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Perhentian Islands

  • Coral Beach, Pulau Perhentian Kecil, Malaysia
Coral Beach on Pulau Perhentian Kecil
also known as:
Pulau Perhentian
Priority: Midd
Location Type: Destination
The Perhentian Islands, surrounded by turquoise water, are located 21 km off the coast of Kuala Besut. Pulau Perhentian Kecil (the small island) is the most popular backpacker island destination in Malaysia.
Climate / Quick InfoIsland Ratingcommunity tipsGetting ThereGetting AroundOrientation

Pulau Perhentian, Weather Chart (temperature, precipitation)

Weather / Climate Chart, Perhentian Islands
Yearly temperature and rain chart showing the best travel times and seasons for the Perhentian Islands.
The Perhentian Islands have a year round hot tropical climate. Precipitation is highest from November to February due to the North-east Monsoon. During this season the sea is very rough and almost all resorts and boat services shut down. The peak season is from June to September. 

average humidity: 85 %
annual rainfall: 2400 mm


  • Practically no tourist boats run from Kuala Besut to the islands during the rainy season, and all the resorts are closed.
  • There are some good surfing waves at this time but the islands are largely inaccessible.
  • There are no ATMs on the island, or in Kuala Besut. The closest ATM is in the nearby town of Jerteh (about twenty minute taxi ride from the jetty). Traveler’s cheques and major currencies can be exchanged, but the rates are not great.
  • The island is known for the diving and especially for the low price of courses. The snorkeling is great (snorkel trips widely available), excellent chance to see black tip reef sharks and hawksbill turtles.
  • Other activities include jungle walks, beach volleyball, kayaking, island hopping to nearby uninhabited islands.
  • There are many restaurants, food prices range to suite most budgets.
  • There are no roads on the islands, although some footpaths through the jungle have been forged. Transportation is thus on foot or by private water taxi.
  • Long Beach on Kecil has the largest variety of budget accommodation and is the most lively beach at night.
Tips, Trick & More
  • There are sundry shops on the islands but items cost a bit more than on the mainland. Alcohol is available on the islands but at a premium rate, so bring some with you if you want to drink.
  • There are mosquitoes on the islands but malaria is not prevalent here.
  • Besar means big in Malay and Kecil means small, hence the bigger of the two island is Pulau Perhentian Besar and the smaller island  is Pulau Perhentian Kecil.
  • Although the islands are considered safe for travelers, do not leave your belongings lying on the beach unattended or on your balcony overnight, and lock your bungalow door, like you would anywhere.




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Wikipedia - Perhentian Islands

Perhentian Kecil seen from Perhentian Besar
Perhentian Kecil seen from Perhentian Besar

Sheer beauty of Pulau Perhentian makes it the destination of tourists. Both the islands have palm-fringed white sandy beaches and turquoise blue sea. One can have a number of activities on its beaches and forests. Scuba-diving, snorkeling, and swimming are the most popular tourist activities here. On most beaches, the water is shallow with lots of rays, cuttlefish and parrotfish. For diving, there are dozens of dive sites around both main islands, as well as several off-shore sites. Apart from these, you could also enjoy activities like camping, canoeing, fishing, jungle trekking, and banana boat riding. As for accommodation, most of it can be found on Perhentian Besar, the larger island. Hotels are usually aimed at budget travelers.

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Wikitravel - Perhentian Islands

Map of the Perhentian Islands

Perhentian (pronounced Perhen-TEE-AHN, not Perhen-SHEN) means "place to stop" in Malay, and the islands got their name as a staging point used by traders traveling from Malaysia to Bangkok. The two main islands are Perhentian Besar ("Big Perhentian") and Perhentian Kecil ("Small Perhentian"). Kecil attracts more travelers as it has cheaper accommodation, while Besar is a little more expensive and caters more to families and those who want to avoid the backpacker party scene. The small, uninhabited islands of Susu Dara, Seringgi and Rawa lie off Kecil. All the islands belong to a protected marine park, which means that fishing, collecting coral and littering are strictly prohibited.

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Research Center

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