Have An Exciting Time Exploring These 5 Underrated Beaches In Malaysia

It’s only the first month of an exciting year filled with truckloads of festivities and a good number of holidays. Even if not long enough holidays, the weekends are there to turn any spontaneous plan into a fun and lively journey. Here, we bring you a list of some of the underrated yet awesome beaches in Malaysia instead of suggesting the usual popular hubs that you’re most likely aware of already. 

Indeed, the new year fever hasn’t subsided yet and you probably cannot stop looking for places to visit every now and then for either an enjoyable weekend plan or a well-curated holiday. But before you make your reservations at the usual hot spots of Langkawi, Cherating, or Penang, consider the idea of stopping by some of the best yet underrated beaches in Malaysia, once. It could happen so, that you weren’t even aware that these beaches also existed. The regular popular destinations are undoubtedly well-loved by both domestic and international tourists and won’t disappoint but they can get a little too crowded for comfort.

What are some of the underrated beaches in Malaysia?

Malaysia is home to 879 islands with stunning beaches, where powdery white sands meet pristine blue seas. It may not be as many compared to Thailand, Indonesia, or the Philippines, but it can sure give Phuket, Bali, or Boracay a run for their money. From secluded beaches in Perhentian Islands to the paradise that is Mabul Islands in Sabah, we discovered a couple of beautiful beaches that are as picture-perfect as the ones more famous elsewhere in Southeast Asia. The list includes Mabul Island in Sabah, LongSha Beach in Terengganu, Tusan beach in Sarawak, Balok Beach in Pahang, and Coral Bay in Terengganu. So ready your bikinis and sunblock because that quiet beach getaway can soon be your reality. Here’s where to go.


Located in Terengganu, Coral Bay is one of the two main beaches in the Perhentian Islands. It’s not too far from the Thai border in Northeast Malaysia and its secluded nature will suit couples on a romantic vacation (backpackers prefer to attend beach parties in nearby Long Beach.) It has its own jetty and a good selection of nature trails that lead to highlights like Lighthouse Towers, where the daring dive into the waters below. After snorkelling to see the coral reefs, sit on the sand to take at the moment. The stunning views of the sunset will make it worth it.

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Pahang faces the South China Sea and is blessed with at least three main beaches. The liveliest is undoubtedly Balok Beach, where you and your pals can truly unwind. It’s located less than 30 minutes away from the state capital of Kuantan and features an impressive spread of activities like a water sports centre. It’s a small town though but expects good food and relatively cheaper accommodation rates at its selection of international hotels and resorts as compared to the more touristy Cherating situated in the north.

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Sarawak’s Tusan Beach boasts long white sandy shores with a gentle slope perfect for those who love watching the sun rise or set. It’s an hour’s drive away from Miri with very few developments save the odd street light and tar-sealed roads. But if you dare make the trip, you’ll get to witness a stunning phenomenon called the Blue Tears — a stunning sight of glowing blue ocean waters with luminous special effects. This bio-luminescent display is caused by microscopic plankton which glows in the dark when disturbed by currents or waves. The unpolluted ocean waters also allow for better views.

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Another beautiful beach that can be found in the state of Terengganu is Pulau Kapas. The locals gave the island of Marang its name, which means Cotton Island in English, for its soft white beaches like LongSha Beach a few minutes walk from LongSha Beach campsite. While its white beaches are regarded as some of the cleanest in Malaysia, its aquamarine waters are ideal for sea kayaking and snorkelling.  The northernmost cove is good for turtle spotting.

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Wildlife spotters, this small island off the southeast coast of Sabah could be for you. Mabul Island is considered by many as one of the best muck diving destinations in the world known for its marine biodiversity. While its famous neighbour Sipadan is home to large pelagic species, Mabul is the place to find smaller but no less captivating species like scorpionfishes, frogfishes, nudibranchs, crocodile fishes, pipefish and blue ring octopus. The island also has the most beautiful beaches that are covered in palm trees and powder-white shores.

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This story was first published in Lifestyle Asia Kuala Lumpur

Related Article: 8 Must-Visit Historical Landmarks To See On Your Next Malaysia Trip