When thinking of idyllic beaches in Southeast Asia the first destination which pops to mind is usually Thailand. However there are many other treasures on the Asian coastline such as the unspoiled swathes of sand lining the Malaysian shores. With islands north, west and east there is a surplus of different spots to choose from, each with its own personality and unique features.

When to go

Cascading rain and monsoon environs don’t make for the perfect beach weather therefore it is imperative you visit at the right time of year, otherwise you will find yourself rather soggy or in dangerously choppy waters. The best weather is from April to September where temperatures range from 20c to 30c and the humidity isn’t too stifling.

Make sure to plan as much in advance to prevent being disappointed. Book all the activities, places to stay and transport in advance where ever possible. Also consider some protection while you travel the world, stop any small problems becoming mountains with travel insurance.

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Rains to avoid

From November to February on the east the coast as well as part of the mainland.

From September to December on the west coast.


Beaches that won’t disappoint

Langkwai (northwest)

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Abundant with velvet sand beaches and secluded turquoise waters, the shores of Langkwai are coveted by every keen traveller. The only downside to this area is that many of the coves are privately owned therefore if you wish to walk the sugary sands you have to stay at the particular hotels, which can be pricey. But if you have the cash to splash try the arching Datai Bay and one of the luxury resorts, either Datai Langkwai or The Andaman. If you are going to stay at the best then you should also protect yourself and belongings with the best travel insurance as well, don’t be caught out.


Most of the tourist destinations are located along the south coast close the to the capital Kuah. For an injection of action and excitement head to the lively Pantai Cenang where the sea gazing bars and local restaurants begin to simmer as the sun sets. Adjacent you will find the placid and more family frequented Pantai Tengah. If it is quiet stenches of satin soft shingle you’re after visit Tanjung Rhu for its fragrant mangroves, limestone caves and steep cliffs.


Tioman (southeast)

This island suits nature enthusiasts, golfers and underwater fanatics; the miles of tropical jungle, rolling hills and offshore reefs still remain beautifully intact though the area has undergone much development. Here you can roam, side by side, with the cheeky monkeys that populate the beaches. The island is made up of tiny curving bays set against the lush jungles and is home to some of the most incredible aquatic activity.


Redang (northeast)

This archipelago is mostly uninhabited, apart from luxurious resorts situated at the waters edge. You couldn’t ask anything more from a beach get-a-away but some may not appreciate the previously untouched islands, which now scattered with affluent hotels. However what makes this a unique place is the frenzy of underwater life sweeping through the Marine Park. This of course is a magnet for scuba and snorkeling fans who are drawn to its magical, iridescent reefs.


Sarawak, Similajau National Park (Borneo island, east)

Though a little arduous to travel to it is worth the time and bumpy boat rides to visit this extraordinary park. Consisting of 30km of shimmering sand outlined by rising cliffs and clamorous jungle life, this national park offers adventure, vistas and unparalleled delights. You will uncover fine sand beaches, forest streams, waterfalls, 185 species of bird and countless turtles, gibbons, boars and crocodiles. The park is peppered with chalets, hostels and camping sites perfect for adventurous or budget travellers.