Beach-hopping on Perhentian

posted in: Malaysia | 23

In our last post, we showed you many of the different kinds of activities that you can do in Perhentian, our favorite Malaysian island. We left out the beaches, which you might say probably matter the most. The island is very popular among local youngsters who spend their weekends there, but as most Asian people, they don’t like walking either. Hence, if you leave the main beaches, after a short walk or a kayak trip, you can easily find yourself alone on one of the many secluded beaches. This is what we loved the most in Perhentian, and in this post we will take you to the beaches of this tropical paradise.

The main beaches

The two main beaches of the island (where most people stay and where most of the accommodations are found) are Long Beach and Coral Bay. Long Beach is the most popular beach among backpackers, a beautiful long white sand beach. It is quite crowded in high season and this is where the parties take place.

Long Beach

Coral Bay, where we stayed, is much quieter, is more a couple’s place. The beach is less gorgeous, however you have quite nice reef close to the shore for snorkeling. The sunsets on this side are absolutely amazing.

Coral Bay

The beaches between Coral Bay and the fishing village

At the end of Coral Bay, a narrow trail leads to the jungle and an hour long walk in the forest can take us to the fishing village. Although the trail is paved and follows the coastline, we walk in the dense forest (mosquito spray is a must), and we can see some wildlife there. We can often meet monitor lizards, some of them are really huge! Fortunately they are afraid of us and run away as they see us.

After leaving Coral Bay, we arrive in less than a half an hour at a pristine beach (it does not have a name as far as we know), where many times we spent hours swimming completely alone in the crystal clear water or just lying in the sun (there is no shade in the afternoon).

Pristine Beach

Five minutes more walk bring us to Mira Beach, a small beach where is a low-key resort with some bungalows. As most people spend their time on the terrace of their bungalows, resting in their hammocks, there is usually nobody on this beautiful beach either.

Mira Beach

The last beach before arriving at the village is Petani Beach, a long one with palm trees. There’s also a resort here between the trees, but not so many people stay here. We found a clownfish colony just a few meters from the beach, and played with the “nemos”. There is also a nice reef not so far from the beach, and we saw a map puffer fish there, which is quite rare to find snorkeling.

Petani beach

The beaches on the other side of the island

In the Northern side of the island, there are several small pristine beaches, which are usually deserted during the whole day. You can get there by taxi boat or after a short track, just as we did. The walk requires some effort as you have to climb a hill to get to the other side, and there’s no shade on the trail that follows the electric cables, so sweating is guaranteed! However, when you arrive at the top where the windmills are found, you will feel rewarded by the spectacular view.

Perhentian view

From the top we can take the stairs down (there are lots of them!) to a place where the water had a different color tone due to the white sand bottom, swimming there was just simply perfect!
Crystal clean water

The other option from the viewpoint is to follow a narrow trail in the forest that leads us to three more beaches. In D’Lagoon there are also bungalows and it seems to be a cool place to stay for some nights, some of the bungalows are actually on top of the trees. There are two more beaches close by, Turtle Beach and the beach we liked the most in that part of the island, Adam & Eve Beach, where we spent some time enjoying solitude.

Adam & Eve Beach

Romantic Beach

The most gorgeous beach on the island is the one called Romantic Beach, there’s no doubt about that. Many boats stop here during the snorkeling excursion, but they do it usually in the afternoon. So if you to take a taxi boat in the morning (you can also get there on foot after some serious rock climbing), you have a good chance to spend a couple of hours there without any disturbance from others.

Romantic beach

This white sand beach is simply marvelous, and we spent hours there just staring at the sea. It was a very special place for us, in cold dark winter evenings we often imagine being there.

Romantic Beach water

We don’t think that we have to convince you that Perhentian is an absolutely “must-visit island” in Southeast Asia!


