Snorkelling with turtles right off the beach on the Perhentian Islands
Our 10 days in Perhentian Islands Malaysia was such an amazing contrast from our busy schedule of the many thing to see and do in China. Its low season now as the monsoon hit these islands mid October and most hotels and restaurants close until after Chinese New Year in February.
The feeling of having nowhere to go and nothing to do…except for swim, snorkel and do some school work was simply amazing. We had opted for a slightly more expensive hotel with pool on the big island to allow us all to recover from our intense time in China and this worked really well. We loved the cheap and amazing food, the soft sand between our toes, crystal clear water and some great animal encounters on these quiet and remote Islands.
10 different beaches dotted around the 2 islands all have a slightly different offering in terms of swimming, snorkelling and food. There are no roads here so boat taxi’s on every beach that can take you from one island to the next or simply to another beach. We loved the Perhentian Island Resort beach RIP the best as it was great for swimming and snorkelling directly off the beach. We also enjoyed the 30 min jungle trek to get here from Arwana resort on the other side of the island where we were staying.
The snorkelling here is so accessible and truly spectacular. We saw all sorts of fish, big and small and even had a swim with wild giant green turtles in Turtle bay.
Unfortunately great crowds of Malay tourist with varying swimming ability and knowledge of the coral reef, meant some areas were really crowded with people standing and sitting on the coral.
We were pleased with the change of food and menus in China to the Malay cuisine and even more so when we discovered how cheap it can be, once you are out of the mani hotels and resorts. Small beach cafes offer chicken, fish, prawns, squid, fried rice and other local delicacies such as Nasi Goreng and Tom Yam soup. A typical dinner/lunch for 4 cost us around £15.
Good to know about Perhentian Islands
All payment are made in cash and no ATMs are valuable on the island so bring all the cash you need. You can get money from the main hotels if you need to but it is expensive to do.
Food in the resorts is expensive and there is only a tiny selection of things, food and snacks to buy in a couple of shops across the 2 islands. You are better off bringing the things you need with you from the main land
Malaysia is a Muslim country and many Malay tourists are on these islands. Most men and women bath in the pool and sea fully clothed, so its good to be aware and respectful.
Wifi is very poor overall on the islands so prepare to disconnect and enjoy the peace and quiet of doing nothing.