This year it was exhaustive and boring at the same time. After being confined in the house for over six months, I decided that I badly needed some time off. I was tired of scrolling down my Instagram feed seeing people posting pictures from their vacations in Goa and Maldives. I, too, deserve a vacation, and hence I booked my tickets and took a flight to Malaysia. It was great to be taking a solo trip, and I was glad that I chose a beautiful country like Malaysia to explore. Most people know Malaysia for its Petronas twin towers and pristine beaches. But my reason for visiting Malaysia was to explore Perhentian Island by ferry. The beautiful islands located in the South China sea painted a delightful picture in my head when I read about it in a blog. The Perhentians is a collection of many small islands, Pulau Perhentian Besar’s main islands, which translates to big Perhentian Island, and Pulau Perhentian Kecil, which translates to small Perhentian Island. 

Once I arrived at the country capital, Kuala Lumpur, I hired a taxi to Kuala Besut Jetty. The 6-hour drive cost me around 2500 rupees or RM 135. Once I reached the port, I was relieved since the journey from then onwards had been taken care of by. redBus. I had booked a redBus ferry online to reach the Perhentian Islands. A two-way ferry ticket costs around RM 70. It is mostly high since there is a lot of rush during the vacations but thanks to redBus I availed special discounts and deals while booking. The ferry ride from the port to the island takes around 40 minutes, and I had the chance to enjoy the sea breeze and the beautiful crystal clear sea around me. The Perhentian island ferry ride is fun and comfortable.

When I finally arrived at my destination, I couldn’t help but get mesmerized by the view around me: lush green jungles, clear blue beaches, and white sand. I had my entire day lined up. I was excited to get underwater and experience snorkeling for the first time. Since I was hungry, I decided to grab a quick meal at the cafe nearby. The aesthetic interiors and insta worthy view made me fall in love with the cafe more than the food.   

After I rented the necessary snorkeling gear, I headed to Coral bay to spend the rest of the day snorkeling. Once I went underwater, I realized that nothing could ever be as beautiful and enchanting as the marine life. I had the opportunity to witness many fishes and reefs. There were beautiful corals and marine plants. I felt like a mermaid, and I wish I could stay there forever. My first ever snorkeling experience was absolute bliss, and anyone who is a fan of underwater diving and snorkeling must give the Perhentian islands a visit. With the prices being as less as RM 50, you can cherish this experience for a lifetime without burning a hole in your pocket. By the time I was done, I had decided to call it a day and headed to my resort. I had checked into a room in the Perhentian island resort, and it was absolute bliss to witness the beautiful sunset from there. There are many private resorts on the island with access to private beaches. One of them is Shari la. It is one of the best resorts in Perhentian Kecil and also offers many services.  

The next day I had the chance to explore the fisherman’s village, which is nearby. There is nothing exotic or touristy about the place, but I wanted to visit to have a glimpse of native life. There was this really beautiful mosque on the shore side with tiny cafes that served local food at low prices. Since I was looking for some peace of mind, I decided to take a walk in the forest. It is a 6 km stretch, and I was lucky to spot a few fruit bats and monkeys on the way. I did stop once in a while to see the beaches of beautiful blue color, and they were so refreshing and inviting. Although here’s a tip for anyone who decides to take a trek in the forest, carry sturdy footwear as beach flip-flops will not last long. When in a paradise-like Perhentian island, a trek through the jungle would be the last thing on anyone’s mind, but it offers gorgeous views and postcard picture vibes. 

After the walk and lunch, I decided to try my hand at diving. Many diving sites are on the islands, but the top three are Tokong Laut, T3 or ‘The three brothers’ and Sugar wreck. After researching a bit, I decided to head to T3 since I had heard many positive reviews about this diving site. There are many dive shops around, and they offer many discounts. Make sure you pay them in cash since they charge extra if paid using mobile wallets. The underwater caves make it a fun diving site, and there is always a possibility of spotting some cute fishes. For a person like me, who is a beach fanatic, this island is dreamy, and if I was given a chance, I could stay here for the rest of my life. 

The Perhentian islands were the most amazing experience I had in my life. My three days on the island ended quickly, but I was glad to have had the opportunity to visit it. If anyone is planning a trip to this island, there a few tips that I’d like to add:

  • Carry as much cash as you can, there is a dearth of ATM’s here, and not every shack or small shops accept PayPal and credit cards.
  • Avoid the usage of plastic. Let’s not add to the planet woes by littering the island. Don’t accept plastic bags from shopkeepers and carry reusable water bottles.
  • There is limited electricity for consumption. Carry your extra power bank in case you want to charge your phones and cameras.
  • Remember to carry snacks if you are on a low budget, it’ll save you money from eating outside.

I hope you have a great trip!