It’s starting to sound like a broken record, but the pandemic (endemic at this point?) has affected travel monumentally. Many countries are still keeping their borders tight, and those who have chosen to open up require quarantine and a lot of self-testing.
Indonesia is still closed to Malaysians, and it’s been difficult for someone like me, whose favourite place in the world happens to be Bali. One of the many things I love about the island, besides the friendly locals, delicious food, and massage parlours, are the beach bars.
Unbeknownst to me until recently, there are some fantastic beach bars scattered around Malaysia. So, since we can’t quite make our way to Bali yet, these will have to do.
BoraBora, Batu Ferringhi
There’s a lot to love about this Western-Asian-fusion bar. Located along the tourist hotspot of Batu Ferringhi, BoraBora is the perfect way to spend an evening after spending a whole day in the sun by the pool. There are lawn chairs nestled in the sand for those who prefer a coastal view to accompany their dinner and drinks.
Address: Lot 415, Jalan Batu Ferringhi, 11100 Batu Ferringhi, Penang
Contact: +604 885 1313
Beach Blanket Babylon, George Town
While their menu is limited, Beach Blanket Babylon’s Western-Asian dishes do not compromise on quality. It’s al fresco dining at its best, with set lunches available for the afternoon crowd and a la carte orders from 3pm onwards. This beach bar transforms into a Cafe del Mar-esque ambience at night, thanks to its resident DJ.
Address: 32 Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, 10450 George Town, Penang
Contact: +604 262 2232
Puteh Beach Bar, Kuatan
Nestled in the laid back town of Kuantan sits Puteh Beach Bar, with its blue and white decor reminiscent of a beach bar in Mykonos, Greece. Spend your day here lounging on their sun chairs or beanbags whilst enjoying cocktails and reasonably-priced Western dishes.
Guests can also join in on their Latin Nights and other latest events by keeping up with their Facebook or Instagram. You may not find Lindsay Lohan whipping out her fancy dance moves by the DJ booth, but the sunset view makes the visit here worth it!
Address: Adena Beach Resort Off Jalan Kuantan – Kemaman Sungai Karang, Pantai Balok, 26080 Kuantan, Pahang
Contact: +6017-774 1097
Sigi’s Bar & Grill, Batu Ferringhi
If you’re taking a trip to the coastal state of Penang and in the mood for some Italian food with a side of refreshing cocktails, then Sigi’s Bar & Grill at Shangri-La Golden Sands is the place to go. Everything on their food menu is worth a try, but we highly recommend the Salmon Affumicato and their signature Mojito!
Address: Level 1 Ground Floor (Beachfront), Golden Sands Resort, 11100 Batu Feringgi, Penang
Contact: +604 886 1852
Sunset Bar, Kota Kinabalu
Notorious for having one of the best sunset views in Sabah, Shangri-La in Tanjung Aru has not one but three bars — lounge bar, ice C with beachfront views, and the one we’re currently raving about (although all three are worth a mention), the Sunset Bar.
Decked with a roof that pays homage to the traditional homes of Borneo, guests can truly kick back and enjoy some Borneo-inspired cocktails like the Sabah Golden Sunset (a mixture of Sabah tea, Johnny Walker Gold Label, and sour plum)!
Address: No 20 Jalan Aru, Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu, 88100 Sabah
Contact: +608 8327 888
Kalut Beach Bar & Cafe, Langkawi
This list of Malaysian beach bars wouldn’t be complete without the famous Kalut Beach Bar & Cafe located on Pantai Cenang! Known as the ultimate chill-out spot in one of Malaysia’s famed islands, you can truly relax and unwind on the bean bags on the beach. Their cocktails are not only worth ordering twice because they’re delicious, but they’re also affordable! They’re also really popular for their nightly fire shows.
Address: 2 Jalan Pantai Chenang, Langkawi, 7000 Kedah
Contact: +6012 817 1870
Yellow Cafe, Langkawi
If you’re looking for a place worthy of an Instagram post, look no further. At Yellow Cafe, everything but everything is yellow – from the ceilings and walls to the umbrellas and tables. Help yourself to the quirky murals as a backdrop for your photos or one of the comfortable beanbags, hammocks, and swings to hang out on!
Address: Lot 63 & 40 Jalan Pantai Cenang, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah
Contact: +604 953 3228