These two islands, laying just 19km off the North East coast of Malaysia are the kind of rural delight you would expect for a place where there are no roads.
Life is pretty basic and if you don’t mind ceiling fans, sharing with gordon the gecko and his kids, and living with just the one tank of cold water for your showers every day, then you will find yourself in a slice of heaven.
If you want air con, Wifi that works, mod-cons and hate bugs, lizards and insects, then let’s just say you better avoid the Perhentians.
When you’ve got two feet in the sand, a beer or cocktail in one hand and your eyes to the sky as the sun sets then what more do you need?
Perhaps not a Scandinavian dive master talking at your for 2 hours relentlessly about his hobo life, franchise plan and how he gets given clothes by people passing through because he is so homeless. I really do not need to know how you heal all your sea cuts and scrapes intricately, and no I don’t want to see your scars, or know your future life plan all while you don’t take a breath or let me just…watch…the…sun…set!
If you find him, RUN.
On the plus side, that night I saw this. I do not know how the light shone rainbow out of the clouds, even whats-his-face shut up for long enough to see Mother Nature blowing all our socks off.
Pretty isn’t it?
Did I mention how clear the water was? Snorkelling is well worth doing, but get on a boat and take a tour. I snorkelled from the beach and saw sweet FA, not a nemo in sight. That’s what happens when you’re trying to be a cheap traveller. Next time, get on the boat.
Look at that face coming at ya. Stuff of nightmares.
You can’t take the english out of us, we’ll still play silly buggers. But seriously, that water?!
Gross, just too much sand.
Only joking, how could you hate the beach? If you dislike beaches like this, you have no soul. What’s that sound? Is that the sound of you booking a flight?
Being barefoot in a sandy restaurant, is probably my most happy place. This little restaurant on Coral Bay on the little island (Pulau Perhentian Kecil) is so cute. It’s part of Ombak dive school, so it’s easy to find. Oh yes, so diving is a big deal here, apparently it’s incredibly. I’m still a big scaredy cat about learning how to dive, one day maybe I’ll get there…
Firstly world-ing days, when you really need to finish your spreadsheets and one of us was binging on the BBC drama Bodyguard. INTENSE. Go sit at Bubu Long Beach Resort’s restaurant, order delicious food and squeeze their wifi for all it’s worth. Well when you’ve got to plan you onward adventures, needs must.
We took a night bus from Kuala Lumpur, which was at best interesting (read horrendous). If you’re a solo girl, buddy up before partaking in the £8 NINE hour bus. The three drivers and me and my friend were all that were left on board for the last 3 hours, if solo it would have been super weird.
Once we figured out no one understand each other we just hoped the Kuala Besut Jetty was the last stop on the bus, if not it would be the kind of magical mystery tour you don’t want.
Once at Kuala Besut, someone will ultimate approach you (try to hustle you) into buying a ticket. Just walk around, there’s a few offices, but you can buy online before you travel as well – which we did. We got the 9.30am boat and it took around 45 minutes, with a few stops. The ride was basic and so beautiful. Don’t forget the sunscreen….
Accommodation is in two levels – BIG bucks and basic bitch. So of course you know which end we went towards. It’s simple but pretty good.
On Kecil we stayed at Perhentian Tropicana on Long Beach, a short walk through the jungle path to the hotel, sharing with our gecko children and just the one tank of daily cold water, what more do you need?
On the larger island, Perhentian Besar we stayed at Flora Bay 2, was actually delightful, right on the beach. It’s quieter than the other island, and on this side of the bay it was alot more rocky in the water, so naturally we hiked through the jungle (there was a path), met some HUGE monitor lizards and sweat profusely, but came out on the other side to a stunning beach by the Perhentian Island resort. Worth the hike.