The Perhentian Islands are a group of small and beautiful, coral-fringed islands lie 19km off the northeastern Malaysia coast in the state of Terengganu, and approximately 65km far away not far from the Thai border in the south.
The word Perhentian means a stopping point in the Malay language. In the earlier day, this islands became a staging point used by traders traveling from Bangkok to Malaysia.
The Perhentian Islands consist of two main islands one is Pulau Perhentian Kecil (“Small Perhentian Island“) and other Pulau Perhentian Besar (“Big Perhentian Island“). Kecil island attracts more travelers as it has cheaper accommodation and backpacker favorite island, whereas Besar is a little expensive and attracts more to families.
There are few small and beautiful uninhabited islands of Seringgi, Rawa and Susu Dara lie off Kecil. All these islands belong to a protected marine park, which means that fishing, collecting coral and littering are strictly prohibited, although in practice litter is one of the major problems that face the islands.
When to Visit
The best and favorable time to visit this island is between the end of February until end of the October. Outside this period due to the eastern monsoon, the seas can be very rough, choppy and overcast with currents that make the swimming dangerous however all the accommodation options are also closed during the off-season. Don’t believe any travel-agents as they claim the accommodations are open and even if they will provide an accommodation, the entire restaurants, and shops are closed in the off-season.
How To Reach The Island
To reach both Perhentian islands, Ferries is the only mode of transportation which leave almost every hour from the Kuala Besut in every hour or you can hire a private speedboat 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. It is also possible to use minivan services offered by various companies if traveling from Taman Negara, the Cameron Highlands, Kuala Lumpur or many other cities in Malaysia. A ferry ride from Kuala Besut will take approximately forty-five minutes. Once you reach the island, there are limited trails that connect various resorts via thick jungle, and some stretches of beach are home to various resorts so visitors can wander freely.
Things To Do…?
- Scuba diving
- Turtle Conservation Volunteering
- Jungle trekking
- There are no ATMs or Bank on the islands, thieves target tourist and guest houses on the island because they know that the travelers must have brought enough cash to the islands.
- Internet access across the island is spotty and very expensive.
- There are no public telephone booth on the islands, however, a mobile network does work in some areas.
- No credit and debit card accepted, only a few vendors accept the card and they charge additionally 5-7% extra, so before swapping the card must ask them.