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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Fashionista's Travels: Perhentian Island

Last August, me and my friend Nihal went off to Perhentian Islands for a weekend getaway post our short-semester exams. I've heard so much about Perhentian Islands, my friend Imelda visits the island almost every year so I've always had a hankering to go and visit the islands myself. Perhentian Islands or Pulau Perhentian is made up of two islands, Pulau Perhentian Besar and Pulau Perhentian Kecil, located off the coast from Terengganu.


Me and Nihal

Based on Imelda's recommendation, we booked our accommodations with Mrs Mazila of Anjung Holidays and selected to stay at Coral View Island Resort. As we wanted to make the most of the trip, we booked the first flight from KL to Kota Bahru, Kelantan (Kota Bahru airport is closer to Kuala Besut, where the jetty to Pulau Perhentian is located) and flew in from Subang Airport via Malindo Air and left on the last flight two days later.


Sunrise at 30,000 feet.

The flight took roughly about an hour and it was a smooth, pleasant flight. We had booked with the same travel agency for them to pick us up from the airport and true enough, as soon as we arrived, we were whisked by the driver to Kuala Besut Jetty.


An aerial view of Kota Bahru, Kelantan as the plane was preparing to landing at the airport.

The drive from the airport to the jetty took roughly about an hour and we dozed off almost all the way to the jetty.


Kuala Besut Jetty

We arrived at the jetty at about 9 am and was welcomed by Mrs Mazila herself. She was very efficient at checking us in and allowed us a few minutes of strolling around the jetty (for souvenirs or trinkets) before calling us to say that the boat is ready.


Passenger boats leaving for various islands off the coast of Terengganu. 

We shared the boat with a group of students (by looking at the size of the crowd, I assume they must be going on a field trip) and the boat ride was rather bumpy (the speedboat was fast and the seas were slightly rough). It took about an hour or so for us to reach Perhentian Besar.


Teluk Dalam

The driver made a short stop at Teluk Dalam to dispense off the students before carrying on to Tanjung Genting, to where we were staying. To tell you the truth, when arriving at Teluk Dalam, I was so excited to see the clear green vibrant hue of the water that I wanted to jump off the boat there and then. Anyhow, they say patience is a virtue so I stayed put in the boat.


Turtle alert!

And I am glad I stayed put. As soon as we left Teluk Dalam the driver alerted us on a turtle that was swimming right next to the boat. Truth be told, that was my first time seeing a turtle swim in its natural habitat and let me tell you something, turtles are very, very fast swimmers! We could only catch a glimpse of the turtle for a minute or two before it swam off into the deep sea.


The mosque at Perhentian Kecil

On our way to Tanjung Genting, I was pleasantly surprised to see a beautiful mosque at Perhentian Kecil. From what I've learnt, the majority of the locals (who are working as fishermen, boat drivers and at the various resorts around the islands) are staying at Perhentian Kecil and there's a primary school, mosque, police station and shops on the island, catering to the needs of the locals.


Tanjung Genting

There are various resorts around both Perhentian Besar and Perhentian Kecil, so basically it's a place that caters to everyone i.e. the ones with bigger budgets get to stay at better resorts and the ones with smaller budgets get to at BnBs (bed and breakfast motels). There are coconut trees everywhere and plenty of activities for everyone.


The view of the beach from Coral View Island Resort

Beautiful bright blue sky, pleasant breeze from the ocean and salty smell of the sea. What more can a girl want?


One of my favourite photos of the island

We took a stroll from Coral View Island Resort and after climbing a flight of stairs, we ended up at Perhentian Island Resort. It was almost sunset by then and we decided to enjoy the rest of the day watching the sun set into the horizon and enjoying the warm breeze of the ocean.


Jetty

This jetty is located right in front of Perhentian Island Resort and is mainly used to ferry passengers who are checking in to the resort or those who've checked out of the resort.


Going somewhere?

There's plenty of water taxi services available on the island so do feel free to roam around the island and visit the nearby islands as well. We went to Perhentian Kecil for only RM10 per person (return trip) and managed to explore the small village at the island. We also took an island hopping and snorkelling trip to Pulau Rawa the next day for RM60 per person. I'll put up another post on my snorkelling experience but before that, let me leave you with a teaser photo =).


Snorkelling

All in all we spent three days in Perhentian, the first day was our arrival where we arrived at the island at around noon. We spent the afternoon actually sleeping (because I had just finished submitting a major assignment the night before at midnight and then woke up at 4 am to catch our early morning flight (which was at 6 am from Subang airport). We woke up at around 5 pm and enjoyed a leisurely stroll around the beach and sunset. Unfortunately it rained on our first night in Perhentian so we weren't able to do much exploring. The second day we went snorkelling (left at around 8 am if I'm not mistaken) and enjoyed snorkelling at around 4 spots, Pulau Rawa, turtle cove, the lighthouse, and shark point and came back to the resort at around noon. It rained in the afternoon so we ended up enjoying some downtime in our chalet reading the books that we brought with us. On the third day we decided to go for a bit of a swim in the morning before packing up our bags and leaving the island.


Getting ready to head back home

So, the verdict? If given a chance, I would love to go back to Perhentian Islands and enjoy some quiet me-time. But there are plenty of other islands in Malaysia that I haven't been to as well =).
However, my word of advice, do check the weather forecast, rain could be a real downer on your vacation and you could end up cooped up in your chalet throughout the whole trip. In terms of cost, we paid RM265 per night for the chalet, RM30 per person for the shuttle from the airport and back, and RM60 per person for the snorkelling trip. Flight tickets, if I'm not mistaken, Subang - Kota Bahru was less than RM200 for a return trip with Malindo Air.


Not sure if you should bring your kids with you? Let me just say that there's loads of families with small children at Perhentian.

I'll share on our experience staying at Coral View Island Resort, the snorkelling trip and even of Perhentian Kecil in a separate post, inshaa Allah. For those who are interested in going to Pulau Perhentian, you may want to visit Anjung Holidays website [here]. 


xoxo Mrs Fashionista