6 beaches near Kuala Lumpur: Where to go for sun, sand, and surf

Published by: BouncePosted Updated
Beaches near Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, isn't, strictly speaking, a coastal town. However, you don't have to go far from this fast-paced and fast-growing city to find your own corner of paradise. Malaysia is home to some truly spectacular beaches, and you can reach a pristine beach with only a relatively short journey from Kuala Lumpur Airport.

The beaches around Kuala Lumpur offer ideal places to take a break from the sometimes frenetic pace of the city. And whether you're looking for lively beach resorts with plenty of restaurants and nightlife options or more isolated locations where you can enjoy the incredible scenery of Malaysia, you can find it all here. Malaysia's many islands and long coastline ensure you're almost guaranteed to find the perfect beach here.

Before you go racing off to explore the coastline of the South China Sea on the East Coast of the country or the Malacca Strait on the west, don't forget to drop off your unneeded bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Kuala Lumpur. Bring only what you need to the beach, and you'll get the most out of any coastal trip in Malaysia.

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Pangkor Island beaches

Coral Beach

Located on Pangkor Island, this is the most famous beach in the area, and there's a good reason for that. On an island full of white sandy beaches, Coral Beach still manages to be one of the most scenic on the whole island. If you're looking for a tropical paradise, you've come to the right place.

Travel distance from Kuala Lumpur

It's just over 200 km from KL Sentral to Lumut, the nearest mainland town to Pangkor Island. From there, you'll need to take a boat, which will take around 30 minutes. The beach is on the West Coast of the island, and while the journey to get there means it's not really suitable for day trips, this pristine beach is well worth the effort it takes to reach.

Activity recommendations

Swimming: The crystal clear warm water and sandy coastline here make it an ideal location for swimming. Cool off from the heat of a muggy Malaysian summer and enjoy one of the cleanest beaches in the area. As one of the more private beaches this close to Kuala Lumpur, this is the ideal place for beach lovers to swim and enjoy the sand.

Scuba diving: This beautiful beach is known for its water clarity, which makes it an excellent location for scuba diving. However, you may need to charter your own tour, as part of the appeal of this famous beach is its unspoiled nature. There aren't too many businesses in the area, so it pays to come prepared.

Water sports: This sparsely populated region is a great place to explore. You can rent a kayak or a jet ski and head out on your own adventure along the coastline, and you'll find some top beaches and sea caves along the way.

Malaysia never gets cold. The tropical climate here means there is very little seasonal variation, so visiting a beach is a great thing to do no matter what time of year you find yourself here.

Surfing beaches on Tioman Island

Tioman Island

Home to some truly spectacular beaches, Tioman Island is a destination no beach lover can afford to leave off their itinerary. The lush vegetation of the island gives way to seemingly endless stretches of white sand and emerald water, and you can find a good mix of busy beach resorts and quieter beaches on offer at this spectacular place.

Travel distance from Kuala Lumpur

Tioman Island lies off the West Coast of Malaysia in the South China Sea. It certainly isn't the closest island to Kuala Lumpur, so you'll need to budget enough time to get there. First, you need to get to Mersing, a 350 km drive that will take four hours in the car and a little longer by bus. Then, you need to catch a ferry to the Kampung Tekek ferry terminal on the island, which will take a little under two hours. Once you reach the island, though, you'll have your pick of beaches to explore, especially if you brought a car with you.

Activity recommendations

Scuba diving: Tioman Island is famous for its white coral reefs, which make it an exceptional destination for scuba diving. Several businesses on the island or on the nearby mainland can take you to some of the best diving spots off the coast and get you certified if you're not already. Exploring the underwater world is an experience not to be missed while you're in this beautiful area, and the astonishing array of wildlife you'll find here make this a must-do in the region.

Beaches: Paya Beach may be the most famous beach on the island, and it offers great services, including incredible restaurants and spas. Alternatively, the peaceful village of Mukut is a quiet haven with one of the best beaches on the island for relaxing and enjoying the tranquility. Nipah Beach is almost totally unspoiled and is worth visiting at night to see the phosphorescent seaweed that lights up the water in a stunning natural display. And Monkey Beach is a good place for a hike, with a great chance of encountering the local monkeys.

Hiking: Tioman Island has some incredible hiking trails to explore. You can challenge yourself with a ten-hour trek to the summit of Gunung Kajang or opt for some of the easier trails around Air Batang that don't require you to be an expert hiker. Wherever you go, you'll find stunning scenery, friendly locals, excellent food, and lots to enjoy.

Redang Beach near Kuala Lumpur

Redang Island

Known as the home of the Redang Beach Resort, a popular developed beach that offers a great place to stay, Redang Island has more of the beautiful coastline Malaysia is known for. With some of the best beaches in the country here, along with tons of exciting things to do, this gorgeous island should be high on your list of beach escapes from Kuala Lumpur.

