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20 cheapest beach holidays for Malaysians

Malaysians have nothing to grumble about when it comes to beaches. The country is only a short hop from some of earth’s finest stretches of sand and most crystalline waters. From the beautiful islands of Hua Hin to Pantai Cenang or Gili Trawangan, regardless of whether you're a beach bum or a dive fanatic, there’s always a place under the palms for you. Skyscanner brings you our best 20 cheap beach holidays.

1. Pulau Weh, Indonesia

The horseshoe-shaped island of Pulau Weh stands at the most northerly point of the Indonesian archipelago. Its extraordinary underwater life of manta rays and whale sharks draws divers and snorkellers from around the world each year, though beach bums will be equally happy lazing beneath the swaying palms.

Getting there: Hop on a fast ferry from Banda Aceh (1hr, RM25/IDR75,000)

Average cost of 3d/2n vacation: RM750

Cheap flights to Banda Aceh

Sunrise on tropical beach

Dawn breaks over beautiful Pulau Weh. Photo credit: Ben Bland Flickr

2. Koh Phi Phi Don, Thailand

Koh Phi Phi Don is touted as one of Southeast Asia’s most beautiful beach, with plenty of underwater adventures for all. Besides its gorgeous blue inviting waters, it does also offer quality budget accommodation and a thriving nightlife scene.

Getting there: Daily boats from Phuket (2hrs, RM32/THB250)

Average cost of 3d/2n vacation: RM800

Cheap flights to Phuket

Boat on clear sea with green mountains in background

Come to Koh Phi Phi Don to vacation in one of the most beautiful spots in the world. Photo credit: Getty

3. Pantai Cenang, Langkawi, Malaysia

One of Malaysia’s best-known beaches, this budget traveller’s hotspot is located in the stunning Langkawi archipelago and is also renowned for its duty-free shopping, lofty green peaks and UNESCO Geopark status.

Getting there: Taxi from the airport RM20

Average cost of 3d/2n vacation: RM800

Cheap flights to Langkawi

View down to sea from mountain peak

Enjoy Langkawi’s mountainous exterior after a morning on the beach. Photo credit: Getty

4. Hua Hin, Thailand

Chill like a royal at Thailand’s original beach resort which offers the perfect mix of city and beach life. Explore the bustling night markets and spicy street eats, together with its cosmopolitan population and an endless sandy beach.

Getting there: Take the VIP bus from Suvarnabhumi Airport (3.5 hrs, RM39/THB305)

Average cost of 3d/2n vacation: RM850

Cheap flights to Bangkok

Boats tied up near houses in Thai residential area

In Hua Hin you can experience the best of city life and beach life. Photo credit: Getty

5. Manukan Island, Malaysia

Stay in Kota Kinabalu and take a 20-minute boat ride out to Manukan Island for some of Sabah’s most accessible snorkelling and diving experiences. More adventure? Get in touch with nature and go on a hike in its densely forested interior.

Getting there: Return boat fare from Kota Kinabalu is RM23

Average cost of 3d/2n vacation: RM850

Cheap flights to Kota Kinabalu

Dusk at tropical beach

The end of another tropical day on Manukan. Photo credit: Cjames Fotografia Flickr

6. Krabi, Thailand

Beach bums can revel on the sands of Ao Nang or hop on a boat to gorgeous Rai Leh (also spelt Railay) and join the rock climbers on the precipitous karst before feasting on the best and freshest seafood at the markets in Krabi Town.

Getting there: Buses run from the airport to Krabi Town (RM6.50/THB50). From there you need to transfer to another local bus to Ao Nang (RM6.50/THB50).

Average cost of 3d/2n vacation: RM900

Cheap flights to Krabi

Crystal clear water off Thai beach

Enjoy the crystal clear waters off Rai Leh when you visit Krabi. Photo credit: Getty

7. Kep, Cambodia

Seafood fans flock to this beach for its rustic ambience, friendly locals and cheap fresh crabs cooked on the beach and smothered in fragrant local Kampot pepper. What better way to feast!

Getting there: Kep is a four-hour bus ride from Phnom Penh (RM18/US$4)

Average cost of 3d/2n vacation: RM900

Cheap flights to Phnom Penh

Statue of crab at beach

Crabs are taken pretty seriously in this part of the world. Photo credit: James Antrobus Flickr

8. Mui Ne, Vietnam

One of Asia’s best-known destinations for kiteboarding and windsurfing, pretty Mui Ne is backed by towering sand dunes and it’s long sandy beach sees a steady stream of weekenders snatching a break from Saigon.

Getting there: Take the bus from Ho Chi Minh City (6 hrs, RM24/VND120,000)

Average cost of 3d/2n vacation: RM900

Cheap flights to Ho Chi Minh City

Sand dunes at beach at sunset

Feel like you are in the Sahara at Mui Ne. Photo credit: Eric Borda Flickr

9. Padangbai, Bali

Padangbai is an attractive Balinese beachfront town surrounded by a series of gorgeous sandy bays with crashing waves, offshore diving and fishermen grilling their daily catch at dusk.

Getting there: Shuttle bus from Denpasar Airport (2 hrs, RM20/IDR60,000)

Average cost of 3d/2n vacation: RM900

Cheap flights to Bali

Woman doing yoga at beach at sunset


Enjoy Balinese peace and quiet in Padangbai. Photo credit: Getty

10. Cua Dai, Vietnam

Hop on a bike for a 5km cycle from the charming historic town of Hoi An to this long stretch of beach. Keep up your exploration until you find your own slice of paradise!

Getting there: Take a taxi from Danang to Hoi An (RM79/VND400,000)

Average cost of 3d/2n vacation: RM950


Cheap flights to Da Nang

While visiting, you may also want to visit Da Nang. Available in Chinese, check out 越南岘港旅游资讯, 必游景点 & 4日3夜行程.

