The Perhentian Islands are a small group of islands known for its rich corals and natural reservoir. It is located on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia in Terengganu, that is also not far from the Thai border. Perhentian means “stopping point” in the Malay language and the islands were named as such for being a stopping point for traders travelling to and fro between Malaysia and Bangkok.
Perhentian Islands is most famous for its 2 main islands; the big island (Pulau Perhentian Besar) and the small island (Pulau Perhentian Kecil). Both islands attract equal amounts of tourists but each a different type. Perhentian Besar attracts more families as it houses resorts that are more expensive while Perhentian Kecil attracts more backpackers or budgeted travellers with cheaper accommodation and a host of beach parties at night.
Pulau Perhentian Besar
There are many beaches; private and public, that are accessible by foot or a short swim. It takes an average of 15-25 minutes to swim from most points to another. The island has long, fine sanded beaches that are smooth on the feet. Perfect for a stroll with the family.
Tip: If you have small kids with you, take note that some beaches are slightly rockier further into the water.
There is also a beach in front of Perhentian Island Resort that has a buoy accessible to anyone. You can climb on top the buoy to enjoy a breath-taking view of the island.
If you want to save energy, water taxis are available for short and long distance travels too! Prices vary according to location and ranging from RM5-RM150 for a one-way trip.
Tip: Every tourist should know that prices double after dark and more specifically, after 7pm. This is because the island doesn’t have a direct supply of electricity and is rather dark at night making travel a little more challenging.
Pulau Perhentian Kecil
Perhentian Kecil is the next main beach of the Perhentian Islands. The most popular beaches here are Long Beach and Coral Bay. Opposite these popular beaches is a trek through the jungle that is only 10 minutes long!
Coral Bay is also a popular stretch of beach on the island. It is famous for its rough sands and corals accessible through a short swim! You can opt to dive further out at sea or snorkel from shore to see some beautiful, live corals. Food is easily found along the beach once you’ve had your fix of the ocean.
At night, party goers should head to Long Beach where there are many beach clubs with nice, fine sand to dance on. Party people can enjoy good drinks and a lively atmosphere all along the beach.
Fisherman’s Village Island
5 minutes away from Coral View Island Resort is Fisherman’s Village Island. It is a peaceful and rustic island where everything is still as it was back when. It is a small village where most boatmen and fisherman live with their families. Here is also where kids of Perhentian Island go to school and the 1Malaysia Clinic is located.
The Fisherman’s Village Island is also a place to stock up on necesseties as it’s cheaper than the island resorts. Food stalls can be spotted around the village for some authentic local cuisine. This island is also the lunch spot for many snorkelling tours.
5 minutes away from Fisherman’s Village island lies Teluk KK. Mornings are the best as there are no resorts along the beach allowing you to enjoy a secluded beach all to yourself. For nature lovers, camping grounds with toilets are also available here. The colourful fisherman’s jetty is also located here with schools of fish visible from the shore.
Tip: As the sea is quite deep here, it is recommended for experienced swimmers and is idea for diving as there are coral farms on the sea bed not too far out from the beach.
Trekking lovers, take note! To get to Teluk KK, you can take a 30-40 minute walking trek from Teluk Puah – you’ll be passing through a small jungle and that is shaded by trees and cool from the ocean breeze.
To fully appreciate the beauty of The Perhentian Islands, watch the video below: