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Pulau Perhentian Besar Travel Guide: 218 reviews and 537 photos

A trip to Perhentian Islands in Kuala Terengganu

Perhentian Islands are a pair of beautiful islands, off the eastern coast of Peninsular Malaysia, very close to Malaysia Thailand border. They are a part of Terengganu state of Peninsular Malaysia. The bigger of the two islands is called Perhentian Besar (Besar in Malay language means ‘big’) and the smaller one is called Perhentian Kecil (Kecil in Malay language means ‘small’). The islands are spared from gross commercialization and Malaysian Government has taken efforts to maintain the ecological sanctity by declaring the region a ‘Marine Park’. Fishing is not allowed in the vicinity of the island. I was also told that fins are not allowed (because they damage the corals) but observed that they are easily available at all Scuba diving/Snorkeling trip organizers’ shops.
The clear blue water and white sandy beaches around both the islands clearly differentiates these islands from other islands in the region.
Among the two islands, Perhentian Besar has reasonably good Hotels and restaurants. But the rooms need to be booked in advance if you intend to visit the islands in the peak season. Perhentian Besar is more suitable for families. At the same time, it is more expensive compared to the small island. Perhentian Kecil has average hotels and the rates are lower. This island is more popular among youngsters and back packers. You may even find a room at 11th hour in Perhentian Kecil. Perhentian Kecil also houses the native population. They are all fishermen and normally do not come in contact with the visitors. Perhentian Besar has no native population.

Best Season

The best season to visit these islands is from March to October. From November, the wet season starts and the weather becomes unpredictable, with dark overcast sky looming around most of the time and raining quite often. The sea becomes very choppy during this season. All this makes very difficult for visitors to reach the islands, so much so that many resorts close down and the boat operators avoid going into the sea during the wet season.

Accessability

The islands do not have an airport. Kota Bahru is the nearest airport. The best way to reach Perhentian islands is from Kuala Besut Jetty in Terengganu state. There are regular high speed ferries available from the Kuala Besut Jetty, which takes around 30 minutes to reach the islands. The sea is not very rough between March and October months. Kuala Besut Jetty is well connected by road to major cities in Malaysia. There are direct bus services from all major cities in Malaysia. Alternatively, one can take a flight from KL to Kota Bahru. From Kota Bahru, taxis are available to take visitors to Kuala Besut Jetty. We went from Singapore in Train and details can be found in the transportation section.
As stated earlier, the only way to reach the islands is by means of ferry from Kuala Besut. High speed ferries are available from Kuala Besut from 9 in the morning till 5 in the evening.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:White sandy beaches, crystal clear water, ample sunshine, excellant snorkeling site
  • Cons:Restaurant service horrible,
  • In a nutshell:Perhentian-I will go back again
  • Last visit to Pulau Perhentian Besar: Aug 2009
  • Intro Written Aug 12, 2009
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bkarjee

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