Perhentian Kecil Travel Blog

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We met a couple on our minibus transfer from the Gili Islands to Bali, and they told us about the Perhentian Islands. They were so glowing in praise for the place that we decided to go. And the islands didn't disappoint.

We got an Air Asia flight from KL to Kota Bharu, which cost all of US$28 each. We had to pay another US$30 between us for excess luggage, but it was still pretty cheap. On arrival at Kota Bharu we got slightly conned by the guy at one of the tour desks at the airport, who sold us a combined taxi and fast boat ticket to get us to the islands. The boat we ended up on turned out to be a rather slow boat, which should have been 10 ringgit less per person. To add insult to injury the boat broke down within sight of the islands and we had to bob around on a choppy sea for something approaching an hour before they got it fixed and we were back on our way.

Our humble abode
When we left the island to return to the mainland we were on a similarly slow boat, so when we got off we complained and managed to get 10 ringgit back. We weren't that impressed with them though. There are proper slow and fast boats to choose between if you manage to avoid the operator we went with, and got to the village listed in the Lonely Planet instead.

Our mood changed once we arrived on the island. We ended up spending a week there (we stayed on Kecil, and didn't actually go across to the larger island). We would have stayed longer, but were conscious of our time in southeast Asia dripping away.

The island was a lovely idyllic place, with a great relaxed vibe. One day we went on a snorkelling trip, which was fantastic - better than the snorkelling we did elsewhere on our trip, in Thailand, the Cook Islands, Moorea and Mexico. I wish that we'd gone on the trip twice: it was so good.

Mostly we enjoyed just sitting around either on the beach, or in the little restaurant at our set of beach bungalows and playing cards. There were a few places along the beach where you could get food, which also had bungalows to stay in. Our bungalow was just a room with a bed in it, and a little balcony outside, but it was nice enough. The bathrooms were shared, but OK.

All in all this was one of the best places we went all year.


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Our humble abode
Our humble abode
Perhentian Kecil General Tips & Advice review
Getting to the Perhentian Islands
The Perhentian Islands are a fantastic pair of islands off the Malaysian north-east coast. They're not completely straightforward to get to, and so ar… read entire review
Perhentian Kecil
photo by: orcio81