9 Things to Do in Perhentian Islands

9 Things to Do in Perhentian Islands

One of the best island destinations in Malaysia, the Perhentian Islands make a fantastic holiday spot for active travellers and also beach bummers.

You may or may not have heard of this gem. Extremely popular among Western tourists to the region and known for an amazing shoreline and clear waters, Perhentian Islands is an exciting yet tranquil haven.

With countless reefs and crystalline waters surrounded by a diverse range of coral, sharks, fish, sea turtles and sharks, its name translates roughly into “stopping point” and is derived from its long history of being a spot for travellers to rest and relax.

The Perhentian Islands are made up of two separate parts – Perhentian Kecil (Small) and Perhentian Besar (Big). Both these parts are popular among members of snorkelling and diving communities.

Image credit: Jakub Michankow

The people that flock to the islands come from different parts of the world to experience their fascinating attractions, explore their exceptional beaches or just wind down and enjoy the fresh ocean breeze.

The Perhentian Islands may be a little more expensive than other spots in Malaysia due to its growing popularity so be sure to prepare a little more when it comes to budgeting for your trip. There’s so much to see and do in and around these islands that many visitors may actually spend a considerable amount of time just trying to make the best of their journey.

Here are some of the activities and attractions you should be looking out for while here.

1. Jungle trekking

If you’re a fan of the outdoors and love the thrill of a good adventure, these tropical islands offer a number of interesting trekking opportunities. With small paths that connect the beaches, you’ll be able to enter one trail and come out from the other. Explore thick foliage and uncover intriguing wildlife as you march along green wonderlands. Monitor lizards, spiders, and monkeys are just some of the inhabitants that you might encounter while getting back to nature.

2. Chill on the beaches

Image credit: jamesmellor

With clear, pristine waters and massive, sandy shores, the beaches here are considered to be among the best in the country, with Long Beach on Perhentian Kecil being the most popular and Coral Beach being the choice for less hustle and bustle. Perhentian Besar features Teluk Dalam which can be ideal for a leisurely stroll on the shore and Love Beach for a more social or lively time.

3. Scuba diving

Image credit: Nazir Amin

Due to the incredible waters that can be found here, Perhentian Islands has grown to accommodate numerous diving activities, drawing enthusiasts from different parts of the world. Visibility is usually around 20m and here you can learn from expert scuba divers and wander the underwater realms that are home to sea turtles as well as various species of sharks. An Open Water certification will cost you about RM1,200 and a single dive would be around RM75.

4. Turtle watching

As a significant nesting ground for these wonderful and majestic creatures, the Perhentian Islands can be an amazing place for you to observe turtles in their natural habitat. If you make your way to Turtle Beach at night, you might even catch a glimpse of eggs hatching and baby turtles making their way to the ocean.

5. Eat out in Kecil

There are plenty of options for food throughout the islands. If its affordability you’re counting on, then consider Perhentian Kecil’s Senja. This seaside restaurant over at Coral Bay offers a host of fresh local flavours that can be savoured for around RM11 per meal. Amelia Cafe, Mama’s Cafe and Maya can be great for famished travellers as well.

6. Eat fresh seafood from the BBQ

If you’re going to be on an island, you might as well squeeze every last drop out of the experience. The spectacular barbecued seafood choices found throughout the area can be the ‘icing on the cake’. What can you expect? How about huge prawns and tasty fish dipped in tangy sauces along with freshly squeezed tropical fruits to wash it all down?

7. Go sea kayaking

Image credit: Nik Shahman

For picturesque views on and around the islands, jump into a sea kayak and manoeuvre through the waters. Explore hidden nooks that aren’t accessible by foot on calm, clear ocean surfaces. Alternatively, row out to the middle and enjoy a moment of ‘me time’.

8. Experience Bubbles Dive Resort

If you’re looking for an inclusive experience during your stay at the Perhentian Islands, check out the Bubbles Dive Resort. Guests can embark on turtle and reef conservation projects for durations that stretch up to one or four weeks. Activities like releasing baby turtles, planting coral and gathering data are included.

9. Visit the Terengganu Marine Park

This marine park was established in 1994 on a set of islands off Terengganu. Here, visitors can catch glimpses of an extensive array of marine life and beautiful reefs. Dive or snorkel into wonderful blue depths or hike along the green-filled trails of the islands. Monkeys, lizards and a variety of birds can be seen on land while giant groupers and eels can be found underwater.

About Author


Trying to get Rauf’s attention? Just say one word…roadtrip! Coming from an international background, he’s always felt at home in the midst of different people and cultures. Whether discovering historical gems or indulging in awesome food, he feels out of place if he’s not ‘out of place’ at least once a month. With a broad array of interest, Rauf likes to bask in knowledge, read, write, box, cook, look at art and have deep deep discussions on mind-altering topics.