The Perhentian Islands are gorgeous islands surrounded by clear azure water and sugar white sandy beaches, a perfect tropical island gateway.
There are two main islands, namely: Pulau Perhentian Kecil (Small Perhentian Island) and Pulau Perhentian Besar (Large Perhentian Island). Both are well-known for their spectacular nature and diversified aquatic life.
The Perhentian Islands are about 25 kilometres from Kuala Besut on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The nearest airports to Kuala Besut are in Kota Bahru, which is 50 kilometres away and in Kuala Terengganu, which is 110 kilometres away.
Opening Days and Hours
The islands are usually closed during the monsoon season from October to March for safety purposes.
Entry Fee and Bookings
A marine park conservation fee of RM 5 (USD 1.22) is charged at Kuala Besut before going to the islands.
How to Get There
The islands are accessible by ferries or speed boats, that cost around RM 70 (USD 17.01) per person, per trip, and it takes approximately 35 to 40 minutes to reach the islands. The islands have no roads, therefore, apart from walking, the most common way to get around is by sea taxis that cost around RM 10 to 25 (USD 2.43 to 6.08) for a 5 to 25 minute transfer.
Perhentian Islands are great for people of all ages who are interested in immersing themselves in the beauty and serenity of tropical island nature.
Time to Spend
Spend at least 2 to 3 days on either island or even longer if you wish to visit both and maximise your tropical island experience.
Popularity and Best Time to Go
The best time to visit is between July to September when the water is clearest. However, it can be quite crowded during these months. If you would like to enjoy more peaceful beaches, sometime from April to June would be a more suitable time to visit.
On the islands, you can snorkel, scuba dive, kayak, go on a jungle trek, or even just relax on a hammock while overlooking the beach and ocean.
There are many affordable restaurants offering a variety of food options from Asian to Western dishes on the islands. Food prices generally start from RM 10 (USD 2.43) and could go up to around RM 30 (USD 7.29) in some restaurants.
Safety and Fraud
Note that there have been increasing reports of crimes in recent years especially at Perhentian Kecil. Never leave your valuables unattended on the beach. As a safety precaution, women are not encouraged to walk along the jungle path alone especially at night.
You can go to the nearby Redang Island via private boat charter, which only takes approximately 60 minutes.
There are a few budget accommodations and mid-range hotels on the islands for you to choose. Perhentian Kecil has a bigger backpacker crowd whereas Perhentian Besar has a higher standard of accommodation choices. There are no luxury hotels on the islands.
Good to Know
There are no banks and ATMs on the islands and credit cards are only accepted at a few resorts. Be sure that you have enough cash for your stay.