Dawn shot of Vietnamese beach

Find your slice of paradise at Cua Dai. Photo credit: Getty

11. Ko Tarutao, Thailand

Hidden deep inside the Ko Tarutao National Park, this unspoilt island is covered in pristine rainforest and has stunning clean beaches, together with some of Thailand’s best snorkelling and diving sites.

Getting there: Take a ferry from Langkawi to Koh Lipe (1 hr, RM120) and transfer to Tarutao (45 mins, RM38/THB300)

Average cost of 3d/2n vacation: RM1000

Cheap flights to Langkawi

Crystal clear waters and Thai beach resort

The waters off Koh Tarutao are beautifully clean and teeming with fish. Photo credit: Getty

12. Gili Trawangan, Indonesia

Known as the party island among the three Gili Islands, most visitors come to Trawangan not only to dive, but also to enjoy the sprightly nightlife and island hopping adventures under Lombok’s clear blue skies.

Getting there: Hire a taxi from the airport to Bangsal and jump in a public boat to the island (RM117/IDR350,000)

Average cost of 3d/2n vacation: RM1000

Cheap flights to Lombok

Beach cushions with sea in the background

After a night of partying these beach cushions on Trawangan look super enticing. Photo credit: Getty

13. Boracay, Philippines

One of the world’s best beaches celebrated for its pure white sands, crystal sea and glam beachside cocktail bars; a visit to Boracay is definitely a must!

Getting there: Buy a bus and boat combo ticket from Kalibo Airport (RM27/PHP300) for the 80mins trip to Boracay

Average cost of 3d/2n vacation: RM1050

Cheap flights to Kalibo

Woman standing in clear waters off tropical beach

Chase away your city blues on idyllic Boracay. Photo credit: Getty

14. Otres, Cambodia

The new darling of the Southeast Asian beach scene, Otres has an increasingly well-developed tourist scene on its long white beach. It offers exciting mangrove kayaking trips and idyllic offshore island-hopping adventures.

Getting there: Take a bus from Phnom Penh (5 hrs, RM22/CR20,000)

Average cost of 3d/2n vacation: RM1050

Cheap flights to Phnom Penh

Perfect your backflips on Otres. Photo credit: Daniel Martins Flickr

15. Ko Kut, Thailand

The last island before Cambodian territory, Ko Kut is famed for its quiet and traquil beaches, together with its breathtaking touch of nature and beautiful jungle waterfalls.

Getting there: Take a bus from Lat Krabang Airport Link train station in Bangkok before leaping onto a high speed ferry (around 6 hours and RM151/THB1200 for a bus/ferry combo)

Average cost of 3d/2n vacation: RM1100

Cheap flights to Bangkok

Waterfall in tropical jungle.

_Enjoy exploring the waterfalls in the interior of Ko Kut. Photo credit: Sammy Mantis Flickr_

16. Varkala, India

Backed by 15m high rust red laterite cliffs, gorgeous Varakala is Kerala’s prime backpacker beach. Enjoy the spiritual vibes at this temple town and be warned that your hours and days can easily turn into weeks.

Getting there and away: For a real taste of India, take the train from Thiruvananthapuram (RM16.50/IR250)

Average cost of 3d/2n vacation: RM1100

Cheap flights to Thiruvananthapuram

Beach backed by red cliffs

Lose your sense of time in spiritual Varkala. Photo credit: Getty

17. Covelong, India

India’s best surfing adventures can be found at this fishing village on the endless Coromandel Coast where you can enjoy a day riding waves with some of the best and freshest fish curries on earth.

Getting there: Take a bus for the hour-long trip from Chennai (RM10/IR150)

Average cost of 3d/2n vacation: RM1200

Cheap flights to Chennai

Surfer riding a wave

Join the locals for a surf at Covelong. Photo credit: Wings and Petals Flickr

18. Malapascua Island, Philippines

Head to Malapascua for delightful beaches, extraordinary diving experiences with thresher sharks and a cheery upbeat atmosphere that’ll help you shed your pre-holiday city blues.

Getting there: Take a bus from Cebu and hop on a ferry from Maya (total journey time around 6 hours and costs RM26/PHP290)

Average cost of 3d/2n vacation: RM1250

Cheap flights to Cebu

Harlequin shrimp

_Dive off the shores of Malapascua for a glimpse at amazing underwater life. Photo credit: Tanaka Juuyoh Flickr_

19. Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka

Come here to surf, snorkel with turtles and enjoy lip smacking seafood curries, extraordinary sunsets and an almost horizontal pace of life.

Getting there: Train from Colombo Fort (1.5 hrs, RM8.50/SRL285)

Average cost of 3d/2n vacation: RM1300

Cheap flights to Colombo

Sea turtle

Swim with graceful sea turtles in the waters off Hikkaduwa. Photo credit: Alaina McDavid Flickr

20. Pulau Bunaken, Indonesia

Dugongs, sea turtles and more! Home to some of the most diverse aquatic life in the western Pacific and clear water visibility of 35 metres, Pulau Bunaken is every diver’s dream come true.

Getting there and away: The speedboat from Manado takes 45 mins-1 hr and costs RM17 (IDR50,000)

Average cost of 3d/2n vacation: RM1300

Cheap flights to Manado

Tropical sunset over sea with volcano in background

Sunset over the coral reef at Bunaken. Photo credit: nickh0I1B Flickr

Packed your snorkel and mask? Book cheap flights, hotels and car rental via Skyscanner or download our free mobile app for easy browsing and booking on the go.

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Originally published on 21 April 2016 and updated in February 2017. Any prices are lowest estimated prices only at the time of publication and are subject to change and/or availability.