25 Islands in Malaysia For An Enchanting Vacation In 2021

Malaysia Islands

Mamutik Island, Penang Island, Pangkor Island, Perhentian Islands, Lang Tengah Island, Manukan Island, Sipadan Island, Payar Island, Redang Island, Rawa Island, Tioman Island, Pulau Tiga and more.

The
Malaysia islands encapsulate the meeting of urban sophistication and natural beauty. Head out to the islands to experience the rich flora and fauna. From the beautiful coastlines of Langkawi, Redang, and Rawa, to the fascinating Chinatown at Pangkor, the place is a heady mix of culture, sights, and smells that will make anyone fall in love. Enjoy the local cuisine, take in the beauty of the coral life at Payar, and walk around Georgetown on Penang.

A visit to the bounteous
islands of Malaysia is for one and all, families can explore the historic and modern elements as well as partake in fun activities, romantic vacationers could spend hours on end around the coastal region making merry memories and the young lot of friends can make their getaway memorable with the nightlife and adventurous experiences that are on offer. The Malaysian islands welcome all tourists with open arms and ensure that everybody leaves with the happiest memories.

Here are some of the best islands in Malaysia:

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Last Updated: 09 Sep 2020
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Malaysian government is slowly preparing to begin safe tourism by planning appropriate SOP (standard operating procedures). Once the borders reopen for tourism, you can travel to the country while following the guidelines issued by the government and practicing personal hygiene.

Entry restricted for most foreign nationals in Malaysia Updated: 21 Aug 2020

Malaysia has implemented entry and movement restrictions on all foreign nationals in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Although, rescue flights are operational from various destinations. Read more.

Malaysia opens borders for medical tourists Updated: 17 Aug 2020

In a view to open tourism, Malaysia opens its border partially to medical tourists. With Recovery Movement Control Order in process, Malaysia is resuming its activities gradually including tourism.Read More

Luxury Hotels gearing up to reopen in Malaysia Updated: 17 Aug 2020

Luxury hotels like the Datai Langkawi, Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas and Four Seasons Resort Langkawi are ready to open in Malaysia under the standard operating procedures mentioned by the Malaysian government.Read More

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Genting Malaysia to reopen two Malaysian hotel resorts Updated: 17 Aug 2020

Resorts World Kijal and Resorts World Langkawi to be reopened by Genting Malaysia. Read More

01

Lankayan Island

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Located in the Sulu Sea, Lankayan island is part of an immense Marine Protected Area. The island is covered by dense tropical vegetation and is surrounded by a shining white beach that encircles it. With over 14 diving spots, Lankayan has become one of the best diving destinations.

Lankayan also boasts of extremely rich flora and fauna which harbors turtles and rare species of hornbills amongst others. Apart from the gorgeous beaches and marine life, the Gomantong caves is also a place you must visit on this island.

Best Time- March- October & June- September.
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02

Layang Layang Island

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It is part of the Swallow Reef that spreads over Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and China. Layang Layang is a man-made island and is not so popular amongst tourists. This island is a small coral atoll which is located in a remote place, far away from the hustle-bustle of the mainland.

The island has immaculate waters and is an extremely exotic location that takes visitors by surprise. With no roadways, tropical forests, or transportation this place has a transcendental feel to it. Scuba experts from all over the world come to explore this secret haven.

Best Time- March-August.
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03

Selingan Turtle Island

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Located on the eastern coast of Borneo, the Selingan Turtle Island is one of the most unique islands of Malaysia. The Turtle Islands National Park comprises 3 islands, Selingan, Gulisan, and Bakugan Kechil.

Selingan is the only island that permits visitors to see turtles releasing their hatchlings. Visitors are smitten by the beauty of this island, especially when they see turtles swimming on the beaches. You can reach this island by taking a boat from Sandakan and experience the turtles and hatchlings at night. Turtle Island is indeed a precious safe zone for this extinguishing species.

Best Time- March -October.
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04

Sipadan Island

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This is among the Malaysia islands located in the Celebes Sea, off the east coast. Home to diverse species of marine life it is a favorite place for marine divers. The sea is home to outstanding marine species including reef fish, sea turtles, and hammerhead sharks.

