Escape to 5 Malaysian Islands without a Flight

Escape to 5 Malaysian Islands without a Flight
October 18 08:46 2016

Living in Singapore, one gets quite spoiled when it comes to quick getaways and short-stay vacations. Being in the convenient centre of a beautiful region, Changi airport takes you just about anywhere. However, you don’t always need to take a flight. Here are five Malaysian islands you can escape to without having to take a flight.

Rawa Island

Located just off the coast from Mersing, Rawa Island is rather idyllic with only two resorts on the island. Tranquillity and relaxation surely will be found after a one-hour ride from the ferry in Mersing. If you are in a rush, you can also take the speedboat. Although Rawa Island is well worth the trip alone, you can also pass the island on the way back from Tioman

Once you are on the island, everything can be accessed on foot. Spanning less than one kilometre in length, the south-western end of the island is blessed with beautiful white sand beaches and calm blue waters, while the north-eastern side end offers a few rocky shores.

Staying on the island you have only two choices – Rawa Safaris Resort, which starts from SGD 170 for a weekend stay with full board per person, and Alang’s Rawa, which offers a beach front room for around SGD 165. Alang’s Rawa is also very popular among young people, as weekends often turn into one big party. Besides enjoying the ridiculously beautiful beaches and swimming in the shallow sea, you can spend time playing volleyball, canoeing or sailing, making it a popular gateway for groups of friends.

Batu Batu

"Batu Batu"

Just a few kilometres south of Rawa Island, and also accessible via Mersing, is Batu Batu Resort, on Pulau Babi Tengah Island. What was once a Vietnamese refugee transit camp in the 1970s is today home to an abundance of marine life and a variety of corals and fish, not to mention the incredibly beautiful beaches and the luxury resort that is on it. The name of the island (babi) refers to pigs, but there are none left today. Instead, you can sunbathe by the pool or the many beaches with a cocktail prepared with fresh ingredients by the skilled barmen, walk around the island on the fluffy sand or trek across the jungle through one of two marked trails.

There is also yoga, a fully equipped dive center and a Turtle Watch Camp that focuses on taking care of the various turtle eggs laid around the islands and on neighbouring beaches until the hatchlings reach the sea. The resort is committed to preserving the environment and has also been working on coral plantings. A weekend stay in the resort’s Jungle Villa will cost around SGD 820, including boat transfer and full board for 4 adults and 4 children. Batu Batu offers sea and beach facing villas on stilts with fabulous views and jungle villas for real seclusion. It is both a romantic paradise as well as a family destination.

Pulau Sibu

Slightly bigger than the former two islands, Pulau Sibu can be reached via ferry from Tanjung Leman. The latter is nothing more than a car park and can easily be accessed from Johor Bahru. The island itself stretches 6km in length and offers several beaches that are accessible on foot.

Most of the island is made of lush vegetation, while along the coast one can find not only golden beaches but also sea caves that have been carved out of rocks over time. The ferry will take you to the Twin Beach Resort in the middle of the island, but there are also more resorts further up north. The Twin Beach Resort offers 2-night weekend stays, including ferry and full board, for SGD 100 per person. The Rimba Resort even offers transport from Singapore for around SGD 33 and double rooms for SGD 92 per night.

Pulau Tinggi

One of the bigger islands in the region, Pulau Tinggi has also a higher population than any other nearby island. While most of the island is covered with rainforest, the coastal area is particularly interesting and beautiful. Strolling along the beaches or swimming just offshore one will discover several caves that are entirely untouched. Take a look at the corals and rich marine life too.

If you are a land lover, there is also a small mountain but you will need a guide.

Just like Sibu, Pulau Tinggi can be accessed by boat from Tanjung Leman. One of the more popular resorts on the island is TAd Marine Resort, offering twin rooms from SGD 180, including full board, a snorkeling and trekking trip. From here you are also able to visit the smaller islands surrounding Pulau Tinggi.

For a more luxurious island trip, check our eco-luxury weekend at Pangalusian island itinerary in Philippines.

Pulau Tioman

Perhaps the best known island in the region, is Tioman, just over 30km off the coast of Mersing. Tioman was host to both Japanese and British troops during World War II, but is today a well-known beach and diving destination.

While the beaches are very pretty, you can also see a few rare animals, such as the red giant flying squirrel. When it comes to resorts, you will have a lot to choose from because Tioman is a much larger island than any of the other.

The north of the island offers various affordable backpacker accommodations for less than SGD 10 per night, while the east coast has a few smaller reports, such as the Juara Mutiara Resort with single rooms from SGD 100. No matter where on the island, there are plenty of places to stay. Another good choice is the Kampong-style Idaman Beach Holiday with prices starting from SGD 26 per person.

One thing you really shouldn’t miss on Tioman is a diving trip. Offered pretty much everywhere on the island, Tioman offers a wonderful coral world. In fact, a lot of people come to Tioman as part of a diving trip, spending the weekend on the boat.

Beware of Tioman’s legend. A dragon princess, en route to Singapore, made a quick stop on the island, but was so taken by its beauty that she never left.

While you’re at it, why not complete your trip with our itinerary to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia.

share your experience by using #singaporenbeyond on social media!

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Peter Schimke
Peter Schimke

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