Perhentian is near the east coast of Malaysia with palm fringed white sandy beaches and turquoise blue sea. The water around beaches is shallow with many rays, cuttlefish and parrotfish. With its natural beauty and laid-back atmosphere, Perhentian is viewed as a paradise for divers, an escape from the modern world.
The Perhentian Island can be found in the coast of northeastern Malaysia and almost a few kilometers away from the south border of Thailand. There are also some people that called this place as the Pulau Perhentian in Malay. There are two main islands in that can be found in the whole Perhentian. These are the Perhentian Besar and Perhentian Kecil. The Perhentian Besar is the big one and Perhentian Kencil is the smaller one.
The island is part of the Pulau Redang National Marine Park which means that activities like fishing, earning coral reefs and littering will be strictly prohibited in the whole island. The island is often used by sailors, to be a place where in they can repair their boats.
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Just like other islands, this is used by many ancient merchant in the past as a shelter and source of food. Merchants always pass by in the area to stop-by until they had entered the market of South China Sea. This is the reason why the island gained its popularity and named as One Stop Island. One Stop Island is translated to Malay language as Pulau Perhentian and that is where the island got its name. And as time goes by, the Perhentian Island became a tourist spot. The main attraction of the island is its natural beauty and its home for hundreds of Green and Hawksbill turtles.
In many years, the island has been a great tourist spot for many people around the world. Mostly, people from Europe and United States are the one who are flocking around the whole island. The two main islands are covered with white coral sand beaches that may be a little rough for our feet and sea with turquoise blue water. There are many activities that you can do in the island. The most popular activities that you can do here are scuba diving, snorkeling and of course swimming and diving.
On most of beaches, the water is shallow and there are fishes lying there. There are also many diving sites around the whole island. Aside from water activities you can also have other activities like camping and jungle trekking with its natural forests. Banana boat riding is also quite popular activity in the area.
Most rooms and resorts can be found in the Perhentian Besar. There are also hotels that can be found in the bigger island that has a very low prices but had a great accommodation.
The island is not accessible through the main airports hence the only way to go there is by boat. Boats can be found in the fishing villages of Kuala Besut and Tok Bali. For the language, people here speak Kelantanese Malay Language.
Best time to go there
The best time to go there is between the months of March to October when there are no low pressure areas. During these months, you may get the chance to experience watching and swimming with the turtles. It is common in the area to welcome volunteers to take care and build homes for the turtles thus if you are up for the tasks, these may well add to your activities while in the island. .
How to get there
The only way to get there is using a boat which you may access from Kuala Besut. Traveling from Kuala Besut to Perhentian Island may take up at least thirty to forty minutes if by a speed boat and one and a half hours if regular boat.
From Kuala Lumpur, you may take either Malaysia Airline, Air Asia or Firefly to get to either Kuala Terengganu or Kota Bharu. Flying in here takes at least forty five minutes. Packages usually include land transfer going to Kuala Besut jetty though a bus or cab may also be taken to get there. Travel may take one and a half hours if coming from Kuala Terengganu and an hour from Kota Bharu.
Check before you go
- Passport expiry date (most countries require at least six months prior to the expiry date)
- Visa requirements
- Travel Insurance (make sure coverage for Scuba Diving is included)
- Medical status (Visit your doctor if you are unsure)