Malaysia is home to a vast collection of remote tropical islands that make the perfect hideaway for those seeking a slice of exclusive solace.
Remote islands boasting blissfully white beaches licked by azure waters, empty shorelines and heaps of nature are slated to be the sought-after vacation once the world emerges from the coronavirus crisis.
Mainland Malaysia is surrounded by stunning chains of archipelagos, totalling 878 islands. While the crowds flock to Langkawi, Perhentian Islands, Redang Island and Pangkor, there are plenty of upristine paradises that sit way off-the-beaten-track and are waiting to be explored.
Due to their remote location, many of the islands can be time-consuming to get to. What better way to access them than chartering a helicopter or plane and landing in style?
Tenggol is one of East Malaysia’s most stunning islands and is famed for its inviting waters that stretch across the South China Sea. As the southernmost island in Terengganu State’s archipelago, this hidden gem sits off the radar of most visitors, who tend to skip to the neighbouring Perhentian Islands.
Boasting stunning coral reefs and clear waters home to a colourful array of tropical sea life, snorkelling and diving are popular activities on the island. The waters surrounding the archipelago are also home to whale sharks, with boat trips to see the incredible creatures available.
Rugged jungle makes up the compact island’s interior. Trails snake through the dense trees, making this a great way to discover Tenggol’s unique collection of flora and fauna.
This private island serves up remote tranquillity on a stunning tropical island hugged by ancient rainforest. Home to celebrity-loved Pangkor Laut Resort , the island sits three miles off the West coast of Malaysia along the Straits of Malacca.
With the luxury resort that fits in seamlessly with its surroundings only taking up a small slice of the island paradise, visitors can immerse themselves in Pangkor Laut’s rich nature. Long-tailed macaques, oriental pied hornbills, while white-bellied sea eagles and large monitor lizards are just a fraction of the wildlife found in the lush forest.
Activities include chartered luxury cruises, delving into village life on the neighbouring island of Pangkor, yacht sailing and spectacular private dining experiences.
With only two luxury resorts – which attract a string of international celebrities – based on this compact coral island that sits off Johor State, Rawa Island ticks all the boxes for those looking for a secret retreat.
Located in stunning Sultan Iskandar Marine Park, the waters that surround the island house pristine coral reefs teeming with fish, making this a divers and snorkelers’ paradise. A range of water-based activities are also run by the two resorts.
With accommodation sitting on the edge of the island, guests can wake to the sound of lapping waves and step out onto dazzling powder white sands. Its exclusivity and breath-taking charm makes Rawa Island a firm favourite with honeymooners.
Also known as Gem Island and known to only a few, Pualu Gemia is another paradise lost. The breath-taking private island houses Gem Island Resort & Spa and spans about nine acres, with palm trees lining the beaches and deep jungle hugging the island’s interior.
Vibrant coral reefs flank the island, which is also the nesting ground for sea eagles, reef herons and many other birds. Putting nature at the heart of the island, one of its beaches doubles up as a hatchery for turtles. Gem Island is one of the few places turtles, including giant leatherbacks hawksbill and green turtles, venture ashore to lay eggs.
A variety of water sports, diving and caving trips can also be organised by the resort, as well as boat trips to explore nearby idyllic tropical islands.