Rawa Island Malaysia: The best tropical island weekend escape from Singapore
Updated: Oct 13
We stepped out of our beachfront bungalow onto the soft white sand, the clear water calling our names. It was all too enticing not to run and jump straight in for a private morning swim and snorkel. Everyone else is still asleep from a night at the bar before. The one bar at Alang's Rawa was filled with friends, cocktails and dancing in the moonlight. It's hard to believe that within three hours drive and one night, the stress of the city life could suddenly feel so far away. This is the real beauty of Rawa Island.
Getting from Singapore to Rawa Island:
Our journey began on a Friday night, ordering a private taxi from the Swissotel in Singapore to pick us up. It was a 3-hour drive to Mersing Ferry Terminal. We departed around 3 pm, allowing us to miss the rush of the after-work Malaysia border crossing traffic.
From Mersing Jetty, we then took the 30 minute speedboat ride to the island. There are only two resorts on the island both offering private speedboat options to collect guests. We found that Alang's Rawa offered more flexibly in boat timings, allowing a late evening boat departure time.
Rawa's Island Resort only offered boat departures at 1 pm, 3 pm and 5 pm Friday (Sunday return times were 3.30 pm and 5.30 pm).
Where to stay on Rawa Island: Alang's Rawa & Rawa Island Resort
Rawa is only a small island, giving it a lovely private feel. The beachfront is divided by two sides, both offering very different experiences depending on the reason for travel. If you're visiting with a group of friends, are keen to party Alang's is the way to go. If you're visiting with a family, or prefer the comfort and luxury of air-conditioned rooms, go for Rawa Island Resort. In both cases, you can contact the resorts directly to make a booking.
Rawa Island Resort, Malaysia:
For a two-adult hillside deluxe room with a double bed we were quoted $2,498 RM ($824 SGD) at Rawa Island Resort. On top of this, there is a tourism tax of $10RM per night payable at check out.
Each room package included 2 nights accommodation, 3 x daily meals (2 x breakfast, 2 x lunch, 2 x dinner)each person), a welcome drink upon arrival at the resort; and two-way boat transfer to and from Mersing.
The resort also offered a comprehensive range of seas activities including snorkelling, kayaking, scuba diving, and hobby-cat sailing. This was the price list shared with us:
Life Jacket = RM 9/day
Rash Guard = RM 30/day
Snorkelling - Mask & Snorkel = RM 9/hour OR RM 25/day
Snorkelling - Fin = RM 9/hour OR RM 25/day
Snorkelling Set = RM 17/hour OR RM 40/day
Kayak (Single) = RM 28/hour
Kayak (Double) = RM 38/hour
Pedal Boat = RM 30/hour
Water Noodle = RM 8/day
SUP (Stand up paddle) = RM 35/half hour OR RM 60/hour
Hobie Cat = RM 100/half hour OR RM 170/hour
* All prices are subject to applicable taxes
Alang's Rawa Malaysia:
We opted to stay at Alang's Rawa, which was perfect for the style of trip we were looking for. This is the better option for larger groups too as they offer rooms for up to 7 people per room with cost per person decreasing for the larger groups. For a two night weekend package in a smaller room, our quoted cost was RM $1110 per person ($366 SGD per person) +10% +6% Service charge and tax. This included 2 nights accommodation, all meals and boat transfers. While the rooms were basic, offering just a bed per person and fans, for the beauty of the bungalows, beachfront location and amazing bar, it was 100% worth it.
Top things to do on Rawa Island:
Relax! It's only a very small island, no more than a few hundred metres, so use the weekend to switch off and unwind in a hammock or beanbag chair, sunbathe, swim and snorkel in the clear waters, or rent some water sports equipment such as kayaks. Our highlight was all the clownfish we spotted snorkelling.
We hope you enjoyed our weekend travel guide to Rawa Island, Malaysia. For more blog posts on weekend getaways and travel itineraries check out the destinations section of our blog.
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