Tourist guide to Malaysia from Singapore

Sibu has breathtaking beaches

Sibu has breathtaking beaches

Pulau Sibu is a small paradise island near Singapore off the southeast coast of Peninsular Malaysia. It features pristine white beaches, a wealth of scuba diving opportunities and is home to some exclusive resorts. Sibu Island is where moneyed Singaporeans come for a little beach time, but visitors do not have to re-mortgage their homes to stay here. There are some brilliant discounts available through our hotel booking partners that provides true five star luxury at bargain rates.

The island lies around 30 minutes from the mainland by ferry and has been designated a marine national park since 1993. Naturally there are numerous plant and animal species inhabiting the area with endangered sea turtles crawling ashore to lay their eggs each July. This image of tranquil ecological harmony can be hard to reconcile with the island’s colourful past as a refugee camp for Vietnamese prisoners.

The hotels and resorts of Pulau Sibu generally close up during the worst of the year’s monsoon between November and February, so don’t plan a trip during this time. There are no banks on the island but the large resorts all accept credit cards, with a small surcharge of course.

Mobile phone reception is never the best so texting phone numbers and waiting for a call back is the norm here.

Otherwise internet booking is without doubt the easiest option for arranging accommodation with fantastic discounts available with our online partners.

Pulau Sibu activities and attractions

Until recently most of Pulau Sibu remained uninhabited so there are not a massive array of tourist attractions to speak of. Visitors spend their time here relaxing on perfect sandy beaches or splashing about in the water, perhaps indulging in a few cocktails in the evening in front of the setting sun.

Kayak around the island

Kayak around the island

Scuba diving: Sibu Island is a great place to spend time scuba diving as the marine park is chock full of rays, turtles and sharks. The experienced dive masters from the scuba shops within resorts normally have an great idea which areas are best for different proficiency levels. Scuba Doo PADI Dive Center (at Cabanas Resort, Sibu Island, Malaysia, tel: +60 7 861 4473) is recommended as a top outfit and offers snorkelling trips as well.

Fishing: angling is a popular activity around Pulau Sibu with fishermen regularly hooking huge marlin in the surrounding warm waters. But as Pulau Sibu is a designated marine park, visitors are only permitted to fish more than two kilometres away from her coast.

Snorkelling: Sibu Island is blessed with lots of places to snorkel and the resorts normally have lots of equipment which is free to borrow for guests. Giant clams, cockles, butterfly fish, parrot fish, sea horses and numerous other marine creatures can be spotted among the colourful reefs.

Rainforest treks: if you get a little tired of the water then there is still plenty to excite on dry land. Jungle paths crisscross Sibu which are home to monitor lizards, hornbills and primates. Remember to spray yourself with mosquito repellent, wear sensible shoes and set off home with enough time to get back to your resort before dark. But don’t worry as most journeys take under 20 minutes.

Pulau Sibu hotels and resorts

Sibu Island Cabanas Boutique Resort: this freshly-renovated resort is situated on arguably the best beach on the island and surrounded by peaceful tropical gardens. Superb snorkelling spots are just a brief stroll away plus there’s a fabulous restaurant and bar attached. Rooms from US$111. (PO Box 81, Kota Tinggi, Mersing)… more details and booking

Sea Gypsy Village: this Pulau Sibu resort is well established as an eco-resort catering for all budgets which functions in harmony with the island’s natural surroundings. It has sympathetically-designed wooden chalets within five acres of forest and its own deserted beach. Rooms from US$18; tel: +60 383 203 191, fax: +60 123 158 287, email:, website:

Sari Pacifica Hotel, Resort & Spa: this is the ultimate in luxurious living on Pulau Sibu surrounded by verdant tropical landscape and featuring a private beach plus vistas of scenic Tinggi Island. All villas have their own sea views and are equipped with LCD TVs, comfortable beds and large spa bathrooms. Rooms from US$128 with discounts available in low seasonmore details and booking

Pulau Sibu bars and restaurants

There are no independent restaurants on the island but all resorts on the island have their own eateries and most stays are inclusive of meals. Barbecues are popular on Saturdays but eating outside your own resort is normally expensive and only for a very special occasion. All Sibu resorts have a full bar stocked with alcoholic drinks so no one will go thirsty.

Pulau Sibu transportation

Sibu Island has no roads so visitors must stroll between the different resorts. Transfers to and from the mainland is only arranged through resorts as there are no scheduled ferries as such. Journeys from the mainland port of Tanjung Leman take around 30 minutes and costs RM70 for a return. Tanjung Leman is 72kms south of Mersing and 130kms north of Johor Bahru. As there is no public transport to the port visitors must take a taxi to Tanjung Leman (RM180 from JB) or get the bus to Kota Tinggi and catch a taxi from there. Otherwise many resorts put on direct transfers all the way from Singapore.

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