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5 Island Getaways For Less Than S$1,000 With The Ringgit Trading At 3.40

Remember to bring along your sunscreen and shades!


The Malaysia Ringgit recently hit an all-time low of RM3.42 against one Singapore Dollar in June 2023. For Singapore motorists, this might mean cheaper petrol fill-ups in Johor, but for the rest of us (especially if you are looking for a travel destination), this is one good reason to visit places in Malaysia that we have never been before.

In particular, Island getaways, which can be pricey due to their exclusivity, can now be enjoyed at better savings due to our stronger Singapore Dollar.

Here are 5 Islands out of the possible over 800 Islands that you can visit in Malaysia for under $1,000 to stretch your dollar while soaking up the fun.

Read also: 7 Cities You Can Travel To That Are Elderly- Friendly

#1 Pulau Rawa

Image Credit: Rawa Island Resort

Some call it the Maldives of Johor, Palau Rawa is a private Island that sits off the east coast of Johor. It is an exclusive Island that belongs to the Johor Sultanate and offers unspoiled natural scenery.

This slice of paradise is the perfect getaway for couples looking to spend some private time away from the bustling city.

Aside from frolicking in the sand and the sea, you can get an adrenaline rush by coming down the three-storey high twisting water slide at the Island’s pier. Whether that’s the best way to enter the clear blue waters, we’ll leave you to decide! Other Island activities that you can indulge in include hiking, snorkelling, kayaking, and scuba-diving. With these many outdoor activities to choose from, you are sure to create lasting memories and build bonds with your loved ones.

To enjoy your evening on the Island, picking the right accommodation matters. There are two beach side resorts, but due to the exclusiveness of the Island, these might be on the pricier side, starting at about $626 (RM2,130).

To get to Rawa Island, you need to take the boat from the Mersing Jetty, which takes around 30 minutes of travel. You can reach the Mersing Jetty in under 3 hours via private car, which costs $220 or in around 4 hours by coach, with tickets starting at $21.

Approximate breakdown per pax (one-way):

Private car: From $220 (RM 748)
Bus: From $21 (RM 71)
Ferry from Mersing Jetty: Adult: $10.30 (RM 35), Child: $8.80 (RM 30)
Marine Park and Johor National Park Fee: Adults: $8.80 (RM30), Child: $4.40 (RM15)
Accommodation: From $626 (RM 2,128)
Activities (mentioned): From $11.20 (RM38)
Total: $910

Read Also: How Much Does It Cost For Singapore Cars To Enter Malaysia? And Is It Worth Your Time (And Money)?

 #2 Pulau Redang

Located about 45 kilometers off the coast of Terengganu, Redang Island is a beach resort haven, painting a perfect picturesque romantic getaway for couples.

Pamper your loved ones by booking a stay at one of Redang’s many luxurious beach & spa resorts to enjoy, a soothing massage on the white sandy beach surrounded by crystal blue waters and the calming sound of the waves hitting the beach.

Have a romantic underwater date while scuba diving or snorkelling in Redang’s turqouise waters. Discover the abundance of marine life upclose from coral reefs to sea turtles and baby blacktip sharks.  If spending the day underwater is not your idea of an ideal date, Redang also offers kayaking and banana boat rides on the backdrop of the Island’s picturesque sunset.

To reach Redang, you need to take a 40-minute speedboat ride from Merang Jetty at Kuala Terengganu, which is a 20-minute drive from the Terengganu airport.

Flying over from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur offers the fastest but most expensive route, with tickets starting at $189.  Alternatively, you can also take a coach service, which costs $48 onwards.

Approximate breakdown per pax (one-way):

Flight to KL: From $189 (RM643)
Bus: From $48 (RM 163)
Boat ride from Merang Jetty: Adults: $16 (RM 55)
Marine Park Fee: Adults: $8.80 (RM30), Child: $4.40 (RM15)
Accommodation: From $94 (RM 320)
Activities (mentioned): From $80 (RM 272)
Total: $440

Read Also: 6 Short Holiday Destinations Singaporeans Can Travel For The Weekend

#3 Pulau Tioman

Another Island that you can travel to is Tioman, located within the Mersing Marine Park, just off the coast of Johor. As a marine life conservatory, it has an abundance of fascinating underwater sanctuaries and creatures. From sailfish to mackerels to barracudas, these are some of the regular catches of the day at Tioman Island.

Get to learn the ropes from local fishermen from the nearby Genting or Mukut Village by arranging a trip out at sea with them, and perhaps you might even reel in a huge catch for dinner.

If you’re someone who likes to explore the underwater coral reefs and their inhabitants, then you shouldn’t’ miss out on the snorkelling and diving activities, which are hugely popular with visitors. You can even hop over to the nearby Coral Island to spot sharks and turtles (at certain seasons, if you’re lucky). When night falls, get to witness the illuminating seaweed at Nipah beach.

To fully experience the Island’s natural wildlife, you could go on a four-hour nature trail through the jungles from Tekek village to Juara. As a reward at the end of your trail, jump in Juara Beach’s pristine waters for a refreshing swim. For experienced surfers, don’t miss this opportunity to catch some waves and surf along Juara beach’s huge 20 metre swells.

