The Perhentian Islands provide the perfect island destination for couples celebrating a honeymoon or romantic getaway.
Of the five islands that make up the group, only Perhentian Besar (Big Perhentian) and Perhentian Kecil (Small Perhentian) are inhabited.
The smaller island, Kecil, offers a lively atmosphere, is popular with backpackers and provides numerous low-priced chalets.
The larger island, Besar, offers a more relaxed atmosphere, is popular with honeymoon couples and has better accommodation options, including the island’s best resort, the Perhentian Island Resort, which nestles among coconut palms facing a crescent of powder-white sand.
Fringed with gorgeous white-sand beaches, swaying palm trees and crystal clear turquoise waters teeming with colourful marine life, the Perhentian Islands offer world-class diving for adventurous honeymoon couples.
The Perhentian Islands are part of the Terengganu Marine Park (photo) and are renowned for soft and hard coral reefs that teem with manta rays, sea turtles, small sharks and colourful reef fish.
Dive centres are easy to find on all the main beaches and offer a variety of excursions to nearby reefs as well as a range of PADI diving courses at competitive prices.
Sunbathe on a choice of gorgeous beaches, go snorkelling, diving and sea kayaking. Volunteer to help protect the island’s green sea turtles or hike through the jungle-clad hills, home to giant meranti trees.
Along the way look out for long-tailed macaques, flying squirrels, shy mousedeer and large monitor lizards.
If you’re here during the nesting season between April and August you may get to witness a miracle of nature as hundreds of green sea turtles return to some of the island’s beaches to lay their eggs.
The Perhentian Islands offer a choice of pristine white-sand beaches that lie scattered around the islands of Besar and Kecil.
These beaches are either shared by the various resorts or lie untouched, but are easily reached by water taxi or by walking jungle tracks. There are no roads or cars in the Perhentian Islands.
The best beaches in the Perhentian Islands, include …
Fringed by jungle-clad rocky promontories and nestling beneath a 100m-high hill covered in virgin rainforest, Perhentian’s main beach offers a wide kilometre-long stretch of soft white-sand perfect for sunbathing, with views across to Perhentian Kecil.
Snorkel the reef around huge boulders, relax with a cold drink in the shade and enjoy a choice of several beachside chalets.
Dip your toes into the soft powder-white sand of this gorgeous secluded beach, which faces a half-moon shaped bay framed by jungle-clad headlands.
The beach is home to the Perhentian Island Resort (photo), offering a range of amenities just a short stroll from the water’s edge.
Snorkel the clean waters, spot parrot fish, black reef sharks and turtles or sunbathe on the soft sand.
Shared by several chalet-type beach resorts,including the Flora Bay Resort, this casuarina-fringed, wide stretch of fine white sand faces a shallow turquoise bay and is framed by lush, jungle-clad headlands.
(Kecil) – This gorgeous palm-fringed crescent of white sand, located on the south coast, is home to just two resorts, including the former Watercolours Impiani Resort, which nestles beneath rainforest just metres from the warm turquoise-coloured sea. Perfect for swimming and snorkelling the jungle-clad rocky headlands.
(Kecil) – Known as Long Beach, Perhentian’s liveliest beach is shared by several budget chalets arranged beside a long white-sand beach that shelves into crystal clear water on the east coast of the island, with views to Perhentian Besar.
(Kecil) – Also known as Teluk Aur, this narrow white-sand beach is fringed by shady palm trees and shared by several budget chalets.
Offering good swimming and snorkelling, the beach faces the turquoise waters of Coral Bay on the west coast of Perhentian Kecil.
The Perhentian Islands offer a good choice of beachfront resorts including the following…
Location: Long Beach
Prices: from AUD331 per room
Description: Situated along Long Beach, Bubu resort features a variety of water sports activities. Massage services are offered. Each of the 34 rooms have a balcony and safety deposit box, with select ones overlooking the garden. En suite bathrooms come with toiletries. Guests can enjoy activities such as kayaking, snorkelling or relaxing at the sun lounges. Sunset cruises and island hopping trips can be organised by the tour desk. Free Wi-Fi is available in the resort's common areas. Seafood, local and Western cuisine is served in Santai Restaurant while a buffet spread can be enjoyed at Mahi-Mahi Restaurant. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are offered at Bubu Terrace. Resort Bubu is a 35-minute boat ride from Kuala Besut Jetty. Driving from Kuala Terengganu Airport to Kuala Besut Jetty takes 2 hours.
