perfect one for your vacation? To help you decide, we’ve compiled some of our favourites and discussed what we loved about them down below!
|Best for:||Water Sports|
|Where:||George Town, Penang|
|How to get there:||Direct flights from KL and Singapore
Boat taxis from Merang Jetty
Private car (36-minute drive from Penang)
A popular dive site
Outdoor activities like parasailing and windsurfing
Plenty of dining options
If you’re looking to add more excitement to your beach trip, we recommend going to Batu Ferringhi. This thrill-seeker’s paradise will give you a chance to engage in various water sports, such as parasailing and jet-skiing at affordable prices!
Batu Ferringhi is located near the famous George Town and is about 16 km away from Penang. This convenient location makes it a great choice for those who want to taste the sea while remaining close to the city.
Another good reason to visit is its throng of dining options. Its close proximity to Penang enabled it to have a wide range of offerings, from hotel dinners to flavorful street foods from vendors at a food court.
Although Batu Ferringhi is popular for diving and other outdoor activities, it also offers plenty of options for a laid-back vacation.
If you feel like immersing yourself in the local scene, consider visiting night markets and attractions, such as the Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm, the Tropical Spice Garden, and the Penang Tropical Fruit Farm.
Where to Stay in Batu Ferringhi
There’s a wide range of accommodations in Batu Ferringhi, from budget resorts to high-end hotels.
For our recommendations below, we included options for every budget and traveller. Furthermore, we considered that each one has direct access to the beach, comfortable amenities, excellent customer reviews, and an accessible location.
Shangri-La Golden Sands – $$$
|Best for:||Night life, water activities, foodies|
|How to get there:||Fly from Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah
Bus or taxi from the Langkawi International Airport
Ferry boat from Kuala Perlis
|Highlights:||Langkawi island hopping
Bars and live music
Variety of restaurants
Pantai Cenang is more than just a famous beach as it’s also one of the must-visit tourist attractions in Malaysia. Every summer, this beach is bustling with tourists and locals that want to get their dose of the vitamin sea.
Aside from the beautiful white sand and blue water, Pantai Cenang is visited because it’s well-developed and filled with establishments.
If you want to take a break from swimming, you can walk along the shores and dine in one of the many eateries found here. Moreover, you’ll also find numerous shops that offer equipment rentals for water sports and activities.
Speaking of activities, you can also catch a boat here that can take you to other islands of Langkawi.
Once the sun sets, this beach transforms into one of the best spots for nightlife where you’ll find various bars with live music. Trust us, this is the best place to be if you want to drink the night away with your friends while hearing the waves crash on the shore.
Where to Stay in Pantai Cenang
Since Pantai Cenang is a well-developed beach, you won’t have trouble finding lodging options on its premises.
Listed below are our recommendations for different kinds of budgets. We also took into consideration their accessibility to the beach as well as the different amenities they include with each stay.
Casa del Mar – $$$
Bon Ton Resort – $$
Best Star Resort – $
|Best for:||Nature admiration, trekking|
|How to get there:||Ferry from Mersing and Tanjung Gemuk|
|Highlights:||White and golden sands
Private and secluded
If you want to be at one with nature, we recommend heading to Tioman Island which contains beautiful untouched beaches. From the nature-filled land down to the dense coral reefs, you’ll immediately notice how preserved this island is.
Contrary to the previous item on this list, Tioman Island offers a more private and secluded experience. Here, you won’t find fancy establishments but instead, you’ll be treated to the ultimate island life.
Thanks to its sparse inhabitation, the island’s nature is flourishing with luscious greeneries which adventurers can trek to once they finish swimming.
Moreover, since the island is perfectly preserved, you may also meet some local species in its forests. A prime example of this is Monkey Bay Beach which is where you’ll occasionally find these primates living their best lives.
Lastly, since Tioman is a lesser-known island, the prices here will be much lower as opposed to the ones you’ll find in Kota Kinabalu and Langkawi.
Where to Stay on Tioman Island
Even though Tioman Island is secluded, it still has some great accommodation options at different price points.
We’ve listed down our recommended hotels and resorts that offer great value for your money in terms of their location and amenities. We also took in some second opinions from user reviews online and these are what we eventually ended up with:
Japamala Resort by Samadhi – $$$
Berjaya Tioman Resort – $$
Address: Pulau Tioman 86807 Malaysia
Paya Beach Spa & Dive Resort – $
Sipadan Island Beach
|Best for:||Scuba diving|
|How to get there:||Fly to Tawau from KL or Kota Kinabalu
Ride a bus or minivan to Semporna
Boat transfer to Sipadan Island from Semporna
|Highlights:||Pristine coral reefs
Clear turquoise water
Pure white sand
Bustling marine life
Diving is one of the most common things that Malaysians do for fun. If you want to try this activity out for yourself, the best place to do it is on Sipadan Island.
The island is arguably the best place to go scuba-diving thanks to its pristine and protected status.
