Where to Go in Malaysia: 9 Most Instagram-Worthy Places with Names That Will Tickle Your Bone

Have you ever gone past a road sign, only to stop for a moment and like, “Wait, what did I just see?”

Malaysia’s full of beautiful places with funny names, so we’ve compiled a list of our top nine that made us do a double-take.

Pulau Kentut Besar/Pulau Kentut Kecil

Why would anyone name an island after a big fart and a little fart? Legend has it that the island got its name from an incident that happened during a meal at the wedding reception between the daughter of Mat Chinchang and the son of Mat Raya. The groom apparently let out a fart (or two). As the food had been prepared by the bride’s family, they took offense, sparking a fight between the two families that caused chaos across the island.

So a great bonus to this is that you pretty much get the whole beach to yourself due to how secluded it is. And since the waters are so clear, snorkeling is a must! Besides that, you can go fishing or camping, and get some Insta-worthy shots for bragging rights that you went to a farting island. Oh, not to forget, you can also fart. Just don’t get caught.  

Gunung Besar Hantu

The name Gunung Besar makes perfect sense as the mountain stands at 1,462 meters above sea level, making it the highest mountain in Negeri Sembilan, but nothing explains why the hantu (ghost) element was added.
The climb up the mountain takes about six hours from the trail to Kampung Chenah in Kuala Klawang, Jelebu. Trekkers claim that the rich range of species in the mountains makes it a sight to behold! Gunung Besar Hantu is also home to Lata Kijang Waterfalls, one of the highest waterfalls in Peninsular Malaysia at the base of the mountain.

This is a place that you can just relax and enjoy the cool weather.

View of the Lata Kijang Waterfall

Pulau Babi Tengah

Mention the word’ babi’ (pig) and the last thing you’d think of is probably a stunning island set in sparkling blue waters.

Located nine nautical miles off the coast of Mersing in Johor, an island that was once used as a Vietnamese refugee transit camp, the Malaysian government is now gazetted as a marine park. A few decades ago, the term babi dropped from the name of the island and is now known as Pulau Tengah.

In fact, this island is a designated marine park on account of its teeming wildlife. Pulau Babi Tengah is a home to an abundance of marine flora and fauna, including reef sharks, otters, and dugongs. Even sea turtles make an appearance on the island very often, laying their eggs at night on the strip of beach. Then there’s countless bird species and its flourishing botanical ecology. In conclusion, Pulau Babi Tengah’s nature is thriving.

Pulau Babi Besar

Currently known as Pulau Besar, the island was once known as Pulau Babi Besar because of the wild boars that roamed the island before it was commercialized.

There are six villages on the island-Atap Zing Village, Batu Hitam Village, Busong Village, Teluk Bakau Village, Teluk Kampa Village and Teluk Penagat Village-populated with just about 100 fishermen and their families.

Pulau Babi Besar is the kind of picturesque island you see in holiday brochures – at a fraction of the price.  The beaches looked exactly like the ones we’ve seen in the Maldives and dreamed about going to. You’ll have never ever seen sea so blue or sand so white!

Pulau Timba Timba

The term’ timba’ refers to water dippers used to scoop water out of wells. It is a very beautiful island. Long white sandy beach & pristine water to your left and right. Snorkel here & you can see turtles in their natural habitat.

We’re not too sure how that name came about, but it’s definitely one of the most beautiful islands in Semporna, Sabah. Known to be a paradise for snorkelers, the shimmering blue waters of this island are lined with exotic coral beds and rock formations. If you’re lucky, you might see a blue-spotted stingray. Pulau Timba Timba is covered with soft, pure white sand. Apart from being known for its wonderful beach, it is also a great place to look for rarer macro marine life that includes cuttlefish, frogfish, crab and occasionally nurse sharks. While turtles can be seen in numbers, other frequent sightings include blue ribbon eels, moray eels, lobster and barracudas. 

Pulau Bum Bum

Yup, Pulau Bum Bum sounds like a made-up name that your three-year-old nephew has come up with, but it’s for real. The island is located about one kilometer east of the town of Semporna and is primarily inhabited by the people of Bajau Laut, who are generally referred to as’ water gypsies.’

Because of its proximity to the mainland, Pulau Bum Bum is a popular destination for island hopping.

Pulau Bum Bum may not be known as a tourist spot, but there are a number of budget floating resorts and longhouses where diving and snorkeling are offered.

Aside from water sports, there are several interesting things to see during a stay on Pulau Bum Bum.

The Island of Pulau Bum Bum has about 20 thousand people living there.

They are settled in one of the 34 villages and small hamlets found all along the coastal areas. Wandering around the island will bring you into contact with the local culture.

Sungai Bangang

Perhaps this “idiotic river” is one of the most beautiful rivers in the world. Located about 100 kilometers from Kuala Terengganu, the magnificent green emerald river is part of the Chemerong, Berembun and Langsir (CBL) hiking trail in Terengganu.

It’s only two days before you get to Sungai Bangang. The trek usually begins from the Chemerong Recreational Forest in Dungun, then to Puncak Chemerong and Puncak Berembun. When there, hikers will normally spend the night at the top of the Langsir Waterfall to wake up to a stunning sunrise the next day.

Sungai Bangang is about three hours away from the height of Langsir Waterfall.

Pulau Pom Pom

Pom Pom Island is a small coral reef island in the Celebes Sea approximately 30 kilometers northeast of Semporna town, Sabah, East Malaysia. It is one of the six islands situated northeast of Semporna, an important nesting and feeding location for Hawksbill and Green Sea turtles.

You have probably heard about diving at some point in your life, or watched it in movies and documentaries. Here at Pom Pom Island, their dive instructors are so enthusiastic about diving and marine life, they are sure that you will enjoy diving as much as they do. Also, there are so many interesting things you can do here like snorkeling and get to meet those sea turtles.

Pulau Susu Dara

Susu Dara (Virgin’s milk)? This one’s going to take the cake.

Nothing is known about the source of the island’s name, but we know that there are two small inhabited islands under the Susu Dara cluster, Pulau Susu Dara Besar and Pulau Susu Dara Kecil, located near Pulau Perhentian in Terengganu.

Visitors will normally stay at Pulau Perhentian and go on snorkeling trips to the islands of Susu Dara. Facing the open seafront, hard and soft coral communities thrive on the rich nutrients from the sea. Soft corals are not as plentiful as Tokong Laut. However, the diving is interesting with good water clarity and abundant reef fish. Expect to see damselfishes, wrasses, rigger fishes, and a moral eel peeping out from its lair.