Malaysian beaches on CNN top list
Making the list are Perhentian Kecil Island in Terengganu at 13th place, Juara Beach in Pahang’s Tioman Island (21) and Tanjung Rhu in Langkawi (49).
The list, which is compiled from various sources, takes into account feedback from travellers, colleagues and readers as well as on-site visits and research, CNN said on its website.
It said that most tourists in Langkawi flock to Cenang Beach but Tanjung Rhu has an earthy beauty and serene atmosphere.
The long beach in Tanjung Rhu is surrounded by ancient limestone caves, rippling waterways and dense mangroves.
“We love Langkawi for the breathtaking view atop Gunung Mat Cincang, one of the island’s highest mountains,” it added.
As for Juara Beach, it was less developed and less polished than Thailand, but it brought an all-natural, quiet vibe to the beach experience.
“This isn’t a place for parties or nightlife, unless you like your parties hushed and your nightlife non-human,” quoted CNN.
Tioman Island is a great place for adrenaline junkies who want a rock climbing challenge at Nenek Semukut Mountain.
The highlight of Perhentian Kecil Island is its blue waters, which invariably contain turtles and small sharks.
However, Tourism Malaysia gave a different set of best Malaysian beaches according to locals.
The best beaches and islands are Sipadan Island, Mabul and Kapalai in Sabah, Tourism Malaysia said in a press release.
Sipadan is an internationally famous dive site surrounded by the Sulawesi sea and the geographic position of Sipadan at the Indo-Pacific Basin (the centre of the richest marine habitat in the world) makes it a paradise for divers, it said.
The seascape is decorated with huge gorgonian sea fans, barrel sponges and gigantic soft tree corals.
To preserve the delicate ecosystem, accommodation is only provided at the neighbouring Mabul and Kapalai islands and tours must be pre-arranged.
“Malaysia has hundreds of island dotting its waters and some of the world’s best islands and beaches can be found here,” said Tourism Malaysia.
In Peninsular Malaysia, Cherating Beach in Pahang, Redang Island and Lang Tengah Island in Terengganu, and Pangkor Island in Perak are the most popular among the locals, it added.