Beach holidays in the Perhentian Islands

Soft white sand lapped by clear turquoise water and framed by arching coconut palm trees – what more could you ask for in a tropical paradise island?

A world away from the over-developed resorts elsewhere in south-east Asia, thePerhentianIslandsare a beach holiday destination that is definitely under-the-radar for most tourists.

The large island – Perhentian Besar – caters for families and honeymooners with more upmarket resorts, while the smaller Perhentian Kecil offers a tropical backpacker haven.

Secluded beach

The tropical paradise of Perhentian Kecil – waving fronds, coconuts and turquoise seas.

This was once a stopping point for trading vessels sailing up the coast to the markets ofThailand. The only boats dropping anchor now belong to fishermen from the village on Kecil, or bring tourists to enjoy the beaches and beauty.

Luxuriant jungle covers most of both islands and there are no roads or vehicles so the peace and tranquillity is only interrupted by human voices. In fact the only way to get here is by boat from the fishingvillageofKuala Besuton the coast ofMalaysianear Kota Bharu.

When you’ve had your fill of lazing about on the beach, spend a day pottering about the sparkling seas on a snorkelling boat trip or go diving with one of the many diving operators.

Divers on the Beach

Divers returning to Perhentian Kecil after an excursion.

The Perhentians are part of a protected marine park and the sea life is spectacular with colourful coral, turtles and tropical fish in abundance.

There’s plenty of nature on land also. See monkeys, monitor lizards, butterflies and more while hiking the jungle trails.

The best time to visit what are surely some of the most beautiful islands in the world is between March and October.

During the monsoon season the water is rough and the resorts are closed so this is not a year round destination.

Discover the Perhentian Islands, for an unspoilt beach holiday away from the crowds.

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