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Pulau Perhentian, Terengganu

Pulau Perhentian map

Pulau Perhentian is located at the north-eastern shoreline of Peninsular Malaysia, about 21 km off shores the faraway town of Kuala Besut. Do you know that there are two islands of Perhentian? The exquisite pure island lie amongst delicately clear waters known as Pulau Perhentian Kecil (Small Perhentian) and Perhentian Besar (Big Perhentian). I must say the Perhentian Islands are definitely a must-go place in Malaysia for budget travelers. I assure you, they have some of Malaysia’s most majestic beaches and great diving experience to offer with plenty of cheap accommodation.

Me at Perhentian Kecil

Hereby I listed the interesting activities I did in Perhentian islands. Be ready to explore!

  •   Scuba diving – Both Perhentian islands offer excellent diving experience and appeal divers from far. Other than unique corals and fishes, I love the fact that Perhentians are also a host to turtles and many types of shark. I was told that the visibility to spot them is often in the 65 foot range and no wet suit is required. The underneath marine life will surely make your jaw dropped! 
      Scuba diving

  • Snorkeling – I find it almost all resorts hire out snorkeling equipment and arrange snorkeling tours around the islands. Three most famous snorkeling spots on Besar comprise Teluk Pauh, Shark Point, and Tanjung Basi. As for turtles, the best place is at the middle of the beach in front of Perhentian Island Resort, where algae covered the sandy bottom. Go and search for the creatures!

View during snorkeling

  • Jungle trekking – Let me tell you that these islands are overlapped by small routes that connect one beach to another. A rocky tropical forest provides adventures for nature lovers and trekkers who might have a chance upon flying fox, long-tailed macaque monkeys and monitor lizards, while the beneath aquatic life offers a wonderful coral view. A little reminder from me, the journey will leave you sweating badly!

Jungle trekking trail

  • Watch turtles – The islands are known to be a home for turtle nesting population. I went to Turtle Beach at night to have a glance of them laying their eggs. If you are lucky enough, watch the cute baby turtles making their way for the first time to the sea. I was not lucky at that time.

Spotted a turtle
A turtle making its way to the ocean

  • Eat, eat and eat in Perhentian Kecil – Perhentian Kecil may be a little packed than Besar, but I assure you prices are way cheaper there. Senja is a great seaside restaurant over Coral Bay, which give you a taste of dishes from the local flavor. You can also check out for Maya, Mama’s Café, and Amelia Café.

Senja restaurant

When I planned my trip to Perhentian Island as a backpacker last year, I made a lay out of my budget for a clear view of my money flow later on. It is crucial to always prepare a budget before going for a vacation in order to avoid over spending. As for Perhentian Island, the lists are as following:

· Boat to the island from Kuala Besut: RM 70/round-trip
· Lodging: RM30-45/night
· Meals: RM8-15
· Snorkeling: RM10-70 (depending on the trip)
· Scuba diving: RM75-85/dive
·Open water or advanced certification courses: RM2000 (recommended: Lazy Buoy on Long Beach)
· Water taxis to other beaches, nearby islands: RM10-30 per person depending on location (prices double past 7pm)
· Sunscreen: RM40+
· Bug spray: RM50+
· Aloe vera: RM35
· Flip flops: RM20
· Bottled water: RM4 for 2L

If you need some tips, you can consider mine as listed below.

  • Decide when is your trip. Between June and August are the most busy season
  • Stock up your essentials (sunscreen, bug spray, aloe vera, toiletries) before coming or else you will have to deal with the marked up prices!
  • Get cheap snorkeling equipment from some local restaurant
  • Arrive on the island as early as possible to grab rooms as people check out because some budget hotels do not take reservations
  • Bring plenty of cash from mainland because there are no ATM machine on the island
  • Bring along mosquito spray (helpful during night)

If you are interested in going to one of the islands, you can always search for a guide from these suggested travel guide websites; Trip Advisor Pulau Perhentian  and Touropia Perhentian .

I hope that I have helped you in knowing more about Perhentian Islands. Happy discovering!

Thank you for reading.

See you in the next entry.

