Langkawi Island, and its 104 smaller surrounding islands, continues to amaze and astound its visitors. From drop dead gorgeous white-sand beaches to secluded turquoise bays to rolling mountains, this set of islands has it all.
Hiring a motorbike or a scooter is a safe and convenient way to see a lot of what the island has to offer and at $10 a day, good value too. The roads are safe, and, once out of the main town of Kuah, very quiet.
The food in Malaysia is the best in Southeast Asia but if you really want to treat yourself head to Temple Treeat Bon Ton for lunch or dinner. Set alongside a natural lagoon that hosts a plethora of bird life, the food here is to die for. Save some room for dessert—the cakes are amazing!
2. Pangkor Laut
Just two hours drive south from Penang, you’ll find the jungle-clad island of Pangkor Laut. It’s exclusive, no bones about it. It’s going to cost around $300 a night, but from the moment you arrive you know you’re in for a treat. Each individual bungalow has extensive sea and jungle views.
Malaysian Rhinoceros Hornbills are common throughout the resort and extremely friendly. Feeding them out of your hand isn’t encouraged, largely because their beak could take your hand off, but it’s hard to resist.
Chapman Bay, named after Freddie Spencer Chapman, a WW11 veteran famous for his deeds behind enemy lines in Japanese occupied Malaya, is simply jaw-dropping. A crunchy white-sand beach, backed by lush jungle, leads down to warm and welcoming turquoise waters. There are no currents here and children under the age of 16 are not allowed. See: http://pangkorlautresort.com.
3. Tioman Island
Tioman’s beaches were depicted in the 1958 movie South Pacific, and in the 1970’s TIME magazine selected Tioman as one of the most beautiful islands in the world. It hasn’t changed a great deal since then…
Its warm clear waters are still a draw for scuba divers from all over the world as its reefs are shallow and there are little to no currents.
You can also volunteer at its turtle hatchery for short periods during your stay, and, if you time it right, witness the turtles laying the eggs or the babies hatching.
Its golf course, just a stroll from the Tekek village, is rarely used, so you can really take your time and enjoy yourself. It’s also one of the only courses in Malaysia where it’s common to see monitor lizards—lots of them—and the odd 15-foot python. No kidding!
Main Image: ©iStock.com/TravellingLanes
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