Asia Forums

Post New Topic

Recent Activity

View all Asia activity »
  1. 1 5 weeks in Japan
  2. 2 Advantage of using Smithsonian Tours
  3. 3 Why You Should Opt For Semi Permanent Make Up?
  4. 4 Trip Report Annual Fall Asia Trip
  5. 5 Trip Report Holiday in Cambodia - plus Myanmar for a wedding.
  6. 6 Trip Report Namaste--Nepal trip report November 2015
  7. 7 Tokyo Story's Setsuko Hara dies at 95
  8. 8 Trip Report Kathie and Cheryl are off on another SE Asian adventure
  9. 9 Trip Report TRIP REPORT: Just returned from first visit to Japan!
  10. 10 Trip Report India trip report-brief recommendations
  11. 11 Trip Report Myanmar- Popular Sights and even a few hospitals!
  12. 12 Lodge in Borneo
  13. 13 Best Singapore Sunday Brunch Hotel?
  14. 14 China and Japan help
  15. 15 Crossing Myanmar with own car (Thailand -> India) in Aug or Sep 2014
  16. 16 Trip Report Trip report: Horse riding holiday in Sri Lanka – October 2015
  17. 17 First time – Solo - Japan 2016
  18. 18 Thank You Fabulous Fodorites, and some Upcoming Trip Questions
  19. 19 India - Bangalore, Mysore & Agra
  20. 20 Requesting Passport Number
  21. 21 Air India Versus Jet airways. Which is best for India
  22. 22 Kompong Kleang or Kompong Phluk?
  23. 23 Planning for a trip to Northwest Vietnam
  24. 24 Phu Quoc
  25. 25 looking for Vietnam based TA to help plan trip
View next 25 » Back to the top

good beach and snorkeling

Jump to last reply

I will have a weekend free when I am in Singapore and I am looking for a good place to go for a pretty beach and snorkeling. I could leave on Friday mid-afternoon and must return by Sunday evening. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. :-)

  • Report Abuse

    Assuming your trip is NOT between late October and early April, I would suggest Rawa Island, which is in Malaysia, on the east coast off Mersing. It is a small island (you can swim or canoe around it). It is without doubt one of the most beautiful beaches in the world: soft white sand and clear water that changes from blue, to green to purple depending on weather. There is one hotel on the island, and as it is small, the staff is very attentive. The hotel is about a 3-star, but the beach and surrounding islands make up for any lack of luxury. You can dive or snorkel right from the beach, or the hotel will arrange for a boat to take you to more remote islands/reefs/wrecks with better snorkeling and diving. The hotel is called Rawa Safaris. I would suggest you check their website: To reach Rawa, you could drive from Singapore (3 hours, you can charter a taxi) and then take a ferry for about 1 hour. You might also fly from KL to Kuantan and drive to Mersing (maybe 1 -2 hours), then take the ferry from Mersing.

    My personal view is that Rawa Island is the most beautiful of all the islands in this part of the South China sea, and offers the best snorkeling and diving, esp if you hire a boat for the day to go to outlying islands and reefs. Pulau Besar would be a close second to Rawa, and better in my view than Sibu. A good website is can find information on Besar as well as Rawa, Sibu and other islands in the Malay archipelago. I think you will find fairly basic accommodations generally in these islands. These islands and most of the east coast of Malaysia aren't nearly as developed or heavily touristed as places like Koh Samui.

    On Pulau Besar, I did once stay at the Hillside Island Chalet Resort, basic chalets but perfectly fine, good food as I recall; however that is more than 10 years ago so I can't say it is the same. I could not find a website for the Hillside Chalets, but did find the following:

    Hillside Chalet Island Resort
    Office Address: Gerai Majlis Daerah,
    5B Jalan Abu Bakar, 86800,
    Mersing, Johor.
    Tel: 07-799 4831

    I am not a fan of Tioman Island, a bit south of Rawa, which sometimes gets mentioned on this site and is a very popular weekend destination for Singaporeans. It is overbuilt and overcrowded and there is not a lot of snorkeling from the beach, and what there is is not very good. It is however very easy to get to from Singapore as there is (or used to be) direct ferry service and air service. If you hire a boat and get out about an hour or more to deserted islands then Tioman works as a base, you just can't expect to do any good snorkeling right from the island.

    If you trip is between late October and early April, I would not recommend Rawa or the east coat of Malaysia, as it is quite rainy then, esp November through end February. It gets harder for weekend reccos at that time, Phuket would be good but you have to get a non-stop flight to make sure you can justify just a weekend there.

1 Reply |Back to top

Sign in to comment.