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An Incredible Diving Trip in Perhentian Island

diving at perhentian

What tourists are saying about Perhentian Island

“Clear sea, nice beach , friendly people”

I love the world under the sea, it is amazing , it has made me fall in love with snorkeling and created my desire in diving.

A place suit for either solo traveler or in group, people here are so friendly and welcoming. I will plan my next trip here again for sure.

a group of friends perhentian island

Group of friends at Perhentian Island.

“Beautiful Corals & Aquatic Life”

Whether you snorkel or dive, there are beautiful corals and fishes to see. We snorkelled at Sea Bell…this is a beautiful site, plenty corals and fishes.

Next stop was Teluk KK. Unfortunately due to influx of humans most of the reef has died. I see people standing on corals. Don’t they know they are damaging the environment?

Our third stop was Turtle Bay where we saw 2 huge turtles. Again, instead of simply observing someone has to dive down and touch the turtle. The turtle swam away. As I swam towards our boat the second turtle came up for air right next to me.

It was awesome, it was so close to me I could have hugged it, but I kept my distance. One experience I will never forget, swimming with a turtle! Bear in mind that sighting the turtles depend on weather and sea conditions, and your luck..sometimes you see small ones and sometimes you see large turtles.

Visited September 2015

turtle bay perhentian island

Turtle Bay, Perhentian Island.

“Coral Bay on the Perhentian Islands is absolute paradise”

Coral Bay is wonderful, we spent 4 months backpacking SEA and this is our favourite island, it’s stunning, the people are lovely, you can chill out or walk across to the other side’s beach for a night of drinking and watching the fire shows.

We managed to get a beach hut at Butterfly, that had amazing views (we were right on the water edge) and it was super cheap too.

Visited June 2015

photo shot perhentian island

A photo shot along the coast at Perhentian Island.

“Amazing island!!”

Couldn’t be further away from reality than these islands! Beautiful beaches, great restaurants and friendly people.

It’s a hike to get there but once you get there it’s worth the trouble. Getting there is an adventure in itself.

Be warned though, electricity is only available on the island between certain times! But don’t let this out you off! Don’t miss out on paradise!

Visited August 2015

abdul chalet perhentian besar

Abdul Chalet at Perhentian Island Besar.

“Great place for backpackers”

Long Beach was fantastic! Nice beach, lot of backpackers and it is easy to get to know people, plenty of dive shops, restaurants with cheap and good food and very good night life. Especially the fire dance show was amazing.

“Stunning and Peaceful”

I travelled to the Perhentian Islands upon the advice of a friend who had been before. I did not know much about them before visiting.

I spent four nights and wish I was there for longer. The beaches are beautiful, many good restaurants and a very peaceful and relaxing stay. I spent time snorkelling but ran out of time to do a dive which was a shame.

The snorkelling was great where we saw turtles, sharks, beautiful fish (including Nemo- clown fish) and interesting coral.

This is a great location for friends travelling Malaysia- I would suggest visiting or staying on the smaller island (specifically Long Beach) if you are looking for more going on.

I stayed on the larger island which is quieter and has more families. But the beaches were often deserted so amazing to have beautiful white-sand beaches to yourself.

I hope to visit again in the future, maybe for a longer stay.

Visited July 2015

Source: Tripadvisor – Things to do in Perhentian Island

long beach perhentian kecil

Long Beach at Perhentian Island Kecil.

About having a vacation at Perhentian Island

Why travel to another country when you have great dive spots at your doorstep?

Dive season in the East Coast is eagerly awaited every year, and few places lure the divers in like Pulau Perhentian.

My journey began here

We left Kuala Lumpur past midnight and arrived in Kuala Besut at 7am. Stalls open early there and serve great roti canai and nasi dagang, so there’s no danger of anyone starving.

It’s also easy to get your boat tickets from vendors near the jetty, and we managed to get on a small boat quickly. The seas were calm, and it took us barely 30 minutes to arrive in Pulau Perhentian Besar.

Once there, people from the Universal Diver dive centre helped us check into Tuna Bay Island Resort.

turtle bay perhentian island

Turtle Bay, Perhentian Island.

My diving experience at Pulau Perhentian

My first dive at the Batu Kapal dive site was not encouraging as visibility was at less than 5m. Later, dive master Ali explained that the sedimentation stirred up by the monsoon still affected some dive sites with visibility varying from day to day.

After leaving Batu Kapal, we swam towards Shark Point, where visibility improved dramatically. Delicate whip corals led us to a forest of every imaginable hard and soft coral.

Staghorn corals and deep orange fire corals provided a prickly carpet beneath and blue-ringed angelfish dodged us.

It was at this point that I met Puffy, a giant pufferfish. He lingered around and fixed me with baleful eyes — little did I know that he and his kind would tail me throughout my entire dive trip!