However, recently Sipadan has become a protected area and all resorts are closed on the island itself. It is still a favorite place for divers and underwater activity enthusiasts. A great base for Sipadan is the Mabul Island from where you can take a ferry to this exotic place.

Best Time- April- December.
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05

Rawa Island

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It is located 16km off the east coast of Malaysia along the Straits of Johor. It is a beautiful coral island and a fine destination for a secluded vacation. The cool and refreshing waters of this island make it a lovely spot for swimming.

PulauRawa is a small island that makes it easy to climb the hilltop, for a spectacular view of the South China Sea. BBQ nights commonly organized here are a favorite of the food-loving tourists. The island is rich in flora and fauna; the white peacock and cacti garden being few of the attractive things you should look out for.

Best Time- March- September.
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06

Pangkor Island

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Located in the Manjung District of Perak, Pangkor is one of the small Malaysia Islands in the Straits of Melaka. It is 3.5 km away from the Malaysian Peninsula. Pangkor has peaceful empty beaches and a colonial fort.

The colorful Chinatown on the island is a great place to shop for traditional items. It also has the splendid Taoist temple which is a must-visit here apart from the quiet coral beaches. This island is heavenly in its beauty; with clear skies, crystal clear waters, and an abundance of flora and fauna.

Best Time- January- February & June- September.
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07

Kapas Island

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It is located 6km to the east of Marang, Malaysia. Kapas is a simple island which is valued for its rustic natural beauty. It is one of the best places for relaxation as Kapas is a quiet and tranquil place. Devoid of glitz and glamour this island has sprawling white beaches with crystal clear waters and a large number of palm trees.

The place is simple and exquisite and will leave you speechless the minute you arrive. Snorkeling and turtle spotting are among the few enjoyable activities that you can enjoy on this island.

Best Time- March- September.
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08

Penang Island

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Also known as “Pearl of the Orient”, Penang is one of the most popular and picturesque spots located on the northwest side of Peninsular Malaysia. Penang is an important historical island because of its vital location along the sea-trade route.

Vibrant and charming, it is among the Islands in Malaysia known for its diverse culture and delectable cuisine. A tour around the historic Georgetown is a must here. The remnants of colonial heritage are what distinguishes Penang.

Best Time- November - February.
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09

Tioman Island

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Tioman is located 32 km off the east coast of Malaysia. Tioman is famous as a shooting location for a lot of films. This is famous among Islands in Malaysia for its gleaming white sand beaches and beautiful blue waters is a heavenly abode.

This is however one of the most commercialized islands in Malaysia and people travel here mainly to dive and snorkel. Genting village is an interesting place to visit here if you want to observe the fishermen and their activities. The Asah Waterfalls is another major tourist attraction here.

Best Time- March- October.
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10

Perhentian Islands

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They are a group of small, coral-fringed islands, off the coast of northeastern Malaysia, in the state of Terengganu, close to the Thai border. The Perhentian Kecil provides secluded sand patches and narrow inlets of water that form interesting bays.

Amongst all the lovely romantic beaches you can find here, Turtle Beach is a favorite. It is a spectacular spot that is home to some of the surviving turtles. Diving and snorkeling are extremely cheap in these islands which is overall a budget-friendly place. Apart from these, kayaking and forest trails are also interesting activities to explore.

Best Time- March- November.
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11

Sibu Island

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Located in the Mersing district, it is a group of four islands. The northwestern part of the island is where all the resorts are situated, keeping the place filled with tourists there.

The main part of the island is covered with tropical flora, whereas the small village of Kampong Duku is found in the southern part. The beautiful white beaches of this island allow you the perfect rejuvenation and meditative experience. However, there are also thrilling watersports activities like jet skiing, scuba diving, and banana boating that happen here.

Best Time- April- September.
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12

Pom Pom Island

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It is located about 30 km Northeast of Semporna town, in Celebes Sea. Pom Pom is part of the coral triangle and houses over 500 coral species. The island is famous as a diving spot because of its rich marine life, and clear visibility which divers appreciate a lot.

