7 Best Island Getaway near Singapore You Should Explore

7 Best Island Getaway near Singapore You Should Explore


March 19, 2018

By Darren   March 19, 2018

Beach lovers and explorers gather! Are you on a hunt for beautiful islands and beach resorts near Singapore? Or are you just simply looking for a short getaway on a quiet island? Sand under the Sun sure rhythms with fun. Look no further because here in this article, we are going to present you the best 7 island destinations in West Malaysia for your next holiday, a place so near just across the causeway.

(“Pulau” translates to ‘Island’ in English, you get it.) Let’s get going!

1. Pulau Tioman


Image Credit: www.fravelmag.com

Situated off the east coast of Peninsula Malaysia, Pulau Tioman looks what is like an emerald dragon guarding the translucent waters of the South China Sea. There are see-through turquoise waters, dense jungles and cascading waterfalls, and many laid-back villages facing the peaceful beaches. Despite its popularity, Pulau Tioman retains an unimpaired vibe, with pristine wilderness and authentic village life.


Image Credit: www.crossingtravel.com

Things to do in Tioman Islands: There are lots of water activities where you can do such as snorkelling, scuba diving, freediving, sailing, and even sailing. If these aren’t your thing, you can hit some golfs at the Tioman Island Golf Club.


Image Credit: Guo Qi / Flickr

Where to stay:

Berjaya Tioman Beach Resort – A tropical paradise with miles of golden beaches, clear waters rich in marine life. It would be a series of inviting respites and entreating adventures staying in this resort.

Image Credit: Berjaya Tioman Beach Resort

Paya Beach Spa & Dive Resort – Centrally located at the central western shores of Pulau Tioman and packed with exclusive white sand beachfront resort getaway with full facilities here at Paya Beach Spa & Dive Resort.

Image Credit: Paya Beach Spa & Dive Resort

2. Pulau Rawa


Image Credit: www.johornow.com

Pula Rawa is a coral island in the Mersing district of Johor, Malaysia. It is actually a small island own by the Johor Sultanate, which makes this place luxurious and exclusive. There are only two resorts on the island – Rawa Island Resort and Alang's Rawa Resort, both of which are founded by none other than the Johor Sultanate.

‘Rawa’ is the local term for white doves, which are abundant on the island. Surrounded by clear blue waters with coral reefs, there is a lush tropical rainforest atop a craggy cliff which makes the island so mysterious and attracting.

Image Credit: Mohd Fazlin Mohd Effendy Ooi / Flickr

Things to do in Rawa Islands: The beaches are filled with white and fine sands, perfect for sun tanning, sandcastle building, or simply just strolling. Hammocks are available for relaxation too. However, what differentiates Pulau Rawa from other islands are the blue and orange slide, with the blue being straight down into the sea and the latter with twists and turns.

Image Credit: www.johornow.com

Where to stay:

Rawa Island Resort – An idyllic Malaysia tropical island resort looking to unwind from the stress and strain of modern life. Feel the grains of white sun-baked sand and take a dip in the warm waters of the South China Sea.

Alang's Rawa Resort – With only 14 rooms and the most laid-back atmosphere you can find, Alang’s Rawa is like a home away from home. Swim, snorkel, sunbathe, or take part in the many other activities in this tropical paradise; the island is yours for the taking.

3. Pulau Besar

Image Credit: Bambi Corro III / Flickr

Pulau Besar is also located in the Mersing district of Johor, Malaysia. Formerly known as Pulau Babi Besar (“babi” translates to pig in English), the island got its former name from the wild boars that used to inhabit the island before any human habitations.

The island has beaches filled with the finest white sands that stretch along on the whole west coast, fringed by swaying palm trees, dazzling waters. If you want to stay away from the crowd, then this is the perfect destination for you.

Image Credit: Agoda

Things to do in Besar Islands: When the sea is calm, you would get a veritable swimming pool by the white-sand beach. Canoeing and kayaking are also available on this island. If you prefer staying dry, you can choose to play beach volleyball. Otherwise, some jungle hiking or just lounging on the palm-shaded beaches is optimal too.

Where to stay:

Aseania Beach Resort Pulau Besar – A sanctuary housing various interesting and delicate sea creatures that are topped with excellent coral reef, this resort offers a fairy tale like vacation experience, integrated with awesome environment, culture and design, to anyone that loves sun, sea and sand.

D'Coconut Island Resort - Set amidst tropical gardens and sandy beaches, D'coconut Island Resort features a fine selection of local and western dishes in the 2 restaurants, an outdoor pool and rooms with views of the lush greenery. Otherwise, it is a sweet staying hub with simple humble settings.

4. Pulau Sibu

Image Credit: Booking.com

An island perfect for easy and free getaway on the beach, Pulau Sibu is a good destination for a relaxing trip without getting disturbed by any noises from the road traffic. In 1993, it is nominated as Marine Park for its numerous colourful and attractive coral reefs offshore, so be sure to pack your swimming gear to get up-close with them.

Image Credit: Expedia

Things to do in Sibu Islands: The island offers plenty of activities like football, banana boating, beach volleyball and snorkelling being the main one for you to have close moments with sea creatures and the coral reefs. There are unlimited secluded areas for you and your partner (if you are travelling in two) to enjoy the peace, serenity and have your own privacy. Private beach arrangements are also available through the resorts for corporate or family bonding time.

Where to stay:

Sari Pacifica Resort & Spa Sibu Island – The soothing and magical charm of the sun, sea and sand that sprinkles across the elegant sanctuary of this resort holds a prevailing beauty of the rainforest along with the breathtaking view of the sea. Sari Pacifica Beach Resort & Spa Sibu Island is a wonderful portal for many to embark on a new beach voyage and relaxation.

