We left our chalet for a walk on the beach to see the evening’s sunset. That’s when a dark mix of clouds rolled in to create this dramatic view. We were in the Perhentian Islands of Malaysia. I consider these islands a nice alternative to Thailand if you are trying to avoid the crowds and party atmosphere of the beaches of southern Thailand. There is a wide variety of accommodation to suit all budgets, but the islands aren’t too built up. The guesthouses and hotels are concentrated in about four main beach areas across two islands. Perhentian Besar (Big Island) and Perhentian Kecil (Small Island) have limited development and their surrounding waters are protected by a National Marine Park. The islands are mostly covered by jungle. The white sand beaches and excellent underwater life are the main draws to the Perhentian Islands.
Diving, snorkeling, and relaxing on the beach are the main activities here. Simple beachfront restaurants are adequate, if a little overpriced. But accommodation is a great value. We stayed for RM70 per night ($23 US) in a double room chalet with garden view.
The Perhentian Islands are accessible via small ferry boats from Kuala Besut, Malaysia. Kuala Besut can be reached from either Kuala Terengganu or Kota Bharu.