Perhentian Island is a good destination for all those searching for an island getaway in Peninsular Malaysia – with (still) clear blue waters and sandy beaches. In Perhentian Besar, I stayed during my last visit which I felt was more suited for families traveling with kids.
The room was pretty spacious with single bed and a queen sized bed, air conditioning, hot water, safety deposit box, refrigerator and essentials.
Best area of the resort? The rooftop overlooking the ocean, complete with a hammock and deck chairs – perfect for a a quick nightcap or a lazy day tipple just before bed.
Long Beach when you mention Perhentian Kecil is thought of by many people, however there are a significant number of smaller and more private beaches across the opposite side of the island from Long Beach, mostly frequented by foreign travellers.
fishing hamlet 8
We only found out during our stay at Alunan Resort, situated at Petani Beach – we had the choice to take a 40-minute hike to Long Beach, passing by Mari-Mari Chalet, Mira Beach Chalet, Rainforest Beach, and Coral Bay (Senja Resort, Amelia Resort etc.) before crossing over to Long Beach.
It was thoroughly enjoyable and pleasant as we could only park ourselves on the many secluded spots along the isle and snorkel for an hour before continuing on to another beach though the hike looked long. We feel the best time to trek is around mid-afternoon trekking and in a leisurely speed would allow lots of time to catch the sunset by the time you reach Coral Bay or Rainforest Beach.
If hiking isn't your thing, you can also opt to spend RM20 per person to get a one-way water taxi ride to Long Beach in the resort. Night time rates will vary to RM 30 per individual, depending on availability and your luck of water taxis.
fishing village 2
In White Mosque in hunt for lunch and the other way instead towards the fishing hamlet, we made a decision to hike on our last day. The hamlet was about 20 minutes away via walking, but alas, the meal wasn't memorable. Like 90% of our dining experiences in Perhentian Kecil, regrettably.
Amelia Chalet Coral Bay
Dinner at Amelia Chalet, Coral Bay
seafood dinner at Amelia Chalet
Food options aren't aplenty so I relied on Trip Advisor. We tried Ewan's place and Amelia Chalet on our first and second nights and both eateries bordered on average. I'd suggest keeping your expectations low when it comes to food on the island if you asked me.
Seashore yoga 2
Some travel tips about Perhentian Kecil and Alunan Resort:
View from Alunan Resort's deck
Deck view from Alunan
• Location – the resort has its shore so snorkelling is a must. Yet, as it's somewhat farther from the chief tourist attractions, be prepared to pay for water taxis to get around to/from Long Beach or Perhentian Besar.
As you wouldn't desire to be stranded on one other side of the island at night because of variety of possible reasons such as sea/weather conditions, availability of water taxis etc., • Planning – plan your itinerary carefully
• Planning – plan has its very own shore snorkelling is a necessity. Nevertheless, as it is somewhat further from the main tourist attractions, be ready to purchase water taxis to get around to/from Long Beach or Perhentian Besar.
• Actions – the jungle trek permits you to find out less commercial elements of the isle and the quieter. In case you don't plan to go on any organised island there are also plenty of snorkelling places. We did try out the resort's 3-hr snorkelling excursion instead of opting for the more well known Shark Point and Turtle Bay . It was a little steep at RM80 per individual, but well worth the trip. You need to have the ability to discover packages that are cheaper on other parts of the island, as low as RM50 per person when you have sufficient time to 'shop' about.
• There's no 7 11 or sundry shop nearby the resort. Make sure to purchase mineral water, snacks etc. from Long Beach or the fishing village if you're there.
• Bring sufficient cash as it goes without saying that ATMs are nowhere to be on the isle.
• Never go anywhere without sunblock and mosquito repellent.
• A torchlight will be actually ideal for traveling during the night. You'll never know when you may want it.
• The easiest and quickest approach to get to Perhentian will be to fly to Kota Bharu and take a taxi from the airport to the Kuala Besut Jetty (approximately 45 minutes journey). From the jetty, the return boat transfer costs RM 70 per individual and can be bought in the jetty itself.
Granted we paid more than just what an area beach vacation would cost, we definitely do not regret to be able experience and to investigate the little unknown treasures that Perhentian still needs to supply, and hopefully for many more decades in the future.