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23 Responses

  1. Hi Rachele & Gabor, great post & beautiful pictures. Malaysia was already on our bucket list, but after reading and enjoying this article it just went up to the top 5 of the list! 😉

    • Rachele & Gábor

      Thanks Jempi & Nina! We are glad that you liked our post and pictures!! Malaysia has so many awesome places to visit!

  2. What beautiful views and spectacular beaches! I could lie on them all day and sip cocktails! Romantic Beach is my idea of paradise!

    • Rachele & Gábor

      Constance, actually Romantic Beach is probably how we would imagine paradise in our dreams:)

  3. stunning photos – I love the colours, and it looks so warm and unrefined. how far are these from say singapore or KL if we flew into there as a hub? there are so many choices of islands in paradise, so this is a useful article!

    • Rachele & Gábor

      Anna, from KL many hostels/tour agencies organize transfer by minivan to Kuala Besut, the jetty where boats leave from to Perhentian. These vans leave normally in the evening and you arrive in the morning to Kuala Besut (it’s an 8-9 hour ride) to take one of the first boats in the morning, so it is easy quite easy to get there!

  4. Wow is about all I can say about these beaches! You associate pristine, gorgeous beaches with the likes of Bora Bora or the Caribbean Islands but these are just spectacular.

    I must admit that I am generally not one for beaches, maybe because growing up in England you are not accustomed to weather that allows you to lay back and relax on beaches even during the summer months for the most part. Also, maybe it’s because I have a tendency to always want to be exploring and doing something but the pictures you have taken here and how you describe some of these beaches may well make me change my mind if we head to this Malaysian area.

    We are planning on taking a trip to SE Asia at the end of 2014 so we may consider adding this to our list of ‘places to see’!

    • Rachele & Gábor

      I understand you Chris, I am also not the type of person who loves lying on the beach for hours without doing anything, I am also a more active person. In this island the fun was that we had to do some hiking in order to explore the beaches, so you can mix up some walking with relax. We were simply stunned by the beaches!

  5. I’m insane jealous right now being in the middle of winter stuck in the cold. The water looks amazing!

    • Rachele & Gábor

      We also dream about this place and lying on those pristine beaches! Thanks for the comment!

  6. Gorgeous! I am feeling a little jealous which says alot because I live in Costa Rica but those beaches are breathtaking. Looks like a ton of fun!

    • Rachele & Gábor

      Thanks Samantha for your comment! I am sure that in Costa Rica you find loads of amazing beaches, but you are right these beaches in Perhentian were much more gorgeous than we expected!

  7. Oh my golly gosh, look at that water! It looks AMAAAAZING! I didnt get chance to visit the coast when I was in Malaysia, but it looks like I seriously need to!

    • Rachele & Gábor

      Anastasia, next time you definitely have to visit this part of Malaysia. There are several great islands there! Most of them are mostly visited in package tours and are quite expensive, but Perhentian is an awesome place and fits the budget of backpackers.

  8. Whoa, amazing pristine beaches. Next month I’m moving to Cancun, actually so I’ll be very much in touch with my beach-boy side 😀

    • Rachele & Gábor

      Thanks Raphael! I hope that you will have loads of fun in the beaches of Cancun! We also look forward to visiting Mexico one day!

  9. What a gorgeous place! As I was reading the article, for each beach I was thinking – this would be my favorite beach. Until I moved to another one… No favorite at the end. They all look amazing. Great photos, too!

    • Rachele & Gábor

      We also had the same feeling when visiting all those beaches, it is just impossible to choose between them. Our favorite was still Romantic Beach, which was a real white sand beach, absolute paradise!

  10. They look gorgeous! I am very jealous and I look forward to visiting there one day

    • Rachele & Gábor

      I feel sorry for you guys that you had to cancel your trip, I don’t want to tease you with these posts! I am sure that you are getting there one day!!

  11. The color of that water is killing me! Is it time for my trip yet?

    • Rachele & Gábor

      Don’t worry Ashley, the day of your trip is approaching:)

  12. Thank you for this post. Cannot wait to get to travel in this part of the world!

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