Perhentian Islands Travel Guide

The stunning tropical Perhentian Islands are located off the east coast of Malaysia in the South China Sea. With gorgeous, immaculate beaches, glistening water, an abundance of marine life, and an amazing array of activities, it’s the ideal destination. The two largest islands are Perhentian Kecil and Perhentian Besar. While Perhentian Besar is frequently referred to as the great Perhentian, Perhentian Kecis is occasionally referred to as the mini Perhentian.

For those on a tight budget or those who want less developed islands without large resorts, highways, or automobiles, the islands are an excellent choice.

We have enjoyed two wonderful trips to the Perhentian Islands. Kayaking around the island and swimming and snorkeling in the warm ocean were our favorite activities.

Perhentian Islands Travel Guide
Perhentian Islands Travel Guide

Which Perhentian island is better?

The islands are located 19 kilometers off the coast of Malaysia. “Perhentian” translates to “stopping point” in Malay. Pulau Perhentian Kecil, which translates to “small” in Malay, and Pulau Perhentian Besar, which translates to “big,” are the two main Perhentian islands. The islands are close to one another. You may take water taxis to get between them. Since there are more affordable lodging and dining options on the island, Kecil is preferred by many.

Although Kecil isn’t particularly developed either, Perhentian Besar is busier, less developed, and more costly due to its abundance of resorts and Western eateries. I would suggest staying on the tiny island of Perhentian Kecil if you’re a budget or backpacker. Go to Perhentian Besar, or the larger Perhentian island, if you’re on your honeymoon or looking for a romantic holiday. To find out which island you prefer, you may take a day excursion from one to the other.

Perhentian Islands Travel Guide
Perhentian Islands Travel Guide

How to get from Kuala Lumpur to Perhentian Islands?

Located km/mi east of the Perhentian Islands lies Kuala Lumpur. To go to the islands from the capital of Malaysia, one must;

Initially, travel to Kuala Besut via bus from Kuala Lumpur. Situated kilometers away from Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Besut is a tiny town on Malaysia’s east coast. Not just busses from the capital city of Malaysia go to Kuala Besut.

Second, travel to one of the Perhentian islands by boat from Kuala Besut Yetty. To ensure that the boat drops you off at the desired island and beach, choose them in advance. A boat from the jetty to the islands may be reserved online. There are up to ten departures every day. It is a forty-minute trip. Each participant must pay MYR 35 (about $7 USD).

Perhentian Islands Travel Guide
Perhentian Islands Travel Guide

Are Perhentian Islands Expensive?

The cost of the Perhentian Islands is low. Prices are about the same overall, with a small adjustment for the fact that everything must be transported there by boat from the mainland of Malaysia. Kecil Island is well-known for being a backpacker’s paradise with lots of inexpensive lodging and dining options. Although Besar Island is thought to be more costly, it’s still not an extremely pricey place—you can still find local eateries and homestays there.

The average costs of services on Perhentian Kecil are listed below.

  • Camping costs $5 or more per person – a local homestay double room with a fan costs $20 or more; a beautiful double room with air conditioning costs $50 or more. Of course, a resort will have more expensive rooms.
  • Transportation – Depending on the route and mode of transportation, the cost to reach the island ranges from US$40 to US$50.
  • Activities – snorkeling is $15 per person for a boat ride; diving is $25 per dive; and renting a kayak is $8 for four hours.
  • Food – A lunch at a nearby restaurant costs $3–$4 USD. You’ll pay more for Western food—between $5 and $6 per person per meal.
Google Reviews

I can’t say enough magical things about this island. The fact that you have to take a bus and ferry here makes it feel remote in all the best ways. I spent a week on Long Beach at Oh La La and for a whole month spent in Malaysia, Perhentian’s was the absolute highlight. – Briana Le

Amazing place, with fantastic sea and beaches. Nice dives. BuBu recommended a resort. – Nando P

Nice view, good food, amazing beach. – Ha Phuong Duong

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