The Perhentian Islands are approx 25km off the north east coast of Malaysia, just south of the Thai border.
Flights are multiple times per day from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Biru, the nearest mainland airport. Then it is a 60km drive to the coast with any one of the friendly local taxi drivers. Before you depart KL, it is advisable to call your accomodation on Perhentian and confirm boats are operating to the island that day, particularly early in the season. We were caught out a bad weather front swept through as we arrived and no boats were operating.
Boats are either booked by your accomodation or tickets purchased at one of the local Kuala Besut ticket agents.
The boat ride from Kuala Besut to Perhentian is approx and hour. If the sea is rough be prepared for a bumpy ride.
Where to stay
We stayed on the ‘big Island’ Perhantian Besar at Abdul’s Chalets. Abdul’s afforded the best mix of location, privacy and quality.
Abdul’s has its own ‘home reef’ located within a roped section for snorkelling away from boats. Many other shallow reefs are within a 15 min walk of your front door.
Large parts of the big island are accessible only by boat and the hotel is more than happy to organise for you.
What to do
Anything in the water!
Perhentian is set up for watersports, be it scuba diving, snorkelling, turtle spotting, or relaxing on a beach.
Calm water frontage
Not being told by our hotel that there was no boats operating, leaving us stranded in Kuala Besut - check with your hotel (particularly in shoulder season) about access.
Don’t forget to bring
Sunscreen and a towel