Things to Do in Perhentian Islands

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Far from major towns located in a remote place, having nice beaches, exotic marine lives, palm trees, and jungles – these make Perhentian Islands an excellent gateway for traveling. If you are an adventure seeker and loves nature, the Perhentian islands will feel like a paradise to you. Langkawi might be more popular and well known tourist destination, however, Perhentian Islands is the most beautiful! Here I am writing about the top things to do in the Perhentian Islands in Malaysia.

Scuba Diving – top thing to do in Perhentian Islands

Perhentian islands and diving are synonymous! Perhentian Islands is a paradise for Scuba divers. My first Scuba diving experience was there. It has a visibility of about 20 meters. You will be able to see a different world once you dive under the water. Besides, colorful fishes, you will see turtles and sharks (of course if you are lucky).

Scuba Diving is a top thing to do in Perhentian islands
DMy first attempt of scuba diving, and, I didn’t do very well to be honest

As I am not a certified diver, I had to go to a diving agency for diving. I followed the recommendations of Lonely Planet Malaysia and choose Pro Diver’s World in Coral view resort. While they are a bit expensive comparing to others, they satisfied me with their services. My instructors were from Europe. They are certified PADI instructors and move to different countries, do part-time jobs with a scuba diving operator so they can dive more with people like me.

Book a guided Scuba diving experience in Perhentian Islands

We were supposed to dive till 10 meters, however, I could make it to 5 to 7 meters at most. It gave me a good idea of the colorful world. Many people asked me if you need to know swimming for scuba diving. Well, although the answer might be very obvious to you, it’s worth searching on the net, the result might surprise you.


The water in the Perhentian island is opaque. When I was standing on the ferry pier, I could see a bunch of small fishes from above. If you are afraid of diving or do not want to do it for whatever is the reason, you can still try snorkeling and enjoy it.

This photos was taken from the ground, imagine you are a meter down.
Snorkelling is a favourite thing to do in Perhentian Islands.
This is a common scene in Perhentian, everybody wants to take a look beneath the water.


Perhentian islands consist of two islands – Perhentian Besar (the big one) and Perhentian Kecil (the small one). You can take a kayak boat and go from one island to another island. Alternatively, you can just roam around in the open sea.

I did the kayaking from Besar and traversed by the edge of the seas. It was enjoyable.

Sorry folks, I do not have a better picture of the kayaking 🙂

Relaxing on the beach

While there are two islands in the Perhentian islands, there are several beaches in each one.

In Perhentian Kecil, notable beaches are – Coral bay, Long beach, Keranji beach.

Long Beach is the most famous beach on the island. You will find plenty of backpacker’s hotels here. The sand on the beach is white. The water is of wonderful quality. There are some bars, although they are not cheap. In fact, the Perhentian islands are expensive comparing to islands in Thailand.

The net is empty for you to take

Coral bay is the largest of all and most of the hotels are placed there. As the boats come to that beach, it can become busy during the arrival of boats. However, you can find a piece of your own space somewhere.

Keranji beach is far and less busy. If you want to spend some time on your own, you will find this beach suitable.

It’s possible to go from Coral bay to Long beach on foot. It will take 10 to 15 minutes. You won’t be able to find much light after the sun sets, so it will not be wise to go there at night.

In Perhentian Besar, the notable beaches are West Beach, Teluk Dalam, and Tuna Bay.

I didn’t like the west beach, it’s a short stretched beach with hotels and restaurants.

West beach is short on beauty

Teluk is nice and my favorite one in Perhentian Besar. It’s quite a long beach. If you go past the Coral View Resort towards the beach, you need to climb down. There are palm trees in one end complemented by green jungles. The top view on the way to Teluk beach is a treat for the eyes.

If you are in Besar, don’t forget to chill in the Teluk

Hiking through the forest

If you get bored seeing the ocean and tired of beach bumming, you have an option to trek in the Perhentian Islands. You can enter the forest and go through it. At times, you will find a view of the island from the top. The route is marked in most of the case, and Besar is in better shape than Kecil.

Visiting Turtle beach

To me, turtle beach was the best beach on the island (although, I could not spot any turtle there, only heard that, there were turtles, but tourists drove them away). You need to take a boat to reach there. The boat ride will take approximately 20 minutes and cost you RM 20.

Visiting turtle beach is a top thing to do in Perhentian islands.
Bring a mat with you and take a nap, you might discover yourself all alone on the beach

The water was turquoise blue there; the sand was soft, and there were hardly any people. Most importantly, there is no establishment on the beach – no hotel, restaurant, or bar. That’s why you should bring some food or water with you if you want to stay there longer.

I want to go there again.

Once you are there, you would want to remain there as long as possible. However, make sure that someone picks you up later, otherwise, you will be stuck in the piece of paradise.

Are you convinced about visiting there?

Read more about Perhentian Islands

Perhentian Islands from Kuala Lumpur

Perhentian Islands Hotel and Resorts

Perhentian Islands Tips

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Fuad Omar

Fuad loves to travel! A lot! Carrying a Bangladeshi passport means he needs a prior visa for visiting most of the countries. He got detained in many borders because of his nationality but; he didn’t give up - he set his foot to 40 countries. He believes, if he could travel the world despite all the odds, you can, too. Fuad is a Computer Engineer by profession, and author of a travelogue in Bangla. He currently lives in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

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