Tap to Read ➤

Ultimate Guide to the Perhentian Islands, Malaysia

Priya Johnson Jun 13, 2019
Situated about 18-20 km away from the Malaysian coast, Perhentian islands are known for their snorkeling and diving opportunities; an ideal place for first-timers to get their scuba diving license (PADI).

Your browser doesn't support HTML5 video.

Why visit Perhentian Islands

Perhentian islands comprise twin islands that are both scenic and secluded.

Your browser doesn't support HTML5 video.

Perhentian islands are free from crowds and commercialization, making them the perfect beaches to relax.

Another reason people visit these islands is their remarkable scuba diving and snorkeling experiences.

Free from Commercialization

The reason these beaches are non-commercialized and less visited, is due to the cumbersome travel route required to reach here.
Tourists are required to travel via plane, bus, and even a ferry before they can reach these islands. This tedious journey often intimidates travelers.

Unique Features

No roads on the islands and no motor vehicles, so no annoying traffic issues. Water taxis are used to move between the islets.

Cellphone and Internet connectivity is limited, and since there are no ATMs on the island, carrying adequate cash is a necessity.

Your browser doesn't support HTML5 video.

Pulau Perhentian Besar (Big Perhentian)

Perhentian Besar, the bigger of the two islands is considered to be more luxurious than its smaller counterpart.

Your browser doesn't support HTML5 video.

Housing various luxurious holiday resorts, food and lodging here is more expensive. It’s quieter and cleaner as well; ideal for families with kids and honeymooners.

Your browser doesn't support HTML5 video.

Pulau Perhentian Kecil (Small Perhentian)

As compared to Besar, Kecil is more affordable in terms of lodging, food and alcohol – ideal for budget travelers.

Your browser doesn't support HTML5 video.

This island is more populated and livelier than its bigger counterpart. It is also famous for vibrant restaurants that serve alcohol until late and an active nightlife scene.

Scuba Diving Oasis

Another highlight of this Malaysian coastline is the clear waters that give a wonderful view of the stunning coral reef. Perfect place for first-timers because the waters are calm and free from peril.

Sugar Wreck Dive Site

Dive your way to the popular Sugar Wreck spot and view the sunken freighter for yourself.

This sugar-carrying vessel sank in the Malaysian Coast in 2000, and since then it’s been home to several marine inhabitants. Several fish varieties are found taking refuge in these ruins, with corals growing on the hull.


Some of the best snorkeling spots in Malaysia, these islands are known for their underwater adventure.

Snorkel your way into the water, and immerse yourself into the colorful coral and gorgeous marine life.

Jungle Trails

Irrespective of which Perhentian island you choose to lodge on, there are enough jungle trails on both.

Encounter large monitor lizards, geckos, monkeys, and even a variety of spiders during the course of the hike.

Interact and Learn About the Green Sea Turtle

The Perhentian Turtle Project aims to conserve the sea turtle population in the region by increasing awareness.

View these huge, gorgeous, shelled amphibians in their natural habitat. You can also volunteer in the protection program.