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Malaysia / East Coast
TERENGGANU

 

Surf season: November to March.

Best time: November to March.

Break type: Beach breaks.

Going there from Singapore:

- Drive 6h30mn from Woodlands checkpoint

About the place:

The beaches of Terengganu has some very consistent waves. From Cherating, drive along the coastal road to check the surf from Kijal to Marang until you reach Pantai Batu Buruk, near the city of Kuala Terengganu. Further north, in Kelantan state, the beaches of Pantai Bisikan Bayu and Pantai Irima may offer occasional surf.

Here is maybe the most idyllic Malaysian surf spot, in Pualau Kapas, off Marang.

 

 

Surf season: July to September; December to March.

Best time:

December to March (more consistent)

 

Break type: Beach and reef breaks.

Going there from Singapore:

1) Fly 2h15mn direct to Kota Kinabalu

2) Drive 10mn to Tanjung Aru; 60mn to Nexus; 3h to Kudat

About the place:

The names of Borneo and Sabah are usually not associated with surfing. The beaches lining the coast from Kota Kinabalu to Kudat (the northen tip of the island) have some surf that can get from ok lah to good during the season. The further north you go, the better wave quality you get and the lesser crowded it gets.

Main breaks, south to north: Tanjung Aru, Karambunai (Nexus)Kota BeludKudat.

Here is some decent surf in Kudat.

Who can talk about it better than the locals? A local diverOr a local surf guide?

Sabah's neighbouring state of Sarawak has surf as well.

Pandan Beach, West end of Sarawak, is known to have occasional surf.

 

Malaysia / Borneo
SABAH
 
Malaysia / East Coast
TIOMAN

 

Surf season: November to March.

Best time: November to March.

Break type: Beach breaks.

Going there from Singapore:

1) Drive 2 hours from Woodlands to Mersing

2) Ferry 1.5 to 2 hours to Tekek

3) Drive 40mn to Juara Beach

About the place:

The main surf spot on Tioman Island is Pantai Juara (Juara Beach). Other beaches, like Pantai Salang in the north, offer only occasional surf as they face Malaysia's mainland. The overall journey to Pantai Juara and the lesser tourist crowd during the wet season give an enjoyable feel of remote surfing.

 

Malaysia / East Coast
CHERATING

 

Surf season: November to March.

Best time: November to March.

Break type: Beach breaks.

Going there from Singapore:

- Drive 5 hours from Woodlands checkpoint

About the place:

Cherating is where it all started. Once for the coolest place to spend a surf weekend in Malaysia, with just the right amount of crowd and comfort. Since then the place has been attracting developpers. Cherating's long left is quite consistent and quickly packed as more and more locals surf, and visitors come in number from Kuala Lumpur. Less crowd and quality waves are found going north, to The QuarryKijal, and all the way up to Kuala Terengganu.

The road from Singapore to Cherating goes through Mersing first. From there, follow the coastal road via Kuala Rompin and Teluk Cempedak (Kuantan). Who knows you'll find some good surf on the way.​ Alternatively, take the daily flight from Singapore to Kuantan Airport. Then it's 45mn taxi ride to get to Cherating.

Here is a great video of surfing at Cherating Point.

 

Easy paddle out between sets at Cherating Point.

Surfing Malaysia at Cherating Beach
Surfing Malaysia at Cherating Beach

The unique take-off zone of Cherating Point's long left.

Malaysia / East Coast
DESARU

Surf season: November to March.

Best time: November to March.

Break type: Beach breaks.

Going there from Singapore:

1) Ferry 30mn from Changi Ferry Terminal to Tanjung Belungkor

2) Drive 45mn from Tanjung Belungkor to Tanjung Balau

About the place:

There actually is some good surf just an hour away from Singapore! Desaru's long stretch of sandy beaches offer multiple possibilities. The main surf area is around Tanjung Balau, at Wild Boar Bay. On weekends it gets quickly filled up by locals and Singaporeans, but the contained crowd is never an issue. Go there on weekdays and enjoy the whole place by yourself.

Nothing in sight but nature: water may not be blue, sand may not be white, but Wild Boar Bay is maybe one of these rare and last places on Earth where you can surf without any building in sight on the shoreline.

 

Alternative ferry routes (total travel times are longer due to both boat and taxi longer rides):

- Changi Point Ferry Terminal to Pengerang (1h30mn)

- Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal to Sebana Cove (2h00mn)

You'll need a taxi to pick you up at the ferry terminal and drive you around the surf spots and hotels.

Driving to Desaru is still the best option to explore the region freely. Johor Bahru check point to Tanjung Balau theoritically takes only an hour. However the many traffic jam opportunities occurring before reaching the fast highway can increase the traveling time well above 2 hours.

 

Surfing Malaysia at Desaru Beach
Surfing Malaysia at Desaru Beach

Desaru: 20km of beaches, 20km of surf to explore.

Desaru's waves are small but good enough.

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