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Islands of Terengganu ~ Perhentian Islands

• Background • Kuala Terengganu • Sights & Visits • Beaches • The Islands • Kenyir Lake • Getting There •
• Terengganu State Map • Travel-in Terengganu • Stay-in Terengganu •

• Pulau Perhentian Besar • Pulau Perhentian Kecil •
• The Beaches • Stay • Eats • Drinks •

Pulau Perhentians consists of two islands - Perhentian Besar (Big Perhentian island) and Perhentian Kecil (Small Perhentian Island) Accessed from the mainland by boat from Kuala Besut (1.5 hours), the two islands of Perhentian are a marine paradise and part of a marine national park.

The small, uninhabited islands of Susu Dara, Seringgi and Rawa lie off Perhentian Kecil. All the islands belong to a protected marine park, which means that fishing, collecting coral and littering are strictly prohibited

Perhentian Kecil, the more popular of the two, has cheap accommodation and a bit of a backpacker party scene, with Long Beach being the most popular. Perhentian Besar is the larger island and has slightly more sophisticated accommodation and tranquil beaches to Perhentian Kecil. Northern Beach is regarded as being the best, but is dominated by the large, expensive Perhentian Island resort.


To the north of the Pulau Perhentian Besar island, Green and Hawksbill turtle await to be seen in the months of May to September.

The Beaches
The Teluk Pauh in front of the Perhentian Island Resort, holds the main beach area with most of the resorts dotting south from here along the west coast to Teluk Dalam on the island's south-east coast. Teluk Pauh is a beautiful half-moon bay with white powdery sand and water as clear as in a swimming pool. There are good coral around the points on either side. Here you can snorkel with some turtles, black tip reef sharks and hundreds of reef fish.

At the western end of the bay a wooden footbridge leads over a few rocks to Coral View Island Resort's small beach, which consists almost only out of broken up coral pieces. The main beach of the island starts at the resort's western side and stretches over 1 km to Abdul's Chalet only interrupted by some rocky headlands. The beach has fine sand with scattered coral pieces and is bordered by many coconut palms.

Teluk Dalam, on the south of the island is a beautiful wide curved bay with a white fine sandy beach. The water is quite shallow here, the corals mostly destroyed. You can laze away in hammocks under shady casuarinas. Here it is in contrast to the other beaches still quite peaceful.

Stay-in Perhentian Besar
Perhentian Island Resort, offering the best digs on the islands, is located on Besar's nicest beach and equipped with the only swimming pool in town. A 5-minute walk away is Besar's main beach, featuring the following:

Coral View Resort at the north end of Besar's main beach. This resort is a close number two, offering air-con chalets, much the same facilities as Perhentian Island Resort (minus the pool) in attractively done surroundings. Crossing over to the next beach will bring you to the southwest beach and a bit further south, to the New Cocohut Chalet. One of the more attractive options on the south beach, New Cocohut offers air-conditioned chalets. Tuna Bay is one of the newer and classier outfits, offering all air-con chalets, including hot showers and even safety deposit boxes in every room. The seaside restaurant is also pleasant.

Watercolors Restaurant, next to the dive shop of the same name on Besar's main western beach, is a simple but attractive restaurant that is packed every night with people feasting on fresh seafood. Affiliated with the Paradise Resort, the prices have gone up lately, but rock lobsters or fresh barramundi in banana leaf, served with a giant baked potato and salad, are still a steal by Perhentian standards.

Teluk KK, at the southwestern tip of the island near Teluk Keke, is a little place that is frequented mostly by locals and consequently offers the cheapest grub around.

Perhentian Cafe, between The Reef and Paradise chalets on the western beach of Perhentian Besar, has undergone a transformation from a no-frills fried noodle joint into the island’s sole nightlife spot, featuring several kinds of beer and the ability to procure more or less anything with advance notice.


Experience the rustic seaside charm at the small fishing village called Kampung Pasir Hantu, where traditional dances are occasionally held and monkeys are trained to fetch coconuts from lofty trees

The Beaches
The best and most popular beach of the island is Pasir Panjang (Long Beach) providing dazzling white sandy beach and crystal-clear shallow water. The back of the beach is now almost completely covered with chalets, restaurants and cafes with many boats arriving and leaving. Better not to expect a peaceful, deserted beach.

Those who have been here before will probably be disappointed about the way Long Beach has been developed. But nevertheless it is still a fantastic beach, with an atmosphere that is meant more for the young and adventurous (backpackers, in their twenties). You can hang out in one of the many cafes, play beach volleyball, go diving or just laze away on the beach. Please note that waves at Long Beach can be quite high and hazardous at times, so there is a chance that boats cannot land. If that is the case, you will have to take a 15-minute walk to Teluk Aur on the other side of the island.

Teluk Aur (also known as Coral Bay) is not as attractive as Long Beach, but it is not so crowded - yet. There are good corals for snorkelling in the bay and around the short beach behind the Rajawali Resort. Further more here you get a great view of the breathtaking Perhentian sunsets. The rest of Perhentian Kecil's beaches are more secluded and peaceful. They are home to only one resort each or are entirely uninhabited.

Stay-in Perhentian Kecil
Accommodation on Perhentian Kecil is distributed over more beaches than on Perhentian Besar. The most popular backpacker destination is Pasir Panjang (Long Beach) on the eastern coast of Perhentian Kecil. Bubu Long Beach Resort is the first and so far only ferroconcrete hotel on the islands, offering air conditioning and other creature comforts. D' Lagoon is located in the bay north of Long Beach offers wooden chalets with mosquito nets, and its own restaurant.

Panorama Restaurant, on the southern side of Pasir Panjang, one of Pehentian Kecil's more attractive eating options, offers a larger range than usual of Western and Asian fare at decent prices. No alcohol, but you can bring your own.

Pasir Panjang on Kecil is the only place in the islands with any semblance of nightlife. Alcohol is expensive at RM10 and up for a can of beer, and Muslim-owned restaurants can't sell you any, though bringing your own is also permitted in most otherwise dry restaurants.


Diving at Perhentians
There are about 20 dive sites at Perhentian, spread across the two islands. Other sites, such as Tanjung Batu Chaping on the east coast of Perhentian Besar, features gardens of giant soft corals, some as tall as a metre. Some of the more popular dive sites here are described in greater detail

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