ACTOR Sebastian Tan, 32, heads straight to the idyllic beaches of Pulau Langkawi in Kedah or Pulau Tioman in Pahang whenever he is in Malaysia.
"I've been to Langkawi thrice in the past five years, mainly to snorkel and to kayak. On the other hand, I like Tioman for its marine life, clown fish and corals, which are mostly very colourful," said Sebastian, who is of Broadway Beng fame. His popular stand-up comedy will be on in Kuala Lumpur from July 4 to 16.
Like Sebastian, many Singaporeans are fast discovering the beauty, tranquility and fun that Malaysian beaches have to offer.
Ms Susan Teng, chairman of outbound travel at the National Association of Travel Agents (Singapore) and managing director of Worldwide Honey Tours, said that the top Malaysian seaside destinations (year-round) are Langkawi and Penang.
During the off-monsoon season, Pulau Tioman (above) in Pahang and Pulau Redang in Terengganu rank highly among holidaymakers.
Other Singaporeans such as Mr Anthony Wong, 49, prefer to climb mountains in Malaysia.
"Up in the mountains, the air is cool and fresh, and you can exercise both mind and body," said Mr Wong, who is a member of the Singapore Adventure Club and vice-president of the Singapore Mountaineering Federation.
His favourite peaks include the 2,187m-high Gunong Tahan in Taman Negara, Pahang and the 1,276m-high Gunong Ledang (Mount Ophir) in Johor.
Magdalene Lum is a freelance writer.
Photo: Tourism Malaysia
UP FOR GRABS
Want to unwind at a Malaysian hill resort or by the beach during the coming school holidays? Here are some deals:
- Travel Malaysia Commission (Tel: 6346-0861)
Bird lovers should not miss going on this three-day self-drive escorted convoy to Fraser's Hill to catch the International Bird Race 2006, from June 23 to 25. Registration closes at noon on June 5.
- Chan Brothers (Tel: 6533-6119)
This three-day self-drive package to Club Med Cherating Beach (right) starts at $420 (twin-sharing), inclusive of two nights' stay, buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner with wine, as well as night entertainment. There is also a three day package to Pulau Redang on Berjaya Air from $418 (twin-sharing) inclusive of two days' breakfast and dinner and a snorkelling trip to Marine Park. Valid till Oct 30.
- Worldwide Honey Tours (Tel 6738-2955)
For a pampering spa vacation by the beach, this three-day Casa del Mar Spa Delight package on Silkair to Langkawi's Casa Del Mar Resort (right) is the perfect choice. The $1,018 (twin-sharing) package comes with two American buffet breakfasts, two lunches and two dinners, a traditional Malay massage, a foot soak and reflexology,and body scrub with bath and aroma massage.