Sunday, July 24, 2011

Perhentian Islands

 The Perhentian Islands  or also commonly called Pulau Perhentian lie approximately 10 nautical miles (19 km) off the coast of northeastern Malaysia in the state of  Terengganu. But the Islands are closer to Kota Bharu if you are flying in. The distance takes about 45 minutes by road from Kota Bharu to the Jetty in Besut. 
                                                         The two main islands in Perrhentian Islands are Perhentian Besar (Big Perhentian) and Perhentian Kecil ("Small Perhentian"). The small, uninhabited islands of Susu Dara (Virgin Milk), Serenggeh and Rawa lie off Kecil. The Perhentians belong to Pulau Redang National Marine Park which means that fishing, collecting coral and littering are strictly prohibited. Like Besut, people here generally speak Kelantanese dialect.                   
Journey to Perhentian Island from Kuala Besut jetty takes about 30 to 45 minutes by speed boat and 1½ hours by  slow boat. There are a number of boat operators in Kuala Besut jetty offering boat services to Perhentian Island. The return boat ticket cost RM70.00 per person for speed boat and RM40.00 per person for slow boat. During our recent trip, we took the boat from Lovely Travels and Tours Sdn. Bhd. The service was excellence. It was a day trip where we left the jetty at about 10.30 am and returned at 4.30 pm for the last boat. If you are interested, you may contact them directly for boat services and tour packages as well at:

Lovely Travels & Tours Sdn. Bhd.,
Contact Person: Mr. Ong Bu Hang,
79, Jalan Pantai,
22300 Kuala Besut,
Terengganu.
Tel: 09-6974297 / 09-6975422
Fax: 09-6975337 / 09-6975563
H/P: 012-9819135 / 019-4475135
e-mail address: lovely_tours@yahoo.com

There are plenty of hotels, chalets and restaurants available. And of course it depends where you drop off.  The price of each accommodation rooms varies from RM150.00 to RM300.00 per night. Food and drinks are fairly priced too. You can also move around the islands by hiring a smaller boat called taxis. My favorite beach is The Long Beach as they are closed to snorkeling spot and lesser people. But whichever spot you are, the sea water are mostly crystal clear with fine white sandy beaches. For kids and snorkelers lovers,  the water by the beaches are mostly shallow with lots of rays, cuttlefish and parrot fish.
 One can enjoy a number of activities on its beaches and forests. The most popular are Scuba-diving, snorkeling, turtle and shark-watching and swimming .  For divers, there are dozens of dive sites around both the main islands, as well as several off-shore sites. Diving lessons are also aplenty for those who are keen.  
Apart from all these, other activities such as camping, fishing and jungle trekking are also available. During the evening, some hotels offer barbecue parties by the beaches. The island is closed during the Monsoon seasons from October to March the following year.