Located around 20 miles away from north eastern coast of Peninsular Malaysia, the Perhentian islands has been said to be one of the best islands to visit in Malaysia. And having been there several times and fallen in love again and again with the crystal blue waters and breathtaking underwater life, we have to say – we totally agree.
The two islands (Perhentian Besar and Perhentian Kecil) are not far from each other but are completely different from one another – well, namely the crowd to be specific. Known as the ‘party island’, Perhentian Kecil attracts a younger backpacker friendly crowd making accommodation and scuba diving facilities and restaurants a lot more affordable compared to Perhentian Besar which is more catered to families with kids. But putting their differences aside, we can’t deny that there are many reasons to love these two islands. So here’s five reasons why we love it:
1. Chill out in Soft Sands
While everyone raves about how clear the water is on these islands (yes it’s true!) there’s also something so soft about Perhentian’s white sands that even turtles keep coming back to lay their eggs there. And having worked from the beach while we were there, we can only say don’t be shy, go ahead and roll around in the sand, it’s really nice to sit (and work!) in. 🙂
image via Panorama Diver
2. Diving & Snorkling heaven
Speaking of turtles, if you’re a fan of sea life you have to try diving or snorkling here because what you’ll see down under is an incredibly beautiful bed of coral surrounded by a thriving sea life. Oh and don’t forget to check out a few ship wrecks down there too! Our favorite diving school Panorama Diver will even give you diving lessons at a pretty decent price and take you on these adventures if the visibility permits.
3. Island Hop to Secret Beaches
Aside from these two islands, you can also hop on a boat with a local guide and head to your own private island. We spent the evening on this private beach cookin’ a little seafood barbecue with the fish we bought from local fishermen from South China Sea. Perhentian islands is part of a marine protection area so we’re not allowed to go fishing or tamper with the sea life within the vicinity. And if you’re planning a little picnic like we did, don’t forget to take the trash out to the main island too!
4. Friendly Locals
Because these islands are so small, it’s not that difficult to get to know the locals that live and work on the island. And they are pretty friendly themselves so you’ll never feel lonely while you’re there. Our favorite spots to make friends include places like Monkey Bar on Perhentian Kecil or just hang at Long Beach and strike up a conversation with a perfect stranger! We’re pretty sure they won’t bite. 😉
image via Fatin Liyana
5. Untouched nature
Aside from the beach and sea, you could also head into the jungle for some trekking on Perhentian Kecil. In fact, the walk isn’t too long (about 30 minutes) and once you’re up there you’ll see a fabulous view overlooking the ocean. So worth it!
To sum it up, if you’re looking to relax on an island with crystal blue waters, soft white sand, a thriving marine life, Perhentian islands is the place to be. The island is so special that you can only visit it between March and October yearly. So if you’re thinking about your holiday plans for 2014, think of Perhentian as an option. We’re definitely gonna be there too!