Pulau Perhentian Kecil is a part of Pulau Perhentian island which is 19 km off the Malaysian Coast, caters mostly for backpackers with simple wooden chalets and longhouses with a young and lively atmosphere with warm crystal clear water which is best for swimming and snorkeling. The second main reason for the popularity of this island, having budget accommodation with multiple food options.
When to visit
Best time to visit the Kecil island is from February to November, hot and sunny days with calm and beautiful sea having a little rain make it perfect for the traveler. While between June to August, especially over the weekends the islands get quite busy can be difficult to get a budget hotel without a booking. Outside the season most of the places on the island are closed due to bad weather and rough seas.
How To Reach The Island
Travelers from the Kuala Lumpur or any other destinations can fly, train or bus to reach the Kota Bharu or Kuala Terengganu. After that, they will reach the jetty port in Kuala Besut by taxi. To reach the Kecil islands, Ferries and speedboat is the only mode of transportation that leave almost every hour from the Kuala Besut, or you can hire a private speedboat to reach the island. A ferry ride from Kuala Besut will take approximately forty-five minutes.
Two main beaches on Perhentian Kecil are Long Beach and Coral Bay beach. The first one is bigger, more touristy and busy with many bars opened till late and parties late at night. Coral Bay beach is smaller, with a couple of local food places, two or three restaurants, four dive shops. Coral Bay is very quiet at night-time, nothing going on here after 10 pm. You can always walk between two beaches, they are just 10-15 min. apart. On both, you can find accommodation and food for different budget.
Two stay in Kecil beach, here you have two options, either to get in a room with own bathroom and fan which hardly cost $15-$20 per person for double sharing or you can stay in a tent for $5 per tent for double sharing, If you want to camp with your own tent costs $10. Here you will get No wi-fi, and no electricity after sunset, cold shower, a kitchen where you can only boil water or make some coffee. The camping place is quite basic but cheap and clean.
Things To Do on Kecil Island
- Do a Dive Course
- Chilling on Beach
- Night-out and Late Night Party
Where To Eat
Of course, food on the island is more expensive than on the mainland. In cafes for a meal you will have to pay from 5 to 30 Ringgit depends what you eat and where.
There is no shop nearby where you can buy noodles, chips, cookies, cool drinks and some other stuff. Everything for 1-2 Ringgit more expensive than on the mainland.
Restaurants and Cafe to Try Food
- Dinie Cafe
- Ewans Cafe
- Panorama Diver
- Matahari Chalets and Restaurants
- Accommodation – camping from US$5; cheap room with fan from US$15, nice double room with AC from US$50.
- Transport – getting to the island from US$30.
- Activities – diving US$20 per dive; snorkeling US$10 pp for a boat trip; kayak rental from US$5.
- Food – from US$2 per meal.
Thing To Keep In Your Mind
- To save money bring some food from the mainland like snacks, as there is no shop to find all these stuff on the island and if you find it will be costly.
- Bring mosquito repellent and sunscreen you’ll definitely need both.
- Bring enough cash with you there is no ATM and most places accept only cash.
- Bring alcohol with as it’s significantly more expensive here than on the mainland and the choice is limited.
- There is a water dispenser, on Coral Bay beach, here you can refill 1,5l bottle for 1 RM or 0.3$, to buy 1,5l water it costs you 3$ to 7$. So it’s better to carry empty bottles with you refill it on the island.
- If you arrive on weekend it can be difficult to find accommodation.