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5 Days on the East Coast of Malaysia: Your Ultimate Travel Guide

Updated: Jun 12

View on the oceon at Tanjong Jara resort, Kuala Dungun, Malaysia

FAQs before you go

Embark on a journey to Malaysia's East Coast, where adventure and relaxation await at every corner. Here's what you need to know to make your trip unforgettable.

Where should I stay for a luxurious yet authentic Malaysian experience?

For an unforgettable stay, Tanjong Jara Resort in Kuala Dungun offers a harmonious blend of luxury and local culture, set against the backdrop of pristine beaches and lush landscapes.

What are the must-visit places on the East Coast of Malaysia?

Don't miss the pristine beaches of Pulau Perhentian, the vibrant marine life of Pulau Redang, and the tranquil atmosphere of Pulau Kapas.

What is the best time to visit the East Coast?

Plan your visit between March and October for the best weather and diving conditions.

Can I experience traditional Malay culture on the East Coast?

Absolutely! The East Coast is rich in Malay heritage with traditional crafts, cuisine, and architecture, all of which can be experienced at Tanjong Jara Resort.

Day 1: Arrival at Tanjong Jara Resort

Refreshing welcome drink at Tanjong Jara Resort, Malaysia

Welcome to the serene East Coast! Begin your adventure by settling into the luxurious Tanjong Jara Resort, where you'll be greeted with warm Malaysian hospitality and breathtaking views.

Upon on arrival you will receive a refreshing drink and the people at the front office will tell you all about the possible activities and facilities the resort offers.

The introduction to the room is an amazing experience, the rooms are very spacious and luxurious.

Day 2: Island Hopping at the East coast of Malaysia

Set sail for the islands of Perhentian and Redang to discover crystal-clear waters and vibrant coral reefs. To visit the beautiful Perhentian Islands you need to drive around 2,5 hours from the resort to Kuala Besut, where you can take a speedboat to the Perhentian Islands. These speedboats will go daily between 9am and 4pm. A return ticket will cost you about 20 € (17 $) The ride will take you about 40 minutes. So if you want to enjoy the beautiful Perhentian Islands only for a day make sure to arrive on time, the last boat back to Kuala Besut will depart at 4 pm. It's quite a journey but the Perhentian are absolutely worth visiting, you could consider staying one night on the islands.

Our favorite places to stay on the Perhentian Islands:

Bubu Villa on the Perhentian Islands, one of the most beautiful places to stay
  • Villa Bubu: BuBu Villa offers relaxing stays at Long Beach strip on Pulau Perhentian Kecil. The spacious and elegant villas feature a private terrace and thatched roofs. The beachfront property has a private beach and an outdoor restaurant on site. Inspired by local architecture, all villas are decorated with wooden furnishings and high ceilings. Every villa is well-appointed with air conditioning and a hairdryer. You will enjoy luxury bath amenities, some villas have an outdoor bathroom! The World Cafe boasts al fresco dining and overlooks the white beach. It opens all day, serves buffet breakfast and you can enjoy cocktail hour in the evening. Many dining establishments are also located nearby. Indulge in various water sports activities that the hotel offers or swim at the sea. Airport and land transfers can be arranged at a surcharge, while daily housekeeping is provided upon request.

  • Perhentian Marriott Resort and Spa: this amazing resort is perfect for a one night stay on the Perhentian Islands. Check it out here.

Pro tip: Most companies offer discounts on return boat tickets to the Perhentian Islands from around 25%, so it's worth checking out some different companies offering the ride at Kuala Besut. Check out the ferry here

As for visiting Pulau Redang this will also take you about 1h45 minutes drive to Merang Jetty near Kuala Terrenganu for taking the Ferry to Pulau Redang,

map of the different Jetty towards the islands on the East coast of Malaysia

More information about the ferry you can find here

Another option and also the closest to Tanjong Jara Resort is visiting Pulau Kapas, which you can visit from Jetty Marang about 45 minutes drive. The journey by boat will take you only 10-15 minutes. Pulau Kapas is a quiet island but very nice for snorkeling.

the recently discovered island Pulau Tengoll at the East coast of Malaysia

The closest place for diving or snorkeling however is Pulau Tenggol. Kuala Dungun Jetty is only 8 minutes away from the resort.

Pulau Tenggol is one of the most unique islands in Malaysia, it has been a hidden gem for many years as it only has been discovered a few years ago. Take on scuba diving to discover the treasures on the seabed of Tenggol Island that you may not find elsewhere, such as soft corals, batfish, nudibranchs, the famous clownfish; Nemo, and eerie shipwrecks!

By speedboat you can reach this island in about 45 minutes. Best to ask the hotel reception how to go there at the resort they also offer snorkeling and diving sessions to Tengoll.

Return to the resort to unwind with a spa treatment inspired by ancient Malay traditions or enjoy a cocktail at one of the bars.

Day 3: Cultural Immersion at the Resort

Explore the resort's offerings of traditional Malay culture, from cooking classes to craft workshops, and connect with the local heritage.

Attending a cooking class is highly recommended. The resort organizes cooking classes on fixed days. First you drive with a guide to the local fresh market. It's definitely a great experience to see the different kinds of fishes and seafood the local fisherman caught. Mingling among the locals on the market and observing all the Malaysian delicacies is a wonderful experience. Afterwards the chef of the hotel will guide you to create 2 delicious local dishes; we made Beef Rendang and Masak Lemak Ayam. We could eat two dinners from these wonderful cooking class.

Day 4: Nature's Retreat

Guided jungle walk at Tanjong Jara resort in Kuala Dungun, Malaysia

Embark on a guided nature walk through the resort's lush grounds or venture out to the nearby jungles and waterfalls for an invigorating experience. The walk close to the resort is organized on a daily basis.

local wildlife: a snake in a tree in Tanjong Jara Resort, Malaysia

Another activity I can recommend is cycling along the East coast towards the local fisherman's village. This guided bicycle tour among the local people is a great way to get to know the local habits.

Day 5: Culinary Delights at the Resort

Conclude your journey with a taste of the East Coast's culinary offerings, featuring a blend of traditional Malay dishes and international cuisine at the resort's acclaimed restaurants.

Each week on Saturday the resort organizes a Kampong Sucimurni Lifestyle event where you can enjoy the local delicacies and the rich traditions of the Terengganu area.

Ready to Plan Your Trip?

With this guide, you're all set to discover the unique blend of affordable luxury and tradition that Malaysia's East Coast and Tanjong Jara Resort have to offer.

For more inspiration for your next trip, check out our other travel guides and tips at Destination Explorer.

For more inspiration on Malaysia, please also check this page

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliated links which means that purchases made through these links reward Destination Explorer a small commission without any additional charge for the purchaser. 


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