With the days of late summer becoming increasingly cooler, you have begun to think about the trip you have planned out in your mind this coming winter. While you yearn to return to Southeast Asia, you’re looking to give Thailand a rest, as you have been there numerous times in the past and going there just feels a little too old hat for your tastes.
If this sounds like you, you need only divert your gaze a bit further south to the peninsular nation of Malaysia. While its neighbour to the north has hogged much of the tourism traffic over the past generation, things are starting to change as Kuala Lumpur becomes one of the region’s biggest aviation hubs.
People are starting to discover this dark horse, so you’ll want to soak in the solace that the best beaches in Malaysia have to offer before massive crowds of pasty, out of shape middle age people clog them from end to end.
Check out the following three amazing destinations this winter, and you just might find yourself absconding here for the entire cold season…!
Of all the beach hotspots in Malaysia, Langkawi stands out from all the rest, and for good reason: its pure white sand, karst geology, and its duty-free status has combined to make it a runaway favorite with reality escapists everywhere.
Cable cars take you to the top of its sizable mountains, the alluring scent of Malay and Indian waft on the breeze in its towns and villages, and the party vibe is palpable here, as the heavy tax on alcohol that makes booze disproportionately expensive compared to the rest of Southeast Asia doesn’t apply here, making its drinks close to the cheaper in the entire region!
2) Perhentian Islands
If you are a big fan of islands in the Thai gulf, you’ll be pleased to find that Malaysia has an archipelago of isles in the area as well. The Perhentian Islands boast the crystalline waters and powder white sand that its Thai counterparts have, without the out of control party scene that plagues the latter.
Part of the reason for this is the high expense of alcohol, made even more so by the remote nature of this place. If this isn’t too much of a deterrent for you and your group, then some truly excellent snorkeling, diving, and sunbathing await you, all bookended by the fact that you are in a truly beautiful place without the scene or crowds of the Maldives or Koh Phangan.
3) Tioman Island
Further down the east coast of Malaysia is a destination that will appeal to the hardcore diver or surfer out there. That place is Tioman Island, a coral reef ringed isle situated off the southeastern coast of the Malaysian mainland.
A series of communities connected by footpaths and water taxis gives the place a wild feel, yet the biggest community has most of the things you need – including cheap hooch (yes, Tioman also has duty-free status).
Your days will be spent exploring countless world class dive spots during the high season, while the east coast of the island will have you carving up waves during the Northeastern Monsoon, a time when there is nobody here except for locals, a massive population of cute kitties (cared for communally by residents), and a bunch of your fellow surf junkies!