The Perhentian Islands are islands in Besut District, Terengganu, Malaysia. The two main islands are Perhentian Besar and Perhentian Kecil. The small, uninhabited islands of Susu Dara, Serengeh and Rawa lie off Kecil.
Like Besut, people here generally speak Kelantanese Malay, however English is widely spoken and understood to accommodate the growing tourism market. The Perhentian Islands have become a popular travel destination for families and backpackers alike due to the many lodging options that accommodate almost any budget. Be sure to book your hotel through Agoda.com. Guaranteed lowest price on hotels, resorts, hostels, homes & more, worldwide.
Nature tourism provides the economic base for the islands. Both the islands have palm-fringed white coral sand beaches (that can be tough on the feet) and turquoise blue sea. Popular tourist activities include scuba-diving, snorkeling, and swimming. On most beaches, the water is shallow with many rays, cuttlefish and parrotfish. For diving, there are dozens of dive sites around both main islands, as well as several off-shore sites. Apart from these, activities like camping, canoeing, fishing, jungle trekking, and banana boat riding are also available.
The tropical waters around the Perhentians are clear with turquoise hues. The designated marine park in the island has corals and fish life is quite excellent. During peak season, the waters are calm which is excellent for learning to dive with one of the dive centres on the island. The Perhentian islands has a tropical climate with temperatures steadily around 30 °C and frequent but brief thunderstorms.
A rise in tourism in Kuala Besar has led to the expansion of many different resorts and many options for snorkelers and divers alike. It is possible to get PADI certified at various locations and take advantage of the various wrecks and coral reefs. The Perhentian islands are home to numerous different species of monitor lizards, poisonous spiders, and geckos. In the water and on the coral reefs, sea turtles, clownfish, cuttlefish, blue spotted rays, and black tipped sharks swim freely among many others.
Ferries to both Perhentian islands leave almost every hour from Kuala Besut during regular business hours. Travellers from Kuala Lumpur or other destinations can fly, train, or bus to either Kuala Terengganu or Kota Bharu. From either town, the jetty port in Kuala Besut is accessible by taxi. It is also possible to use minivan services offered by various companies if travelling from Taman Negara, the Cameron Highlands, Kuala Lumpur or many other cities in Malaysia. The minivan services vary in prices and there are many different companies that offer service to and from various destinations. A ferry ride of approximately forty minutes can be arranged by one of the many jetty operators, or in cooperation with many of the resorts. Once on the island, there are limited trails that connect various resorts. A trail on Besar goes through the thick jungle, and some stretches of beach are home to various resorts so visitors can wander freely. The easiest way to travel around the islands is by water taxi, which can be arranged at most resorts.