Another beautifully lost dreamer with an incurable case of wanderlust.

Perhentian Perfection

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The Perhentian Islands lie about 10 miles off the East Coast of Malaysia and 40 miles South of the Thai border. The two main Islands are called Perhentian Besar (big) and Perhentian Kecil (small). Dead adventurous, I know. But don’t let the lack of name creativity put you off. After eight nights, I was truly, madly and deeply in love with this stunning and somewhat ‘secret’ destination.
It’s a bit of a mission to get to: Yes.
I travelled from Koh Phangan: It was a delightful 5 hour ferry ride (It would have been shorter if some knob head didn’t jump off it), 1 hour bus journey and 12 hour train ride to Penang. Then from Penang you have to get on a minibus for 6 hours, then hop on a speedboat for 40 minutes. After that, *breathe*, you arrive.
HEL-LO Paradise.
Never seen this before!

Never seen this before!

Ok, so what’s so great about it?
  • Snorkelling is amazing. There is so much beautiful marine life, even straight off the beach! I’d recommend going on a local boat trip. I went twice and both times I swam with Sharks and Sea Turtles. It was incredible. The Malay boy (he was 14) who was driving the speedboat seemed to enjoy heading towards rocks and piers at great speed, then steering and missing them by inches. What a little angel. .. To be fair though, he was a fab captain!

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  • Diving is great. There are heaps of awesome dive spots not far from the islands. The Perhentians is home to two ship wrecks. Open Water Divers can explore Sugar Wreck and Adventure Divers can head to Vietnamese Wreck. It was my first wreck dive, and maaan was is siiick!

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  • These tiny islands are the perfect place to completely zone out and relax. WiFi is on the island, but it is pretty terrible (as to be expected.) Chris Stevens was not a fan, but after dying a little inside, it gave me a chance to forget about everything and totally chill out.
  • Coral Bay is one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. Powder white sand, turquoise ocean and lush green surroundings.
  • Don’t go expecting much nightlife, because there really isn’t. But there are a couple of Reggae bars that have a nice vibe about them. Drink some jungle juice, sit on the beach and soak up the atmosphere.
  • Because the Perhentians are still kind of on the down-low, it isn’t full of annoying, jumped up, gap year backpackers. The mix of people is pretty cool; A few families, but mainly down to earth couples and travellers just looking for a little piece of paradise.

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Quick tips:
  • When you get off the boat… RUN! You can’t pre book accommodation, it’s first come, first serve. So get in there, quick!
  • Stay at Coral Bay. It’s much cheaper and a hell of a lot more picturesque. In the evenings you can take a stroll to Long Beach, it’s only 10 minutes.

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Recommendations:
  • Stay and Dive with Ombak. Reasonably priced for a decent beachfront resort.
  • Eat lots of yummy beach BBQ
  • Order a sweet iced coffee at Ewan’s. Probably the best thing I have ever tasted.

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2 comments

  1. I thought the people there were lovely and I mostly ate delicious BBQ every.single.day. Would go back in a heartbeat. Amazing islands! 🙂

    • Maybe they just had a bad week when I was there! Yeah the BBQ on the beach was yummy!!! I’m down for that food daily. Chris and I had an amazing coconut curry too. Nom!

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