Malaysia is best known for its urban jungle, mingling cultures and iconic landmarks, both showcasing ancient and modern architecture. But who would have thought that you can also go island hopping in this country? If you are planning a vacation to Malaysia during the summer, then you should seriously consider the Perhentian Islands, located at the state of Terengganu in West Malaysia. The islands have become popular among foreign and local tourists not only due to its sparkling blue waters, but also for its wide range of lodging houses that meet almost any type of budget. Since going to the Perhentian Islands is a real outdoor adventure, it would be best to secure travel insurance for your trip.
Reading up on travel insurance reviews can help you find the right package that best suits your island hopping escapade. Now, here are some quick tips to help you plan for the trip:
1. How to get thereReaching the Perhentian Islands is done by taking a ferry at the jetty port of Kuala Besut in Terengganu. It takes approximately forty minutes to reach the islands, and you may land at either Perhentian Besar or Perhentian Kecil, which are the largest among the Perhentian Islands.
There are resorts, hotels and lodging houses located on both islands, while the rest of the island group have establishments but are not inhabited. You may then charter a water taxi to get to the other islands in case you want to go island hopping.As you are coming from outside Malaysia, it will be advisable for you to take a plane, bus or train depending on your point of origin.Nearest airport: The nearest airport going to the Perhentian Islands is the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport, located in Kota Bharu. The airport has scheduled flights going to and arriving from different destinations, including Singapore and Medan, Indonesia (direct). Domestic flights from other Malaysian cities such as Kuala Lumpur, Melaka and Penang also land here.Nearest bus terminal: Travellers riding a bus may take routes going to Jerteh. From Jerteh, there are taxis going to Kuala Besut. Travel time varies depending on the area of origin. Bus rides are available to those coming from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Taman Negara, Cameron Highland and Cherating.Meanwhile, if you are going to the islands from the Thailand border of Rantau Pajang, you may take a bus en route to Pasir Puteh and then ride a taxi going to Kuala Besut.
2. What to expect
Surprisingly, English is widely spoken among the locals in the Perhentian Islands. This is because of the growing influx of foreigner tourists. To accommodate them properly, the locals are learning to speak English.
It is almost always sunny in the islands, except between October and March, as this is when the monsoon season is at its peak and most of the islands are closed to tourists during these months due to the unpredictable weather.
The most ideal times to visit the islands are between April and September, as the weather is warm and there is limited rainfall. You should note that the ultraviolet ray index on the islands is high throughout the year, so it is best to wear a strong sunscreen during your visit.
As for other amenities, most of the resorts in the island have a steady supply of fresh water and electricity. Internet and the mobile phone signal can be intermittent, though, especially during bad weather.
3. Things to do
There are plenty of activities that you can do on the Perhentian Islands. The true-blue beach bums may walk along the shores of the bigger islands or hop to the smaller islands via water taxis. There are also spots that are ideal for snorkelling and diving.
The water in most of the beaches of the islands is shallow, so it is easy to spot cuttlefish, parrotfish and sting rays. Sea turtles, black-tipped sharks and clownfish can also be spotted in the waters of the Perhentian Islands.Other activities that can be done on the islands are camping, fishing, jungle trekking and banana boat riding. These can be arranged at the resort you are staying or through separate service providers on the islands.
Going to the Perhentian Islands can be truly exciting as they are not on the usual bucket list of travel destinations. It is best to plan ahead so you have enough time to iron out your itinerary and other travel details. It is likewise recommended to secure travel insurance so you feel safe and secure during your vacation. You may want to read on the travel insurance plans by Chubb Travel Insurance so you know which coverage to get.
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