Travel distance from Kuala Lumpur

Located in the north of the country, Redang Island isn't the easiest place to get to from Kuala Lumpur. First, you'll need to drive almost 500 km to Merang, taking a little more than five hours. Then, it's a 45-minute ferry ride to the island. Still, once you see what's on offer here, you'll understand why people are willing to take such a long journey to visit this spectacular location.

Activity recommendations

Snorkeling: The Redang Island Marine Park is a protected area that provides a perfect environment for snorkeling. Check out clownfish, parrotfish, eels, sharks, and turtles as you swim through this underwater paradise. There are several businesses in the area that can rent you equipment or take you on a guided tour to some of the best snorkeling spots on the island, so there's no reason not to give it a try while you're here.

Beaches: Redang is home to some incredible beaches, including Sekinchan, Pasir Kalong, and Pasir Panjang Beach. If you're just looking to relax under a swaying palm tree, stretch out on the sand, and splash around in the warm water, there are almost limitless options available to you here. Many of the beaches also offer activities like kayak rental, so you can easily spend at least a couple of days enjoying everything these great beaches have to offer.

Rawa Island Beach

Rawa Island Beach

If you're looking for a tropical paradise, this is one of the best beaches near Kuala Lumpur to consider. White sand, perfect palm trees, and crystal-clear turquoise water await those who make the journey to this unspoiled beach island.

Travel distance from Kuala Lumpur

Close to Tioman Island, you'll also need to spend four hours in the car getting to Mersing first, then take a boat ride to the island. It takes about 20 minutes by boat to reach the island, so this is best left to longer trips.

Activity recommendations

Snorkeling: Excellent water clarity and a coral reef just offshore make this a wonderful destination for snorkeling and scuba diving. There are only a few providers of equipment on this relatively unspoiled island, so snorkeling is a good option since you can bring your own gear even while traveling light. Head out on a self-guided tour to explore the incredible underwater wildlife of the region.

Climbing: While the western side of the island is just one big beach, the eastern side is made up of rocky cliffs that are great destinations for climbing. As you explore, you'll get incredible views over the ocean and the jungles in the interior of this tiny island, so this is one of the best beaches near Kuala Lumpur to explore if you're a fan of outdoor adventure.

Penang Island near Kuala Lumpur

Pantai Kerachut

One of the best beaches on Penang Island, Pantai Kerachut, is located inside a National Park. While it's a very difficult place to get to, the incredible natural environment it offers means it's worth considering if you're up for an adventure.

Travel distance from Kuala Lumpur

First, you'll need to get to Penang National Park near George Town. It's around a four-and-a-half-hour drive just to get to the park. Then you'll need to take a boat to the beach, which will take around 15 minutes. The good news is that this lack of accessibility means there's a strong chance you'll have the place to yourself, and you certainly won't need to worry about crowds.

Activity recommendations

Turtle sanctuary: This beach is often known as Turtle Beach and is home to a small turtle sanctuary that you can visit and learn more about the work they are doing to protect turtles in the area. Although this is not a well-developed tourist attraction, it is one of the most interesting things to see on the beaches near Kuala Lumpur, and the baby turtles are simply adorable.

Swimming: There are no lifeguards here, and the water isn't as clear as it is on many of the other beaches near Kuala Lumpur. Still, this is a good destination for swimming and a great way to cool off on a hot day. Plus, this undeveloped beach gives you the feeling of being somewhere truly wild.

Best beaches near Kuala Lumpur

Bagan Lalang Beach

This is hardly the most scenic of the beaches near Kuala Lumpur. What it is, though, is remarkably close to the city. If you just want a taste of the beach life without traveling too far, this is where to get it.

Travel distance from Kuala Lumpur

This beach is only 70 km from central Kuala Lumpur and much closer to Kuala Lumpur International Airport. You can reach it with a drive of a little over an hour from the city.

Activity recommendations

Swimming: Although you won't find the sparkling clear water or the white sand available at other beaches near Kuala Lumpur here, Bagan Lalang still makes a great place to cool off and splash around in the water.

Food: Because this beach is so close to Kuala Lumpur, you'll find tons of restaurants here ready and willing to serve you incredible Malaysian food. Although this beach isn't as scenic as some of the other options for beaches near Kuala Lumpur, its proximity to the city makes it a great option and ensures it has excellent amenities, including great restaurants.


The best beaches near Kuala Lumpur make ideal destinations for weekend trips from the city. Plus, spending a day or two on the beach can make your holiday budget stretch further if you're traveling to Kuala Lumpur on a budget. Give one or more of these beaches a try and enjoy the more natural side of Malaysia.

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