Layang-Layang should definitely be in the list of our Top 5 Special Islands in Malaysia. Layang-Layang Island also known as Swallow Reef, which is situated approximately 300 kilometers northwest of Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. What makes this island so special that it will be listed in our Top 5 list? First of all, the only transportation to get to the island is by air and it only flies 3 times a week. Kota Kinabalu to Layang-Layang Island returns flights will cost USD 470 per person, which includes accommodation, Airport Tax & 25KG luggage, 5 meals a day, use of tanks, weights, and weights belts, and 3 boat dives a day.
Secondly, according to a diving advisor, Layang-Layang Island is a World Class Diving destination. It is famous worldwide for the schools of Hammerhead Sharks patrolling around the Island in April and May. Scuba Diving in the blue in the middle of hundreds of Hammerhead Sharks is a once in a lifetime experience. Of course, there not just Hammerhead Sharks, instead, divers are able to see tons of other sea creatures, such as Stingrays, Sea Turtles, and also a big chance of seeing Whale Sharks as well.
2. SIPADAN ISLAND
The second Top 5 Special Islands in Malaysia will go to Sipadan Island. Sipadan Island is the only oceanic island in Malaysia, rising 600 metres from the seabed. It was formed by living corals growing on top of an extinct volcanic cone that took thousands of years to develop.
According to Jacques Cousteau, a world-renowned oceanographer, once described Sipadan Island as an untouched piece of art while divers around the world have voted it as one of the top five dive sites in the world. The island itself doesn't have any accommodations, so in order to get to Sipadan, visitors have to stay on one of the dive resorts on the nearest islands of Mabul, and Kapalai, then followed by Mataking and Pom Pom, and get a chance to have a day trip to Sipadan Island arranged by the diver operators.
Secondly, according to Sabah Tourism, Sipadan Island is home for more than 3,000 species of fish and hundreds of carol species. Sipadan is well known for its unusually large numbers of green and hawksbill turtles which gather there to mate and nest and it is not unusual for a diver to see more than 20 turtles on each dive. There is a total of 12 dive sites in Sipadan with the most popularly recommended dive sites such as Turtle Cavern, Barracuda Point, South Point, and Hanging Gardens.
Langkawi is an island with quite a big town. Langkawi has a cinema, a number of hotels & resorts, and even AIRPORT! Langkawi is an archipelago made up of 99 islands on Malaysia’s west coast. Surrounded by the turquoise sea, the interior of the main island is a mixture of picturesque paddy fields and jungle-clad hills. According to Wikipedia, there are approximately 99,000 populations living in Langkawi.
What other special things in Langkawi besides diving in Pulau Payar, and Pulau Kaca? Sure! You can visit this page to check out those must-visit attractions in Langkawi. You can also find recommended accommodations on that page as well. Solo-backpacker isn't a problem at all, as the island isn't that massive, and there are many transportations to bring you around.
4. PANGKOR ISLAND
WHAAAAT~ there's a five stars resort in Malaysia's Island? YES! Pangkor Laut Resort has given a number of awards, and some websites and magazines even say it is the number one in the world. Sorry, I think I get too excited and forgot to talk about Pangkor Island, but it is because of the resort that makes this island one of the top 5 special islands on our list.
Pangkor Island has some ground attractions the same as Langkawi as well. As for those attractions, you can check out this blog. There is one very special transportation that allows you to rent to explore the whole Pangkor Island, which is Kayak. Kayak rentals start at 20 ringgit per hour or 80 ringgit for the day and jet ski rentals are a costly 70-100 ringgit for 20 minutes, depending on engine stroke.
Just by looking at the picture it doesn't seem like an island at all, instead, it more seems like a city. Penang – a world-renowned exotic holiday destination – was known, once upon a time, as Pulau Pinang or the “Isle of the Betel Nut”. Listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 2008, this virgin paradise has no shortage of cultural sights and natural scenery. Basically, Penang is just like Langkawi, but both have their uniqueness.
Langkawi has beautiful seas & beaches, great resorts, giving you a relaxed overall atmosphere. On the other hand, Penang brings greats Asian atmosphere, especially at nighttime, huge shopping centers, and many cultural attractions. Penang might not be a great choice for diving and snorkeling, as it doesn't have a better environment compared to the other 4 listed on top.
Penang might not be a good place for water activities, but Penang is especially renowned for its good foods. On every street corner, you can find food courts or hawker stalls where you can eat as much as you can for bargain prices. Penang is a very famous food heaven place in Malaysia. You should definitely go there and try out!