The Perhentian Islands are located some 19 km off the northeastern Malaysian coast and they consist of two main islands – Perhentian Besar and Perhentian Kecil, the former meaning Big Perhentian and the latter meaning Small Perhentian. There are also three smaller uninhabited islands near Perhentian Kecil, and these islands are called Susu Dara, Rawa and Serenggeh. Translated into English, the name of the Perhentian Islands has the meaning stopping point or a place to stop, and they got their name because they have always been a waypoint for travelers and traders between Malaysia and Bangkok.
• The Perhentian Islands are part of Pulau Redang National Marine Park, so it important to know that littering, fishing and collecting coral are prohibited by law.
• It is best to bring cash when visiting the Perhentian Islands, because only a small percentage of businesses will accept credit cards.
• The best way to get to the Perhentian Islands is by getting to a town called Kuala Besut, and then catching a boat ride to the Islands.
• The best time to visit the Perhentian Islands is between February and October.
History and Culture
The Perhentian Islands have been inhabited by fishermen families for many centuries, but they have been much more significant as an important waypoint and as a stopping point for many sailors coming from all over the world and using these islands to rest and supply their ships with food and fresh water. The Perhentian Islands were also known as the ‘Station Islands’ and they were called this on numerous maps dating from the 19th century. Today, the most important part of economy of the Perhentian Islands is tourism, as they are one of the most popular places to visit in not only Malaysia, but also in Asia.
Things to See and Do
As people would imagine, there are no museums or landmarks or any other man-built tourist attractions to visit on the Perhentian Islands. Instead of this, people will have the chance to enjoy some of the truly most beautiful sandy beaches in the whole world. When it comes to activities, they are limited only by people’s imagination, providing that all the activities must take place on these beautiful beaches or on and under water. Scuba diving, snorkeling, beach sports and sun bathing are basically all that the Perhentian Islands have to offer, besides turtle preservation volunteering and walking around the island and enjoying the nature. Although these activities might not seem numerous and diverse, the nature, the sea, the wildlife and the atmosphere of the Perhentian Islands will definitely be more than enough to have a fantastic vacation.
When it comes to the nightlife on the Perhentian Islands, visitors should not expect to have a blast and visit nightclubs and bars after dark. Although there are some places where people can have a drink after a long day of activities in the sun, the options are limited. There are some places on the beaches where people can expect to find alcohol, but it is important to mention that beer, for example, will not be cheap at all.
Eating and Drinking
The best type of food to eat when visiting the Perhentian Islands is seafood, considering it is the only food that does not need to be imported. Although there are restaurants that offer international food, people should be aware that this will cost a lot of money. It is safe to say that the Perhentian Islands do not offer many options when it comes to eating and drinking however, this is not the main reason for visiting the islands.