Perhentian Island, the underwater paradise

Kuala Besut is a small seaside town on the east coast of Malaysia where you  pick up a speedboat to the perhentian islands. It’s a crowded touristic place that unfortunately you can’t avoid if you want to pop in to the Perhentian islands off the North East coast of Malaysia. But try not to spend much time around. To buy the boat tickets avoid the pier shops, we bought our ticket for 50RM.

Not everything is bad, there are many good eating places in Kuala Besut and better food than on the Perhentians! Just before you go take cash with you because there’s no ATMs on the islands and plenty of suncream, I learnt it the hard way :/

The Perhentians are divided by two different Islands called Perhentian Kecil and Perhentian Besar. Kecil, the smaller islands is a walhalla for backpackers, and Perhentian Besar, the biggest one it’s calmer, very beautiful and perfect for to relax and enjoys what mother nature has to offer…  so better suited for me 🙂


The island is just a peace of paradise on earth, with powdery sand, white beaches, crystal-clear water, palm trees, no concrete or cars, great atmosphere, lovely sunsets, luxurious jungles… it’s all too perfect, and kind of magical, that’s is hard to believe that is real.


There’s not much to do in the island, what is just perfect, so we spent our time, walking around, relaxing, enjoying  the beautiful beaches, sunsets,  hiking through the jungle, spotting wildlife like monkeys, birds, spiders, flying foxes and reptiles. And of course discover amazing deserted beaches and friendly locals.

Lizards are a real thing in the island, and being so close to them is kind f scary, so when you have a huge lizard that decides that your front door is good place to be, is kind of uncomfortable 🙂


On top of that,  you have an immense blue ocean full of life to be discovered. I did here the best snorkelling trip of my life, what a shame I didn’t have a waterproof camera, the visibility was extraordinary, and I was so lucky with all I saw.

In this trip I saw the most incredible fishes species, they were so so many all around me, with different vibrating colour, shapes and sizes, just extraordinary. After this trip I just bought a waterproof camera so I will not miss a shot of a place like this ever again.

Just don’t forget to do snorkelling with a t-shirt, I only put suncream and wasn’t enough at all, I mean I just got a biggg sunburn?.

For the first time in my life I swam with giant turtles, black tip reef shark, clown fish, blue-spotted stingrays, titan trigger fish,  parrot fish, moray eel, and many other  brightly coloured fish that I don’t know the names.

I was lucky enough to be able to swim in waters where you can still see colourful reefs, which unfortunately are despairing because of pollution, climate change  and worrying  lack of environmental awareness and care for the state in which we will leave this Earth when we die.

Kayaking is also a must do, and a great way to explore by your own other parts of the island. We got a kayak for a day and we paddle around the island discovering  a couple of deserted beaches.

In the end of our amazing stay we left this paradisiac island behind and we got a boat back to Kuala Besut, and from there we walked to the bus station( around 10 minutes). Nearby there’s plenty of drink and food stalls and a market behind the station.

Be kind, have fun and protect the coral reefs ?

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha