Perhentian consists of two islands Pulau Perhentian Besar and Perhentian Pulau Perhentian Kecil which means Large Perhentian Island and Small Perhentian Island respectively. Pulau Perhentian Kecil is the more popular and cheaper one among the two. There are no roads on the islands. To get around Perhentian, visitors have to walk through the jungle or take a sea taxi. There are much wildlife to see around the islands such as monitor lizards, squirrels and mouse deer. Other than diving, snorkeling, turtle, swimming and shark watching are the most popular tourist activities in Perhentian. Due to the islands protected status, most tourist activities are minimal in environmental impact and the islands remain relatively untouched. Fishing is also not permitted. In the coastal waters of the islands, there is an extraordinary marine kingdom with corals, turtles, sharks and more.
Perhentian is a very popular spot for turtles throughout the year.
Perhentian means “place to stop” in Malay, which was what these two islands were for traders travelling between Malaysia and Bangkok in the past. For centuries, the islands were sparsely inhabited by fishermen. Perhatian was also used as a refuge in the late 1900s.
How to Get There
The cheapest option is to take a 10 hrs coach ride to Kuala Besut Jetty. From 0900 hrs to 1630hrs, there is a sea transfer by speed boat from Kuala Besut Jetty to Perhentian, which takes about 45 minutes. There is no regular timing for departure; the boat departs when there are enough passengers. For the return journey, the speed boats are scheduled thrice daily at 0800 hrs, 1200 hrs and 1600 hrs.
Perhentian has a tropical climate with temperatures around 30 degree Celsius. Due to the monsoon season, visitors are advised to visit only between February and October.
The currency used locally is Malaysian Ringgit (MYR).
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Credit cards are widely accepted but be careful of possible scamming. Do not let the card out of your sight. Alternatively, visitors can also top up their cash using ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) that are located at the major bank branches, most shopping malls, airports, bus terminals, etc.
Foreign visitors are allowed to bring in MYR not exceeding MYR1,000 each, and any amount in foreign currency and cheques not exceeding USD10,000 in total. If the amount is exceeded, they must be declared in the IMM26 form during in-processing at the customs.
Foreign visitors are allowed to bring out MYR not exceeding MYR1,000 each, and foreign currency and cheques not exceeding the amount they brought in during the point of entry.
If you are sure that you want to bring in/out cash exceeding the stated limits, prior written permission can be obtained from Exchange Control Department, customs.gov.my/index.php.
Citizens of the following countries are required to have a visa to visit Malaysia : People’s Republic of China, Cuba, Vietnam and North Korea. Nationals other than those stated will receive a visa upon arrival or are allowed to enter Malaysia without a visa for a visit not exceeding one month. However, it is recommended that visitors contact the nearest Malaysian embassy or Malaysian consulate before visiting as regulations are subject to changes. Visitors can also check https://imi.gov.my/ for updated information.