The small island is popular amongst couples as a honeymoon destination. While divers can enjoy the clear spots in the water, the island can also be explored on foot. Apart from snorkeling and scuba diving, beach football/volleyball and kayaking are other popular water sports on this island.

Best Time- May-August.
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13

Lang Tengah Island

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One of the lesser-known islands in Malaysia is located about 40km north-east of Kuala Terengganu on the east coast. Not much popular, Lang Tengah is a hidden gem. With fewer people having visited this place, Lang Tengah is rich in its untouched natural beauty.

With white sandy beaches, clear blue waters, and thriving marine biodiversity this island is slowly attracting more tourists. A major attraction here is the blue dotted sand at night. This phenomenon on the beach is known as Blue Tears, and the seasonal occurrence draws many viewers.

Best Time- March- October.

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14

Tenggol Island

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Located within the southern regions of the Terengganu Marine Park, the tropical beach is an ideal vacation spot for locals and tourists. The island also attracts numerous scuba-divers and underwater swimmers, due to the immense clarity of the surrounding waters. Tenggol is rich in marine life, like whale sharks, and is not too crowded, giving you much-needed privacy.

Best Time- April- September.
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15

Pulau Tiga

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It is part of a group of small deserted islands in Kimanis Bay, off the western coast of Sabah, Malaysia. It is famously known as “Survivor Island” after the reality TV series was shot there. The Tiga Island National Park is one of the best in Malaysia.

Tiga was formed as a result of volcanic eruption and still has some active mud volcanoes at its highest parts. Exploring the wilderness, taking jungle trails is an exciting adventure here. One can also choose to stay by the beach, indulge in snorkeling, or simply watch the eagles and hornbills.

Best Time- December- March.
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16

Redang Island

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Redang is located in Kuala Nerus District, Terengganu, Malaysia. It is one of the largest Malaysia islands off the east coast. Redang has pristine white-sand beaches and fresh seawaters. The Redang beaches are some of the best in Malaysia, welcoming tourists from all over.

Redang is also popular for the delicious local cuisine dishes that are found in the restaurants here, the most famous dish being the curry fish head. A fine spot for vacation, Redang is an excellent combination of a vibrant natural reserve and a commercial holiday destination.

Best Time- April- September.
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17

Payar Island

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Located in Kedah, Malaysia, this island is very close to the famous Langkawi islands. It is famous for its exceptional marine life. A snorkeling tour is one of the most desired activities here with a variety of tropical fish and spellbinding coral life.

The sea is very clean and unpolluted here, making this place a must-visit for those traveling to Langkawi. This island can be entered only via small jetties from Penang or Langkawi. You can also take a tour of the Marine Park here, which is a popular attraction of Payar.

Best Time- March- June.
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18

Mamutik Island

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A quiet island, rich in serenity, Mamutik is the smallest of all the Malaysia Islands in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. It is approximately at a distance of 3km from Kota Kinabalu (KK) and spans over almost 15 acres. Mamutik, which means “shell collection”, is small, isolated, and not one of the crowded islands.

The island has a 200 m long stretch of white sandy beach. Activities like snorkeling and scuba diving are amongst the other fun activities at this place. The sea laden with broken corals gives a taste of the unkempt beauty of the island.

Best Time- March- October.
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19

Manukan Island

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Located in the East Malaysian state of Sabah, it is the 2nd largest island in the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park. Only a 15-minute boat ride is one of the most visited islands. The beach here spans throughout 1500m facing the clear waters of a tranquil sea.

The waters are shallow, hence a favorite of families with kids and other non-swimmers. It is a popular tourist destination with all facilities including restaurants and watersports. The most popular activity here is snorkeling, an all-time favorite of tourists on beaches.

Best Time- March- October.
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20

Labuan Island

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Located off the coast of Sabah, East Malaysia, some of the most peaceful beaches can be found at Labuan. The pristine sand and lovely sunset views make evening strolls along the beach very delightful.

