Isole Perhentian Malaysia: Large and Small

Today I want to talk to you about Malaysia and in particular about a true natural paradise, the Perhentian islands, one of the most beautiful places in the whole country.

The Perhentian Islands are two: Great Stop (means "big" in Malay language) e Small Stop ("Small"), located in the north east of Malaysia, about 20 km from the coast.

For lovers of the sea and snorkelling, the Perhentians are unmissable, they are part of the Redang marine park and offer dream beaches and wonderful backdrops.

Covered by dense vegetation, the islands have no roads, only a few paths that can be walked through the jungle. But the best way to get around is by boat.

In this article, we find out everything there is to know about Perhentians. Let's see which island to choose between Basar and Kecil, how to reach them, where to stay, what is the best time to visit them and which are the most beautiful beaches.

Isole Stop: Large o Small

Choosing where to sleep between Perhentian Besar and Kecil is very simple.

First it must be said that both islands are very quiet, but Besar is even more so and is ideal for families or couples. Perhentian Kecil offers a little more evening life, with bonfires and beach clubs and is perfect for groups of friends who are also looking for fun.

Perhentian Besar offers a lot less when it comes to fun, but has nicer beaches and better snorkeling spots where, with a bit of luck, you'll even be able to swim with turtles.

In any case, the two islands are facing each other and you can move easily by taxi boat, even in the evening. I personally stayed in Besar and in my opinion it was the best choice.

The Best Beaches of the Perhentians

Among the most beautiful beaches of the Perhentians there is certainly the one in front of the Perhentian Island Resort (PIR) a Besar, where swimming a short distance from the shore, you can see sea turtles and many colorful fish.

Another must-see beach in Besar is Turtle Beach, an incredible deserted bay, accessible only by taxi boats.

You can take boat trips to some sites particularly suitable for snorkeling, where you can swim with black tip sharks (shark Point) and turtles (turtle point).

Personally, these boat trips did not drive me crazy, too crowded, at turtle point we were at least three boats full of tourists chasing a poor turtle, I found it far too invasive for the animal. Much better to see them while swimming alone a few meters from the shore.

The beaches of Pulau Perhentian Kecil are also not bad at all. Among the best are Coral Bay and Romantic Beach.

Where to Stay in the Perhentian

The quality standards of Perhentian hotels are not very high, forget the luxury resorts. Overall, however, there are good solutions, the important thing is to choose the best point on the island.

Here are some hotels selected for you:

Perhentian Island Resort

Pulau Perhentian Besar 22200, Malaysia

Although it cannot be considered a luxury resort, the PIR it has the advantage of being in front of one of the most beautiful beaches in the Perhentians. The rooms are however clean and some have recently been refurbished. In general, the PIR remains among the best choices where to stay in the Perenthians.

View Price on Booking


The Barat

Kuala Besut, Pulau Perhentian Besar 22300, Malaysia

Very simple resort but clean enough, the strong point is the location 5 minutes walk from the PIR beach. The Barat restaurant is also excellent, one of the few where beer is available.

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Coral View

Jalan Besar, Pulau Perhentian Besar 22300, Malaysia

Located just 100 meters from the PIR beach, with a good concentration of restaurants in the immediate vicinity.

Perhentian Tuna Bay Island Resort

Perhentian Island, Pulau Perhentian Besar 22300, Malaysia

The Tuna Bay is perhaps the best for value for money, even if compared to others it is further away from the PIR beach, reachable in any case with a walk of about 20 minutes.
Also beautiful is the Tuna beach with crystal clear waters and the coral reef a few meters from the shore. The restaurant also serves alcohol, which is quite rare on this island.

View Price on Booking

As for little Kecil, one of the best resorts on the island is Bubu Resort a Long Beach, which also offers the best restaurant in the Perhentians, even if the prices are higher than average, practically in line with Western ones.


How to reach the Perhentian:

The Perhentians can be reached from the port of Kuala Besut, in about 40 minutes by boat.
If you come by plane you can get to Kuala Besut, and then take a taxi from Kota Bharu airport. Or from Kuala Lumpur, with a long journey of about 8 hours by bus.
For the transfer from Kuala Besut to the islands you can also agree in advance with the hotel where you will be staying.

Currency Exchange

Keep in mind that in the Pherentian there are no ATMs, only a few resorts offer change, but at disadvantageous rates. So I recommend that you bring enough cash for your stay.

When to go to the Perhentian

The best time to go to the Perhentians is from May to September. In fact, from November to the end of February, most of the resorts are closed.

Start with the Best Guide to Visit Malaysia

Tips, information, suggested itineraries and updated maps for a holiday in Malaysia
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