YES IT IS.
Ok, maybe I’m being a bit biased hear but here me out.
The past week I finally got a chance to visit Perhentian Island after all these years (I wanted to go there since 2003). I love beach. The sand slipping through my fingers, the fierce waters and that annoying pebble stuck in between your feet and sandals. I don’t care. I love it.
Over the past few years I went on many adventures. Melbourne Great Ocean Road (2011), Krabi (2013), Bali (2015), Lombok (2016). They were all awesome, but when I reached Perhentian Island, I can’t begin to compare with others. I effing LOVE IT!
Undoubtedly, Melbourne would be the cleanest, followed by Perhentian then Krabi. Indonesia beach are pretty, but whereever you sit, you might end up sitting on empty cans, plastic wrapper, satay sticks, stuff like that. Even on deserted beach like Mawun Beach, I got trapped with rubbish.
Perhentian was cleaner. They had some rubbish on the beach but it was tolerable.
Melbourne Great Ocean Road. The water was damn cold, but very blue and clean.
Clear Blue Water
Perhentian is the best. At neck deep I could see my own feet! Just like in swimming pool. Having said that, other beach had clear blue water as well but sometimes can be murky or tasted like oil spill.
I had the opportunity to dive with the turtle. We’re not allowed to touch nor feed the wild turtle.
Perhentian waves were very forgiving. My 1 year old kid had no problem standing on the beach as the waves ripple down the shore. Melbourne and Bali would be the toughest to swim against. But it’s definitely great for surfing (which I do enjoy).
This is Redang Island. It’s much more commercialized compared to Perhentian.
If you’re like me, loves to snorkel but hates scuba diving, then this is the place. Anywhere I swam, I could see beautiful live coral. They can be a little sharp, you just have to be careful. Corals break under harsh waves, frequent rain storm and too many boats. As a result, they were washed to the shores which made the beach floor really sharp.
These were extremely sharp.
This wasn’t far from the shore, with enough sunlight, you can see the floor of the ocean.
White Beach Sand
I’m a sucker for beach sand. The place we stayed at Perhentian Teluk Dalam had the nicest sand. It was silky and white.
Ok, this is a bit subjective, depending which part of island you stay. Personally, I prefer a beach where people don’t show too much of their skin. Whilst it can be a pretty sight, but 99.9% isn’t. So I’d prefer my odds of not seeing at all.
Island life and booze. I was told they go hand in hand. But if you have to get drunk to enjoy the beach, then that’s pretty stupid. Fortunately, Malaysia doesn’t allow open air drinking. When drinking is prohibited, night life activities and loud lousy techno music are not present.
I truly enjoyed my sleep. On both days there, I slept at 11pm and woke up at 5.30 am (which is very rare). I had a solid sleep.
Enjoy some timelapse of breaking dawn in Perhentian.
Full of Activities
The best activity is island hopping (besides chilling by the beach). We went to other side of Perhentian Island, Redang Island and Marine Park. The boat ride can be really long (almost 2 hours to Redang). Redang had amazingly clean beach and water. Marine park had tonnes of fishes and corals.
The cost per person for this trip was RM 550 (something like that). This includes lodging, boat fares, marine park entrance fee, bus trip (from Shah Alam to Kuala Besut Jetty) and full board (all the meals). The food on the Island was slightly expensive, but wasn’t far any 7E prices.
Comparing going on overseas trip, this is the cheapest option for us.
Where It Fall Short
1, The food! Perhentian food wasn’t bad, it was edible but just not that good. Every beach destination we went focused on their own cuisine, while Perhentian was trying to accomodate the tourist tongue. They should have featured their own cuisine like nasi kerabu, nasi dagang, keropok lekor and other delicious local delights.
Food is where it can seal the deal.
They didn’t have to attempt western food if they didn’t know what sear and medium well is. The island had abundant fresh fish, they should go with that. It would’ve been unique, fresh and awesome.
Great food at Lombok. Truly amazing and authentic. Perhentian should do the same too.
2, Transportation.Getting there isn’t easy for foreigners. The nearest international airport (if you’re from outside Malaysia) is KLIA, and the closest local airport is Kota Bahru (KBR). KLIA to Kuala Besut (the jetty) is about 8 hours bus ride. While KBR to jetty about 1 hour drive. If only they upgraded the KBR airport, trip can reduced the time of travelling.
3, Mobile Data. On this side of island, there was no signal. In a way, it’s pretty good but bad for some. Good that I don’t spend anytime playing with the phone, bad is when I don’t know what’s up with the world (little things to worry about).
In short, I would definitely revisit this treasure island and spend the entire week not doing anything but dip in the waters. The cost is minimal going between island to island. The locals were very helpful and friendly. Though we converse in Malay, most know how to speak English (a little bit). However, if you come here for food, get ready to be disappointed.
ps: This post is for Traveloka Blog Contest. Get great deals at the website https://www.traveloka.com/en-my
pss: Images are taken from Video footage. Sorry if it’s not really in focus like how it should be. For vlogs, you can visit my youtube channel