Then an iridescent blue caught my eye, and I spied a mantis shrimp scurrying away into its sandy burrow. Looking up, I saw a very large black-tip reef shark swim lazily past, and I paused to admire its sinewy grace.

alu alu divers perhentian island

Alu Alu Divers, Perhentian Island.

More diving trips

Encouraged by my first dive, we took Universal Divers’ big boat out the next morning to Tanjung Butung. Clearly, the first dive was an exception rather than the rule because visibility here was about 15m.

We tailed a green turtle into a school of queenfish before stopping to peep at shrimps scurrying along some whip corals and anemone fish playing hide-and-seek.

We were also lucky enough to see a bump-head parrotfish and numerous blue-spotted rays half-buried in the sand.

While I watched white-and-brown banded pipefish standing on their tails, a giant pufferfish observed me.

The Terumbu Tiga dive site was even more exciting. There were several narrow, swim-through passages, and we enjoyed navigating our way through them. Razorfish wafted vertically past us only to bump into a large school of long-finned batfish.

Best of all, Ali found a stunning zebra lionfish hiding in a crevice under the coral formations.

We found huge cowrie shells and even larger horned helmet snails in the Teluk Pauh dive site. But instead of appreciating their beauty, I found myself worrying that some inconsiderate diver might try to take them home.

ombak cafe coral bay perhentian kecil

Ombak Cafe at Coral Bay, Perhentian Island.

Dive sites are teaming with marine lives

Luckily, my spirits were lifted by the sight of a spiny devilfish on the sandy bottom, flaring its beautiful pectoral fins at me.

There were also schools of barracuda darting about above us and colourful nudibranch camped on the corals. And in the D’Lagoon dive site, two large cuttlefish greeted us and — I swear — a moray eel winked at me!

Of course, Puffy was for some reason always there, sometimes hauling along with him another pufferfish friend, to observe me.

Tuna Bay charm

My stay at the Tuna Bay Island Resort was also very enjoyable. The rooms were basic but clean, with air-conditioning and hot showers. There was no television but with beaches so beautiful, I hardly missed it.

The wooden rooms were right at the beach front, although some afforded a garden view as well. Each room had its own verandah, which guests could use to read a book from the resort library, to enjoying the sounds of the sea.

keranji beach resort mira beach

Keranji Beach Resort at Mira Beach, Perhentian Island.

The resort only had one restaurant but the menu was surprisingly extensive. Local favourites like tom yam and sizzling beef were available, along with pastas, salads and sandwiches.

Although I didn’t manage to try it, I was told that their Chicken Cordon Bleu is delicious.

Barbeques were held at night and featured the day’s catch. The best thing about the resort, though, I thought, was that the dive centre was right next door to it.

Pulau Perhentian Besar, to me, is almost like home when it comes to diving. Dive sites are numerous and all less than 10 minutes away, and visibility gets better as the season progresses. Marine life is also plentiful.

So what are you waiting for? Dive season is here. Go get ready!

Diving At Perhentian Island

A twin sharing room at Tuna Bay Island Resort with sea view costs RM320, and includes daily buffet breakfast.

For more information, call Tuna Bay Island Resort at Tel: (09) 6902 902/6902 909, Fax: (09) 6902 906/6911 808, e-mail: survivor@tunabay.com.my or visit http://www.tunabay. com.my

For diving information, call Universal Diver at Tel: (09) 6911 621, e-mail: info@universaldiver. net or visit http://www.universaldiver. net. Contact person: Sany at 017-9128 297 or Charlotte at 019- 3631 348.

mira beach perhentian kecil

Mira Beach, Perhentian Island.

Promotional rates for hotels in or nearby Pulau Perhentian Kecil

Promotional rates for hotels in or nearby Pulau Perhentian Besar

Other islands in Malaysia that you might be interested to visit:

  • Pangkor Island – Pangkor has many magical beaches enveloped by the world oldest tropical rainforests which sees thousands species of wildlife proliferating not only in the island but also in the waters of Pangkor.
  • Langkawi Island – Located in the far north of Peninsular Malaysia and off the coast of Kedah, Langkawi is the largest of a multitude of islands or specifically a jeweled setting of 99 islands.
  • Pulau Pinang – Penang’s northern shoreline such as Batu Ferringhi, Tanjung Bunga, Teluk Bahang and Monkey Beach are characterized by extensive stretches of golden sand and glittering waters.
  • Banggi Island – Banggi Island is located within the Kudat Division of Sabah in Malaysia. With an area of 440.7 square kilometres it is the largest island in Malaysia.
  • Tioman Island – Being a dormant volcanic island, Tioman is the largest and most developed islands that form the Tioman Marine Park.
  • Redang Island – Redang is the largest of all the nine islands that form the volcanic marine park. Tourists are flocking to Redang for its captivating environment surrounded by azure waters, golden sandy beaches and lush tropical rainforest.

Photo credits: Achilli Family | Journeys, resakse, nadi0, jamesmellor, Yculture, Gemma Bardsley.

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