The East Coast of Malaysia facing the South China Sea offers a few stunning beaches and islands to the delight of beach-goers and sun-chasers. One of the most beautiful and most visited islands are The Perhentian Islands, or Pulau Perhentian as it is more commonly known to the locals.
Pulau Perhentian is located off the coast of Terengganu, in the Besut District. Pulau Perhentian actually consists of two separate islands – Perhentian Besar (‘Big Perhentian’) which is very popular with families, and Perhentian Kecil (‘Small Perhentian’) which is the smaller island. It is possible to travel between the two islands, so you can actually plan your trip around exploring both the islands.
The most direct way to get to Pulau Perhentian from Kuala Lumpur is by plane. Book a 1-hour flight from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Bharu, and then take a bus from Kota Bharu Airport to the Kuala Besut Jetty. The bus journey will take approximately 1 hour 15 minutes.
From the Kuala Besut Jetty, take a 50-minute ferry ride to Perhentian Kecil. Many ferry companies offer ferry rides to Perhentian Kecil, so be sure to plan out your journey and schedule accordingly.
Diving is one of the main reasons tourists visit Pulau Perhentian. Pulau Perhentian’s clear, blue waters offer a visibility of around 20m and is home to many amazing dive-sites.The waters around Pulau Perhentian is relatively warm, so there is no need for a scuba diving wetsuit here.
Book a scuba diving trip, and submerge yourself into a totally different world under the sea. Look out for colourful corals and schools of exotic fishes, you may even be able to spot a shark!
If you are not diving certified, another way to check out the underwater scenery is by snorkelling! You can easily rent snorkelling gear on both Perhentian Besar and Perhentian Kecil and go snorkelling at the popular snorkelling spots like Teluk Pauh on Perhentian Besar, Shark Point and Tanjung Basi.
Alternatively, you can also book snorkelling trips to go explore other snorkelling sites on a boat. Check out Sunway Travel’s 3D2N snorkelling and boarding packages from only RM545 per person*.
Pulau Perhentian is home to a large turtle population that comes ashore to build their nest and lay their eggs on the beach. Perhentian Turtle Sanctuary Beach in Basah is one of the best places in Malaysia to see green turtles and hawksbill turtles from June to September.
If you are passionate about turtle conservation, you can opt to volunteer at the Perhentian Turtle Project that is available from March to September. Under this paid programme, you have the opportunity to go on snorkelling trips to identify turtles and photograph them in their natural habitat as well as go patrolling for nesting turtles at night and learn how to deter poachers.
Sea kayaking is the one of the most popular water sport in the region. As the waters around Pulau Perhentian are fairly calm and quiet, you can rent a kayak and do it alone, or you can join a tour, which is the safer choice for beginners. You do not want to miss sea kayaking in Pulau Perhentian, as it gives you the opportunity to visit secluded lagoons and shorelines that are usually out of reach by foot or bigger boats. Besides, nothing beats having a view of the beautiful beaches and shorelines while sea kayaking on the South China Sea.
When in Pulau Perhentian, resort accommodation is the norm. But if you want to try something more different, then you can plan to go camping at Teluk KK. There are a few camp sites on the south side of the beach where you can camp underneath the stars. Soft sand beneath your feet and twinkling stars above, with the soothing lapping sounds of the waves lulling you to sleep, these are Mother Nature’s lullaby.
If observing fishes or corals are not your thing, Pulau Perhentian also offers exhilarating activities if you prefer to stay on dry land. Both Perhentian Besar and Perhentian Kecil are covered in a number of trekking trails that offer scenic spots for jungle trekking through Malaysia’s rich rainforests. One of the most popular trekking trails is from Long Beach on Perhentian Kecil to Coral Bay.
Another exciting activity that you must do at Pulau Perhentian is to watch a fire show! Fire dancing shows are performed by trained performers every night at 10.30pm on Long Beach on Perhentian Kecil, nearby the Bubu Long Beach Resort. Chill on the beach with a drink while watching the performers go at it with their lit-up gears!
Pulau Perhentian is not really known for its nightlife, yet there is one activity after the sun goes down that you surely do not want to miss – a movie night on the beach. There are a number of different places in Pulau Perhentian for a movie night on the beach, but one of the top spots is the Ombak Resort. It’s a different experience altogether as you watch a movie on a bean bag by the beach, with a beer in your hand and munching on some local snacks, with the sounds of waves adding dimension to the movie sound effects.
Sunway Travel is offering various exciting island tour packages in Pulau Perhentian, starting from only RM545.00 per person*! Whether you are looking to go on a romantic honeymoon trip, or geared up for a sea adventure, Sunway Travel has them all.
For more cuti-cuti Malaysia trips along the East Coast Region of Malaysia, check them out here: https://www.sunway.travel/packages/domestic-eastcoast-region/
This article is intended to convey general information only. It does not constitute advice for your specific needs. This article cannot disclose all of the risks and other factors necessary to evaluate a particular situation.
Any interested party should study each situation carefully. You should seek and obtain independent professional advice for your specific needs and situation.