Perhentian Islands, one of the most well-known outlying islands off the State of Terengganu. The bestowed name could not be apter, “the resting island”, she indeed offers one of the best experiences a holiday-maker can possibly expect; her status as the top choice for snorkelers and divers have been unwavering over so many years.
1. Picture Perfect Landscape
The two islands of Perhentian Islands - Kecil and Besar, though differing in the types of crowd it attracts, shares one thing in common: turquoise waters and sandy white beaches. Kecil is the smaller island while Besar is the larger one. The former houses Long Beach and Coral Bay, where most of the partying and nightlife occurs, so one would expect a more backpacker-ish vibe on the smaller island. Coral Bay, on the other hand, draws more vacationers, families, couples on honeymoon. No matter which side of the islands you are at, the island is ready to deliver that picture perfect portrait of a holiday.
There are some resorts that cater to those who like the fine things in life - Bubu Villa, Alunan Resort are some of them; extremely private and spacious. Mid-range options include those like Turtle Bay, Tuna Bay, Arwana Perhentian Resort. And of course, there are tons of backpacker options available as well.
2. A Variety of Dive Sites
Dive sites in Perhentian varies from beginner level to advanced level so whether you are a novice diver or a more experienced diver, she has it all. Water visibility might not be the best, certain dive sites have much lower visibility as compared to the rest.
One of the must-dive site is Tokong Laut. This site packs a punch with soft and hard corals, pinnacles, boulders, and pelagics such as Tunas, Barracudas, schools of Fusiliers and Snappers. Nurse Sharks, Bamboo Sharks and Whale Sharks can be sighted here occasionally. Yes, Whale Sharks! Especially from March - August. Shark Point is another must-visit if pelagics is your kinda thing; this is where Blacktip Reef Sharks can be seen as well!
3. Quality Restaurants and Bars
Not sure if this is a big draw for most divers, but it certainly is for me. As idyllic as island life could get, food and drinks are such a big part of dive holidays. Most resorts have in-house restaurants that serve up pretty decent Halal food. Long Beach is your haven if you are looking for a place to chillout after the dives. Bubu Villa serves international and fusion food that will not blast a hole out of your pocket. If dining at local joints is your thing, prices could go as low as RM6 per dish.
Perhentian Islands, the island of rest. God bless.