Malaysia's east coast is a stark contrast to the densely populated cities to the west. Visitors are drawn here for the more sedate lifestyle, as well as a stronger taste of traditional Malay culture, found in relaxed villages and towns dotting the coast line. Here, rural and rustic are the name of the game.

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Katie and Carrie are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • Ranked among the top island escapes with a strong reputation for some of the best diving in Malaysia
  • A haven for boutique eco-hotels dotted along the coast
  • Because here you can frolic in soft sands in morning, and trek the jungle to a hidden waterfall in the afternoon

Our guide to holidays in Tioman & The East Coast

The islands situated off the eastern cost of Malaysia are certainly ideal spot for the beach lover. With shallow turquoise waters and virgin beaches, these land masses have escaped spoilage from the imposing hotel chains and resorts. Visitors can enjoy the feeling of a true hideaway and stay in one of the boutique hotels hidden in the wilderness, whilst exploring jungles, waterfalls and snorkelling in the beautiful shallow waters.

Tioman is the largest island off the east coast and presents some of the best diving spots in Malaysia. With a huge variety of marine life as well as wildlife, it's the norm to spot monkeys, snakes and lizards as you trek the island footpaths into the jungle. To no surprise, the islanders love to take care of their inhabitants; The Juara Turtle Project is based on the south eastern part of Tioman, which works to preserve the natural life on and around this incredible island.

Back on the mainland, head to Kota Bharu or Kuala Terengganu for an east coast city experience, where you can spot the old kampong-style houses nestled amongst city high rises and lose yourself in delicious sea-food, bustling markets, mosques and squares. But don't be deceived by the concrete and traffic - these towns might seem large in comparison to the idyllic island counterparts, but they still manage exude the small-town essence of Malaysia's rustic eastern domain.


Top picks for Tioman & The East Coast

Japamala Resort Tioman Island

Japamala Resort Tioman Island

Tioman & The East Coast

The boutique resort of Japamala on Tioman Island invites guests to relax in an idyllic jungle setting. Wooden villas and cliff-clinging chalets are scattered across the resort’s scenic landscape, promising a nature-rich retreat.

Where to stay

Tanjong Jara Resort

Tanjong Jara Resort

Tioman & The East Coast

Designed to reflect the elegance and grandeur of 17th century Malay palaces, Tanjong Jara Resort is a 100 room getaway with an authentic taste of the region's spirit, and an enduring embodiment of the gentle Malay art of service and hospitality.

Where to stay

Explore Tioman & The East Coast

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Our enthusiastic experts are seasoned travellers with the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

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