Pulau Pangkor, Perak

During the British rule, the island was temporarily called as Monkey Island. Later, the island was named Pulau Aman (Peaceful Island) before it get the name Pangkor. I bet you did not that before. Pangkor comes from the Thai; 'Pang Ko' which describes Beautiful Island. It consists of a group of several islands which the main island is Pangkor and next to it situated a trio of minor islands namely Pangkor Laut, Pulau Mentagor and Pulau Giam. That is just amazing, right? Pangkor Laut is t the most renowned amongst those islands because of its tranquil resort you can find on this small island, also known as Pangkor Laut Resort. Pangkor is a mountainous island where the highest point is at 1216 meters called as Pangkor Hill. I can tell it by the roads which are in a circle around the island as the island consists of mostly mountains.

Me by the Bogak beach

As you get there, I would suggest you to do the following activities that Pulau Pangkor has to offer. I had fun back then so it is your turn now. Let’s check it out!

  • Water sports activities are easy to spot around Pangkor Island especially around Bogak beach and Nipah beach. I found out plentiful operators that offer banana-boat rides and Jet Ski rental that could make you go crazy about water sports. You can also do some snorkeling at Giam Island although it is incomparable with snorkeling on islands like Redang and Perhentian.

Poparazzi water ride

Banana Boat ride
    • Pangkor Town is a nice place to walk by as there are many great local restaurants where you can enjoy typical dishes originated from the island itself. I always shop for seafood snacks which are not only made by the locals, but also caught by local fishermen. People usually buy a lot of the snacks because it is cheap and you cannot find as delicious as sold in Pangkor anywhere else. Do you agree?

 Pangkor Town

Seafood snacks

  • Hornbill feeding is one of the famous activities done by tourists in Pangkor. The hornbills are known as Oriental Pied Hornbills which choose Malaysia as their home, specifically in Pangkor. Awesome is not it? Based on my reading, you can also see the same hornbills in Langkawi if you happen to go there. Head over to Pangkor Island Beach Resort to feed them and get a close up look of those beautiful and truly intelligent birds.

Hornbill feeding 

  •  Go for a light jungle treks around the island. I would suggest the Pangkor Hill Trek which starts at Bogak beach and takes you all the way to the eastern side of the island; Sungai Pinang Kecil. I encountered a scenic view along the way. Most jungle hikes only take an hour or two. Remember to notify your resort or guesthouse owner that you are off for a jungle hike.

  • I went to Batu Bersurat (Tiger Rock or Historic Rock) which is a gigantic boulder with historical engravings on it. The captions refer to a tiger and a child, dated '1743 I.F.CRALO' together with the initials of the 'VOC' which stands for Dutch East India Company.

My father and little brother at the Tiger Rock

For those who plan to have a trip to Pangkor, I hereby include an average travel budget list which I surveyed from my own trip and my friends’. Hope it is beneficial to you.

·         Boat to the island from Lumut Jetty: RM 10/round-trip
·         Van from the jetty to chalet: RM10-15
·         Car rental: RM80/day
·         Motorcycle rental: RM30/day
·         Scooter rental: RM40/day
·         Lodging: RM60/night
·         Meals: RM6-20
·         Snorkeling: RM10-50 (depending on the trip)
·         Sunscreen: RM40+
·         Aloe vera: RM35
·         Flip flops: RM20
·         Bottled water: RM4 for 2L

I also would like to share some tips with you readers. Who knows it might be beneficial to you later on, right? Here you go:

  •  A 3-day-2-night trip is enough to discover Pangkor because it is just a small island
  •  Survey for accommodation at Booking or Agoda  and compare the prices offered
  •  Bring sunglass to protect eyes from dust and sunlight
  •  Keep all your belongings safe especially when you leave your things by the beach
  •  Beware if you are traveling alone especially female
  •  Careful when walking on the roads. Motorcycles and vans are passing by so fast 

I suppose I have told you all the activities I have done during my stay at Pulau Pangkor. Hope you guys get something new from the review. Sorry if there is anything lack in the content.

Thank you for spending your time reading this entry. Till next time, travelers!