There are no direct flights from Singapore to the Island so a coach would be the most cost-efficient option. It takes about three to five hours to reach Mersing bus terminal and another 10-to-15-minute walk to the Mersing Jetty. From there, it takes another 1.5 to 2 hours to reach Tioman Island by ferry. The boat will arrive at the capital village of Tioman, Tekek, where you can enjoy some duty-free shopping before embarking on your Island getaway.

Approximate breakdown per pax (One-way):

Bus: From $21 (RM 71)
Ferry from Mersing Jetty: Adult: $10.30 (RM 35), Child: $8.80 (RM 30)
Marine Park Fee: Adults: $8.80 (RM30), Child: $4.40 (RM15)
Accommodation: From $90 (RM 308)
Activities (mentioned): From $438 (RM 1,489)
Total: $581

#4 Port Dickson

 Image Credit: Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson

Located just about an hour from Kuala Lumpur, Port Dickson or PD as it is known by locals, is a town rich in history dating back to Malaysia’s colonial times. While still preserving its rich history in its various museums, the Island is also popular for its sandy beaches and family-fun activities.

Cape Rachado (Tanjung Tuan), Fort Lukut and Fort Kempas are the preserved historical sites of the Island town. Get to walk the path of legendary warriors dating back to the 16th century and visit the Cape Rachado lighthouse, which now acts as a stopover point for migratory birds. Entry to these sites are free.

Get saddled up for the Wild Wild West Cowboy Indoor theme park, where families can enjoy Rodeo Bull rides, 5D motion adventures, 7D interactive shooting ranges, escape rooms, musical shows and even a Cowboy-Go-Round for the little ones. Besides the thrilling rides, get your minds blown by the optical illusioned art in the Alive 3D Art Gallery located just a few minutes away from the park.

Besides theme parks, the beach town also has themed hotels. The most iconic would be the floating Maldives inspired 5-star Lexis Hibiscus beach resort hotel. Rates start at $221.40 (RM 752), for a family of four. The resort offers exciting land activities such as an indoor play gym, an archery range, ATV rides, exhilarating water sport activities and sunset cruises.

There are multiple ways to get to Port Dickson from Singapore. It takes about four and a half hours for a bus ride from Singapore to Seremban and another hour by local bus to reach the Island. Bus tickets start from $35 (RM119). Alternatively, you can travel by train from JB Sentral to Gemas station before transferring to Seremban station. Adult train tickets start from about $6.50 (RM 22), and child train tickets are from $4.40 (RM15).

Approximate breakdown per pax (one-way):

Bus: From $35 (RM 119)
Train: From $4.40 (RM15)
Accommodation: From $221.40 (RM 752)
Activities (mentioned): From $145.50 (RM271)
Total: $406

Read Also: Cost Of Living In Singapore Versus Batam: 5 Things That Are Up To 79% Cheaper

#5 Langkawi

A popular local and international tourist destination, Langkawi, lies off the coast of Kedah. Also affectionately known as the Jewel of Kedah due to its shape. Like most Islands, Langkawi offers a blend of pristine beaches and natural landscapes that boasts a diverse range of activities.

A popular destination for families and friend groups, Langkawi’s Adventure and Xtreme Park is a must-visit. From $25(RM85), vent out all your hidden aggression with Go Karting, ATV jungle racing or an all-out war with paintball.

If you need to release more energy, why not trapeze across the challenging obstacle course mid-air at SkyTrex ($23/RM79), which offers three levels of difficulty. For those who prefer calmer activities, the park also offers art museums and a horse petting farm.

Besides all these adrenaline-inducing activities, Langkawi is also known for its Island-hopping expeditions and natural landscapes. Hop on a half-day speed boat tour straight from your hotel to explore the Jewel of Kedah’s Islands, such as the mythical Lake of the Pregnant Maiden or the Beras Basah Island.

For a rejuvenating tropical retreat, visit Kilim Geoforest Park, which is home to the Island’s natural landscapes and wildlife, from bats hanging over your heads to hungry crocodiles snapping their jaws. Admission fee is $14.30 (RM48.60) for adults and $8.80 (RM29.92) for children.

Of course, a visit to Langkawi would not be complete without a trip to the Island’s top attractions: the Langkawi SkyCab and SkyBridge ($1.80/RM6 for adults, $1.20/RM4 for children). Langkawi’s SkyCab is unlike your usual cable car ride. Visitors can choose between six types of gondolas, from a bottom-glass gondola providing you with the view of Langkawi’s lush canopy at your feet to an open-air 360 gondola from $9.70 (RM33) for a standard gondola.

To get to the Island of Langkawi, it only takes about an hour and a half via a direct flight from Singapore. Alternatively, if you’re visiting the town of Penang, there are direct ferry services available. The ferry trip from Penang to Langkawi takes about three hours.

Approximate breakdown per pax (one-way):

Flight: From $74
Ferry from Penang: Adults: $17.60 (RM60), Child: $13.20 (RM 45), Child below 2: $7.35 (RM25)
Accommodation: From $120 (RM 400)
Activities (mentioned): From $255 (RM867)
Total: $487

Read Also: Singapore-Desaru: How Much Does It Cost To Travel Via The Different Methods Including Ferry Service

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