Perhentian Islands

Perhentian Islands.

Pulau Perhentian Islands, can be called Malayan Maldives. Perhentian Islands have a crystal-clear water, colours Azure, the endless sea, white beaches, palm trees, and wild jungle. Seeing all these exotic ingredients together, you fall in love with the place at first sight.

Pulau Perhentian Islands consists of a group of islands. Perhentian Besar, which translated from Malay means “Big Perhentian” and Perhentian Kecil – «Small Perhentian”. And the name Perhentian means “island of staging.”

Perhentian Islands located in Malaysian State of Terengganu which is located 20 km from them. Pulau Perhentian washed by the crystal clear waters of the South China Sea.

How to get there?

The most convenient way is to fly from Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur airport to Kota Bharu airport. On this route you can fly with the AirAsia, Malaysian Airlines, Firefly. For example, we flew with the low cost air company Firefly from Penang to Kota Bharu.


Then, having arrived in Kota Bharu, you need to get to port Kuala Besut. The distance from the airport to the port is about 50 km and the journey takes 40-50 minutes. Kuala Besut can be reached by taxi, bus or shuttle service, in case that you book your trip through a travel agency.


When the taxi driver will drop you in the middle of the street in a small village is located in the marina do not worry, you’ve come to the address. Just go to the nearest ticket office or any street shop and ask how to get to the port. On the port Kuala Besut you need to buy tickets for high-speed boat which leaves every hour to the Perhentian Islands. The road from the port to the islands takes about 30-40 minutes. When you will seat on the boat, driver will ask you in in which hotel you are going? And depending on it, he will create a route by which passengers will arrive in hotels.


On the way from the port to the islands, I was admired by the sea, the surrounding nature and the atmosphere! All the way we were chatting with neighbours on the boat and stared around. And so, after 30 minutes, we come close to the  Perhentian Islands. By the way, all the hotels on these islands are located on the coast. Because as soon as finishes the coastline, starting wild jungle, in which dangerous to enter. Therefore, even if you want to get from one beach to another on the same island, you will need to do on the water way. Entrance to the wild jungle is strictly prohibited. Look at the picture and understand it yourself. All that part covered with green vegetation it is jungle.


It is interesting to know that the appearance of the island and its perception changes completely depending on the weather. When we arrived at the island of Perhentian Besar weather was cloudy, so everything looked dull and sad.






But after half an hour when the sun came out, an overview of the island and the natural environment has changed instantly. I will not write much about how much beautiful and fabulous these islands, just look at the photos. I could not stop to choose the photos for this post, because they are all beautiful in my opinion.







As I said, Perhentian consists of two islands, Big (Besar) and Small (Kecil).

Island Perhentian Kecil is more suitable for people who prefer budget travel and for young people. On this island are very many hostels and hotels. The most popular destination it is Long Beach. This beach has several small hotels, bars and “restaurants”. I picked up the word restaurant in brackets, because it’s difficult to call the restaurant. Just a place to eat and sit in the evening on the beach, but food there is very tasty.

Perhentian Besar Island has a developed tourist infrastructure and more suitable for families and people who like to relax in comfort. On the island has numerous hotels and restaurants. And of course, white beaches with crystal clear water.

But in spite of that, on which island you choose to stay, you can always take a water taxi and take a trip from one island to another. For example, we stayed on the island of Perhentian Besar. But one evening, we wanted to look at the famous Long Beach on Perhentian Kecil Island. We took water taxi and went there for dinner.


Upon arrival at the Perhentian Kecil is important to tell the taxi driver that you will go back to your island this evening. And find the agreement with him about the time. In this case, he will be waiting for you on the shore in the specified time. Otherwise, you may stay on another island until morning, because all taxi drivers disperse to their homes.

As I said, we came to this island for dinner. The most common food there, fresh fish, cooked in different ways. And of course the typical Malaysian dishes and fast food, for his fans, but all very tasty and fresh.



Malaysia is a Muslim country, so if you like a glass of wine or any other alcohol at dinner, you will need to clarify its presence in the restaurant, in which you plan to eat.

