Perhentian islands are an easy warm-weather escape in the east coast of Malaysia. Once you are on the islands, the only decision you have to make is whether to go on a scuba diving or sunbathe on a beautiful beach, snorkelling on the ocean to see the beauty of different sea creatures.
Though Perhentian islands consist of two islands which are Pulau Perhentian Kecil and Pulau Perhentian Besar. The surrounding crystal clear water of Perhentian is home to the abundance of coral and marine life including green including turtles and small whale sharks.
These islands are now the leading dive destinations of the world with the richest marine environment protected and monitored by the department of marine park Malaysia. People usually go to the Pulau Perhentian Kecil (small island).
Perhentian Kecil offers a little more atmosphere than Perhentian Besar and attracts a lot of backpackers and travellers with budget accommodations. In this small island, you can have beach parties and fire dance show along the bay in the night time. Compared to Perhentian Kecil, Perhentian Besar attracts more families and lot of local people in island live here, it’s a bit expensive resorts. Moreover, these islands are closed on the November-February season due to heavy rains and rough seas. Best time to visit this Perhentian islands to enjoy the atmosphere and beauty is in April – August.
In the small island, around 12 Beaches are there, the Coral Beach and the Long Beach is the main beaches among all of them. Some of the beaches which catches your attention are Adam and Eve Beach, D’Lagoon Beach, Turtle Beach, Romantic Beach, Mira Beach and Petani Beach. The individual beaches where people often go swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving to see the Corals, fishes, turtles and small sharks near the beach. Best scuba diving destinations are Sugar Wreck, Vietnamese Wreck and Shark Point.
You can rent the tent for 15RM to camp on the beach in campsite areas along with amenities. There are free places to camp around the island on some beaches like the golden sand beach without amenities. Remember there is no ATM in the premises of the island area, better to draw the money before you leave. Wifi Facilities are available in some restaurants only if you order the food or stay in their respected hotels or resorts. You can find the cafes, diving shops and snorkelling gears in the guest houses and beach shacks for rental. You can either trek through the jungle to see all the beaches or go by taxi boat to visit the beaches directly for swimming or snorkelling.
Small islands like Rawa island, Tokong Kemudi and Susu Dara island near the Kecil are the places where you can visit during the day trip. Rawa Island is heaven for those who love snorkelling. You can see a wide variety of fishes and corals here. The colour of the sea changes when you are going deep down depending on the depth.
Pack some fruits and healthy foods before you go there and don’t forget to take insect repellents, deodorant, sunscreen lotion and toothpaste etc. because it’s expensive on the island to buy the things.
The beauty of island lies in clear water standing and marine life around the island. You can even go on a trek to see the windmill to have a pleasant view from the top of the hill. The white sand beach across the island is simply beautiful enough to make you stare at the sea for hours.
How to Reach:
To reach Perhentian islands first, you need to start from Kuala Besut by ferry. It can only be reached via speedboat from Besut jetty. From Besut jetty it will take around 30 min to reach the Perhentian island. Ferry charges will be around 80RM including return ticket from the island.
There are plenty of options to reach Kuala Besut. They are
- You can fly from Kuala Lumpur, Penang or Singapore to Kota Bharu airport by booking through Malaysia Airlines, Air Asia or Firefly respectively. From there you take a local bus to Kuala Besut which is one hour distance from Kota Bharu.
- Book the bus directly through the BusOnlineTicket from Kuala Lumpur, Penang to Kuala Besut. It will cost around 40-50 RM by bus. Taking the bus at night time from Kuala Lumpur is the best way to reach Besut by morning.
Once you reach the Kuala Besut bus terminal, you need to walk for 10 min to reach the Besut jetty place, it’s nearby to the bus terminal. All ferries will start around 7.30am or 8am from Besut Jetty to Perhentian Islands.