Perhentian Islands consists of two beautiful tropical islands, Pulau Perhentian Kecil and Pulau Perhentian Besar. The Islands are “untouched” and off the beaten track and can only be reached by boat. We got there by plane from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Bharu, from there took a cab to Kuala Besut and from there a speedboat to the islands.
Pulau Perhentian Besar is the larger and more comfortable Island. Its resorts are of higher standards and the beaches are generally more beautiful. The crowd here varies from families to young couples and honeymooners.
Pulau Perhentian Kecil on the other hand is backpacker and party Island centered around Long Beach.The prices and standards are lower than Pulau Perhentian Besar. The crowd is younger and here you will find bars serving alcohol. Alcohol is not sold nor served most places at the Besar Island, so you should either bring your own or go to Kecil Island (Long beach). Beware of the local Monkey Juice though.
There’re different resorts, each with its individual charm/atmosphere on both Islands. Each resort on the Besar Island had at least one or two restaurants, so if not happy with your chosen resorts restaurant or in need of change, then visit the other resorts. But mind you the restaurants did not serve “amazing” food. There is a boat that leaves for the nearby town where the islanders can buy grocheries back to the their respective resorts.
We stayed 5 days at the Pulau Perhentian Besar, Perhentian Island resort, This resort, in my opinion, had the best beach, but It was very quiet there so some evenings we took water taxi over to Kecil island (Long Beach) for a more lively atmosphere. NB.when taking a water taxi, remember to agree on a pick up time with the boatman, otherwise you might end up stranded for the night.
There are no ATMs on either islands, so remember to bring enough cash to last throughout your stay. The Islands have really beautiful white sand beaches with coral reefs and a lot of underwater life, making it superb for scuba diving and snorkeling. There are
companies offering guided tours for both activities. It would be wise to take the early tours in the day as the visibility drops in the afternoon.
What we loved most about our trip to Perhentian Island is the diving, snorkling and tranquility. The surroundings are picturesque.