5. Pulau Tengah

Image Credit: Pingouino / Flickr

Pulau Tengah is a privately-owned island that boasts eight white sand beaches and a wide variety of marine life calling the surrounding waters their home. It is also well known for being one of the few breeding grounds for Hawksbill and Green turtles and is committed to conserve them and protect its environment.

Image Credit: www.johornow.com

The conservation camp, Turtle Watch Camp, aims to preserve, research and monitor the marine and terrestrial habitats and its associated organisms, present on Pulau Tengah and the surrounding islands of Johor.

Image Credit: Mohd Fazlin Mohd Effendy Ooi / Flickr

Things to do in Tengah Islands: The island features a vibrant marine life filled with rare and special types of fish and corals. Good thing is, you get to be up close with them by snorkelling or diving, even if you bring along children as young as five. The Batu Batu Dive team by the island’s only resort, Batu Batu, runs many PADI entry-level experience programmes for ages 5 and above as well as certification courses from the PADI Open Water course to PADI Divemaster course.

Where to stay:

Batu Batu Resort – The one and only resort on Pulau Tengah, the exclusive Batu Batu consists of 20 one-bedroom and 2 two-bedroom villas set into the island’s wild and natural environment. You can enjoy the island’s eight white sandy beaches, snorkel or dive amongst its colourful coral reefs and kayak or walk around its 3km perimeter.

6. Pulau Redang

Image Credit: Wikipedia

The largest of a group of nine protected islands dotting the South China Sea off the Terengganu coast, Pulau Redang offers crystal clear waters and numerous dive sites for enthusiasts. The waters here are rich in marine life and sun rays can be seen penetrating through the sea, and brilliant hues of coral, anemones and fish can be seen.

Image Credit: www.redangisland.co

Things to do in Redang Islands: The waters around Pulau Redang also contain two historic shipwrecks: The H.M.S. Prince of Wales and H.M.S. Repulse, which were sank during World War II by the Japanese occupation in which there are dive tours to see the remnants. Nevertheless, this little paradise is great for snorkelling, swimming, jungle trekking, boating and canoeing as well. There are also karaoke clubs, discos and nightclubs if you are ready for some party.

Image Credit: Juska Wendland / Flickr

Where to stay:

Laguna Redang Island Resort – Situated along the shores, Laguna Redang Island Resort offers comfortable accommodation, featuring a restaurant and large outdoor pool. Come indulge in the pampering massage, or non-stop fun hiking, diving and snorkelling.

Redang Holiday Beach Villa – Spectacularly located at the edge of a beautiful lagoon, Redang Holiday Beach Villa is the most picturesque and charming of the resorts on Redang Island. Built in the traditional rustic Malay style architecture, this resort is the perfect place to relax and unwind from your regular work hassles.

7. Pulau Perhentian

Image Credit: www.timetravelturtle.com

The name Perhentian means "stopping point" in Malay because the islands were a stopping point used by traders travelling from Malaysia to Bangkok in the olden days. Located about 10 nautical miles off the coast of northeastern Malaysia in the state of Terengganu, the Perhentian islands are made up of two main islands: a bigger island (Perhentian Besar) and a smaller island (Perhentian Kecil).

Image Credit: www.timetravelturtle.com

Perhentian Kecil is a bit more on the budget side, but that does not mean that it is not popular. The accommodation here tends to be a bit more rustic and the tourism offerings more casual, catering for backpackers or family travel. On the other hand, Perhentian Besar is the more expensive one. It is known for luxury villas, couples on honeymoons and visitors ready to splash on big bucks. Of course, accommodation and services offered here are slightly higher class.

Image Credit: www.timetravelturtle.com

Things to do in Perhentian Islands: Naturally, there is no shortage of operators offering kayaking and boat trips around the islands, stopping at several different spots to snorkel, swim or go onto the pristine beaches. You can also go trekking in the jungle on your own too, but it’s best to get yourself familiarise with the paths and routes, stock up lots of drinking water and wear a proper footwear.

Where to stay:

Perhentian Island Resort (Perhentian Besar) – A private resort built on 25 acres of natural rainforests and a pristine beachfront with beautiful sea views. With a host of exciting activities, adventures and mouth-watering cuisine, this is the perfect retreat to reenergize yourself.

Image Credit: TripAdvisor

How to get there:

Pulau Tioman, Pulau Rawa, Pulau Besar, and Pulau Tengah can all be reached by taking a public scheduled ferry service from Mersing Jetty, Johor. The distance to Mersing Jetty from Singapore is around 200km and the journey usually takes 3 to 4 hours.

Pulau Sibu can be reached from Tanjung Leman located 72km south of Mersing. There will be no public ferry service available, but only boat transfers by the resort you will be staying.

To go Pulau Redang, there are coach buses from Singapore to Merang Jetty or Shahbandar Jetty (9–10 hours) and thereafter a 45-minute ferry ride to the island. Alternatively, you can take a flight from Changi Airport to Subang Airport via Berjaya Air. The flight time is about 80 minutes and you can prearrange airport transfers directly to the resorts.

Pulau Perhentian can be reached by ferry services from Kuala Besut Jetty. From Singapore, there are direct coach buses to Kuala Besut Jetty which takes about 9.5 hours. Alternatively, there are flights to Sultan Ismail Petra Airport in Kota Bharu and thereafter a 1.5 hours car ride to Kuala Besut Jetty.

As we all know now that going off to an island can be as near as Johor, Malaysia and so many to choose from, it is really great to be living in Singapore. So wait no more and hustle up to pack your swimming suits and prepare your sun tanning oil for your next great island destination adventure in Malaysia!

Have any friends wanting to go on an island holiday? Share this with them now or just tag along!

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