Peninsula Malaysia Vacation Great Escapes
Nature Escapes

Choose A Peninsula Malaysia Vacation

"Great Escapes to Tropical Islands and Jungles"


Are you ready for a natural Peninsula Malaysia vacation yet?

Most Nature Escapes are fun weekend getaways to jungle waterfalls, mountain biking trails and nearby outdoor activities.

But the Great Escapes explore the wonders of tropical islands and get you deep in the jungle.

Now is the time to use your Malaysia holidays to seek out more remote jungle islands and pristine rainforests to observe rare animals and coral reef marine life.

Try to spend more time on these Great Escapes to fully enjoy the natural surroundings and improve your chances to see endangered mammals, a flying lizard or other fascinating wildlife.

These are undoubtedly some of my favorite nature destinations in Malaysia. And my top recommendations for tourists or locals on an extended Malaysia vacation or those seeking outdoor adventure vacations.

Spend up to a week at these wild places and imbibe in a little nature worship.

Peninsula Malaysia Vacation: Choose Tropical Islands

Surrounded by the South China Sea and Straits of Malacca, Peninsula Malaysia lingers in warm tropical waters. Nearly 40 tropic islands are now protected as marine parks to conserve coral reefs and diverse marine life.

These underwater worlds offer a colorful community to explore:

            • tropical fish
            • sea anemones
            • sting rays
            • barracudas
            • sea turtles
            • sharks
            • sea cucumbers
            • sea squirts
            • sea urchins

But remember to get off these placid tropical beaches and explore the jungle island too. Hit the hiking trails and find rainforest animals like fruit bats, a flying lemur or a python snake lurking in the forest canopy or forest floor.

Langkawi Island


Tucked away in the northwest corner near Thailand and the Andaman Sea lie the Langkawi Islands, a cluster of 99 isles surrounding the big island dominated by the tall peak of Mount Raya (881 meters) and the skyline panorama of the Machinchang Range.

After lounging on sandy beaches, try cruising a mangrove forest or do some jungle trekking.

And save a day for diving among the staghorn, table and boulder corals at Pulau Payar Marine Park, just an hour or two away from the main jetty.

Tioman Island

tioman island
Photo: Andrew Lih Creative Commons

Floating like a green oasis in the Seribuat Archipelago, Tioman Island rises above the sea in forested splendor.

A favorite for divers and sun worshipers alike, relax on half-moon beaches and explore coral reefs for giant clams and green turtles.

As a wildlife reserve, Pulau Tioman preserves large rainforest trees providing habitat for flying lizards, tree frogs, monitor lizards and other jungle animals.

Traverse the island from Tekek to Juara to experience jungle trekking.

Perhentian Island

perhentian island
Photo: JPatokal GNU

Perhentian Island splits into two:

  • Pulau Perhentian Kecil (Small Island)
  • Pulau Perhentian Besar (Big Island)

Cheaper accommodations along the sparkling sand of Long Beach and a local fishing village make Perhentian Kecil a budget travelers choice; while Perhentian Besar caters to family beach vacations with resorts and scuba diving shops.

Lots of snorkelling action for live corals, tropical fish and green turtles. For jungle trekking head over to the Big Island and observe the forest wildlife of this island oasis.

Redang Island

redang island
Photo: JPatokal Creative Commons

Lonely Planet describes this tropical paradise as "one of the largest and most beautiful of the east coast islands."

For snorkeling trips or scuba diving, Redang Island (Pulau Redang) remains one of the best tropical beach vacations in Peninsula Malaysia.

The largest of the nine islands forming a marine park, observe endangered sea turtles or historic World War II shipwrecks.

Resorts dominate the best stretch of beach and offer plenty of sun and underwater adventure to beach access coral reefs and over twenty dive sites.

Peninsula Malaysia Vacation: Choose Tropical Rainforests

Lowland and hill dipterocarp forests carpet the Main Range and support species-rich habitats full of rainforest animals and wild plants.

Explore the jungle where millions of years of evolution created a diverse and cryptic community of forest dwellers from flying frogs to the elusive tapir.

These rainforest world offers a bonanza of biodiversity to explore:

              tree snake
            • hornbills and kingfishers
            • tortoises and terrapins
            • tigers and jungle cats
            • tree frogs and tree snakes
            • gibbons and leaf monkeys
            • beetles and stick insects
            • flying lizards and flying lemurs
            • elephants and tapirs
            • pitcher plants and ant plants

Jungle animals survive by stealth, so remember to take your time (and a guide) and don't forget to see the pitcher plants and Rafflesia, the largest flower in the world.

Taman Negara Park

Malaysia's first and largest national park, Taman Negara preserves tropical nature in all its green glory. panther

Trek in rich lowland rainforest for a chance to see monkeys, mousedeer, gibbons or maybe even elephants. Or stay overnight in a jungle hide next to a salt lick to observe tapirs, wild cattle, wild pigs or deer.

With over 300 species, the park offers excellent birdwatching from broadbills to hornbills. You can climb a rainforest canopy walkway or spend a week tacklng the highest peak in Peninsula Malaysia, Gunung Tahan at 2187 meters.

Choose the main entry at Kuala Tahan for longer holidays or just get a taste of the jungle at the Meropoh entrance.

Endau Rompin Park

An isolated pocket of pristine biodiversity, Endau Rompin National Park sparkles as an endangered animal sanctuary. Endau Rompin

Big mammals like the Malayan tiger and Sumatran rhinoceros thrive alongside elephants, leopards and sambar deer.

Riverine forests and jungle waterfalls scattered over the park make for excellent trekking and camping habitat with over 200 bird species, gibbons, tree frogs and much more.

Choose an excursions on a remote river for a fishing trip or just enjoy the deep jungle. And visit the Orang Asli community nearby to learn of jungle lore and tradition.

Take your choice of two entry points, the headquarters at Kampung Peta or the western entrance at Selai.

Royal Belum Park

Restricted from access for decades, Royal Belum Park is now open for discovery. hornbill
Photo: Kalyanvarma Creative Commons

Protected from logging, this virgin jungle harbors large mammals such as the Asian elephant, Malayan tiger, Sumatran rhino and gaur and all ten species of Malaysian hornbills.

The Belum Forest Reserve merges with the Temengor Forest Reserve to form one of the largest forest blocks in Peninsula Malaysia.

Reaching Belum takes a bit more time and effort, but the rewards are waiting for you.

Temengor remains more accessible to tourists and logging, but Belum offers a real jungle experience in an untouched wilderness that explodes with biodiversity.


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