Island Gems In East Malaysia
Senses of Malaysia|July/August/September 2017

The quickest way to get you out of the rat race and right back on your feet is a short island getaway.

Jillian Cheong

Malaysia is a country which boasts not only a numerous selection of islands, but also a warm tropical climate all year-round, so these getaways are always close at hand. Whether you are in the West or East part of Malaysia, there are dozens of islands for you to explore, but of course, not all Malaysia’s islands are created equal… so if you seek a non-touristy beach destination with all the glorious beauty of nature, here are some of the lesser-known islands in East Malaysia that you can savour on your next holiday and weekend trip.

MENGALUM ISLAND

Mengalum Island, with its sandy white beaches and magnificent sea views, is a popular honeymoon destination as the shape of the island resembles a ring. A little-known fact about the island is that the mysterious Mengalum Anchor is said to bring supernatural powers and cannot be removed from the island. This is probably why it is worshipped by the fisher folks who still place offerings around or on top of the anchor.

The Sabah International Fishing Tournament is held here annually, organized by the Sabah Tourism Board, and (perhaps ironically) aims to encourage the preservation of marine life. For those who appreciate good seafood, a fishing trip is recommended, with the catch of the day prepared for everyone to enjoy. If you would like to explore more of the beautiful coral reefs, you may also join a snorkeling session. The waters surrounding the island are teeming with a variety of fishes such as grouper, snapper, mackerel, and many others.

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