Sarawak has a coastline that runs 700 km along the northwestern side of Borneo. A good place to begin discovering its beauty is Damai Beach, in Santubong. This vacation spot is embraced by the South China Sea and has majestic jungle-clad Mount Santubong as its backdrop.
Some of state’s best beach resorts located here include the Holiday Inn Damai Beach Resort, Holiday Inn Damai Lagoon, Santubong Kuching Resort and Permai Rainforest Resort. A short drive away from this beach is the Sarawak Cultural Village, aliving museum of the various ethnic cultures in the state.
Located 90 kilometres from Kuching are the pristine beaches of Siar, Semantan, Penyok, ideal for swimming and sunbathing.
Just a 30-minute boat ride away from Damai Beach are the Satang Besar and Satang Kecil islands, sanctuaries for green turtles. Day trips can be made to the Satang Besar Island with the permission of the Talang-Satang National park office.
Sarawak’s National Parks offers a host of adventures for eco-lovers. Tanjung Datu National park, at the western tip of Sarawak, has some of the state’s most beautiful beaches and vibrant coral life. Similajau National Park, in the northeast, features golden sandy beaches that face the South China Sea. In Bako National park, discover a sandy coastline that is ideal for swimming and sunset watching. Sightings of the long nosed proboscis monkey, a species unique Borneo will be a memorable experience.
On the northmost corner of Sarawak, the long starches of beaches in Miri are a popular weekend gateway. The Luak Bay and Hawaii Beach are among the well-known shore in Miri. Miri is dubbed the gateway to adventure as it is the take-off point to exciting destinations such as Mulu Caves, Niah Caves, Lambir Hills and Borneo Highlands.
Sabah is caressed by the South China Sea on its west and the Sulu Celebes seas on its eastern coastline.
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah’s capital offers top-notched properties such as Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort and the Sutera Harbour Resort and Spa. Both resorts offers spectacular views of the South China Sea and the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park islands. The Sutera Harbour Resort offers a full range of recreational facilities, including a golf course, marina and spa.
In the vicinity of the airport, the Tanjung Aru beach is a popular spot to watch the beautiful sunset and relax at the beachside cafes. Tanjung Aru is also the gateway to explore several of Sabah’s delightful attractions. Go on ride in the North Borneo tourist steam train and take in the scenic countryside.
A treasured marine heritage, the five islands of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park surrounded by extensive coral reefs. Its proximity to Kota Kinabalu makes it a popular playground for water sports enthusiasts, sun-seekers, swimmers, and snorkellers.
Just a 30-minute drive from Kota Kinabalu is the Nexus Karambunai, a fabulous resort offering six kilometres of soft sandy beach. Indulge in idyllic days of swimming and sauntering by the beach or try out exciting pastimes such as 18-hole par 72 course design by Ronald Fream. The Lagoon Park , a recreational centre situated 10 minutes away, abounds with thrills such as jet-skiing, kayaking, wake-boarding, mangrove cruises and sunset firefly cruises.
The Sangri-La Rasa Ria, located nearby, is a splendid gateway surrounded by 400 acres of lush tropical vegetation. An idyllic, white sandy beach stretched over three kilometres awaits swimmers, beachcombers and windsurfers, Guests can delight in kayaking, jet-skiing, banana boat rides and catamaran excursions, or enjoy a round of golf in the 18-hole championship golf course designed by Ted Parslow. For a glimpse of Borneo’s animal kingdom, visit the resort’s nature reserve which houses Orang Utan and deer.
For some privacy and seclusion, try the Paka Beach in Tuaran where a six-kilometer shoreline, hugged by coastal vegetation glitters invitingly. The glorious beach offers pristine nature with no intrusions of modernity. Delight in a picnic, take leisurely strolls along the shore or enjoy hours of swimming. The beach will also be an excellent retreat for sunbathing as it ensures a quiet environment.
En route, visit the Bajans, pamed as ‘Sea Gypses’ and enjoy a boat ride through the mangroves. For a trip to this beach, prior arrangements can be made with tour operator.
To the north of Sabah is Kudat Beach, where visitors can enjoy crystal-clear waters and picturesque scenery while visiting the Rungus tribe who live in longhouses.
For the exhilarating feeling of standing on land’s end, visit the Simpang Mengayan Bay, at the tip of Borneo. Located north of Kudat, this stretch of beach is excellent for swimming and to watch the sunrise and sunset.
Sabah has a host of captivating islands among which is Pulau Tiga park, better known as ‘Survivor Islands’, featured in the TV reality show ‘survivor’.
The islands of Layang Layang, Turtle Island, Mabul, Kapalai and Sipadan are outstanding dive sites in the region.
Labuan, known as the ‘International Garden Island of Borneo’, is a major destination as well as the site of several World War II memorials.
Terengganu, on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, beckons with an aura that is distinctively Malay. Its traditional way of life, vibrant cottage industries and fascinating cultural pastimes give the state its unique appeal. The islands of Redang, Perhentian, Lang Tengah, Kapas and Tenggol are jewels in Terengganu’s crown.
Redang, situated 45 kilometers off coast of Kuala Terengganu, is the largest of all Terengganu’s islands. From the very first glance, Redang will enchant visitors with its compelling beauty. Its incredibly azure waters fringed by white sand, against the backdrop of verdant jungle-clad hills make picture postcard views.
The island boasts two beautiful beaches, the Long Beach or locally known as Pasir Panjang, situated on the east coast and Teluk Dalam Kecil, a sheltered cove tucked away on the northest of the island. Teluk Dalam Kecil is the location of the Berjaya Redang Beach Resort, a five-star accommodation on the island.
Stretching over 800 m, Pasir Panjang is a dream come true for sun-seekers. Here, underneath the clear blue sky, one can spend hours by basking in the sun, or strolling by the beach and feel the sensation of soft sand sinking under the feet. The beach is lined by a number of resorts overlooking the sea, offering various styles of accommodation.
A myriad of surprises await beneath the bewitchingly blue sea. The waters teem with a wealth of marine life and corals, and the good visibility makes it ideal for snorkelling and diving. At The Marine Park Centre friendly wrasses, sergeant majors and breams swarm around snorkellers. Divers can look forward to thrilling encounters with black-tip sharks. Rare giant clams and hawksbill turtles too have sighted here.
Perhentian, another breathtaking island in the state, lies about 21 km off Terenggam’s coastline. Made up of two islands, Perhentian Besar and Perhentian Kecil, they about with exciting activities for sun-seekers. The waters around Perhentian offer some of the best dive sites in the country. Fusiliers, Scorpionfish, Rabbitfish and Christmas Tree Worms are among the sights which will leave snorkellers spellbound.
Lang Tengah, a 30-minute boat ride from Redang, is one of the states’s best kept secrets. Located midway between the islands Tedang and Perhentian, its sparkling white sand and aquamarine waters are simply irresistible. The varieties of hard and soft corals and prolific marine life here make it a perfect destination for divers.
The smaller islands of Kapas and Tenggol are delightful gems for divers with their scenic beaches, underwater rock formations and plethora of marine life. Its mainland has several spots that feature scenic palm-lined beaches and luxurious resorts. The Awana Kijal Beach & Golf resort, Sutra Beach Resort and The Aryani charm visitors with their rustic architecture and impressive facilities.