Perhentian Islands is located at the north east of Malaysia, off the coast of Terengganu. It is divided into 2 main islands, namely Perhentian Besar and Perhentian Kecil. It has other smaller islands which are still inhabited, including Seringgi, Rawa and Susu Dara which are all under the protection of marine park.
Pulau Perhentian – Getting here
Pulau Perhentian experiences the eastern monsoon and is best visited from November to February each year and is accessible by ferry through Kuala Besut connected via Kota Bahru. One could also take ferries from Tok Bali.
Perhentian Island can give you a lot of satisfaction if you are a nature-lover. For a complete and rewarding island getaway, Pulau Perhentian is perhaps your best option because you will not find any modern structures or museums here. But in return, you will enjoy the best of nature with a lot of sun, abundant sea and unlimited sand.
Diverse Sealife Destination
When you visit an island, you would naturally be looking for a lot of activities involving the seas and beaches. Here are some that you can expect at Pulau Perhentian.
The one thing you will enjoy most in Pulau Perhentian is to dive into the seas. There will be a whole list of things to do from leisure snorkelling to the more extreme scuba diving. You can swim in the waters from the beach itself and indulge in some of the most beautiful sceneries nature can offer. Otherwise, look for the operators by the seaside and you can go kayaking, banana boat rides and jet-skiing.
Scuba diving at Pinnacle
This will be the main attraction for divers who come from across the world. You will be swimming among fishes and turtles as well as different shark species. On a good day, visibility can go up to 20 meters while the corals are just splendid on plain sight. The Pinnacle which goes by the name ‘Temple of the Sea’ is great and as the name implies has a pinnacle that comes out to the sea level. Another popular dive site here is the Sugar Wreck.
The resorts here will be able to help you in gear and equipment if you are planning to go snorkelling. Being so close to the sea-creatures in the shallow waters of such pristine waters is just unforgettable. Take note that the fishes and other creatures are totally harmless unless provoked.
If you are dining at certain restaurants, chances are they will have gear for rent as well. Most of the operators will be able to advise you on the best spots to snorkel. This would include Shark Point, Teluk Pauh and Tanjung Basi, among others. Shark Point is actually a popular place to spot some baby sharks which are mostly harmless. Meanwhile, you can head out to D’Lagoon and Long Beach if you are around Pulau Kecil.
If you like to see turtles, Turtle Bay is a great place to go while you can observe them nesting at night during the right season. However, take note that turtle conservation is very prominent here and you need to be careful in the midst of the endangered species.
In fact, Perhentian Island is a major centre for these efforts. It was once the main destination for Green and Hawksbill turtles that come here for nesting. Due to environmental pollution and other unscrupulous activities, it now only has about 300 nesting per year which is way below its normal rate. You can join these efforts or learn about what the agencies are doing in preserving the turtles here. There are educational tours and programs or you can volunteer to help out in their respective efforts as well.
Jungles and nature
Besides the waters and seaside, you can actually head into the jungles for a trek or two. If you are up for spotting birds and other animals, there are several jungle trails available. You might come across some wild monkeys, monitor lizards as well as certain very beautiful plants.
Around Watercolours Paradise and Arwana, there is a popular trail which takes about half an hour while you can take an easy walk along Coral Bay towards Mira Beach. Most of the trails around Perhentian are quite easy and does not require much training. However, you should be mindful not to litter everywhere and bring appropriate clothing as it can get quite warm inside the jungle.