Coral Fringed Islands of Perhentian, Malaysia: 8 Things to do in Perhentian

By Bella Arti | 11, Nov, 2021
Things to do in Perhentian, Malaysia

The name of Perhentian was taken from a Malay word that means “stopping point.” It is due to the reason that these islands acted as a waypoint for traders in the past. Inhibited by fishermen for centuries, now Perhentian islands are most notably known for their marine life.

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Where are the Perhentian Islands located?

Lying off the coast of the north-eastern part of Peninsular Malaysia in the state of Terengganu, Perhentians consist of two islands; Perhentian Besar (Big) and Perhentian Kecil (Small). You can get to this island by taking a ferry from Kuala Besut. The two coral-fringed islands have world-class beaches, marine life, coral reefs, and crystal-clear water. Because of those reasons, travelers mostly visit Perhentian Islands for snorkeling and diving. However, there are still many things that you can do in Perhentian Islands.

Read on to uncover the top eight things to do in Perhentian Islands!


1. Get an Unforgettable Snorkelling Experience
Snorkeling Malaysia Perhentian

Image Credit: Nazarizal Mohammad on Unsplash

Perhentian Islands are known for providing the best spots for snorkeling in Malaysia. You can easily rent out snorkeling equipment in a number of the islands’ best snorkel sites that can be found just offshore or, even better, arrange a boat trip to some of the different snorkel sites around the islands.

When visiting in the right season, April to early October, expect pampering your visions with the most remarkable view of an array of sea life. Do not be surprised to see a school of colorful sea fish, clownfish, stingrays, sea turtles, and even reef sharks swimming around your vicinity.

You can go to these five popular snorkeling spots in Perhentian islands called Shark Point, Tanjung Basi, Turtle Point, Teluk Pauh, and Coral Garden.


2. Dive in World-class Diving Spots
Diving in Malaysia Perhentian

Image Credit: Johnny Chen on Unsplash  

New starters or professional diver enthusiasts from around the world would always come to the islands for diving. Known for having world-class diving spots, honestly, diving in Perhentian Islands will be one of your most unforgettable experiences in life. Imagine being surrounded by rich biodiversity in crystal-clear water where you can see 20 meters underwater visibility. Wow!

The best diving site in Perhentian Islands is situated in Tokong Laut, also known as the Temple of the Sea. If you are lucky enough, you can get the chance to see a glimpse of sea turtles and sharks. Even if you do not get a chance to see it, you can always expect to see a school of colorful sea fish swimming around the islands’ majestic coral reefs.

Now, here is the catch, if you want to get the best experience of diving in the islands, the best time to dive is in the dry season. It starts in April and ends in October, where the average temperature of the water is 27°C.


3. Beach Hopping Like No Other
Perhentian Beach Malaysia

Image Credit: Mohd Fazlin Mohd Effendy Ooi on flickr

Surrounded by the South China Sea, Perhentian Islands serve a sea view like no other. These islands are where you can gaze at the warmth of the sun touching the cool crystal-clear water. The horizon is filled with colors, from orange to turquoise.

Feel the soft white sand and the warm seawater with your barefoot in Perhentian Islands beaches. In Perhentian Besar, enjoy sunbathing or strolling around accompanied by the warmth of the sun on these best beaches such as Teluk Pauh, Teluk Keke, and Turtle Beach. Take your family and loved ones to walk around the shore watching the sunrise and sets at Coral Bay, Romantic Beach, and Adam & Eve Beach.


4. Watch Baby Turtles Waddle
Baby Turtle Perhentian Island Malaysia

Image Credit: David Levêque on Unsplash  

Little did people know, Perhentian Islands are home to a population of green and hawksbill turtles. Precisely located in The Perhentian Turtle Sanctuary Beach on Besar, you can bring your family and your friends to observe turtles in their natural habitat. The sanctuary is a part of the government’s initiative to spread awareness about protecting the sea turtles from poaching and over-exploitation. Therefore, this can be the best way to spend a holiday and get a family-friendly educative experience.

At night, where the night sky is filled with the stars and a moon, you can expect to catch a glimpse of turtle eggs hatching. You will also be able to get the experience of watching baby turtles waddle their small flippers off into the sea to start their long journey to adulthood. Bon voyage, baby turtles!


5. Spot Exotic Animals by Jungle Trekking
Monitor Lizard

Image Credit: Fatima Garcia on Unsplash

Calling yourself a thrill-seeker? Then wend your way out to Perhentian Kecil where green hilly peaks greet you coming off of a boat. Inside the lush jungle, you can peacefully trek for hours. Explore the island’s exotic flora and fauna. You can get a rare chance to see geckos, monitor lizards, and monkeys.

One of the most popular treks in Perhentian Island will take you from Long Beach to Coral Bay. After a long hike under the sun, you might want to cool yourself down, relax, and fill your empty stomach in Coral Bay.

Make sure to visit at the best time in July to September. Also, do not forget to bring some sunscreen and water before heading out.


6. Therapeutic Camping Under the Stars

Staying overnight under the stars at Teluk Keke (KK) will fill up adventurers’ thirst for being close to nature. This campground that is located to the south side of the beach is best to visit when the sun almost sets. You can ask the staff at the guesthouse you are staying in for some camping equipment. They can even point you out to a camping rental where they rent out the camping equipment necessary.

Teluk Keke is the only place in the islands where you can rest your weary soul under the moonlight and by the sea where the sound of the waves sings you to sleep.


7. Have a Dinner by the Sea
Perhentian Malaysia

Image Credit: Nur Syafiqah on Unsplash  

Whether it is for romantic or family purposes, do you ever imagine having dinner by the sea? Well, you can get it here! In Perhentian Kecil, many Muslim-owned restaurants will get you drooling for their freshly caught seafood. Only by walking on the beach, you can easily smell the seafood cooked on the grill.

Whenever it is, in the morning, afternoon or evening, you can always find a place to eat in Perhentian Kecil. There is a variety of food on the island where you can easily spot Malaysian, Thai, or Western cuisines. One of the restaurants we feel we need to mention is Ewan Restaurant. Claimed Halal on Tripadvisor, they serve the most mouth-watering Asian cuisines on the island.


8. Perform a Prayer in a Floating Mosque
Masjid Ar Rahman Mosque Perhentian Malaysia

Image Credit: hafizz_mazlan on Instagram

In Perhentian Kecil, you can spot this fascinating mosque that is built over the water named Ar-Rahman Mosque, meaning “The Merciful.” This mosque was built in 2011 to accommodate the growing population and tourists on the island. Years after it was built, this mosque has become an icon on the island due to its distinctive feature.

It is hard to take no notice of the Ar-Rahman Mosque because of its white color that strikes from its green and blue surroundings. Moreover, half of this majestic mosque was established over the water to reduce land usage, adding a touch of architectural uniqueness. From afar, you can see its single white minaret reaching up the sky. So, absorb the calmness by performing a Salah here surrounded by peaceful sea views.

Perhentian Islands are indeed a tropical paradise. You can never get tired of its beauty and always want to come back. Stop dreaming and unwind in one of these most beautiful places in Malaysia, the Perhentian Islands, now!

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Bella enjoys sipping on hot soy latte while writing. Through Halaltrip, she communicates her love for travelling.

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