Tuna Bay Island Resort
Location: Pulau Perhentian Besar
Prices: from AUD141 per room
Description: Set amidst a tropical jungle, Tuna Bay Island Resort provides air-conditioned rooms and chalets with a private balcony. This property houses a restaurant and offers guests with a variety of recreational activities. Bathed in warm light, guest rooms are equipped with a work desk, personal safe and seating area. Shower facilities and toiletries are in the en suite bathroom. Select rooms offers views of the mountain or garden. Tuna Bay Restaurant serves a spread of local, Western as well as Chinese dishes. Delicious barbecued dishes are also served. Guests can go diving trip, snorkel or fish. Relaxing on the beach and enjoying a barbecue is another good recreation choice. Island Resort Tunabay is a 45-minute speedboat ride from Kuala Besut Jetty. Kota Bahru Airport is a 1-hour drive from Kuala Besut Jetty.
Perhentian Island Resort
Location: Pulau Perhentian Besar
Prices: from AUD150 per room
Description: Surrounded by tropical greenery, steps from the beach, Perhentian Island Resort offers a variety of water activities and charming wooden bungalows with private balconies. It provides free Wi-Fi, an outdoor pool and tennis courts. Views of the beach or landscaped grounds can be enjoyed from private balconies, while the air-conditioned rooms provide the convenience of tea/coffee making facilities. Select rooms have a bathtub in en suite bathrooms. For leisure, Perhentian Resort can arrange diving and fishing trips. After a day of activity, guests can indulge with a relaxing massage. The resort also provides karaoke rooms, beach volleyball and soccer facilities. Enjoy stunning views of Teluk Pauh Beach while sampling local specialities and Western dishes at Pinang Seribu Restaurant. The Beach Kiosk offers a beachfront dining experience, serving grilled dishes. Situated along the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, Perhentian Resort is a 30-minute speedboat ride from Kuala Besut Jetty. The coral reef located 10 metres from the beach offers great snorkelling opportunities.
Arwana Perhentian Eco Resort & Beach Chalet
Location: Pulau Perhentian Besar
Prices: from AUD111 per person
Description: Steps from white sands and crystal clear waters, Arwana Perhentian Resort features tropical-style beachfront accommodation and a private beachfront. It features several water sports, a spa and an outdoor pool. Decorated with classic wood furnishings and local fabrics, air-conditioned rooms offer the comfort of spacious layouts and a large attached bathroom. Guests can head into the ocean for activities like snorkeling and fishing or relax with soothing massages at Arwana Perhentian’s spa. For convenience, free Wi-Fi is provided in public areas. Providing a casual dining environment, Malaysian and Chinese dishes are served at Resort Arwana’s restaurant. Barbecues with fresh seafood dishes can be arranged. Situated on the popular dive spot of Perhentian Island, Arwana Perhentian Eco Resort & Beach Chalet is 45 km from Kota Bharu Airport. It is a 30-minute speedboat ride from Kuala Besut Jetty.
For the best weather, visit the Perhentian Islands in February, or anytime from late-January through to mid-March.
The Perhentian Islands enjoy a hot tropical climate with no dry season. You can expect brief tropical rain showers at anytime. Temperatures are fairly steady throughout the year, averaging around 30°C (86°F).
April through May is considered the best months for scuba diving.
Note: The Perhentian Islands are affected by the northeast monsoon that brings heavy rainfall and rough seas from late-October through to February, restricting ferry transport and forcing many resorts to close.
More information about Perhentian Islands weather…
The Perhentian Islands lie 19km (12mi) off the northeast coast of Peninsular Malaysia in Besut District, Terengganu, roughly 64km (40mi) south of the border with Thailand.
The most convenient route to the Perhentian Islands is by air to Sultan Ismail Petra Airport (KBR) in Kota Bharu, then taxi or bus to Besut Jetty, followed by ferry or speedboat to the Perhentian Islands.
Sultan Ismail Petra Airport (KBR) is located 56km (34mi) north of Besut, about 1 hour 6 minutes by taxi. Ferries to both Perhentian islands leave almost every hour from Besut Jetty during daylight hours, taking around 40-minutes.
From most international destinations this first requires flying into Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL), followed by a connecting flight to Sultan Ismail Petra Airport.
Malaysian Airlines and AirAsia offer several flights daily between Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) and Sultan Ismail Petra Airport (KBR) in Kota Bharu – the state capital of Kelantan, located on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
You can also fly from Kuala Lumpur's second airport, Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah (SZB), to Sultan Ismail Petra (KBR).
The Perhentian Island Resort meets visitors by prior arrangement. And speed boats can drop you off at any beach on request.
More information about getting to Pulau Perhentian…
Latest update: Perhentian Islands honeymoon 22 June, 2022