"Best" beach in Malaysia

Old Jan 11th, 2008, 05:37 AM
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"Best" beach in Malaysia

Two older American couples, looking for a few days on the beach after touring around KL and jungle. We will not be driving. We will be visiting in August/September.

We are looking for great food (ethnic is perfect), lovely beach, good to above average accomodations (not necessarily 5*), and perhaps some activity in the area. We've considered Kuantun, but I'm wondering if it's too quiet? Langkawi will likely be rainy and also doesn't offer much to do. Penang sounds like it's mostly young backpackers. Thoughts?
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Old Jan 11th, 2008, 06:56 AM
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I personally think that Rawa Island has the very best beach in Malaysia and possibly SE Asia, but I am not sure it would fit your other criteria, as the hotel, while perfectly comfortable, is still pretty basic (although they have upgraded a lot over the years, as they didn't used to have fresh water for showers or any electricity after 10 pm). Food is pretty average even I have to admit. But my oh my, the beach is small but sublime... see: rawasfr.com. You access Rawa from the port of Mersing, it's about half an hour or a bit more by little fishing boat.

Second would be the northern area around Kuala Terengganu. For 5 star try the wonderful Tanjong Jara Resort (http://www.tanjongjararesort.com) on the mainland there just south of the city. Another great area is the Redang island area or other offshore islands. This has some great snorkeling and diving on the islands and reachable by short boat trips, some of the best in the world actually. (The Tanjong Jara hotel would require you to go out by boat to get to good snorkeling.) A place I think would be OK would be the newly redone Berjaya resort, take a look at http://www.berjayahotels-resorts.com/redangresort.htm. The offshore islands are quiet at night, but lots to do during the day in terms of water activities. If you stay at Tanjong Jara, there are little coast villages to visit (including the absurdly charming Rantu Abang) or you could go into large Kuala Terengganu for a crafts market and a larger city feel.

For this area you need to get to Kuala Terengganu, for Tanjong Jara you just go south about half an hour from KT, for the offshore islands, you can get boats out to the various islands from KT. The ferry would take about an hour to get to Redang and a bit longer to get to the Perhentian Islands, which are in this area and part of this group. (You can fly to/from Redang to KL or Singapore, there is also air service from Kuala Terengganu, mostly to KL.)

Kuantan is not necessarily too quiet, there are some interesting areas. I just personally don't think the beaches are quite as nice as either offshore islands or further north. Because of its relative close proxmity to Singapore, its more developed for tourists (there is a Club Med lurking there somewhere...)
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Old Jan 11th, 2008, 06:56 AM
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Cicerone has posted about her favorite Malaysian beaches a number of times. Do a search and you should find one of her posts about Malaysian beaches.

Kuantan is lovely. It is quiet. I'm not sure what kinds of activities you are looking for.

Penang is not just young backpackers, there are some very good accommodations. The beach isn't fabulous. As you know we spent a week in the old Georgetown area of Penang and just loved it - but we weren't there for the beach. Also, Penang and Langkawi will have similar weather.
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Old Jan 11th, 2008, 06:58 AM
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i am going to try the hyatt in kuantan in june for 3 days....not sure what we will do there but it looks quite decent
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Old Jan 11th, 2008, 07:07 AM
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Ah! Cicierone and I were posting at the same time. I think she has the most info about Malaysian beaches.
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