The Marine Museum at Labuan is a popular place to visit, as is the water village which was initially built by fishermen. The wooden bridges, connecting the houses and marketplaces in this village speaks of their indigenous lifestyle. Tourists often flock to the Labuan bird park to spot eagles, hornbills and ostriches.

Best Time- March-August.
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21

Mabul Island

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One of the most serene islands in Malaysia, Mabul is located off the coast of Sabah state. It is very quiet because it is located near only two fishermen villages, making it an ideal place to relax. Because it is close to Sipadan, it is an excellent location and thus has great scuba diving opportunities.

Mabul Island is home to some of the most unusual water creatures, including the Flamboyant cuttlefish and the strange mimic octopus. Because this island is really small, it can be easily explored on foot and a snorkelling trip around the island, preferably on a fisherman's boat with a local guide, is highly recommended. The local guides can be very helpful in organising your stay on Mabul island and the place is perfect to plan a mini-vacation with your loved ones.

Location:
Lies off the south-east coast of Sabah in Malaysia
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22

Mataking Island

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Mataking Island, located on Borneo's east coast, is said to be a paradise and is made up of two beautiful islands amongst which the smaller one is called Kecil while the larger one is called Besar. These two islands are linked by a sand ridge and the tourists are fascinated by walking on the sandbar because it feels like walking on water.

This island is said to be every photographer's dream island because it has some breathtakingly beautiful architectural sights and volcanoes. Sunsets on this island are breathtaking and  Newlywed couples prefer to visit this wonderful island in the months of February and July because it is less crowded at that time of year, making it an ideal romantic getaway for honeymoon couples.

Location: 
Celebes Sea, Sabah, Malaysia
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23

Langkawi Island

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One of the most popular islands in Malaysia, Langkawi, known as the "Jewel of Kedah," is a group of 99 islands in Malaysia's northwestern region. Langkwai's beautiful beaches, such as Datai Bay, Pantai Cenang, and Tanjung Rhu, are among the best in the world and are ideal for swimming.

The Pantai Cenang area is well-known for its excellent restaurants and exciting nightlife whereas Pantai Kok, on the other hand, is considered an upper-class area due to the presence of some of the most expensive resort chains. Tourists enjoy exploring this area by cable car and this area is relatively quiet, and visitors from all over the world come here to enjoy the grand Cruise.

Rather than nightclubs, people come here to enjoy beautiful sunsets with their loved ones and the majority of tourists visit during the months of November and April. The weather in Langkawi is a perfect mix of sunshine and light rain which makes it an ideal place to plan a trip with your loved ones.

Location:
Kedah, Malaysia
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24

Mantanani Island

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One of the most beautiful Malaysia islands, Mantanani Islands are a small group of three islands off the country’s northwestern coast. Because of its sharp knife-like shape, it is not widely commercialised. Many exotic birds flock to these islands because they are less commercialised, have less litter, and are less polluted.

There are many diving spots on these three islands, and they are all well-known for their diverse marine life, which includes blue-ringed octopus, pink-eyed gobbles, imperial shrimps, and seahorses. Tourists who come in groups try to take advantage of the opportunity to trek on the mountains located on these islands.

People enjoy watching beautiful sunsets while on a cruise with their friends and family. Mantanani has some great water sports that are best done with expert guidance and are safest to do from April to September. Mantanani's pious and beautiful temples are where people go to worship the almighty and spend some relaxing time with their loved ones.

Location:
Sabah, Malaysia
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25

Terengganu Island

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A group of five islands known as the Perhentian Islands, Terengganu is one of the most-visited Malaysia islands. The group's two main islands, Perhentian Besar and Perhentian Kecil, account for the majority of economic activity. These islands are among the best places to go diving and snorkelling.

People come here to relax, so many of them volunteer and work to preserve the flora and fauna. These islands are well-known for their green turtle population; approximately 500 turtles visit these islands each year to lay their eggs on the beaches before returning to the ocean.

There is a separate beach called Turtle Beach that is dedicated to the activity of egg preservation and watching baby turtles make their way to the ocean as they begin their journey as adults. Tourists prefer to visit during turtle hatching season and witness the beauty of nature.

