There are many things Malaysia is known for — a quick search will highlight the incomparable food, friendly locals and colourful sights and sounds, a result of the country's diversity.
And equally outstanding aresome of the most beautiful beaches in the world, drawing idyllic vacationers and hardcore watersports fans alike. The sunny weather all-year-round also makes it immensely convenient for lovers of the sun, sand and sea to make a trip anytime the ocean calls.
Here's where to go for your dose of Vitamin Sea whether you're looking at the golden West coast, pristine East, or exotic Borneo.
Duty-free booze and chocolate aside, Langkawi has one of the richest marine life biodiversities, giving it the nickname of "the jewel of Kedah". Tranquil and secluded, it boasts a lush balance of centuries old tropical rainforests for nature lovers and the glimmering beach and sea fronts for the beach bum.
Where to stay: The St Regis Langkawi.
The unspoken food capital of our country comes with a side of scenic beaches and relaxing ocean air too. Go on a food trail around the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site of Georgetown and then relax by the beach. It's always a good mix of excitement and relaxation here, with Georgetown being a hotpot of art, culture, food, nightlife and, of course, nature.
Where to stay: Shangri-La Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa.
Pangkor Laut Island
Up the ante on luxury beach vacations with a getaway to a private island. Just off the coast of Perak sits Pangkor Laut Island, a completely private standalone island inhabited by a sole resort so a stay there promises to make you feel like you own the place. Practise your yoga by a beach all to yourself and dine by a cove with no one else in sight; it's all possible here.
Where to stay: Pangkor Laut Resort.
Down South in Johor, a streak of beach paradise exists amidst the city too, on Tioman Island, a short way off from Mersing. Snorkelling, boating excursions and sea activities are complemented by jungle treks, nature walks and more. It's the perfect meeting point if you have family and friends coming from Singapore, might we add.
Where to stay: Japamala Resorts.
The beaches on our East coast is renowned the world over for its pristine waters, white sand beaches and a way of life of the locals that seemed to have been untouched by time. There's no better place to be if you're looking to immerse yourself in that unhurried and laidback culture alongside breathtaking sun and sea views.
Where to stay: Alunan Resort, Pulau Perhentian Kecil.
East Malaysia brings another version of heaven altogether. Sabah, in particular, is a favourite among avid divers for good reason. At the same time, its rich tropical flora and fauna complements its award-winning beaches beauty for beauty, wildlife for wildlife. Jump into an exotic location and get to know a culture that's different yet so similar to ours in Borneo.
Where to stay: Gaya Island Resort.
This article was originally published in Malaysia Tatler