Tuesday, January 28, 2020
Text Size
Template Color

The Perhentian Islands are two islands named Pulau Perhentian Kecil (Small Perhentian Island) and Pulau Perhentian Besar (Large Perhentian Island). The Malay name Perhentian is translated as "place to stop" and this is exactly what these two islands were for traders travelling between Malaysia and Bangkok in years gone by. These islands are still a gorgeous place to stop and rest today, albeit for tourists disconnecting from the stress and routine of everyday life and not for weary seafaring traders.

The islands remain relatively untouched and the only permanent inhabitants live in a small fishing village on Perhentian Kecil. Apart from footpaths that cut through the jungle, there are no roads on the islands. The only way to get around is by walking through the jungle or taking a sea taxi. If you tread carefully, you may even encounter some of the islands' shy wildlife on the way, such as monitor lizards, fruit bats, squirrels or even the elusive mouse deer. Simple chalets and some moderately luxurious resorts line the picturesque beaches along with restaurants, dive centers and boat operators advertising their services with hand-painted signs.

Perhaps it is the stretches of white beach or the crystal clear water and the superior scuba diving. Perhaps it is the untouched forests or the relaxed atmosphere and unspoiled charm. We like to think that is a little bit of all of this that makes the Perhentian Islands the perfect place to stop and take some time out...
Read more about the islands

Scuba diving

around the Perhentian Islands is a superb experience and many people visit here time and time again to explore the deep. Some of the top dive sites are Tokong Laut (Temple of the Sea) and the Sugar Wreck. Tokong Laut is a pointed rock protruding from the seabed, surrounded by all kinds of coral and home to numerous species of reef fish and other marine life. The Sugar Wreck is an eerie-looking sunken freight ship that lies at around 15-22m.

Marine life is in abundance here and apart from the many species of hard and soft coral that form the backbone of these ecosystems you can also expect to encounter turtles, several species of sharks, mackerel, jacks, moray eels, nudibranchs and various other reef fish.

Getting there...

Perhentian Islands are located around 25km from Kuala Besut on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The islands are reached by speedboat from the Kuala Besut jetty and the ride takes 30-45 minutes.

Kuala Besut is 50km south of Kota Bharu and 110km north of Kuala Terengganu on the east coast of peninsular Malaysia in the state of Terengganu.

By plane
The closest airport to Kuala Besut is Sultan Ismail Petra Airport - Kota Bharu in the state of Kelantan. Air Asia (LCCT), Firefly (Subang airport), and Malaysia Airlines (KLIA) flies daily to Kota Bharu from Kuala Lumpur. Estimated travel time is 55 minutes, from airport to Kuala Besut by taxi will takes approximately an hour.

By coach
Mostly all the long distance buses from Kuala Lumpur to this region will depart from Putra Bus Terminal (opposite PWTC) and bound for Kota Bharu but will drop you at Jerteh (around 15km from Kuala Besut) if you ask. From Jerteh you can easily get a taxi to Kuala Besut about 15 minutes, even if you arrive in the early hours of the morning as taxi drivers often wait for buses to arrive.

Mahligai and Mutiara Express have direct coach services daily to Kuala Besut. The journey takes 8-9 hours and the bus station is walking distance to the jetty.

Self drive
From Kuala Lumpur - via Kuala Terengganu - Kuala Besut: Follow route no. 2 & 3
Kuala Lumpur › Karak Highway › Kuantan › Kuala Terengganu › Kuala Besut (approx. 556km)

From Kuala Lumpur - via Gua Musang Highway - Kuala Besut: Follow route no. 2, 8 & 3
Kuala Lumpur › Karak Highway › Bentong › Kuala Lipis › Gua Musang › Kuala Krai › Machang › Jerteh › Kuala Besut (approx. 460km)