Location:
South China Sea
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People Also Ask About Malaysia

  1. Which are the best Islands to visit in Malaysia on a honeymoon trip?

    1. Redang Island: One of the most serene islands in Malaysia, Redang Island is well-known for its coral reefs and luxurious resorts. The island is situated on the east coast of peninsular Malaysia and is famous for its clear waters and spectacular white sandy beaches.

    2. Lankayan Island: Regarded as the snorkelling paradise in Asia, Lankayan is one of the most famous islands in Malaysia. Another attraction for tourists on this island is the Gomantong caves which depicts the ancient cultural values of the place.

    3. Tioman Island: Tioman Island is Malaysia's most famous island, having been named one of the world's most beautiful islands by Time magazine. Tioman Island's waterfalls are a beautiful place to swim with your partner and the island also has a must-see turtle farm which adds to the splendour of your tour.

    4. Penang Island: One of the top-rated Malaysia islands, Penang Island is known for its multi cuisine cuisine restaurants and rich cultural heritage. The most common thing that tourists do here is spend a day at Penang National Park and then go shopping at Komtar.

  2. Which are the best islands in Malaysia for water sports?

    1. Langkawi Island: Surrounded by a beautiful turquoise sea and astounding hill tops, Langkawi Island is the most beautiful and well known island in Malaysia. The island is well known for its various water activities, such as jet-skiing, scuba diving, swimming as well as surfing.

    2. Pangkor Island: Known for its empty beaches and hornbills, Pangkor Island is a small and beautiful island on the west coast of peninsular Malaysia. The place is perfect to plan a peaceful vacation with your loved ones and spend some leisure time swimming or surfing.

    3. Perhentian Islands: Perhentian Island is a beautiful island off Malaysia's northwestern coast. The place is ideal for tourists who enjoy adventure and want to participate in some exciting watersport activities like scuba diving, jet-skiing and many more.

    4. Sipadan Island: Sipadan island is a tiny egg-shaped island in Borneo's southern region that is rated as one of the best diving spots in the world. During diving, all safety precautions need to be maintained and thus fewer than 200 tourists can enjoy diving here in a single day.

  3. What are the best things to do at Langkawi Island?

    1. Skytrail jungle trekking in Langkawi Island: Skytrail’s flora and fauna have existed for over 600 years, and it is the most popular trekking destination in Malaysia. Sky trail is the best option for a group of people looking for an adventurous trek. Some rare species are both beautiful and medicinally significant.

    2. Langkawi cable car: The most common activity for tourists at Langkawi island is to ride the Langkawi cable car to the top of Mat Cincang Mountain. It takes 20 minutes to get to the top and you can see beautiful scenery and waterfalls from about 700 metres up.

    3. Street shopping: The island has vibrant and lively shopping markets from where you can shop for beautiful souvenirs from the place. You can also enjoy tasting food from the local stalls while enjoying the pleasant weather as well as the serene and peaceful surroundings.

    4. Tour the islands and enjoy water sports: Langkawi is made up of over 100 different small islands and the best reason to visit Langkawi is to participate in watersports such as paragliding, surfing, diving, snorkelling, and jet skiing. You can also capture beautiful sunset views and memories with your loved ones.

  4. What is the best time to visit Islands in Malaysia?

    The best time to visit the islands on the west side of Malaysia is during the dry season, between the months of December and February. On the contrary, the best time to visit any of the eastern coast of Malaysia islands is between May and September.
  5. Which is the biggest Island in Malaysia?

    Banggi island, also known as pulau Banggi, is Malaysia's largest island, followed by Beetroot and Langkawi. Because of its vast land area, Banggi Island is the best place to learn about Malaysian culture and ethics. It is also less expensive than islands such as Langkawi and Penang and is a perfect place to plan a trip with family and friends.
  6. What is Malaysia famous for?

    Malaysia is well-known for its incredible islands, thrilling watersports, tropical monsoon climate, elevated hill stations, luxurious resorts, beautiful wildlife, and heritage sites. This place is also famous for its intriguing caves, and beautiful temples.

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