Perhentian always referred as one of the most popular island in Malaysia and a must visit place especially to the foreigners.
Perhentian have 2 islands. One is called Perhentian Kecil(Smaller island) and the other one is Perhentian Besar (Bigger Island)
Perhentian kecil is more to people who loves to party and long sandy beaches, while the Big island is for family kind of environment.
You can back and forth between these 2 island by taking a taxi boat. Its not that far apart from each other.
To me Perhentian is over-rated. Its just like the other islands in Malaysia. The food is more expensive compared to the other islands.
Still it offer great place to be under the sun and underwater scenary.
It is in Perhentian where I saw my first Whaleshark in the wild.
Getting to Perhentian island is easy. A drive from KL – Jetty Kuala Besut took about 7-8hours ride. There are
plenty of parking bays near to the jetty runs by the local. Try to get a descent and safe area if you want to park your car.
Don’t simply follow the runner riding a motorcycle while honking your car trying to get your attention to follow them.
We don’t really know to where exactly they are directing us to.
At the jetty you can ask any agents there. Preferably the one that have a shop at the jetty and have legal licence for business.
You can either:-
1) Book chalets with the agents together with the speedboat return tickets, or
2) Buy only the return tickets and just walkin to any chalets on the islands.
That day i dived with Sunlight Divers located at Coral Bay, Perhentian Kecil. Even if you stayed at Perhentian Besar , any dive centers can offer to pickup from your chalet if you decided to dive with them. the trip was Adhoc. Planned at the last minute. Drive from KL on friday night and arrived at the Kuala Besut on the next morning saturday 8am. In the island for a night and went out back to KL on Sunday. Managed to do 4 dives
1st Dive Site: Batu Layar (Sailing rock)
Date: 2nd Aug 08
Bottom time: 66min
Note: It was a first time for me getting up into a boat without using any ladder. It was hard trying to pull oneself into the boat. During the manage to meet a very giant turtle. The site located near to Perhentian Besar and in between both of the islands. Formation of hardcorals and filled with reef fishes.
2nd Dive Site: D’ Lagoon
Date: 2nd Aug 08
Bottom Time: 60min
Note: the dive site located near to the long beach of perhentian kecil. sandy bottom with patches of corals.
3rd Dive Site: Tokong Laut (temple of the sea)
Date: 3rd Aug 08
Bottom Time: 70min
Note: i went to this dive site quite early. the boat moves around 8.15am. The dive site located far from the island so need to move early if want to catch good viz before many more divers arrived to the site.
At the surface can only see a small rock formation then it shape down like a small mountain until reach down to a sandy bottom with whip corals and other type of corals. This particular site famous with pelagic sightings. I got lucky that day when i get to scuba with 2 whalesharks. I was about to end the dive when suddenly the whaleshark passby to my right side from behind. The depth was 15meter.
4th Dive Site: Sugar Wreck
Date: 3rd Aug 08
Bottom Time: 55min
Note: The Wreck location quite far. The viz was around 10m. Many schools of fishes and baracudas. Be sure to bring along a dive torch to sneak peak inside the dark wreck.