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Whenever I have visited beaches in Malaysia, I have stayed in beach-side chalets or shacks. I know that most island beaches there are designated as 'marine reserves', so is it allowed to set up a tent or a hammock?

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had a couple of attempts at this but struggling. Do you mean is it ok to set them up 'anywhere' or just in the marine reserves? –  Mark Mayo Aug 23 '11 at 12:47
    
Just the marine reserves. Most islands have that designation, afaik. –  Ankur Banerjee Aug 23 '11 at 13:35

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Right, I've finally formed an answer for this.

From a Lonely Planet forum:

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=1571042

Camping is not really done in Malaysia. There are no campsites except at places like the National Park, and then you can rent gear.

Of course, that doesn't mean it's illegal, just not common.

However:

http://earw.icriforum.org/2010/11.Malaysia_%28Irwan_Isnain%29.pdf

Indicates and describes what is protected in a Marine reserve. It's not so much the land, but specifically

a protected area of sea zoned one or two nautical miles from the shore at lowest low tide

which would indicate as long as you don't camp IN the water, you'll be fine, as the land itself is not the protected part :)

Other forums, including the first one above go on to mention many camping stores and tent supplies, so while it may not be common, it certainly exists in the national park areas.

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We were able to camp on the beach seen below at Bako National Park in Borneo, Malaysia. We were even able to rent the tent and all the camping equipment at the National Park office.

Bako National Park Borneo

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