Perhentian Islands, Malaysia
The Perhentian Islands (Pulau Perhentian in Malay) are located on the northeastern coast of Malaysia near the boarder of Southern Thailand.
There are two main islands that make up the Perhentian Islands and are Perhentian Besar (“Big Perhentian”) and Perhentian Kecil (“Small Perhentian”). There are also smaller island which are the uninhabited islands of Susu Dara (Virgin Milk), Serenggeh and Rawa lie off Kecil. The Perhentians are part of the Pulau Redang National Marine Park, which means that fishing, collecting coral and littering are strictly prohibited.
Both islands are fringed by white sand beach, and the reefs and crystalline water are host to a wide variety of coral, sea-turtles, jellyfish, small sharks and reef-fish. The islands’ maximum elevation is approximately 100 m (328 ft) and they are uniformly covered in coastal tropical jungle, with few interior foot-trails and no roads.
Other than the owners and staff of the numerous cabin-style resorts that dot the islands (many of whom depart for the monsoon season), the islands’ only permanent inhabitants live in a small fishing village on Kecil.
Sheer beauty of Pulau Perhentian makes it the destination of tourists. Both the islands have palm-fringed white coral sand beaches (that can be tough on the feet) and turquoise blue sea. One can have a number of activities on its beaches and forests. Scuba-diving, snorkeling, and swimming are the most popular tourist activities here. On most beaches, the water is shallow with lots of rays, cuttlefish and parrotfish. For diving, there are dozens of divesites around both main islands, as well as several off-shore sites. Apart from these, you could also enjoy activities like camping, canoeing, fishing, jungle trekking, and banana boat riding. As for accommodation, most of it can be found on Perhentian Besar, the larger island. Hotels are usually aimed at budget travelers.
Tourism is the base of economic activity in Perhentian. However, owing to the Islands’ protected status, the main tourist activities are minimal in environmental impact: sunbathing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and turtle and shark-watching.
The only access to the Islands is by boat from the fishing villages of Kuala Besut and Tok Bali. Local tourist operators run fishing boats and speed boats several times a day.
Journey to Perhentian Island from Kuala Besut jetty takes about 30 to 45 minutes by speed boat and 1½ hours by slow boat.
There are a number of boat operators in Kuala Besut jetty offering boat services to Perhentian Island. The return boat ticket cost RM60.00 per person for speed boat and RM40.00 per person for slow boat.
You also can fly with Malaysia Airline, Air Asia or Fireflyz from Kuala Lumpur to either Kuala Terengganu or Kota Bharu (45minutes). After arrive at the airport, take either a bus or taxi to Kuala Besut jetty. The journey will be take about 1½ hours from Kuala Terengganu Airport / 1 hours from Kota Bharu Airport to the jetty.