You can go snorkelling in the beautiful turquoise water surrounding the island and marvel at the luscious coral reefs with their schools of fish. Plus the long stretch of white sand will make you feel like you’re in paradise.
Reaching this spot is no joke as you’d have to ride a plane, car and boat just to get here. However, we can confidently say that this long journey will be more than worthwhile as you’ll be treated to both land and sea beauty.
Lastly, keep in mind that at the time of writing, guests aren’t allowed to stay at Sipadan Island as there are no resorts here. This was done intentionally to protect the island itself and maintain its beautiful ecology.
Where to Stay in Sipadan Island
Since tourists aren’t allowed to stay on Pulau Sipadan, your best bet is staying somewhere near the island. Furthermore, accommodation options have also been built on the water itself to keep the Pulau Sipadan pristine.
We’ve listed our best recommendations below based on their included amenities and how accessible they are to Sipadan Island.
Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort – $$$
Mabul Water Bungalows – $$
Sipadan Mabul Resort – $
Address: 6JVJ+FQ Semporna, Sabah, Malaysia
|How to get there:||Ferry from Marina Island to Pangkor
Fly from Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah
Preserved coral reefs
If you and your partner want to go on a romantic getaway that offers more privacy, you book a trip to Coral Beach. This remote destination offers the utmost relaxation as it’s free from noises such as loud music and engine sounds.
What you’ll be treated to is a serene environment that’s filled with luscious greenery, white sands and of course, beautiful cerulean water. Furthermore, you and your significant other can enjoy some fun activities together such as diving.
Speaking of diving, this beach is also a widely-known spot for divers as its water is home to countless tropical fish.
Where to Stay in Coral Beach
Various quality lodging options are available not only in Coral Beach but in the entire Pangkor Island. We’ve listed some of the best ones you’ll find in the island that’s closest to this perfect couple’s beach.
Since these options are relatively within the same price points, we’ve chosen them based on how close they are to Coral Beach. Furthermore, we also took into consideration the inclusions of their packages.
Anjungan Beach Resort – 0.2 miles from Coral Beach
Pangkor Holiday Resort – 2 miles from Coral Beach
Coral Bay Resort – 2.1 miles from Coral Beach
|Best for:||Friend groups, backpackers|
|How to get there:||Fly to Kota Bahru
Fly to Kuala Terengganu
Ferry from Kuala Besut
|Highlights:||Beautiful white sand
Clear blue water
Budget accommodation options
Some of the best and most beautiful beaches in Malaysia can be found in the Perhentian Islands. Right off the bat, these islands seem to be ripped straight out of a postcard because of how beautiful they are.
This is a great destination for friend groups because of the variety it offers. The Perhentian Islands can be divided into two: one that’s great for budget travellers and another that features more high-end resorts.
The more affordable one out of the pair is called Pulau Perhentian Kecil. This is great for budget travellers as it’s filled with lodging options that won’t burn a hole in your pocket.
On the other hand, Pulau Perhentian Besar offers more fancy and high-end accommodation options.
Regardless of which one you choose, you can expect the same amazing beach experience as both these options feature beautiful white sands and blue waters.
Where to Stay in Perhentian Islands
Perhentian Islands doesn’t fall short on its accommodation options and it can get overwhelming to choose which one is for you.
To help you with this, we’ve listed below what we think offer prices that are reasonable based on what they bring to the table.
Perhentian Island Resort – $$$
The Barat Perhentian Beach Resort – $$
Coral View Island Resort – $
|Where:||Negeri Sembilan, Peninsular Malaysia|
|How to get there:||Train ride to Klia T1 and taxi to Port Dickson
Taxi from KL International Airport T2
If you’re thinking of what to do with your family in Malaysia, bring your loved ones to Port Dickson. The great thing about this spot is that it’s not that far away from Kuala Lumpur.
The capital is one of the best places to live in Malaysia and this accessibility makes it a great choice for quick beach getaways.
Port Dickson can be your go-to vacation destination in Malaysia as it greets you with delicious seafood dishes, beautiful yet affordable resorts and tourist-friendly beaches.
Aside from the aforementioned picturesque resorts, Port Dickson also offers various activities that you and your loved ones will surely enjoy. This includes ATV riding, kayaking, animal feeding and many more.
Where to Stay in Port Dickson
As previously stated, Port Dickson is a family destination and its selection of accommodation options further proves this. To help you find the best place to stay for you and your loved ones, we’ve listed our recommendations below.
What we ended up with are the resorts and hotels within the relatively same budget that offers the most complete packages for their guests.
Grand Lexis Port Dickson – $$$
Thistle Port Dickson Resort – $$
Avillion Admiral Cove – $
Our Final Thoughts
That’s about it for our list of the most beautiful beaches in Malaysia. The ones listed above cater to different kinds of vacation-goers but, you’ll still enjoy your time at any of these beaches during your stay here in Malaysia.