Ride the Big Wave of Great Holiday Value
Avid surfers may not have much to say about surfing in Malaysia, but if you’re keen to ride the waves during your Malaysian holiday, don’t hold back! While not offering the year-round availability and variety that some of its neighbours have (think Bali), Malaysia still has a few sites that are relatively undiscovered. With so much to see and do in this incredible country, saying that you rode the waves in Malaysia will set you apart from many – and you’ll be grateful you did it!
Most of the sites that offer decent surfing are situated east of Peninsular Malaysia (also known as the mainland, or the area where Kuala Lumpur is). It’s possible to drive the 3 hours to the east coast, or just catch a 40 minute flight to enjoy more of the day in the water. Stay a few nights and visit multiple locations, or just settle in to one of the more well-known surf camps to get as much activity in as possible. A friendly My Malaysia holiday expert will be happy to help with flights and alternative booking arrangements, as well as answer questions on the key places to visit.
Due to the nature of the waves, the best time to surf in Malaysia is during monsoon season, which runs roughly from October through to March. Outside of these months there is little swell, so packing your board is only going to cause you to pay excess baggage fees. Along the northeast coast, surfers will find good shore- and beach-breaks. While the surf reaches 2+ metres, it’s not always the most powerful, so when planning your trip it’s ideal to pack your smallest board. Having said that, weather conditions do fluctuate so have a look at the forecast before jumping on the plane. Even with smaller swells, many people still come away with huge smiles after riding dozens of uncrowded waves.
The most popular surf break in Malaysia is Cherating, a left-handed point break that’s good for all surfers. The coastline north of Cherating provides several secret spots which are just waiting to be surfed, as well as calmer waters for beginner surfers. Some of these include Kemasik, Kerteh and Kijal. Further south are Tanjung Resang, Teluk Cempedak and Desaru. While much less frequented, a few of the surf sites in Sabah (Borneo, East Malaysia) include Pulau Manukan off the coast of Kota Kinabalu, Tanjung Aru and Nexus Point. The services found here and availability of board rental, however, is much less than off the east coast of peninsular Malaysia so best to come well prepared.
For a completely unique experience, or for those too nervous to venture into the open water, visit Sunway Lagoon in Kuala Lumpur. A water park in the middle of the city, there are rides, games and food on offer, as well as a surfing/body boarding area where many locals learn how to surf! Open on weekends and Malaysian Public Holidays, Sunway Lagoon is the perfect place for a family outing, so why not grab a board while you’re there?
Before it makes its name on the international stage, we recommend that surfers plan a visit to Peninsular Malaysia’s east coast for some untouched treasures! Spend time with the locals, learn their tricks of the trade and maybe even teach them a thing or two! It may not have the power and size of waves in Bali or Hawaii, but Malaysia has unique and exciting activities and destinations fit for everyone!