For example, in the place where we had dinner, alcohol was forbidden. So after dinner, we went to the nearby “Bar”, where you can sit on the beach, listen to music, drink beer and smoke a hookah.







Another time, we went for dinner on the same island where we stayed, but with the other side of the beach. Fortunately, at this point of the island from one side to the other could be reached on foot. But for this it was necessary to overcome the tropical trail, climb the endless stairs to the hill, and then go down and it’s all in the shadows. In general, this was another little adventure. Good news that, about in halfway of the road, located an observation deck, which offers a magical view of the coast.







Going on a trip does not take a lot of clothes. Because you will no need them. I took with me a few pairs of shoes, in the end, all the days I spent in the shales. I took an elegant clothing and never use it. I even more to say, I have not even took it out of the suitcase. Swimsuit, flip-flops, glasses and hat, are the main components of your wardrobe on the Perhentian Islands.






On the Perhentian Islands there are no ATMs and currency exchange offices. So, take with you all amount of money what you will need for holiday. Take it by cash in local currency. The local currency is the Malaysian Ringgit (MYR).

If you are going to visit Perhentian Islands in the high season, I recommend to book a hotel in advance, because if you do it at the last moment, the places in the hotel that you will want to be, can be sold and you will have to be content with what is remain.

By the way, we have done like that. We decided to go at the last moment and when we start to book the hotel, almost all were overbooked. So, we were agreed to stay in one hotel far to the beach and very near to the jungle.





I still remember the first night in the hotel as if it were yesterday. Those sounds that I heard at night, half of the night I even could not sleep, and woke up from every sound. And when in the morning I went to take a shower in the bathroom, I saw on the wall a Lizard. I started to screaming and went out from there immediately. Fortunately, I was not alone, with me was my hero who bravely went into the bathroom and eliminated the terrible animal.

If one day you get bored just lying one the beach under to the sun, you can rent a private boat or group boat and organise a cruise around the islands. Perhentian Islands are famous for their underwater beauty, so they are a paradise for diving enthusiasts. But also for the dummies like me, there is entertainment. You can buy or rent a mask with a tube and carried away by snorkelling.

You can choose any tour you like. It all depends on what you would like to see under the water. The most popular among tourists are the three places for snorkelling: Shark point, Turtle Watching and Sea bell. All three of these terms usually include snorkelling tours offered at the hotel.

We were very much want to look at the Turtle Watching, tour includes the ability to look at the huge sea turtles under water. And even swim near them if you wish. We rented a private taxi for two people, and we told the driver our wish to see Turtle Beach, he looked strangely at us, smiled, and we hit the road.

Within an hour of our journey, as we have already visited almost all the major places for snorkelling and getting closer and closer to approaching the starting point, my nerves have not sustained, and I started to ask the driver, and when we have finally will arrive in the Turtle Beach? Friendly speaking, I asked him this question after our every stop, and he smiled and answered: “Soon, do not worry”. I could not stop to worry, because I wanted to see the turtles. We already admire the corals, small colourful fish, large colourful fish, a variety of underwater plants and etc., but no turtles. And we come ever closer to our beach, and I began to feel cheated.

In the end, when we arrived in our beach, without seeing the turtles, the driver smiled at me and said: “Here you go! Turtle Beach, like you asked!”  At first I was taken aback, and then laughed. It was very funny what this guy could easily cheat me.



To get back from the hotel to the port Kuala Besut, you will need to reserve a place on a boat in advance. Boats run hourly. Therefore, planning a route from the hotel to the airport, it is better to take the time to reserve, and if it remains, to wait at the airport.

Well that’s all, I wish you a great holiday on the fabulous  Perhentian Islands!

If you have any questions, please write in the comments!

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Comments (2)

  • Katy Mayeaux


    What an interesting and beautiful place! I always enjoy hearing about places in the world that still have wild jungles where people do not go. We need to have plenty of places like that where wild creatures and plants can be. I had never even heard of the Perhentian Islands before.


    • ellina raisovna


      Hello, Katy! I’m glad you like it!


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