This stunning coastline reveals a less-visited and more traditional side to the country.
In the far north, Kota Bharu is one of our favourite cities in Malaysia, with its vibrant night market, friendly Malay people and handicraft village. From here it is a short boat ride to the idyllic Perhentian Islands.
Villages and beaches
Returning to the mainland, the coast road passes south through unspoilt kampung and traditional Malay fishing villages, soon reaching Kuala Dungun, which has one of the east coast’s best beaches and easy access to a nearby airport. The golden sands stretch as far as the eye can see and, in season, giant leatherback turtles come ashore to lay their eggs.
Your coastal journey continues to the modern city of Kuantan, home to the magnificent Masjid Negeri, one of Malaysia’s most impressive and atmospheric modern mosques. Kuantan has a pleasant beach on its outskirts and the limestone cave temple at Gua Charas is worth the short trip out of town.
Heading further south you reach the small town of Mersing, where boats leave for the splendid tropical island of Tioman.
Map of the East Coast
Places & hotels on the map
Places near the East Coast
- Taman Negara National Park 83 miles away
- Tioman Island 91 miles away
- Kuala Terengganu 106 miles away
- Fraser's Hill (Bukit Fraser) 110 miles away
- Kuala Lumpur 122 miles away
- Malacca 134 miles away
- Redang Island 139 miles away
- Cameron Highlands 143 miles away
- Perhentian Islands 153 miles away
- Belum Rainforest 185 miles away
- Pangkor Islands 195 miles away
- Penang 236 miles away